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Wasteland Bestiary: Hermit Crabs

Tags: #Event: Beasts  #H17 
  • Member
    October 30

    Call Sign: Senior Scribe Lyon

    Location: Far Harbor

    Assignment: Operation Beasts of America

    Date: 10-30-2287

     

    Below follows field report on indigenous fauna “Hermit Crab” found on islands around town of “Far Harbor” (Pre-war designation Bar Harbor, Maine) to the north of current Commonwealth Wasteland operations.   

     

    Beast Study: “Hermit Crab”

     

    Physical Description:

    Locals simply call these creatures “Hermit Crabs”. Based on our limited pre-war documents hermit crabs seem to be a rather small decapod crustacean. Decapod naturally meaning 10 legs, these modern-day hermit crabs seem to exhibit all the same characteristics, including the ten legs, and overall anatomy with the almost sole difference being their massive increase in size. Pre-war records indicate their size to be something in the neighborhood of 4 inches upwards of 8 or 9, something comfortably fitting in your hand. The specimen we examined measured nearly 20 feet in length when removed from its “shell”.

     

    Pre-war documents detail that previously, unirradiated hermit crabs utilized seashells and other similar sized hollow objects as a protective shell due to their naturally soft abdomen. This is in contrast to other pre-war crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters which have since mutated into similarly hard shelled beasts like the blasted mirelurks that seem to infest every remotely damp location from Washington to Boston. Due to their extreme size, current hermit crabs have found new objects that can serve a similar function to shells. The specimen we encountered had curled itself inside of the rusted out remains of a pre-war van. Such was the size and strength of our specimen that it could lift the entire vehicle section up by just shifting the weight of its bulk to its front legs. Creature also seems to have developed increased calcified armor to legs and head section that is not protected by “shell”, much of which is marked by short, thick “hairs” that likely is radiation based growth of pre-war anatomy. Unknown age of specimen, but our best estimation shows age well over two decades if not more and based upon wear of “shell” from movement, etc; combat potential (see below); and sheer size we likely believe these creatures capable of living well beyond this mark.

    Combat Aptitude:

    When team first arrived on “Island” as designated by locals, we received intel on many local fauna including several massive beasts that if reports are to be believed, are quite capable of crushing even power armor. Many were described as exhibiting a variety of stealth behavior such as using fog cover (often of extreme thickness and frequency in this area) or hiding under the water’s surface (also extremely common). However one of the most concerning was report from a seasoned local known as “Old Longfellow” who claimed about a massive crab-like creature that hides in the wrecks of pre-war cars only to lash out and attack travelers who wander too close. This seemed like one of the more far-fetched of the Far Harbor stories but this was a rather valid assessment in the end.

     

    In our own patrols across the Island we encountered a creature matching this description both in appearance and behavior. Brother Dorian was slain in a flash by one of these hermit crab brutes who suddenly erupted from the wreckage of a “Vault-Tec” van. In a flash the enormous bulk of the creature crushed Brother Dorian and made to attack Brother Argos, simply ignoring the cascade of energy weaponry we unleashed upon it. Thankfully Brother Argos’s T-60 power armor held up reasonably well, though was crushed and dented across most of the surface within a few sections before he could take cover. Given more time I believe these creatures extremely capable of destroying even advanced power armor as it crushed multiple cars and demolished a nearby building in its pursuit of Brother Argos, myself, and the rest of the team.

    The protection offered by the vehicular “shell” is not to be underestimated as the thick metal proved a strong defence against our laser rifles and even Brother Argos’s heavy gatling laser. The thick crustacean legs proved to be almost as strong as well. Despite the archaic nature of Scribe Lyra’s ballistic-based rifle, it seemed to have a stronger effect on the brute than our energy rounds. What is more surprising however was the usefulness of radiation based weaponry on the brute which seems to not share many of the wasteland’s immunity or at least resistance against this particular damage type. Due to the size we used various structures and the environment to our benefit trying to outmaneuver the creature which struggled to follow due to the size and bulk.

     

    When struggling to engage us however the hermit crab began shaking violently and suddenly a half dozen or so small “hatchlings” erupted from an unknown section of the creature’s body. These small hatchlings, not dissimilar to mirelurk hatchlings, swarmed at us, biting and clawing at Scribe Lyra who needed a multitude of small injury care following the fight. These hatchlings, while easily dispatched by our highly trained team could be deadly to an unprepared wastelander. Using a combination of unorthodox Brotherhood weaponry, explosives, environmental assets, tactical movement, and extreme amounts of ammunition we eventually put down the creature.

     

    Summary and Recommendations:

    The amount of damage this hermit crab absorbed before succumbing to its wounds was more than any other creature I have seen in my many years of service, beyond even that of a super mutant behemoth or mirelurk queen. I advise extreme caution to all Brotherhood teams deployed and and around this operations area. Due to the ambushing hunting nature of the creature and its choice of protective “shell” it can blend into a variety of landscapes from rural to even urban environments. The loss of Brother Argos should hold weight for the deadly nature of this beast. Additionally, one last note of intel picked up from local contacts states that there have been multiple variants of these monsters seen across the Island similar to what we have seen in variants of other wasteland creatures like mirelurks and deathclaws. Glowing and even albino variants are rumored and given our specimens seemingly rather “normal” nature, I believe these other variants, if they exist and I believe they do, are even hardier and deadlier than the one we encountered. Lastly, while the field tests of the meat harvested from the large crustacean appears to be highly rich in nutrients beyond even that recorded from mirelurk queen meat, I do not believe the cost of willingly engaging such a creature to be worth the benefit. Afterall these creatures, despite their nature themselves, exist in one of the most inhospitable and dangerous wasteland environments myself or any member of my team as thus far been deployed.

     

    I will make myself and all members of my team available for further debrief upon our return to the Prydwen but this concludes my field report of the wasteland beast: “Hermit Crab”.

  • Member
    October 30

    This is pretty cool, man. I liked the detail in it and the storytelling in it. Great job.

  • Member
    October 30

    Stellar work as always Amornar :D damn, that story telling was impeccably well done. You hit all the marks as far as providing the information while also making it very fun and interesting to read. Definitely a new favorite beast of mine, and I'll have to make a trip back over to the Island to visit these iron-clad bottom-feeders :)

  • Member
    October 30
    Thanks guys! Was fun to write and I’m glad you enjoyed. Good event!
  • Member
    October 31

    Added! This is amazing Amornar. I didn't even know this thing exists in game. Seems I'll be going hunting soon.

  • Member
    October 31
    Haha, they are stealthy, rare, and scary! Good luck!
  • Member
    November 1

    running into one of these in my first FH playthrough was one of the most memorable experiences in the whole series. So cool. Good job!

  • November 1

    Yes, ran into one of those yesterday. I'm glad I didn't read your article before then because my fiance and I were sooooo suprised that he just stopped what he was doing and watched as I killed it. 

    That being said, great article Amornar. I like that you incorporated a log aspect for it. 

  • Member
    November 1
    :) Thanks! Always fun to hear about people’s stories when they first encounter a hermit crab!