Mr. Gustavus is immense, yet his skin still seems to be too large for his tremendous bulk — his face, hands and scalp are criss-crossed with faint wrinkles that make him seem more weathered than aged. He smells faintly acidic, like old cosmetics with all the artificial scents removed. His white suit smells new, but is somewhat ill-fitting. He doesn’t give the impression of smiling so much as the corners of his mouth hitching themselves upward. He speaks softly, in a voice that’s almost breathy where one might expect it to be deep.

When free of its often-repaired human skin, the Leatherworker is a gruesomely asymmetrical creature. Like all Azlu of its size and ability, its true form is something that could only fit inside a human skin with the aid of supernatural power. It moves about on five legs that barely hold its distended abdomen above the ground, and its bent cephalothorax sports four lesser arms (three on its left, one on its right) and one more massive arm, something like a fiddler crab. Each of its appendages ends in a jointed spear-like point, but it can unfold smaller chitinous “fingers” from each one to do fi ne work. Its mouth is a tangle of mismatched chelicerae and pedipalps, with two long glistening fangs. Its chitin is the color of yellowed ivory, which combined with its bloated bulk can give the impression of something more grublike than spidery from a distance. Ten bloody splotches adorn its abdomen in a pattern that matches the layout of its ten dark red eyes — a mirrored effect that is the only symmetry to be found on the Azlu’s form.

Like most Azlu, the Leatherworker is driven by instinct. It is powerful and intelligent enough to pass as a human over an extended period of time, but at its heart it is wholly inhuman. The spider-like elements of its mentality mimic those of spiders that spin and wait, not those that roam and hunt — it actually prefers to face enemies in its parlor, where its webs can constrict them and where it feels safest. The Ladybird Room is, to its mind, an extension of its own being — though, of course, the “back room” is the heart of its den and where it has the most confidence.


World of Darkness ergtide