New Mutant Monday #98 - Kinzoku Biba

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d4
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’) Land
                    90’ (30’) Water
AC:  0
HD: 2
Attacks: 1 bite
Damage: 1d6
Save: 2
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: X, XII (70% each coin type)

 

These creatures appear to be the typical beaver that was so common in North America before the final wars. It is still the same size and shape, although the creature weighs in well over one hundred pounds. It has long teeth that are constantly growing and as such it needs to continuously chew in order to prevent them from growing to the point they become a hazard. The fur is still a deep brown, but has a metallic sheen to it. The pelt feels like fur, but is in fact a composite between fur and metal.

These creatures have long since left the forests that surround the lakes and rivers their ancestors used to frequent. Instead they have moved into ruins and other man-made locations to make their homes. They still construct dams and lodges, often creating ponds or even small lakes, but now they do so in ruins.

Instead of using trees for their homes, they now use metal. They do prefer iron and steel, as well as other simple metals for construction purposes. As their ancestors did with trees, the creatures will seek out large sources of metals and proceed to ‘chew’ on the metal. The saliva has a unique property which softens any metal touched to the consistency of clay, making it very easy for the creature to pull it away from any structure and they will then mold it into shape of branches or chunks and carry it back to their dam or lodge, where they will once again mold it into shape.

The saliva will soften and make all metals malleable for 1 turn, after which it will harden back to its original consistency in 1d6 rounds. Because they chew on the metal, they end up ingesting portions of the metal, which their bodies incorporate into their fur, making it soft but still as hard as Duralloy. As such when they are attacked it is very difficult to penetrate the fur to injure the creature, and they automatically gain a damage reduction of 10 against all physical attacks. Energy can still harm the creatures, as well as toxins.

If these creatures encounter robots, the damage they inflict from a bite is increased to 5d6 points of damage as they bite and literally strip away entire portions of the robotic unit’s body. They do not do this out of any sort of maliciousness, they simply follow their nature, which is to find materials to create a safe and nearly impenetrable home to raise their young. 

Amazingly enough, these creatures are not hated or feared – quite the contrary. There are enterpenures who have learned to use the creatures to ‘soften’ metal for them and then shape it into whatever they require. Even if it takes longer than 10 minutes (1 turn), they can use the creatures saliva to re-soften the metal without causing any particular harm. A single creature’s saliva can soften up to 25 pounds of metal at a time, meaning multiple creatures can soften more if working together. It has been discovered that these creatures likewise tend to use precious metals, such as silver, gold, platinum, and so forth in the construction of their lodges and this will draw treasure-hunters.

If the creatures are attacked by metal weapons, they will instead of biting the attacker, go for the weapon. It is allowed a saving throw versus acid (see Wisdom from the Wastelands issue 1). If the save fails, the item is destroyed, unless it weighs more than 25 pounds, in which case it will lose 1d4 condition levels. This also goes for anyone wearing any sort of metal armor. The same rule applies, and often they will destroy the armor to get at the occupant, or sometimes they will fuse the armor at the joints, effectively trapping the attacker, allowing them to escape. After all, they would much rather run away than stay to fight.

It has been discovered that the saliva of these creatures loses its potency to soften metal in only 1d3 minutes after it has left the rodent’s mouths, thus making it pointless to try and keep them to harvest and reap the benefits of the saliva after it has been removed.

Although it seems like they would require a different diet, the creatures still enjoy a diet of aquatic plants, shrubs, grass and even berries and other plant-matter. Their homes are always constructed to maximize the amount of aquatic plant-matter they need and provide enough water to ensure that plants nearby will grow strong and plentiful.

Mutations: Natural Armor (modified), toxic weapon