Burrower

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d6
Alignment:  Chaotic
Movement: 120’ (40’) walking
                     60' (200') Burrowing
AC: 6
HD: 8
Attacks: 2 claws and 1 bite
Damage: 2d6+3 / 2d6+3 / 1d8+2 and special (see description)
Save: L8
Morale: 7
Hoard Class: Incidental

This particular species of creature has been said to exist for countless years, hiding in the wilds of the plains of North America. The last reported sighting before the final wars was in the mid to late 1800’s, and after that they were never seen or heard from again.

Then again considering the number of people that disappeared in the United States alone every year, it is possible these creatures still exist and were responsible for many of those disappearances.

It was not until decades after the final wars that these predatory underground dwelling creatures made a re-appearance and began to prey upon those who tried to make lives for themselves on the Great Plains.

These beasts are very strange in appearance, possessing six limbs. The two front-most limbs have powerful claws, perfectly designed for digging through the earth, while the back legs are equally strong, with suction-like feet which allow the monster to cling to any surface and help propel it while digging for prey. There are also two much smaller clawed limbs located on the torso which are used in burrowing as well as combat. The creature is utterly hairless and the eyes are covered by a thick milk-white coating. Those in the wastelands are not sure if they are blind and the eyes are nothing more than un-used organs, or if they can actually see through them or not. The mouth is wide and filled with sharp teeth and can easily swallow small creatures whole.

The creatures attack by lying in wait for prey to pass overhead, and then they will burst out of the ground and bite. This gives the beast a surprise on a 1-3 on a d6.  The bite will inject a powerful class 9 poison into the victim, which if the victim fails the saving throw will put them to sleep permanently. Once the victim is unconscious, the creature will then bury it and allow the victim to smother. This will begin a slow decaying process, and after two weeks the creature will come back to feed upon the melting corpse. It can easily bury dozens or more victims in a small field, where it will come to when it needs food to feast upon.

If forced into the open to fight, the creature will use its formidable claws to rend and tear, often killing the would-be attacker in the process. Anyone killed in this manner will not be consumed, as there is something in the toxin the creature produces that turns the body into the right slurry of nutrients to survive.

Strangely enough it was discovered that these beasts are not immune to their own toxin. If they consume the flesh of a creature killed by another of their kind, they have to save versus poison or enter the coma-like state. The difference is that it is not permanent. They will remain in this state for 2d12 hours before awakening. It is here that they are most vulnerable, and those that have to deal with the monsters have learned to combat them using their own toxic venom.

The only way to awaken someone who has succumbed to the toxin is to dilute it and mix it with certain plants and then force it into the body of the victim. As long as they have not suffocated, they will awaken in 1d6 turns upon being treated.

It has also been discovered that these monsters are vulnerable to UV radiation, and when they are exposed to it, they suffer 1d6 points of damage per round. UV based weapons likewise will cause double damage, but they do not suffer any negatives to saving throws when required.

The creatures reproduce through sex, mating year round. After the female has been impregnated, she will give birth to 1d3 pups nine months later. It requires six years for the creatures to sexually mature. For the most part, they live together in small family groups, but larger packs have been seen in particularly game-rich hunting grounds.

They are also found in the ruins of ancient cities and communities, ones that possessed extensive underground tunnels such as sewers, drains, and even subways. They are also said to be found in the ruins of old mines and similar man-made facilities in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), albinism, toxic weapon, unique senses (sense vibrations), vulnerability (UV radiation)

Source: Burrowers (2007)