Sphinxian Treecat

Chris Van Deelen

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.

No. Enc: 1, 2 (pair bonded) or 3d12 in family groups
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 180’ (60’)
Ground, 360’
(120’) Climbing
Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: 3 or special (see description)
Damage: 1d3 / 1d4+1 / 1d4+1
Save: L6
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: None

It is rumored that these six limbed felines are neither mutants nor are they Earth Born creatures. It is said that they evolved on a planet hundreds of light years from the Sol system.

Sphinixian Treecats appear as large six limbed feline-like creatures that are nearly 3 feet in length and weigh in at about 40 pounds. These creatures have three sets of limbs, the front most ending in actual four fingered hands with an opposable thumb. All four sets of limbs end in wickedly sharp claws that they can use for not only climbing, since their preferred habitat is high in trees, but are able to inflicted horrible wounds on anyone who happens to cross them.

Due to their nature, these creatures are only found in thick forests or Jungles. They are comfortable in any temperature, so it isn’t common to find these creatures in the temperate heavy forests of the former northern regions of Canada, all the way down to the heavy jungles of the Amazon basin. But they are only found in forests, no other regions.

The creatures are very intelligent, although their vocabulary when dealing with non-Treecats seems to be nothing more than purrs, growls, and happy or contented ‘bleeks’. However it was recently discovered that they are able to communicate fully by using sign language with anyone who knows it. Among their own kind, they possess a language, which combined with their natural empathic abilities can convey even the most difficult and outlandish concepts to one another with clarity.

These creatures are quite sociable and live in small ‘tribes’. However, they do pair off with one another and mate for life. The Females gestate the young for six months before giving birth to typically 1d4 kittens, but larger litters are known to happen from time to time. The pair bonds last for life, although the offspring are encouraged to leave the family group and start their own lives ten years after birth (at which point they are considered to be full adults).

Although they have no technology of their own, and don’t use it on a regular basis, the these intelligent felines do not find it to be abhorrent to employing it when a situation demands it. Also, the they do not build homes or the like, or own personal possessions. They have no need of such things.

Peculiarly enough, non-pair bonded treecats will often ‘adopt’ another sentient creature, but only if the creature is willing, and the Treecat finds the creature suitable. In many ways this is like a pair bonding, as it is for life and the Treecat and their adopted ‘person’ develop a powerful psychic link, although offspring are entirely out of the question.

This link allows the Treecat and their ‘person’ to feel one another’s emotions and the Treecat can actually help sharpen or lessen the extent of the emotions, even completely closing off fear or other negative emotions that would have a detrimental effect on their ‘person’.

But it doesn’t stop there. They are fiercely protective of their bond-mates, families and adopted ‘persons’ and are able to go into an almost berserker frenzy if something threatens what they love.

In normal combat, if both claw attacks hit, the tree cat will be able to use its middle legs to attack on the same round, doing 1d4+1 damage each. If both of these claws hit, the feline can use its final set of legs for an additional attack. If all six claws and the bite hit, few creatures can withstand the assault.

However, if their bond-mate, family or adopted person is threatened, they become a whirling dervish, acting under the effects of the quick mutation, but to a greater extent. Instead of getting double the normal attacks, the feline will gain triple the normal attacks (9 instead of 3). The same rules for multiple claw attacks apply, but the creature gains +1 cumulative to hit with each successful claw attack. For example, the first claw attack is made at the creatures normal to hit roll. If it succeeds, then the second claw attack gains +1. If that succeeds then the third gains +2, the fourth +3 and so on. This bonus only counts for the first six claw attacks however, and once the creature misses, the bonus is lost and the feline must start once again.

One of these creatures in a combative frenzy is very frightening. But the adopted person and its companions have nothing to fear, because despite the ferociousness of its attack, the creature is able to maintain mental control so that it will not harm its adopted ‘person’ or those close to it.

These creatures are extremely long lived, and there are those who believe that they might in fact be immortal, although they can be killed. Also, there has not been a single ‘adopted’ person on record has ever out-lived their furry friend.

Like a bond-mate, once the tree cat loses its ‘adopted’ person, the creature will almost never adopt another person, In fact more often than not the creature is so overcome with grief that they stop eating and caring for their personal well-being that they waste away and die. Other times though if their ‘adopted’ person has children or a family, they will continue to live on and care for them. On very rare occasions the creature will ‘adopt’ someone who was close to their lost person.

Once they have adopted a creature or ‘person’, it takes 1d6 plus 6 days for the empathic link to be established. Once this period of time has passed, the adoptee gains the empathy and danger intuition mutations, as well as becomes immune to any all emotional effects such as fear.

If something should happen to the Treecat (such as it is killed), the links disappear instantly.

Mutations: Aberrant form (extra parts, natural weapons), danger intuition, empathy, extended lifespan, Quickness (double).

Source: Honor Harrington series of novels.