Captain Singh was surprisingly decent about the bounties, that afternoon: he accepted the head of the charred bird-devil in lieu of a tail-tip. Apparently female bird-devils didn’t have those anyway. And when he heard about the tentacle monster Singh decided that the report and location was worth two Tubmans all on its own. And worth sending a platoon to carefully eliminate the monster.
“We call those things shoggoths,” Singh said, his face grim.
Morgan frowned at the name. “What?” he said. “You mean, like the ones from Azz and Hastur?” his parents’ generation had grown up watching that kid’s show; Morgan’s dad still had the official lunchbox.
“Yeah, Mr. Barod, only not cute. But cuddly, sure. Those tentacles will just cuddle you until your eyes pop out. Sounds like the one you found has just molted, so we’ll need to go burn it out before it starts moving again. I might even break out the mortar. Those things are a menace.”
“Where do they come from?” asked Morgan. “Is this a magic thing?”
Singh laughed bitterly. “More like a mage thing. Some people went nuts when magic came back. More nuts. Most of them still weren’t crazy enough to try to make monsters, but you only need one."