The Vilerat is an aptly named creature, a putrid specimen with hygiene habits rivaling those of a diseased troll. These green-furred, disgustingly big rats are about two palmspans long and can weigh up to an od. These parasite-ridden pests often carry diseases, and were responsible for example for spreading the 696 plague in Quios.
Picture description. A vicious vilerat emerging from the sewers. Image drawn by Bard Judith.
The Vilerat is a yellow-green rat, larger than most. At two
palmspans long and weighing
up to an od,
these vile creatures are the picture of disease. Their tail does not help the
image. It is one of the few bald spots on the rat, a long, worm-like appendage.
This wriggling limb makes up about half the Vileratís body. Their pointed nose
is constantly sniffing around for rotting meat, and their whiskers are used
almost as another set of eyes, used for direction, balance, and are another
addition to the Vileratís already foul appearance. This picture is completed
with the two incisors, extending well past the lower jaw.
Special Abilities. The prolific Vilerat is not only disgusting in appearance, stench, and disease, but also in its unique method of death. Upon death, it begins to melt slowly, becoming a small mire of yellow-green goo often referred to as "vilique". Vilique is a highly acidic substance, used as a poison by the Kasumarii and a reagent for some particularly vile spells. It melts through most surfaces and substances but will dissipate in about an hour in an open space. While this may not truly be considered an ability, it has helped the species in the past (see Behaviour).
The Vilerat also has the "ability" to eat just about everything it comes across. Garbage, flesh, mold, carrion, nothing is too putrid to work its way through a Vilerat.
Territory. The Vilerat is found anywhere where it can find rotting flesh, garbage or any number of other putrid substances. In other words, if you donít want to touch it, a Vilerat probably does. The Vilerat most likely originated in a place far off the Sarvonian mainland, maybe from Nybelmar or the mysterious and still unexplored Yamalquain, and were "imported" when fruits, beasts, or other goods were taken to Sarvonia. But over time the Vilerat has found its way into such different locations as cities, jungles and swamps alike. Nyermersys, New-Santhala and major port towns in Santharia also have large confirmed population of Vilerats living in the sewer system, coming out at night to feast on the byproducts of a society where murder is as common as the rising moon.
Habitat/Behaviour. Vilerats act much like other rats. At night, when they are most active, you will commonly find them scavenging, stealing food, fighting, and generally spreading disease. Combat is most likely a Vilerat's greatest strength. It is an inspiration to any warrior to see two Vilerats locked in mortal combat, jumping, biting, and creating an obstacle course of vilique. They jump with deftness never seen in the human world, and bite quickly, but with great effectiveness. They fight for many reasons, be it over a mate, food, hunger, or fear. Not only does vilique play an important role in Vilerat vs. Vilerat combat, it also plays an essential role when Vilerats are fighting against larger combatants. Like a band of bandits, they will viciously attack each other, creating pools of vilique for their opponents to navigate. This "strategy" (though it is most likly a fear-based reaction) has served them well against many an extermination team, like the one lead by Gavan Kuldyir, exterminator extraordinaire. Gavan died in a Nyermersys asylum, 223 a.S. While this plan of attack may seem a bit suicidal, the sheer amount of acid often leaves more Vilerats alive than would have died.
Teams like Gavanís not only have to deal with puddles of vilique, but also the Vileratís exemplary swarming technique. When a plague of vilerats (the proper term for a group of the creatures) attacks a single target the target will either die from bite or scratch wounds. If they do not die immediatly from the wounds, infection will set in soon enough, swelling the area, turning it a sickly shade of green. This shade of green, shared by the colour of the fur, has been named lilien Green by a small collection of macabre artists.
Diet. Vilerats eat anything and everything. Though they do not appear to get any substance from it, Vilerats can often be seen chewing on wood. The rare Vilerat in captivity does not seem to survive long if not given a block to chew. In fact, the death is most monstrous. It appears if the teeth are not kept in practice, they grow upwards, piercing the brain.
Mating. Vilerats mate every chance they get. Unlike many other beasts, Vilerats have no mating season. Mating is as common as eating, and is a disgusting site to behold, as you can well imagine. After mating, the female gestates for about three months, after which a litter of 6-15 babies is born. The young Vilerat is a hairless, blind creature which is weaned for five weeks. Immediately after weaning the rats - you guessed it - they mate. These litters are smaller, only about 2-4 babies.
The vilerat lives a nest-like structure, with underground tunnels connecting to various "rooms" many used for food storage or nursing.
Usages. Vilique the highly acidic substance that is generated upon a Vilerat's death, is used as a poison by the Kasumarii and a reagent for some particularly vile (and powerful) spells. It melts through most surfaces and substances but will dissipate in about an hour in an open space. It will not melt through some specially treated metals and clothes. It is importated to dealers through an extensive and expensive black market. Vilique is extremly expensive, available to only the most determined (and expert) assassins.
Myth/Lore. Besides being legendary for their grotesqueness, the Vilerat is also known as one of the forms of Khalkoroth, High Demon of Coůr. Below you can find a passage quoted from the journal of Tapan Maoertin, priest of Arvins.
"Today we hath encounterd a nest of creatures most vile. Large rats, paled a sickly green. They are perhaps the epitome of beastial sin. They mate and fight constantly, always spreading disease wherever they go. And this seems to be everywhere. We have found some specims in the temple. They do seem to be stealing our food, rubbish, and cadavers (!) prepared for funerals. We have sent a team of extreminators down to deal with these beasts so foul. They have only recently returned, quite deficiant in number. I have asked them of the events that transpired and it would appear Arvins did not bless us this instance. Our warriors were thrashed, many missing limbs from pools of acid the treachorus creatures created from themselves, others gone completly, apparently the dinner of a pack of these creatures. In our reasearch, we have been shown a demon lord has manifested himself as a vilerat in the past. Surly he is here now?"
Researchers. Erron Ratdweller was noted for his studies into Vilerats. Granted, he was trying to extinguish them, but his findings are heralded as some of the most in-depth studies of the creature ever preformed. It is quite possible that this man was simply the only researcher willing to spend half his life with these creatures.