Environment: Swamps, grasslands, deserts, sewers, wastelands, and elsewhere
Attack: Bite, claw
Special Qualities: Disease, frenzy
Organization: Solitary, pair, pack (3-14), swarm (15+)
From the Adventure journal of Alexander, the halfling.
...If only I had listened to my instincts! I should have known there was something wrong the instant we reached the bottom of the crudely carved steps and were hit with the unmistakable stench of death. In my foolish overconfidence I failed to recognize that whatever was in this cave would not be within the range of my knowledge - for the vermin that we found were not of nature!
Wave after wave limped towards us exhausting our defenses. It was only after we thinned the swarm that I noticed creatures of a different type, even more fierce and disturbing. We dubbed them Carcass Eaters. We could not tell if they were rats even larger than the others or perhaps some corrupted form of wolf. Lundiel and Kade considered these shambling horrors and agreed them to be a mix of the most vile aspects of both wolf and rat.
These beasts proceeded to feast viciously on the putrid carcasses of their defeated allies. We thought ourselves safe - until there was no more foul carrion to consume...
As frightful as undead rats sound, another recent addition to the area’s fauna makes them look a bit like house pets. On my trips to Shavarath, gazing out over recent battlefields, I often glimpsed reddish fur moving among the corpses of the fallen.
These carcass eaters have apparently made their way to our humble corner of Xen’drik. Maybe they were brought here by someone, or perhaps Shavarath’s coterminous period is starting early this time around, and they traveled through a manifest zone on their own. I believe they are animals rather than magical beasts, so where they came from before inhabiting the plane of battle is anyone’s guess. Regardless of their natural history, one should be very wary around them.
Unlike the mysterious undead giant rats, the carcass eaters are not creatures from beyond the realm of life. With their jagged teeth and ferocious appearance, they inspire true fear without needing powers of the dead. Attacking just as rapidly as the giant rats do, they never back down once the fight is joined. Usually dining on carrion, they have a special ability which they put to good use against living opponents.
Perhaps developed to aid them in their terrible squabbles over carcasses, they have the ability to erupt into a fearsome blood frenzy not unlike a raging barbarian. They then attack with even more power and vigor, making short work of rival scavengers and inexperienced adventurers alike.
One or two of either of these types of large rats should not pose too much of a problem for an experienced adventurer. When they start to gang up on you, however, you’ll need to take quick action! Kill them quickly or simply flee. There cannot be any hesitation. If they hem you in, the beasts will feed off their collective frenzy and rapidly tear you to shreds.