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So, this question concerns gaining the Engorgement Enchantment, which one can only obtain by killing an Engulfer without a weapon (ie. non-natural weaponry, one must use one's own body to accomplish this). Now, I don't want this question longer than it has to be, so if you want to see more about the Engulfer (and I'd suggest you see more on the Engulfer) you can use this link to see the relevant question.

So, let's cover the basics:

1. Why Would You Even Want The Engorgement Enchantment?

The Engorgement enchantment supersizes whatever it affects, along with supercharging any held enchantments it has. Since everyone has a profession-relevant enhancing enchantment, granted at birth (AKA a Class), Engorgement is, therefore, very desirable, because it supercharges one's Class and therefore the enhancements from one's Class.

  1. Okay, What's The Catch? If one is practically a skeleton (malnourished) and gets Engorged, they'll become regular skinny. If someone skinny gets Engorged, they'll fill out nicely. If someone isn't skinny and gets Engorged, they'll become heavyset. If someone is already heavy-set and gets Engorged, well, they'll either look even more heavy-set, or become a sumo wrestler, or become a candidate for My Six-Hundred-Pound Life. The last category's size and mass increase is determined by whether they are just heavyset or actually overweight, and for the latter, how overweight they are.

3. Okay, How Can Someone Gain Engorgement? (This is the question you are to answer) Or in other words, "How can someone who isn't a noble, mage or savvy adventurer kill an Engulfer (and therefore gain Engorgement) without a weapon?" Think a peasant or layperson, perhaps a budding adventurer or a "Chosen One" of humble origins who isn't being taken seriously....This question demands information, so here we go:

  1. Bludgeoning Attacks An Engulfer is similar to a Plop in terms of defenses (see this link for more on that) so hitting it with a mace, warhammer, or club will just make it jiggle a little. Hitting it with a large rock (like a boulder) should work, due to the sheer force involved, but that would count as a weapon.

  2. Slashing/cutting/piercing attacks An Engulfer's thick, slick, and tough hide (plus abundant blubber) makes it highly resistant to such attacks. Chances are a blade will fail to penetrate, bouncing or sliding off it. Its insides are similarly protected because otherwise eating a villager's hut or some dead trees could puncture its stomach and lead to a slow, painful death. This leaves the eyes, which are protected by its own thick hide (translucent over the eyes, but they don't see very well).

  3. Pit traps Engulfers are big creatures, so it'd be awfully difficult to make a pit trap big (and deep) enough to work. They can climb up the sides of the pit trap if they aren't vertical, making things even more difficult. That being said, a pit trap full of Plops would work great, except when it comes to cleanup-Engorged Plop are the stuff of nightmares.

  4. Fire/explosives YES! This is the answer, you guys! Nope, sorry, that won't work. Why, you ask? When fire consumes an Engulfer, the flame itself is Engorged, so igniting an Engulfer is akin to lighting a car's weight in lithium.

  5. Smothering These things can eat houses, so it'll be basically impossible to choke them-their throats are too slippery and expansive, so if it can be eaten by an Engulfer, chances are it can't choke an Engulfer. They're also too big to choke the normal way. Add in the flailing eyestalks and tentacle tongue, and this rapidly looks rather flawed. You can't even bury them except with a rockslide, because they can eat their way out of being buried alive.

  6. Poisoning Engulfers have a cast-iron stomach (figuratively speaking), so if they can eat it, it won't poison them. If it's poisonous/hazardous enough to kill them, chances are they'll instinctively avoid eating it. They may be gluttonous, but they aren't (too) dimwitted; a container of a hazardous substance that smells even a little bit of its contents will naturally not be eaten by an Engulfer.

  7. Drowning Engulfers are actually quite buoyant, and they're also jiggly/slippery, so a boulder should roll off instead of sinking them.

  8. Overeating Ha! Engulfers are a force of nature, overeating is how they grow! That being said, there is a limit to how much they can grow, but seeing as they eat houses, boulders, and just about anything else they can catch, this would be a very expensive (and hard-to-execute) plan. The nobles would likely find out about a project of this size and shut the hard-working individual down.

Criteria For Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will list and account for all methods feasible for a peasant (AKA medieval layperson), and explain which options are the best (AKA least dangerous, easiest to execute, most efficient, require the least amount of people and/or manpower, and capable of being hidden or explained away so the inquisitors don't shut said peasant down).
  2. The best answer should be thorough and clear as well.
  3. The possible methods listed above have serious drawbacks; yes, they are feasible, but one has to be close enough to touch (or closer, actually on or in the thing) the Engulfer when it dies to get enchanted. Also, the magic released upon an Engulfer's death when it is not killed by a living thing (or a weapon directly wielded by a living thing, like a dragonslayer's sword) will distribute itself into the immediate area, meaning the peasant will only get a fraction of the Engulfer's power. It is best to use one's natural weaponry, because otherwise the majority of the Engorgement will go to whatever was used to kill the Engulfer.

As always, I appreciate your insight, input, and feedback, so if you decide to VTC or downvote, please explain why so I can improve my question and post better ones in the future. You have my sincere thanks. (If I need to add or take away a tag, please let me know!)

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  • $\begingroup$ Just edited in: "Hitting it with a large rock (like a boulder) should work, due to the sheer force involved, but that would count as a weapon." $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Anything that can kill is a weapon. That's why there is the juridic term of "improper weapon". $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Mar 1 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica: I meant natural weaponry only, as in someone must kill the Engulfer with their own body. Right now Starfish Prime has the only really feasible answer. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 16:43
  • $\begingroup$ Just so everyone knows, Starfish Prime isn't the only one with a good answer anymore. Thanks for the great answers, everyone! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 23:47
  • $\begingroup$ Poison it with glowy rocc.(uranium) $\endgroup$ – Writer-of-stories Jun 8 at 12:58
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I seem to recall something or other about how people swallowed by monsters just before they (the monsters) die get enchanted. Where did I read that? Oh yeah!

So here's the plan:

Step 0: Have your village get attacked by an Engulfer.

Step 1: Find a suitable cliff with a suitable boulder.

Step 2: Convince your friends to push the boulder down the cliff on your signal. Tell them it's a visual signal, so they have someone looking, but don't tell them any thing more.

Step 3: Lure the Engulfer to your boulder trap.

Step 4: When in position, give the signal. The signal, in this case, is getting swallowed (not that they know that).

Step 5: Profit as your grief stricken friends avenge your "death".

Now, to be fair, the answer you accepted for that question pretty much requires that the average peasant doesn't know about this mechanic. Fair enough.

But suppose Engulfer attacks are frequent, and the village is just small enough and poor enough for the local nobility not to bother (probably because of all the Engulfers). The peasants will need to think up some way to fix the problem themselves, or die. So they dream up the boulder trap scheme.

Occasionally, something will go wrong. The bait peasant freezes up at the last moment, or the signal-relay peasant isn't paying as much attention as they should have been, or the boulder-pushing peasant(s) aren't strong enough to get the boulder down fast enough. Whatever the reason, the bait gets swallowed, and thus Engorged when the boulder finally hits its mark.

Eventually, if the village is enough on the outskirts, the peasants learn how to turn this to their advantage and get Engorged one by one. If it isn't enough on the outskirts, the king (or other autocrat in a fancy metal hat of your choice) installs a permanent Engulfer Watch and "encourages" the lucky peasants to "join" them at the palace.

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  • $\begingroup$ Honestly, this is an incredible answer and I will probably accept it because A) you clearly put a lot of thought into it, B) you probably came up with the best answer, though the others are all good, and C) you answered a question with a question, and my question at that! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 2 at 3:17
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand the value in not telling the people what the signal is, could you explain that? What would be different if my friends knew this was going to happen? Couldn't I have coordinated it better if they did know what was gonna happen? $\endgroup$ – Zimano Mar 2 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Zimano The first part assumes you are a conniving, suspicious sort who doesn't want your friends getting any ideas. The second part has a "proper" signal, at least until the peasants figure out Engorgement (at which point the signal becomes "get swallowed", and everyone knows this). $\endgroup$ – No Name Mar 3 at 15:12
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If you are the weapon, then you get the enchantment

So you lost an arm in farm equipment mishap, tough break! But the good news is that you now have a few good bones that have been liberated from you body. So, you fashion your metacarpals into some crude arrow-heads, or maybe your radius into a spear head and go hunting. You find an Engulfer, and kill it with the weapons made from your own body parts.

When it dies, the magic passes into the weapon that killed it, which in this case is you.

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    $\begingroup$ This is scary insightful; also scary feasible. If someone lost an arm, and convinced a high-level Healer to help them out, they could regain the arm and make a weapon out of their arm bones. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 3 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, bone steel must be considered as well. A regular bone weapon isn't that good, but a bone steel weapon.... that is a monster hunter's bread and butter right there! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 4 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ Nosajimiki, I accepted another person's answer, but yours was just as helpful, more so even. The only problem was that bone weapons, even bone steel weapons, won't be very effective against a Engulfer. I hope you understand. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 10 at 0:12
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Liquid nitrogen would be best, and given that your world is full of enchantments it doesn't seem entirely beyond the realms of possibility that someone would be able to produce some. Even if they can't, it sounds like the Engulfer amplifies all sorts of stuff, so a facefull of snowballs might do the trick.

Your Engulfers are big, so it won't kill them, unless you use stupendous quantities, but partially freezing them (especially the chompy end) will slow it right down. Once you've buttered em up a bit with a barrel of the cold stuff, you can chip off the now hard and brittle outside and stick your arms in and rummage around in the soft and squidgy bits on the inside til you pull out enough important bits to win the big prize.

The best answer will list and account for all methods feasible for a peasant (AKA medieval layperson)

If it were feasible for an average peasant, and it was super valuable to anyone who acheived the feat, you can bet that it would be made instantly illegal to hunt the Engulfers by order of the King (or alternative autocrat of your choice) who would dole them out to friends, family and staff.

Otherwise they'd have been wiped out generations ago.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good point; I will have to make things capable of such freezing rare but obtainable for the truly determined peasant, who wouldn't be stopped by mere laws meant to preserve the monarchy's overpowered status..... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias historically, overpowered monarchs have faired very well against desparate peasantry. The only way to deal with a bad guy with a crown is a good guy with a crown, or at least good PR and a very strong desire for the first guy's crown. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Mar 1 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ Oh; that's going to make things very difficult.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 16:41
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Natural Accidents.

A bull is a strong beast, as an OX. Warthog counts too. Crocodiles, Hippos, Rhinos. The list of fearsome beasts with natural weapons and impressive strength that dwarfs that of a man, is limitless. Stuck animal Yet farmhands have to get animals from the mud every single year.

When the Engulfer is stuck in the mud, with a tree knocked over and some fractured bones, you can do a mercy kill. Even a child could do it.

Edit: per request of OP.

Your link to the engulfer says "Engulfers are large (think car or van-sized) caterpillar-like creatures with large mouths (and lungs, they can breath air, and they have cartiliginous skeletons). Put more specifically, their bodies are blubbery and barrel-shaped, their face is convex (shaped like the inside of a bowl) and has a fang-lined slit for a mouth. Usually, this mouth is wide open, revealing a remarkable resemblance to a cave and a long, thick tongue."

Your list of inmunities does not include natural poisons. Throw some berries and let the beast eat them. It could die in hours instead of days of endless torture. If your monster can eat them all....then...

As someone who saw mighty bulls laid low by Sepsis....I would fling decomposing matter and let the trapped creature die of infection. Gangrene spares no one. Maggots would eat it from its insides, even munching on it while it wails. Nature spares no one. Even maggots get it rough when wasps plant eggs on them.

Your Engulfer is unable to remove the parasites on every orifice without a symbiotic relationship with birds/small animals.

Now imagine if the Engorgement Enchantment is passed to a WASP...worse...a Bee Queen!

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  • $\begingroup$ This seems like a great answer, but I have to ask how the mercy kill would be done. I'm not sure you've accounted for the Engulfer's impressive defenses, and I need more evidence before I can agree with a statement as bold as "Even a child could do it." $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ Great edit, I was wondering how to explain giant insects! Natural poisons could also work, but seeing as Engulfers eat things like houses, finding one that works could be difficult.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 4 at 23:30
  • $\begingroup$ Amazonian frogs are so so deadly that a dart swabbed over it can kill a monkey in seconds. Don't hit the monkey a second time because when you eat it, you die. Also Australia is full of poisonous snails, fishes, etc. Fling some with a stick and let it eat it. $\endgroup$ – Gustavo Mar 5 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ Good point, I forgot about naturally toxic species like that. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 5 at 2:59
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Fire/explosives YES! This is the answer, you guys!

I could stop here, but the pyro in me wants to elaborate.

When fire consumes an Engulfer, the flame itself is Engorged, so igniting an Engulfer is akin to lighting a car's weight in lithium.

So the fire will kill it faster. This technique can also be very helpful for farming - setting an engulfer on fire may help with forest removal, so you have more arable land. Never mind what the druids say.

In fact, if these things do burn down like lithium, then they are pretty easy to kill. All you need is a bit of alcohol (obtained from your local alchemist or apothecary), a bottle and a piece of cloth. Lacking alcohol, you can lure it into grass and start a fire with flint. Maybe it's the kinda thing that is easier said than done, but so far this is seeming too easy.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the confusion-I meant the Engulfer must be killed with natural weaponry; one's fists, teeth, and so on. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ If the fire ends up Engorged, then the enchantment is essentially lost; the ashes would hold some enchantment, but they'd be nasty and diluted by dirt and whatever else was burnt with the Engulfer. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 16:42
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Alcohol

The engulfer can sense and avoid the poison, but I don't think that it would disdain some booze.
Create a bait of some barrel of beer (better if its alcohol content has been magically enhanced by the local brewer) and wait for the engulfer to absorb it. Now you have a drunk engulfer, with slower reflexes and a lower sense of danger.

Just make it follow you and try to lure it toward a cliff and make it fall into the local lake. It has buoyancy, but it can't coordinate its movement, so you could make it sink with a weighted net.

If this tactic sounds familiar, it is a variation of the beer trap for snails!

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, my only concern would be what effect an Engulfer dying in water would have on its enchantment. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 20:52
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1/ Gather a group of helpers and find your Engulfer, lure it with it's favourite treat (whatever that be) to an all-you-can-eat buffet - feed it delicious treats of boulders/trees/Plops/waste - and keep feeding it until it's too big to move under it's own steam.

2/ It will get very hungry over time, and snap at anything in range - so lure another Engulfer close enough and it'll get pummelled by the false-eye stalks and snapped-up - releasing it's enlargement charm into the first. Naturally, this will make it balloon in size even more.

3/ Repeat step 2 until it's heart/lungs/skin/integuments or will, just plane gives-out. It'll die of organ failure or just splitting apart under it's own weight.

The incentive to get people to help you in this endeavour:

The sinews and cartilaginous skeleton can be boiled-up into a nutritious broth (the collagen will break down into delicious gelatin if simmered in water for a time), the plating armour can be shaped into tools and sold (spades/shovels/ makeshift-armoured jerkins, shields and what have you. Maybe even roof shingles sorting out the grateful church's leaky roof). I'm sure some use can be found for the rest, guts become strips of binding, organs can be eaten (maybe).

Anything which can't be immediately put to obvious use or sold for profit by people, can be fed to the next Engulfer lined-up for this treatment, or dug into the ground as fertiliser.

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  • $\begingroup$ As great as this answer looks, you'd have to be in range when the Engulfer dies, like close enough to touch range, to gain Engorgement and then you'll be sharing with everything else around it, only gaining a small fraction of the Engulfer's power for your trouble. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 23:43
  • $\begingroup$ Unless I'm missing something, this criterion wasn't listed in the question @Alendyias . Please ensure to include all your requirements in future questions., after all the quality of answers depends at-least in part on the quality of the question. $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Mar 1 at 23:51
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, I sometimes realize something I didn't add, but I'm always good about adding that in later. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 23:53
  • $\begingroup$ I just edited in another criterion for Best Answer, thank you for your helpful advice! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 1 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ That's fine. There are two schools of thought - one regarding scoring points and leaving a legacy for future searches of the subjects, and another for helping writers/artists refine their ideas regardless. I'm biased towards the second one. @Alendyias $\endgroup$ – A Rogue Ant. Mar 2 at 0:01
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Ye olde ice.

While I basically agree with the freezing approach of the liquid nitrogen there are issues with it for a mere peasant. Namely an acquisition and then storage. Fortunately, we don't need to give up the freezing way just yet, it will be just a wee bit more tedious.

There was a time, when the electricity wasn't a thing. Back then, an icebox was the closest you could get to a fridge. However the need for keeping things cooled down was so great that people worked out a way. The ice from the nearby river or lake was cut up, gathered and stored in an icehouse. A tedious and cumbersome process, sure, however it allowed you to gather rather large quantities of coolness for a later use.

Your soon-to-be Engulfer slayer will be rather busy during winter - gathering ice, storing it, waiting for the new layer to freeze and repeating the process. The advantage of this approach is several fold:

  • You can't reasonably enforce a ban on ice.
  • The more you store, the slower it thaws relative to its volume. (Square-cube law working for us rather than against us in this case.)
  • While engulfing an engorger in liquid Hydrogen would be difficult(quantity, manipulation and storage issues) it is rather straightforward to gather large volumes of ice.
  • Ice can be build to build walls etc for the easier engulfing of an Engulfer.

The only downside is that the freezing of the Engulfer might take a while but hey, Rome wasn't built in a day. And the risk-free(albeit a bit tedious) reward should be well worth it.

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    $\begingroup$ Okay, so if I understand correctly, you'll be encasing (storing) Engulfers in ice? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 2 at 18:49
  • $\begingroup$ This idea seems indubitably genius, by the way; you can't ban it, it's perfectly safe, and it can be adapted rather easily. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 2 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ Yep. Then you can either use them yourself or sell for a premium. What a business plan :-). $\endgroup$ – Shamis Mar 2 at 19:28
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Cheap, straightforward, narratively poor method:

Engulfer is lured by accomplice to deep water at the bottom of tall cliff or canyon. Shoeless protagonist awaits on top of cliff, leaps onto engulfer feet-first, pierces through engulfer, kills engulfer. Protagonist must have performed practice jumps previously, wihout engulfer, so as to improve accuracy. Downsides: Protagonist may lose toes or feet, temporarily or permanently; without safety equipment or rope, protagonist may fail to swim back to surface; protagonist may miss jump and be attacked by engulfer.

Expensive, slow, potentially narratively rich method:

Engulfer is lured into rocky cave or similar poorly-escapable waterless space. Entrance to cave is blocked with fire or other medium strongly repellent to engulfer. Spikes, barbed wire, rope traps are set outside cave entrance. Time passes until engulfer is dying from dehydration, starvation, exaustion. Engulfer-repellent is removed from entrance of cave, engulfer exits cave, engulfer is immobilized and wounded by traps. Protagonist kicks or bites engulfer to death, or else removes engulfer's hide with blade and tears engulfer's vital organ with bare hand. Downsides: suitable cave may be difficult to find; large fire is costly to set up and maintain for many days; setting traps may be expensive and labor-intensive.

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  • $\begingroup$ Great answer! I love how it took both sides (narratively speaking) into account, I feel too often people forget these answers often get into stories.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 2 at 3:11
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to worldbuilding.stackexchange, I hope you enjoy the site! $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Mar 2 at 3:11

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