Saturday, July 9, 2011

Savage Menagerie: Chronoweasel

No. Enc.: 1d4 (1d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 (claw/bite)
Damage: 1d6/1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 6
Hoard Class: None

Chronoweasels are small (1-2' long) burrowing mammals covered in brown, tan, or white fur. These burrowing creatures live in the tunnels they create in the earth, and will sometimes venture or burrow into ruins. These creatures can see in the dark with a limited 30’ thermal vision, and have a very keen sense of smell that they use to track prey. But these abilities pale when compared with the mutation that gives the creature its name; the Chronoweasel can manipulate time itself.

Once a day, a Chronoweasel can generate two alternate timelines that run concurrent with the primary timeline. To viewers, it appears that the Chronoweasel has split into three separate creatures. In actuality, the Chronoweasel is living out three potential timelines simultaneously. For example, a group of PCs encounter a Chronoweasel and engage it in combat. When it triggers its mutation, the party will see it split into three Chronoweasels. One may attack a party member; another attacks another party member; while the third tries to escape. Each of these three Chronoweasels acts independently, and they will not interact with each other. (Although all three may attack the same target is so desired.)

At the end of 12 rounds (roughly 2 minutes), the Chronoweasel will determine which of the timelines is most beneficial to its survival and that version will continue to exist. The other two will cease to exist, disappearing from the timeline. In the example above, the two creatures which attacked the party members may be badly hurt, whereas the escaping one is successful in running away. The two attackers disappear, while the escaped (and unharmed) Chronoweasel races off. If all three courses of action are equally beneficial (or harmful), the Mutant Lord can roll randomly as to which one sticks around. If one of the Chronoweasels is killed while "split," the ML can randomly determine if it was an alternate timeline Chronoweasel -- which disappears -- or if it is the "prime" Chronoweasel -- which dies, while the other two copies disappear from the timeline. Note that any effect the Chronoweasel "copies" had on the timeline continue to exist even after the copies have ended, ie, any damage they inflicted on a PC.

It can make for an interesting encounter when the nest of 4 Chronoweasels the party stumbled upon suddenly becomes 12 angry attackers! Even more confusing for the party is when 9 of those Chronoweasels suddenly disappear after 2 minutes of combat!

It is unknown if any other creatures have evolved the alternate timeline generation mutation. It is feared what would happen if a powerful creature such as the Brain Lashers were to harness the ability.

Mutations: alternate timeline generation, thermal vision, increased sense (smell)

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