This monster's orbital sacs house no visual equipment of its own, but function as nesting sites for thousands of symbiotic hornets, encoded into the monster's genome and replicated by specialized internal pods. The insects serve as the Buzzilisk's true eyes, ears and mouths, relaying information directly to its brain and foraging throughout the day for organic materials, most of which will be processed by the larvae into liquid sustenance for their living, breathing hive. Lacking its own digestive tract, the monster's mouth opens only to its lungs and vocal cords, while its tongue bears its only functioning eyes and a powerful chemosense.
Buzzilisk are highly adept at vocal mimicry, easily reproducing any sounds they have heard and even projecting their voices to confuse attackers or attract gullible prey.
Buzzilisk prefer hot, dry and dark environments, but their gelatinous eggs must develop in a fluid environment. Retaining moisture for a period of six months, a gravid Buzzilisk finally sheds its distended skin in one piece, leaving behind a tough, leathery husk filled with eggs and nutrient-rich mucus.
Fed and protected by its wasps, a Buzzilisk need not move unless food sources begin to run dry, and may spend most of its life in the same hiding place, such as a discarded barrel or the bleached skull of a larger monster. It often seeks a habitat where its already formidable defenses are naturally reinforced, such as acid springs, volcanic caverns or a deep cactus jungle.
A Buzzilisk spends most of its nocturnal phase practicing an erratic cacophony of collected sounds it regards as its "song," taking pride in the irritation, stress and insomnia it causes local creatures unable to pinpoint the source of the discordant racket.
Able to see, hear, taste and smell through so many small, independent bodies, a Buzzilisk excels in reconaissance and espionage, backed by its vocal tricks and its sheer unrivaled patience. In direct combat, its wasps are startlingly coordinated and their venomous stings potentially lethal in large enough numbers. When employed for security, the monsters are often stationed in plain sight, perched like gargoyles to discourage intrusion, though more may be concealed behind inconspicuous vents or in decorative pottery.
Deep within a Buzzilisk's cranial hives are stores of a delicious, salty-sweet jelly, a food reserve its wasps provide in the event they are completely whiped out.
HORNET SWARM: a Buzzilisk has long-range control over the hornets inhabiting its twin vespiary sacs. The insects are armed with an agonizing sting and multiple stings can induce anaphylactic shock or even cardiac arrest.
SENSORY TONGUE: the Buzzilisk's tongue is sensitive to vibration, temperature and the faintest chemical signatures of other organisms.
AUDITORY DECEPTION: the monster can perfectly imitate any conceivable sound and "throw" its voice for short distances.
Contents copyright Jonathan Wojcik