Picture a shrew. Now imagine it being the size of an extra-large Grizzly.
Behold the shrewbear!
The reputation of this creature precedes it. Vicious and voracious, the bearshrew is an extremely territorial omnivore, hyperactive in its constant pursuit of prey. Thankfully, they are rare. It should be noted that Bearshrews are not regular shrews magically made giant, but rather a natural occurring mammalian species in its own right.
In temperament, a Bearshrew is utterly fearless and wantonly cruel, attacking nearly any creature it comes across, without prejudice or mercy.
The first thing to understand about this creature’s nature is its incredibly high metabolism rate. The bearshrew’s heart beats approximately twelve hundred times per minute, and this is the reason for their constant, frantic search for food.
The bearshrew is surprisingly quick and agile for its size and wobbly shape. It can make as many as twelve bodily movements in a single second. When attacking, it confuses and disorients prey with its surprising speed, darting back and forth, in seemingly random bursts of frenetic energy.
The shrewbears have a bizarre bone structure, in that the creature’s spine and ribcage is a fused lattice-work of interconnecting bone upon bone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that an oak tree can collapse on top of a sleeping bearshrew, and the creature would just wake up, squeeze its way out from under the tree and go about its way, barely damaged from the force of the impact. Unsurprisingly, blunt weapons cause no damage to the creatures body.
Though their eyesight is extremely poor, their hearing and sense of smell are just fine. Additionally shrewbears have a form of echolocation which helps them hunt.
Their teeth are jagged and spiky, and a sinister dark-red in color. This is due to the over abundance of iron in the enamel, which reinforces their teeth and allows them to puncture even plate mail without breaking.
But wait, there’s more!
Bearshrews can emit a high-pitched “shriek” twice per day, which could easily deafen foes in a thirty foot radius from the creature.
They release a musk so strong at all times that it is impossible to not realize you are in the vicinity of a shrewbear. At least you’ll be warned.
Lastly, the bearshrew’s saliva is highly venomous. The creature is able to paralyze its foes or prey with every bite. That’s right, they’re venomous.
Odds and Ends
Bearshrews are feared by all creatures great and small, and rightfully so. Aggressive and stupid, a shrewbear will not hesitate to charge a dragon if hungry enough.
Shrewbears and actual bears are not only rivals for territory, but the shrewbears actively hunt ursines. On rare occasion, a bear will escape or survive a bearshrew attack, but most of the time they are fodder for a hungry rampaging shrewbear.
According to some alchemists, the ashes of a burned shrewbear mixed with goose grease, wine, and a few other common ingredients, can create various magical concoctions. From potions of speed to salves of invulnerability, and everything in between.
Shrewbears are hoarders. Whatever they find that they don’t eat, they bring back to their deep burrows. It is not known at this time why they do this, but hey, it keeps the adventurers coming.
Bearshrews are (thankfully) solitary creatures. Their mating habits are unknown at this time.
As one anonymous DM once said to his players, many moons ago, “You guys sure you want to hunt one down? There are *much* easier ways to acquire 1200 XP”
Ye Olde Timey Schooliness
In AD&D terms
# Att/rd: 2 (bite/bite)
DAM 2-12 x2
SA: venomous bite (save -2 vs poison or paralyzed for 2-12 rounds), ultrasonic shriek (save -2 or be deafened 2-12 rounds)
SD: super-bones, immune to blunt weapons
XP bonus: 1000 + 2/HP
*automatically wins initiative every round.
When you are under siege, you have nothing but time. But the abundance of time is just as much of a weight as the enemy outside the gates. It is time for the Citadel to develop a creative Stimulus Package to support the Strolenati during this unique time. After no deliberation and no votes, the following will be the procedures followed through the the Citadel Stimulus Quest. (Subject to change, amendment, and adjustment as needed.)
- Every Monday a minimum influx of $40 will be added to the Stimulus Package to keep the Creative Citadel Economy out of a Recession.
- The Stimulus Package will accumulate $40 weekly until there are 5 unique author submissions.
- Authors can write as many submissions as they like and each will be considered on their own merits.
- On the Sunday after the 5 author requirement is met, the 5+ submissions by 5+ authors will be weighed and measured by the Strolenati.
- Whomever is determined as the winner(s) will receive funds (as determined by the Strolenati) that have collected in the Stimulus Package.
- On Monday, if winners were awarded, the Stimulus Package will be re-established at $40 and the quest will restart.
- The quest will continue in this cycle until such a time that the Strolenati Council has deemed the siege over.
Current Stimulus Package: $160 Next Update: Apr 8 Contributors: Strolen, Murometz
Round 1 completed May 10: 7 Weeks - $280 in Stimulus reserves. Since it was the first round, and the amount was enough to pass around, we decided everyone who took the time deserved something. So sayeth the Strolenati.
1. Scrasamax - $115
2. Ted - $75
3. manfred - $50
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5. valadaar - $10
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? Responses (7)-7
This is meant to be for the Old School Quest of yore. Basically, just celebrating the wonders of the amazing shrew, and extrapolating its uncanny characteristics into something much larger and far deadlier.
Next time you want to throw an owlbear at your old timey crew, throw one of these at them instead.
Good lord. The size and movement of this beast scares the crap out of me. I just see this mountainous hulk rising to two legs in a bearlike posture but then blitzing back on the ground, snapping a tree to my right, lightning burst showing it flash in my vision 20 feet from there a moment later staring at me...then suddenly it is on my left letting out a grizzly growl that you can feel in your belly and then, suddenly with a crash, it is standing directly in front of me gazing straight into my eyes.
Yep, definitely nightmare material.
Please god, let them sleep for months or even years at a time
Sadly, the Bearshrew does not hibernate. If it did, it would literally starve to death. They have two modes. Hunt/eat 20 hours/day. Nap for 4.edited
10 XP, and it would be a 20 without the stats.
Apologies Cheka for the stats, but this is for “old school” quest. :)