Critter, Temple

Red Steel (Mystara)Campaign Setting Logo

Critter, Temple
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:High (13-14)
Alignment:Neutral (evil)
No. Appearing:1d4
Armor Class:5
Hit Dice:3+1
No. of Attacks:3 (claw/claw/bite)
Special Attacks:Nil
Special Defenses:Hit only by magical weapons
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:T (1' tall)
Morale:Champion (15-16)
XP Value:175

These 1-foot-tall constructs resemble gargoyles. They were created by priests of the Savage Coast to serve as spies, servants, and watchdogs in their temples.

These creatures are fashioned from either rock or hard clay, always possessing a gray or black cast. Their forms are rarely that of a traditional gargoyle, though. Instead, they are more often modeled after standard religious icons like cherubs and little demons; sometimes, they are even formed into replicas of native races such as manscorpions and enduks. Often, features such as hands, feet, and ears are exaggerated. Though many temple critters have wings, none can actually fly.

Temple critters move very quickly for their size, darting from place to place with sudden bursts of speed. They can even jump up to four feet into the air, landing on tables and shelves or using their claws to dig into walls or doors.

Combat: Regardless of their morale, temple critters generally avoid combat whenever possible. Except in large numbers, they are too small to be much more than a nuisance. However, if commanded into combat by their creator, a temple critter unhesitatingly attacks with a ferocity that surprises many people. Emitting a high-pitched shriek, it jumps onto its opponent and scrambles around to any unprotected areas, attacking with both claws and teeth. A temple critter can also wield a dagger or knife if one is handy, causing damage according to weapon type. Once the battle has begun, it will not stop unless destroyed or commanded away by its master.

Habitat/Society: Temple critters are highly intelligent but remain under the complete power of the priest who created them. As artificial servants, they do not concern themselves with family or social behavior; temple critters get along with each other merely because their master orders them to.

These creatures live in the shadowy recesses of temples, cathedrals, and crypts. They are full of nervous energy and usually roam about aimlessly. When spying, they often attempt to pass themselves off as normal sculptures, but they are unable to stay completely still for more then a few minutes at a time. Temple critters watch for people who wander into off-limits areas or those who cause mischief of some kind. Narvaezan, Hulean, and Nimmurian priests often set them to guard precious items. Temple critters can sound very effective alarms by employing the same high-pitched shriek used in combat.

Ecology: As constructs, temple critters exists outside any natural order. They often enjoy eating but do not require food to sustain them. By design, the temple critter enjoys its life and serves its master well.