Red Steel (Mystara)Campaign Setting Logo

Climate/Terrain:Any land
Activity Cycle:Day
Intelligence:Semi- (2-4)
No. Appearing:1d12
Armor Class:2
Hit Dice:5
No. of Attacks:1
Special Attacks:Eats metal, Legacies
Special Defenses:Nil
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:S (3' at shoulder)
Morale:Average (8-10)
XP Value:420

The succulus, also known as the red steel cruncher, closely resembles a wild boar in appearance. The succulus is similar to a rust monster, except that it feeds on red steel, cinnabryl, and steel seed. The creature was first discovered in caves beneath the forests of Robrenn. Since then it has spread throughout the cursed areas of the Savage Coast, much to the consternation of boar-hunters throughout the area. Some suspect that the Robrenn druids had something to do with its rapid spread, because of their known bias against materials that have “never lived”, such as metal and stone.

The succulus is grayish-black, with short, woolly hair interspersed with bristles that form a mane along the spine. The lower teeth grow into formidable, curved tusks, which grow up to 12 inches long. The succulus has small eyes that are a deep rust-red color.

Combat: The succulus can smell cinnabryl, red steel, and steel seed up to 90 feet away. If the succulus touches any of these metals (determined by a successful attack roll), the metal immediately disintegrates into a powder which is easily consumed by the creature. Magical weapons have a chance of being unaffected equal to 10% for each plus the weapon has. (A +2 weapon or armor has a 20% chance of not being affected.) Metal weapons striking a succulus are affected just as if the creature had touched them. Nonweapon magical items made from cinnabryl, red steel, or steel seed count as +2 magical weapons for purposes of determining whether or not they disintegrate.

The succulus is a fairly intelligent creature. As such, it cannot be distracted by the old “throw out some red steel spikes” trick. It will attack anyone carrying an item made of red steel or cinnabryl. A succulus frequently charges such persons while activating its Spike Legacy, hoping that the victim will strike at them with the weapon or item.

Feeding time always takes one round regardless of the size of the metal meal.

Habitat/Society: A succulus is nearly always found in the company of a group of wild swine. During any encounter with a succulus, there is also a 5% chance of encountering a single offspring, which counts as a half-strength succulus. The red steel cruncher searches far and wide for supplies of fresh metals. It will eat raw ore, but prefers the refined, forged metal.

Ecology: The flesh of the succulus is not edible since it is thoroughly impregnated with heavy metals.

A herd of wild boars will recognize that a succulus is different but will usually let it join the herd anyway. The succulus excavates vast holes when it roots for cinnabryl and usually digs up all sorts of roots and tubers and things that the boars like to eat.

If two red steel crunchers mate, the offspring will be red steel crunchers. If a succulus mates with a wild swine, the offspring have a 5% chance of being red steel crunchers.

The hide of a succulus can be cured into a very tough, metal-impregnated leather. The leather can be made into armor equivalent to studded leather armor (AC 7).

If captured young and carefully trained, a succulus could serve as a cinnabryl deposit indicator, but it would be very expensive to feed.