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Basic Information

Comelenguas is "an unseen beast that feeds on the tongues of sleeping cattle"[1]. By some accounts it's about the size of a turkey, and at least somewhat bat-like. Other names for comelenguas include "sacalenguas" and "el deslenguador" and "the tongue-eater". It's exists in the folklore and campfire horror stories of Nicaragua and Honduras. This nocturnal cryptid never leaves signs of a struggle - as though the cow itself was unaware of the creature's presence. It may be related to, or a conceptual precursor to, El Chupacabra, the hypnotic goat-sucker.

Alternately, it may just be an as-yet undocumented scavenger that feeds on dead cows … or some weird, cryptozoological version of the cymothoa exigua … which is a marine arthropod which eats the tongues of fish and then takes their place. Perhaps the farmers are only noticing the missing tongue once the critter has departed…

See also: South American folklore

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Game and Story Use

  • Comelenguas may be the cause of Cattle Mutilation.
  • The sketchy ill-explained nature of the Comelenguas allows you some red herring or bait-and-switch freedom. You might make the players think they're going after a Chupacabra or a Vampire, but eventually reveal it's a comelenguas instead.
    • In game systems that already have stats for those monsters, this twist might shake things up a bit. Like bringing a knife to a gun fight, vampire hunters need to arm themselves in very particular fashions.
      • A vampire uses charisma or turns into mist or a bat, and a goat-sucker hypnotizes it's prey. You get to decide how the comelenguas perpetrate the stealth needed to feed.
  • Some care may need to be taken when using this critter in your game, due to it's strange name. While it's not quite The Unpronounceable, it does have a risqué approximate rhyme. Of course, with the right type of game (and/or gaming group) that just enhances the fun, but I imagine it'd undermine dramatic tension to discover the rhyme in the middle of a critical scene.
    • For a silly campaign, a sapient comelenguas may find the mispronunciation of its name - deliberate or otherwise - to be a berserk button.
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