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By Virgil Finlay - crop from File:The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, August 1950).pdf, Public Domain,
By Virgil Finlay – crop from File:The Time Machine by H. G. Wells (Famous Fantastic Mysteries, August 1950).pdf, Public Domain,

Morlocks are a fictional species created by H. G. Wells for his 1895 novel, The Time Machine.

They dwell underground in the English countryside of 802,701 AD in a troglodyte civilisation, maintaining ancient machines that they may or may not remember how to build. Their only access to the surface world is through a series of well structures that dot the countryside of future England.

Morlocks are humanoid creatures, said to have descended from humans, but by the 8,028th century have evolved into a completely different species, said to be better suited to their subterranean habitat. They are described as “ape-like”, with little or no clothing, large eyes and grey fur covering their bodies. As a result of living underground, they have little or no melanin to protect their skin, and so have become extremely sensitive to light.

The Morlocks’ main source of food is the Eloi, another race descended from humans that lives above ground. The Morlocks treat the Eloi as cattle, and the Eloi do not resist being captured.

Morlocks in The Time Machine

The Morlocks are at first a mysterious presence in the book. The Time Traveler, the main character, initially thinks that the Eloi are the sole descendants of humanity.

The Morlocks’ physical features are the result of thousands of generations of living without sunlight. They have dull grey-to-white skin, chinless faces, large greyish-red eyes with a capacity for reflecting light, and flaxen hair on the head and back. They are smaller than Humans, presumably being the same height as the Eloi.

When he first encounters a Morlock, the Time Traveler begins to piece together a new image of the future world of the year 802,701 AD. The Morlocks and the Eloi have something of a symbiotic relationship: the Eloi are clothed and fed by the Morlocks, and in return, the Morlocks eat the Eloi. The Time Traveler perceives this, and suggests that the Eloi-Morlock relationship developed from a class distinction present in his own time: the Morlocks are the working class who had to work underground so that the rich upper class could live in luxury.

The explanation of their cannibalistic behavior is that there must have been a time when the Morlocks ran short of food. The hominids that later became the Morlocks started feeding indiscriminately on creatures such as rats. Eventually, the Eloi became their prey.

When the Sleeper Wakes

H. G. Wells also wrote a novel called When the Sleeper Wakes. This centers on a man who somehow falls into a sleep for several centuries, and wakes in the early 22nd century to find that he has inherited the world. In this book, we find out that an organisation derived from the Salvation Army has rounded up most of the world’s lower classes, forcing them to work underground in horrible conditions for the sole benefit of the rich. It seems that these people will later evolve into the Morlocks.

When the “Sleeper” encounters these apparent proto-Morlocks, they appear as underground workers in horrible conditions. He notes that they seem to be turning paler, as well as developing their own dialect of English.

Source: Pathfinder

Skin pale as a slug’s belly, eyes huge and bulging, this thing crawls down the wall like a spider, but its shape is hideously humanoid.

Morlock CR 2
XP 600

CE Medium monstrous humanoid

Init +8; Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Scent; Perception +2
AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 11 (+4 Dexterity, +1 natural)

hp 22 (3d10+6)

Fort +3, Ref +9, Will +5

Immune disease, poison

Weaknesses light blindness
Speed 40 ft., Climb 30 ft.

Melee club +5 (1d6+2), bite +0 (1d4+1)

Special Attacks leap attack, sneak attack +1d6, swarming
Strength 14, Dexterity 19, Constitution 15, Intelligence 5, Wisdom 14, Charisma 6

Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 19

Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Skills Acrobatics +13, Climb +22, Stealth +8 (+12 in caverns); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in caverns, +8 Acrobatics, +16 Climb

Languages Undercommon

SQ expert Climber
Expert Climber (Ex)

A morlock can cling to cave walls and even ceilings as long as the surface has hand- and footholds. In effect, a morlock is treated as constantly being under a nonmagical version of the spell Spider Climb, save that it cannot cling to smooth surfaces. This ability doubles the normal +8 racial bonus to Climb checks normally afforded creatures with a Climb speed to a +16 racial bonus.

Leap Attack (Ex)

As a standard action, a morlock may make a single attack during a jump. It can make this attack at any point along the course of the leap-the start, the end, or while in mid-air. While jumping, a morlock does not provoke attacks of opportunity for leaving a threatened square.

Swarming (Ex)

Morlocks dwell and fight in cramped quarters every day of their lives, and as such are quite adept at swarming foes. Up to two morlocks can share the same square at the same time. If two morlocks in the same square attack the same foe, they are considered to be flanking that foe as if they were in two opposite squares.

Environment any underground

Organization solitary, pair, band (3-6), or tribe (7-18)

Treasure standard

Degenerate humans long lost from the world of light, morlocks have regressed through years of subterranean dwelling into ravenous, barely thinking beasts of the endless night. They no longer remember the civilized lives their ancestors led, although many morlock tribes still dwell in the shattered ruins of their ancient homes. Ironically, in many cases morlocks worship the statues left behind by these ancestors as their gods. Morlock priests of such ancestor worship have access to the domains of Darkness, Earth, Madness, and Strength.

A typical morlock stands just over 5 feet tall and weighs roughly 150 pounds.

Morlocks move about on two legs at times, but often drop down to a creepy four-limbed shuffle when speed or Stealth is necessary. Their wiry, often emaciated frames mask the strength of their limbs and their swift reactions.

Morlocks typically give birth to broods of three to four babies at a time, ravenous creatures born with a full set of teeth and a cannibalistic predisposition. The first few weeks of a brood’s life must be carefully mothered to prevent attrition- it usually takes that long for the morlock young to overcome their natural inclination to feed on whatever is closest. Morlocks mature quickly, achieving adulthood after only 5 years of life. A typical morlock can live to a ripe old age of 60 -although the majority of their kind die far sooner than that due to violence.

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