Notorious shapechangers. Mimics can make themselves appear like any inanimate object. In their true form, they resemble tentacled, alien predators.
Any adventurer worth their salt, knows how to spot a mimic.
We've all heard the stories: The party slowly opens the wooden door at the second, or third level of the dungeon. The flickering light from their torches illuminates a splendid treasure chest situated at the center of the room. No one is guarding it. Jewels and metallic bands sparkle on its surface.
It's too good to be true, but the party can't resist the possibility of a magic item so early in their quest. Eventually someone, likely the rogue, advances and touches the lid. The lid opens… and then snaps down on her arm, pinning her. The rest of the party starts cursing and pulling at their weapons as the treasure chest shapeshifts into a slobbery, alien looking creature with giant teeth.
The treasure chest was, obviously, a mimic.
What you may not have heard about are the better mimics. The weird ones. The ones that get away with it. Throughout the course of my illustrious career, I have collected stories of several such mimics. Today, I present those to you.
Mimic Van Gogh
There is a collection of weird encounter stories I recently came across. One of them describes an unusual painting in a an abandoned keep. As explorers traverse a certain hallway, they come across the painting in a gilded frame. The painting depicts a person who calls out for help. The person in the painting explains that they have been magically trapped inside. They ask that the party help them find a way to break the curse, offering great rewards.
If the party takes the painting with them, they receive a nasty surprise the next time they let their guard down. The painting is, in fact, an intelligent mimic. It waits until they are asleep, then attacks.
Mimics R' Us
In the far away town of Bælak there is an unusual shop. A former adventurer by the name of Desmuth Durad'in sells mimics to a variety of clientele. It's extremely weird and dangerous.
For a long time, the buildings adjacent to his shop were not allowed to be rented out, though I've heard that they have recently relaxed that policy. Desmuth was able to convince local officials to allow this only because the business of moving mimics is so lucrative. His clientele include many rich nobles who are looking for house protection. Not to mention the margins he can add on account of the personal, bodily risk of running such a shop.
If you ever, for some strange reason, need to learn the art of wrangling or moving mimics without killing them, there is no better person to turn to than Desmuth Durad'in at Mimics R' Us.
Credit for this story goes to @DMRawlings
Slee-Slee the pet mimic
There was once a party of adventurers who came across a small mimic in its true form. It was huddled in the corner of a dungeon, looking quite pathetic. It had not even bothered to disguise itself as anything. The party took pity on the creature and offered some of their rations. It gobbled them up enthusiastically, but still seemed unsure. When Grinda the barbarian offered it the freshly severed arm of a goblin, the mimic really warmed up to them.
The satiated mimic offered the party information about the dungeon. They were able to locate several secret doors and complete their treasure hunt with little trouble. The party was so happy about the situation that they let the mimic follow along when they left. They sat by the campfire later that night listening to the slurping sounds of the mimic as it gobbled up an entire deer leg. That's when they decided to name it Slee-Slee.
Slee-Slee grew up but never broke faith with its new family. The adventures brought it everywhere, and used its shapeshifting powers to pull off many future heists… and pranks. Slee-Slee's beastly hunger never went away, though it did learn to act mostly civilized whenever they were in city limits.
Bridge Over Mimic'd Waters
A group of adventurers crosses through mountainous terrain. It's their only path. As they leave the foothills, the incline grows harder and harder. They start to rest more often, and talk becomes scarce. They pull their cloaks tightly around themselves as they come to a wind-whipped gorge. In front of them is a bridge made of wood planks and thick rope spanning a 100 foot drop to the river below.
The ranger goes first. As far as he can tell, the bridge looks secure, but the fall would bring instant death so he yanks on the rope just to be sure. Satisfied, he takes some cautious steps out onto the second, then the third, then the fourth plank. Finally he turns around and grins. The rest of the party follows him.
The bridge is narrow, so the party walks single file, taking their time. Their confidence grows as more of them make their way out on to the bridge, its planks remaining stable. Suddenly, at the halfway point, tentacles lash out and wrap around the ranger, wiping the grin right off his face.
The bridge is a mimic.
Bag O' Mimics
The duo catches their breath after a hard-fought battle. The skeletons had caught them by surprise, but the fighter was quick, and the cleric was true. They had already noticed the treasure chest hidden behind the sarcophagus, and now they have time to take a peak inside.
Gold! Piles of it! They hastily stuff their packs with as much as they can carry. The dungeon's denizens could yet return. The cleric makes a note so they might return to the site later to collect more.
Later that night, the cleric wakes up to the sound of frantic shouting. His friend is hopping around the campsite shaking his limbs. Tiny, coin-shaped mimics are crawling all over his body taking greedy bites. He yells at the cleric to burn their pack with holy light. The same pack that contains their only rations and precious gems from an earlier delve. He hesitates…
Finally, the coin mimics start to crawl up the cleric's robes. He feels the painful bites and casts the spell, obliterating their supplies. It takes another 6 minutes to get the mimics entirely off of them.
The two of them sit down and stare at the scorched earth where their supplies used to be. They feel miserable.
Written by Giles Ravensong.