CARNIFEX THYLACO RAT or "Butcher Rat" or "PACK RATS"
Carnifex-Thylaco Rat also known as Butcher Rat
Also seen in Future Visions, page 39 bottom panel
“If” there was one… species that WE could plead to Gaia to convince her to help us exterminate, it would have to be those freaking Carnifex Thylaco’s” – Sr. Roughneck Frost Altair
One of the deadliest predators that derived from the Nature Preserves and now found on many Great Houses’ extermination list is the killing artist known as Carnifex Thylaco (“Carnifex” meaning murderer, butcher, tormentor, “Thylako” -pouch, and rat meaning rodent) or dubbed “Butcher Rats” by Roughnecks. These pack-hunting marsupials are cunning and highly adaptive predators that utilize a quick killing bite, sheer numbers, pack coordination, and biological warfare to survive the harsh habitats of Splicers. They thrive in so many habitats including plague environments like Wastelands, battlefields, ruins, Bone-yards & Sewers, as well as swamps, jungles, highlands, forest and deep subterranean areas. What is becoming more alarming are the regions they are being found in where Splicers commonly dwell, such as outskirt caves & tunnels, underneath havens, seedlings and catacombs. Such close proximity potentially exposes Splicers to all kinds of bacteria, chemical waste, radioactivity, micro-agents and various other germs. This means that Carnifex rats will quite commonly expose & spread fatal diseases to human communities. Some packs have been known to unconsciously expose havens to radioactivity and contaminating Splicer water and crop resources.
The Carnifex Thylaco rat is a carnivorous marsupial that is extremely muscular, yet lithe in its back and hindquarters with powerfully built jaws and very strong forelimbs. It’s hide resembles that of a dolphin in that is smooth and oily, seemingly wet, well designed for flexibility and durability. The Orbis hide keeps the Thylaco well insulated in extreme temperatures and offers a good deal of protection against its quarry’s natural defense, such as horns, antlers, claws, teeth and thorns. It possesses retractable claws that allow the talons to remain sharp and protected from being worn down. The claws are well suited to secure prey, digging through hard surfaces and for climbing. The first digits on each paw are semi-opposable and bare an enlarged claw used to grapple and slash intended prey as well as providing secure footing on tree trunks and branches. Unnerving is its double pair of sleek visors which have a milky jade color. They reveal no emotion, intentions or pupils and are eerily similar to the solid black eyes of great white sharks. These eyes have a translucent protective membrane that allows the Carnifex Thylaco to see clearly underwater or in dusty underground habitats. One pair provides Infrared & thermal vision (both up to 1000 feet (305 m) while the second pair provides effective nightvision up to 200 feet (61 m). The Carnifex Thylaco has exceptional olfactory senses that allow it to sift air molecules giving it an acute sense of the environment surrounding it. If the scent is carried on the wind or via a draft (if in a tunnel or cave) the beast can track by scent alone, identify specific scents, identify odors, locate & track an odor to its source up to 3000 feet (914 m). To assist its sense of smell when burrowing underground, the Carnifex Thylaco has seismic sensitive pads built into it’s long scaly rat like tail that it drags along the ground allowing it to feel vibrations up to a quarter of a mile (.40 km). This assist the cunning predator to tell which direction quarry or adversaries are approaching or fleeing, if they are in numbers or alone. The pads also can detect earthquakes, mining, explosions, digging and the epicenter of where it derived (up to 25 miles away). Weakened ground structures also give an echo refraction that alert the Carnifex Thylaco, reducing hidden pit falls traps to only a mere 10% success rate. The combination of these senses also gives the marsupials a good heads up of underground gases and stored pressures that might be lying in weight and allow the marsupials to avoid disrupting them while digging.
Perhaps one of the most unique features of the Carnifex Thylaco is its powerful and deadly maw. The Carnifex possesses enlarged incisors on both the upper and lower jaws, shaped for stabbing and piercing flesh, separating vertebrate, severing spinal cords, lacerating major blood vessels such as carotid artery & jugular veins. The most unusual and unique feature of the Thylaco's dentition is the huge blade-like carnassial premolars on either side of its jaws. The top and bottom carnassials work together like shears and are very effective in slicing off chunks of flesh and cutting through bone and even the protective hides of armored Splicers. Carnifex Thylaco dispatch their prey faster and more efficiently than most other mammalian predators. The large rats manage the feat by using the enormous slicing cheek teeth (the biggest known of any animal in the Nature Preserves) to rip out the throats of their quarry. When the Carnifex Thylaco’s jaws close, it bites with one side of the mouth, slicing into the flesh of its prey, thus opening up massive wounds that bleed out very quickly or they suffocate the prey by collapsing windpipes. Death often occurs in less than a minute for large prey where as predators of similar scale may take up to 15 minutes to kill prey of the same scale. This is believed to be some form of adaptation to feed the large numbers that abound in their packs. The jaw muscles are exceptionally large for its size, giving it an extremely powerful bite. Its broad head and powerful armor crushing jaws are supported with a thick muscular neck. Biometric calculations estimated by Librarians have speculated that, pound for pound, it might have one of the strongest bite forces of any known mammal.
Because Carnifex Thylaco rats forage through carrion, decay and waste; their jaws have numerous bacteria and germs that can easily infect open wounds. The fact that their saliva contains anticoagulants, which stop the wounds from clotting and healing, often result in death to bitten quarry because of severe infections and blood loss. The fact that both the Carnifex Rat and Vire boar have these active agents within their saliva is suspicious and more than mere coincidence to Splicers as they speculate its the handy work of Gaia's gene splicing. This combined with the rabies virus also found in the Carnifex Thylaco’s saliva have in some cases, temporarily (2D6 Melee rounds) turned Gorehounds and even some Warmounts (Carnivore, Omnivore, Vampiric and Parasitic metabolisms are most susceptible) against humans, warrants major concern when excursions have taken place and ALL wounds should be properly treated.
There is a rising concern that Thylaco Rats have begun to make a habit of creating dens and nest near human habitats, particularly near havens & Seedlings is alarming to many Great Houses. Serious infestations have been known to uproot smaller Havens and outposts. It is suspected by many Librarians that the powerful marsupial has some morphological features that have yet to be identified as typical “rodentia”, and is the only way Carnifex Thylaco-rats have not been exterminated by NEXUS, solely due to the Gaia Personality, refusing to classify them as “rats” or “pest.” It so confusing at times as to how Thylacos made the cut on the protected species list and not us humans.
There are alarming rumors that some Great Houses have began to convert Carnifex Thylaco-Rats into Gore creatures, (similar to Gorehounds) and are somehow supposed to be controlled by an elite team of dark Packmaster type specialty class, though it is unlikely that such a voracious and prolific species will be held under containment or control for long durations unless the controllers are in league with Gaia. As the anecdotal rumors continue to slowly report in, supposed packs of these creatures are being used to infiltrate rival Great Houses and even compromise seedlings & resources. This is considered highly illegal if so by the Resistance and should such frowned upon biotechnology be discovered, it is to be immediately reported, contained and then destroyed with the culprits being brought to harsh justice by that governing Great House(s) or Area of Influence.
MDC by location:
* Front Legs (2) – 30 each
* Hind Legs (2) – 50 each.
* Claws (4) – 35 each.
* Scaly Tail – 20
* Teeth – 80
**Head – 110
*** Main Body - 170
* A single asterisk indicates a target that is difficult to hit. An attacker must aim and make a “Called Shot” to hit it, and even then is –3 to strike.
** Destroying the head kills the Carnifex Thylaco-Rat, Period.
*** Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body kills the Carnifex-Thylaco Rat.
Running: 80 mph (128 km) maximum, but normal coursing pace is only 50 mph (80 km). The exceptional pulmonary stamina allows the Carnifex to run down & exhaust prey at high speeds for long periods of time (1D4x10+20 minutes) before needing rest. Most often, a pack is tactical, isolating the weakest quarry and runs in relay to exhaust the prey. As one Carnifex Thylaco tires, a stronger, fresher one will join in and keep the pressure on the quarry, until the prey is exhausted and vulnerable for attack(s). Cornered quarry that are very formidable are also conducted in this manner as the Thylaco pack will corner and bay prey until the prey is exhausted trying to defend itself. The pack will harass the quarry, dipping in and out taking massive quick bites out of the quarry, bleeding it out to death, or until the killing bite can be delivered (often to the neck). Thylaco-Rats are constantly combing the vast landscapes, relentlessly looking for food and can romp at 25 mph (40 km) without pause for up to six hours before requiring rests or eight hours if it periodically takes 10-30 minute rest stops.
Leaping: 20 feet (6.1m) high or across, increase by 25% with a short running start and double when running at full tilt.
Digging: 20 mph (32km) through sand or dirt, but half that speed through clay, rock or stone. To dig down enough to adequately bury itself and hide only takes 1D4 minutes. These marsupials are such exceptional diggers that they often live deep underground (2D6X10+40 feet (12.2 m) below) in very large colonies with numerous caverns and pathways to traverse their labyrinths (some have been discovered to be as large as 4 miles (6.4 km)) with at least 12 escape tunnels. The Colony pathways are layered and very sturdy in construct and in some rare cases have made emergency safe spots and outposts for Splicers on the run.
Swimming: 5 mph; dog paddle, 10 mph under water; otter style.
Flying: Not possible.
Height: 4 feet (1.2 m) at the shoulder (males and females are the same size).
Width: 3 feet (0.9 m) across the chest, shoulder-to-shoulder.
Length: 7-10 feet (2.1 to 3 m) head to rump and a 4-foot (1.2 m) long rat-tail.
Weight: 350 lbs (157.5 kg).
Physical Strength: 20 (Supernatural).
Sexual Maturity: 4-6 months.
Production Cycle & Breeding Season: Gestation period 50-65 days; 3-4 month birth intervals. Mating season is throughout the year.
Number of Brood: 4-12 (typically 6-8 kits).
Average Lifespan: Up to 12 years.
Typical Diet: Anything they can overpower individually or as a pack, vertebrates, invertebrates, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, carrion, root crops, fruits, almost anything organic of human refuse (garbage), though they have a strong instinctive mistrust & discernment of unfamiliar objects and food sources makes them very difficult to eradicate. They have been known to be cannibalistic, particularly over the wounded, elder or weak and infanticide is common when food is scarce and rivals injured in interguild fighting will be consumed.
Number Encountered: Above ground 2D6 for a small pack, 4D6 for a medium pack and 3D10+30 Rats for a large pack. Below ground, 2D10+25 for a small pack. 4D10+75 Rats, for a medium pack and a large colony can consist of 6D6x10+200 pack members. Please note Super packs are rare but they have been encountered ranging in the hundreds to several thousands have been found in bone yard, underground or sewer colonies.
Trade Value: None whatsoever to most Great Houses of the Resistance and are a kill on site species, unless otherwise instructed by a Great House. Some new comers can make a living trying to eradicate or drive away nuisance packs, but payment is often paid after sufficient proof has been provided of 4-7 days having gone by without “any” signs or encounters. There are rumored underground black markets that may purchase “healthy” living specimens for illegal animal fights, baiting and criminal personal pets. These fetch a price ranging from 500-1500 credits “if” a buyer is found. Other rumors suggest that there are a few Librarians working to devise some new gore species and they will pay up to 4000 credits for a healthy living specimen and 15,000 credits for a healthy mating pair. Should such transactions take place, all buyers will deny any involvement should they receive any hassle or accusations regarding the purchase.
Horror Factor: 11, but 14 for a pack of five to nine, and 15 for packs of ten to 25. 16 for packs larger than 26.
Senses & Features: Infra-red, nightvision, thermal vision and underwater prey membrane. Air tasting olfactory (same senses as Forked tongue), seismic sense and enhanced senses (see Splicers® RPG, page 81). Orbis hide gives Carnifex rats a durable and yet elastic hide that protects them through various habitat conditions and extremes. Bacteria & Rabies saliva.
Coloration: Their Orbis hide is a shiny oily Black, Liver Brown, Grey, or Arctic White (during winter habitats), always with sleek jade colored eyes.
Feeding: Omnivore, though in some cases they are majority carnivores; 10-20 pounds (4.5 to 9 kg) of organic, animal matter, carrion, waste or vegetable matter a day. Habitat and or opportunity dictate their diet.
Vocalization & Communication: Hissing when agitated or frightened, squeals when startled or in pain, snarls and spitting when cornered or fighting, and low chattering and growling when rounding up the pack. Loud teeth clicking when food/prey is located or to request help to take on adversaries, long breath blowing when ready to mate or being submissive, and deep snorts to warn pack members of danger. Scat and scent marking are also clear signs of chemical communication between packs and rival competition that this is their territory. Each pack has its own signature scent. Splicers wearing the “correct“ scent may go undetected by that specific pack until visually recognized, in which the scent masking will no longer be effective.
Sleep Requirements: requires 2D4 hours of sleep, rest, inactivity per day.
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