Creature Feature: Ether-Rat

Ether-rat copy

Armor Class: As Leather

Hit Dice: 1HD

Hit Points: 4

Move: Standard

Damage: Bite and Claw 1d4

Quantity: Solo, Pair, or Pack 1d6

Ethereal Jaunt: The Ether-Rat can “hop” between dimensions, disappearing for one round, before reapperaing one round later in a random space 1d20x5 feet away.

A small creature is heard running in the underbrush. Yet, every few seconds the noise disappears for a brief second before resuming in a completely different area. The creature is a small muskrat-like vermin, the color of an oil spill, and with legs like a fox. It moves swiftly before flitting in and out of existence, the smell of ozone accompanying its ethereal jaunts.

The Ether-rat is a quick-moving vermin capable of jumping in-between dimensions. No longer than a large housecat, it is a small omnivore that feeds on insects, carrion, nuts and berries. It is not particularly aggressive, preferring to retreat from larger creatures, only standing its ground when defending its young.

The Ether-rat’s ethereal jaunt ability, a minor mystery among the academic community, makes it incredibly difficult to be killed and has served to protect its species from even the most tenacious of predators. However, it does not have a very keen control over its ability, the Ether-rat only being able to have control over when it “hops” but little control over where it transports itself. It should be noted, that the Ether-rat has never been observed phased itself into an object, meaning it must have at least a semblance of control of where it ends up.

Despite its seemingly harmless nature, the Ether-rat is far more of a pest than it would first appear. Its ethereal jaunt ability causes minor fluctuations in the interdimensional veil. While a single Ether-rat, hopping between dimensions over the course of a single day, may not cause any noticeable disruptions, an Ether-rat moving about the same area over an extended period of time causes noticeable interdimensional damage. This damage is enough for extra-dimensional predators to slip through the cracks, dangerous beings beyond the comprehension of mortal minds. Because of this, a pack of Ether-rats is a menace, if not danger, to civilization.

It is unknown where the Ether-rat originated from. Some speculate that they are the result of arcane experimentation that escaped into the wilderness. Others see them as an invasive species from another dimension, prospering in the material plane without any natural predators. Finally, a few see them as a strange byproduct of evolution, a the ethereal jaunt ability being a genetic trump card gained after countless generations.

Ether-Rat Rifts

An Ether-Rat Rift is an area of dimensional and spacetime instability, brought on by the  Ether-Rat’s ceaseless Ethereal Jaunts. It can do all manner of things.

1 – Anything standing near the Rift ages 1 year per minute.

2 – Passing through the Rift causes all colors to invert (passing through again reverses this.)

3 – The Rift is a portal to a random plane of existence, spewing monsters and terrible
predators.

4 – The Rift is constantly screaming the surface thoughts of all intelligent beings.

5 – The Rift teleports anything passing through 1d6 miles away in a random direction.

6 – Anything that touches the Rift is utterly disintegrated.

7 – The Rift acts as a permanent bridge to a dark parallel universe, complete with evil versions of the adventurers.

8 – The Rift is a personal doorway for an ancient and terrible being. RUN.

UNCOMMON ITEM:

Ether-rat Pelt – A black pelt with an iridescent shine, its hair is so fine that it seems to pass through your fingers.

While it may take several pelts, a suit of armor or clothing made of Ether-rat pelts grants the wearer the Ethereal Jaunt ability.

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