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Etymology: Greek reference to Kerebos (also known as Cerebus), the three-headed dog.
The Kerebos are a frightening spectacle to behold, even on a world as charmingly terrifying as Anomaly! Their nickname “Three Faces” is literal. These creatures do sport three faces segregated by small, bony fissures clearly defining one angry expression from the next. Like many races forced under Erebos’ tyrannical rule, very little is known of these genetic horror shop graduates. The Kerebos has a wide range of size variance, though they are on average slightly taller than the typical Gigantus. Where the Gigantus exhibits a strong defensive nature (and protective hide), the Kerebos possess a prey drive more akin to a Kasakir than any upright walking humanoid with opposable thumbs. Serrated, triangular teeth offer them nearly unmatched flesh cutting ability and are notorious for a keen preference to consume their food live.
The Slow Walkers have a saying of the Kerebos:
“The three-faced devils have no favored prey, but seek the spices of torment and screams for taste.”
Kerebosian skin is smooth and leathery and alarmingly resistant to bladed attacks (edge). Their skin can be penetrated with enough point-applied force (stabbing). Erebos dressing them in additional armor only served to complicate matters for would-be defenders.
Aodh tells me The People’s graceful aerial attacks were developed specifically to deal with the Kerebos threat. Spear and polearm assaults lacked the requisite force to stop a berserker Kerebos, and their foot speed can close the gap between themselves and the spearman in moments. Bal’ka shared similar stories of how the Moncs did battle with the Kerebos…and how many lives were lost to them. I had an idea for a new recursive bow for The People, but it was Lir’s knowledge of materials and woodworking that made it a reality. This new bow, and adapting existing archery tactics to the greater distance now afforded, has tilted things in our favor. The ability to inflict damage with precision have revealed another Three Face peculiarity… It would appear that their cognitive functions, and possibly others, are split between the three “personalities” of the single Kerebos.
A “dominant” head is always present, though revealing it is a guessing game at best. Three Faces do not need to vocalize their intent to the other two faces. Clustered arrow attacks, those where the archers will empty their quills on one head at a time, have proven a mixed blessing. If the dominant head is killed, the relatively mindless Kerebos becomes a “larger Mutie” posing a mere physical danger (rather than one meshed with sound tactics). Other single-strike attacks have stopped a raging Three Faces in its tracks (having had its primary autonomic nervous system “head” eliminated—the creature simply stopped breathing). Trial and error assaults have also yielded Kereboses that do not feel pain…the perception of which was isolated to one head which, when destroyed, yielded a most dangerous adversary indeed. No two Kereboses are alike, and attacking all three faces at once appears to cause the most predictable result (mass disorientation) of the creature. This less precise pincushioning remains the favored attack method today.
The Kerebos is, at face-to-face-to-face value, the perfect sentry. Fortunately for us, the physical perceptions of these monsters are not tripled for the number of faces on their thick neck. Indeed, one might accurately conclude they split ownership of an already small brain.
Kerebos young are ravenous cannibals. It is a happy coincidence that keeps their population from exploding. An Enforcer who might find himself facing down one of these triadic beasts would find its greatest advantage to be its sheer ugliness; the visual shock. Once that faded, however, this same Enforcer would delight in removing such a blemish from the landscape. Jon put it best when he first laid eyes on the Kerebos.
“Okay… Who pissed in his gene pool?”