In burrows in the lands of mortals, the minions of the Wyrm-Watcher fulfil their duty, unrecognized and unthanked. They care little, for they know that if the Worm from Below should send out its vile spawn, they will be the first line of defense.
They are badgers.
Humble animals close to the lands of men, they grow to prodigious size where the border to the spirit-lands is thin. Yet, the greatest of their number dwells in the Beast-Courts - Meles himself, the father of badger-kind.
When the roots of the Tree of Life were beset by the teeming brood of the Devourer, none dared to descend into the depths to bring the fight to the Lord of Maggots, save Meles.
The badger having descended into a hole of his own making, the other spirits stood uneasily at the dark entrance, listening to sounds of battle from below. Then, silence fell. All thought Meles dead, and only after a week passed, they dared to venture below to retrieve his corpse. Alas, they found him bloated and merry, feasting upon the corpse of Dwyr-Fuldnach, the Seven-Headed Worm. "It's not like I would not share, but he was too heavy to carry up!" the badger-spirit teased. The others were apalled, yet ever so grateful, and made Meles and his kin the Guardians of the Roots.
With his crushing jaws and razor claws, Meles is a fearsome combatant; driven by a strong sense of what is proper and what is just, his honor is infallible and implacable. Summoners who seek to send him on a dishonorable errand will find the spirit stubborn as a mule; should they not heed this warning, Meles could even turn on them.
Also known as the Raging Sage, Meles would make a valuable spirit advisor, yet his temper often keeps him from using his wisdom. Still, his knowledge of nature sorcery and fey tricks is extensive.
A stout bipedal badger some ten feet tall, Meles wears armor of stone, bone and leather inset with spirit sigils. His face is shadowed by a wide-brimmed leather hat decorated with bones and claws. From his belt, a fearsome silver sword hangs, along with pumpkins filled with wondrous brews. His gaze is intense normally, and flares up to a red glow in combat.
Meles in combat:
*With his powerful claws, Meles can dig through earth and rock. He may be summoned to break down fortifications, bore tunnels or trenches. In battle, he may burrow, only to appear in unexpected places, or withdraw underground to recuperate.
Also, earth creatures, such as elementals or stone golems, cannot use their armor against his strikes. Against metal armor, such as of knights or tanks, Meles ignores only a part.
*Tenacious to the extreme, Meles is able to lock onto foes and hold them fast, or rip them to shreds. Especially magically inclined summons fear his clingy nature.
*The brood of Meles can aid him, too (and is available as a separate, lesser, summoning) - badgers of various sizes will pop up from holes, harass his foes, ferret out infantry, and help hold enemies fast.
*Wyrm-Foe: Meles and his brood have a keen sense of smell for decay, and can detect foul creatures and aberrations, especially worms and their ilk, with great accuracy. They are immune to poison, disease and attribute-draining attacks based on death energy.
Swarms of insects and their likes do no harm to Meles and his brood, moreover such swarms take damage themselves, and restore the health of the badgers (nothing like a tasty grub!)
*Two Minds: while a sage of great learning, Meles has a short temper. Thus, when grievously wounded, his combat tactics change. While healthy, he may use his magic and potions, as his vitality fades, he will turn into a merciless berserker (his stats and move list will change to reflect this).
*Fey Friend: when not too angry, Meles has an array of fey tricks at his disposal. With honey potions, he may cure allies, heal afflictions or lob them at enemies to glue them to the ground. Various kinds of marvelous funghi provide him with spores to confuse enemies or act as lures. Last but not least, his brazen and provocative nature lends itself readily to taunting to disconcert an otherwise intelligent foe, force a confrontation, or draw away a dangerous foe from a more vulnerable target.
*Battle Rager: hurt, Meles becomes implacable. The more harm he suffers, the more powerful and swift his moves and attacks become; he even grows taller with rage. Summoners should take care, for a grievously wounded Meles may fail to distinguish friend from foe, especially is some abomination managed to splatter its ichor over said allies.
To earn the allegiance of Meles, a would-be summoner must defend a place of natural power from encroachment by ruinous powers, and be anointed by forest spirits and fae. Even when not summoned, Meles will be vigilant, and make his summoners aware of approaching plagues. If a summoner avoids confrontation with the powers of decay for too long, Meles may abandon him, especially if he sensed cowardice.
Power level: 3 (Brood of Meles 1-2, depending on number)