Burrow-mawt (DCC)

Final-Burrower Maug-C
Burrow-mawt by Gary Dupuis

Burrow-mawt: Init +4; Atk bite +0 melee (1d4) or claws +0 melee (1d5); AC 14; HD 2 hp; MV 20’ or burrow 5’; Act 1d20; SP infravision 60’, keen senses, blood-rage, light blindness; SV Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +0; AL N.

Burrow-mawts, also known as land piranhas, are the size of a cat, with iridescent yellow eyes and extremely long, sharp claws. They live in areas where there is enough soil to dig beneath, usually emerging to hunt at night. Their claws are not strong enough to burrow through solid stone, although they can work their way into old brickwork and burial mounds. Unless disturbed, they sleep during daylight hours. Indeed, burrow-mawts are effectively blind in daylight or similar bright light, but their keen sense of smell reduces the penalty for blindness to a mere -2 on attack rolls.

These creatures can smell the blood of living prey within 30’. They can smell spilled blood from up to 300’ away. As soon as a burrow-mawt smells prey, it flies into a blood-rage, biting madly until either it or its opponent is dead. The creature gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls and damage, but suffers a -2 penalty to AC while enraged.

Though possessed of a bite belying its size, the danger of these beasts lies in their numbers. A typical pack of burrow-mawts is comprised of 1d10+20 individuals, and packs of 2d10+20 individuals have been encountered. In their hungry madness, they attack en masse until their prey is brought down and dragged into their burrows to be consumed. If half their pack is killed the remaining members can make a DC 15 Will save to break the frenzy of their blood-rage and flee. Any burrow-mawt that fails this save continues to fight until either they or their prey is dead.

 

On Porphyra

Bred for some grim purpose, burrow-mawts have spread to many environments and adapted for them. They may be found in any environment that has surface material loose enough to burrow in, and avoid any terrain dominated by deep-rooted plants, such as most trees. There are variants in the snows of the Northlands and the Eternal Ice, and sandburrowing mawts in the desert lands of Siwath, Simoon, and the Ghadab.

Most burrow-mawts, however, are found in the plains of Pardeshi, where they have displaced other plains-dwellers to areas of forest or close bedrock. Newcomers to the plains of the Pardeshi sometimes make the mistake of assuming that some race engages in plowing odd patches of the treeless earth.  They are incorrect, and if that earth is closely (and foolishly) inspected, bits of flesh and blood are found, the leavings of the burrow-mawts. Very lucky is he that is so foolish and lives to tell the tale.

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