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ANNOUNCEMENTS Join Outland's Street Team, The Outlanders! Get sneak peeks at new releases, including fiction, games, and comics! Receive exclusive content, and be eligible to receive advance review copies of upcoming releases! If you like to help spread the word about...

THE ALL FATHER PARADOX Releases in October!

THE ALL FATHER PARADOX by Ian Stuart Sharpe Coming in October! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard, hellbent on studying the...

HATH NO FURY Has Hit the Shelves and E-Readers!

Mother. Warrior. Caregiver. Wife. Lover. Survivor. Trickster. Heroine. Leader.   This anthology features 21 stories and six essays about women who defy genre stereotypes. Here, it’s not the hero who acts while the heroine waits to be rescued; Hath No Fury’s women are...

Announcement: VIKINGVERSE COVER ILLUSTRATION RELEASED!

ANNOUNCEMENT Official summary of ALL FATHER PARADOX along with color cover illustration! What if an ancient god escaped his fate…and history was thrown to the wolves? Churchwarden Michaels thought it was just a run-of-the-mill crazy old man who stood in the graveyard,...

Announcement: New Comic Coming from Outland Entertainment!

ANNOUNCEMENT: Announcing Riddle of the Loremaster, an all new original comic series written by Melanie R. Meadors, with art by Nicolás Giacondino! Here is a sneak peek at some of the promo art: Riddle of the Loremaster is a comic for mature readers set in a fantasy...

Women in Dark Fantasy Have Changed by Linda Robertson

In doing a bit of research looking for a dark-fantasy-related topic for this article, I sought something that I knew at least a bit about, something I felt strongly about, and something where I could add meaningfully to the conversation. Many things were considered,...

Alethea Kontis on Imposter Syndrome

Earlier this year, I met the only student Katy Kellgren ever had. He told me he just about had to bully her into being his teacher. This amazing, multiple award-winning voice actress with hundreds of audiobooks under her belt truly didn’t believe she knew anything...

Announcements: HATH NO FURY Has Arrived in the US!

Backers of the paperback and hardcover editions of Hath No Fury will be happy to learn that the books have arrived at the printer's headquarters in Chicago! Now, they just need to be sent to our head honcho Jeremy Mohler, and then they will be sent out to backers...

Fairies with Dark Faces by I.L. Cruz

I like fairies—not a difficult admission for a fantasy writer—and I don’t mean the safe Victorian ones with gossamer wings that spread sparkles when they walk. I mean the ones that steal little children and make Faustian bargains. They were ancient and magnificent and...

Announcement: Launching New Transmedia World, VIKINGVERSE

Announcements Introducing the beginning of a new transmedia project with fiction, comics, and games in development! VIKINGVERSE From a concept created by Ian Sharpe, Vikingverse is going to launch this fall with a novel called All Father Paradox. Here is the line art...

ILLIMULID
An iridescent carapace covers this tiny creature, with two bulbous, three-pupiled eyes in front and a spine-like tail protruding behind. Four pairs of pincer-tipped legs fidget incessantly beneath its shell. Its entire body shimmers, as if surrounded by unstable energy.

Illimulid CR 3
XP 800
N Tiny magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1

Defense
AC 18, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +2 size)
hp 22 (3d10+6)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2
SR 16

Offense
Speed 10 ft.
Melee touch +8 (attach)
Ranged force bolt +8 (1d3)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks dweomer leap, parasitic casting
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd)
Constant—detect magic

Statistics
Str 3, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +3; CMB +4 (+12 grapple when attached); CMD 10 (26 vs. trip)
Feats Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Weapon Finesse
Skills Stealth +15, Use Magic Device +8

Ecology
Environment any urban or underground
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (3-12)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities
Dweomer Leap (Su) An illimulid that is targeted by a spell or within a spell’s area of effect can teleport into the caster’s square as an immediate action, effectively appearing mid-leap and aimed toward the caster. This ability takes effect whether or not the spell overcomes the illimulid’s spell resistance. The illimulid can immediately make a touch attack against the spell’s caster. This ability does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Force Bolt (Sp) As a standard action an illimulid can fire a bolt of force at any foe within 30 ft. as a ranged attack. Each bolt deals 1d3 points of force damage. An illimulid’s force bolt can be blocked by a shield spell.

Parasitic Casting (Su) An illimulid that is attached to a spellcaster at the beginning of its turn can make a special Use Magic Device check against DC 11 + caster level. If successful, the illimulid activates one of the caster’s spells, as if she had cast the spell with the illimulid as the target or the center of the effect. The activated spell is chosen randomly from the caster’s prepared spells or spells known. Harmful spells activated by this effect always fail to overcome the illimulid’s spell resistance. Spells with a range of personal affect the illimulid instead of the caster. If the Use Magic Device check exceeds the caster’s Will save by 5 or more, an additional spell is activated.

The bane of all magic users, illimulids (colloquially called “magekiller crabs”) were named for their ability to hijack magical energies. Despite their meek appearance, these seemingly harmless creatures become dangerous when they latch onto a victim and start firing spells at point blank.

Terrestrial cousins of horseshoe crabs, illimulids eat mosses, fungi, and carrion, and shelter in cramped spaces to escape predators. Females lay hundreds of eggs at a time, but must siphon energy from magical discharges to prime them for fertilization. As a result, these typically docile creatures become active in the presence of spellcasters, scrolls, wands, and other magic items, triggering spell effects in order to quicken as many eggs as possible. Their preferred habitats and aggressive pursuit of spellcasters makes infestations a major problem in magical communities.

Armies opposed by mages sometimes outfit their platoons with caged illimulids, which can use their dweomer leap to ambush long-range spellcasters and wreak havoc behind enemy lines. Some soldiers tell tales of illimulids specially bred for war, immune to certain forms of magic and bearing pincers that can rip through armor.

Written by Nicholas Wasko
Artwork by Zul Fadhli Kamarrudin
Edited by William Ward