Ecology of the Vashag [Updated 8th Dec with Game Stats]

Silver Fox

Let me know if you find this background useful.

‘The night was particularly cold and wet and taking into account he had just pulled off his biggest deal ever, Bothar decided to take a shortcut through the maze of dark alleys that made up the poor quarter of Holona. He knew it was a risky decision but he was eager to get home as quickly as possible. His deal with the fence had gone well and his belt pouch was positively bulging with coin, so he had decided it was worth the risk, only a few more turns and he would be home, safe and sound and able to stash his cash in the strong-box he kept at home.

Turning down another alley he froze at the sound of movement coming from an intersecting street 20 yards or so down the dank passage he was walking down. Not now he thought to himself, not with all this gold on me. Thieves and cutthroats he could handle but this was worse.

“Constable, check that alley there. I know he must be here somewhere.” The familiar voice of Sergeant Lennari was like a lance of fire striking at the footpad’s heart. Damn that man, I’m not going to get caught tonight of all nights. That Lennari has some kind of vendetta against honest criminals like me, but I’m gonna outsmart him.

With the sounds of the town guards getting closer by the second Bothar desperately looked about him for some means of escape – he knew if he hid, that sooner or later the town guard would just turn the alley upside down looking for him. The glint of a metal grate on the alley floor caught his eye and gave him an idea.

With the flickering torchlight of the town guard illuminating the alley walls ahead of him, Bothar sprinted for the sewer cover and prized it off the sewer entrance. Bothar hesitated for a moment, the shaft extended into darkness below him, but he could see metal rungs set into the stone walls of the shaft.

With time running short he made his choice and swung his legs into the tunnel and climbed down the rungs set into the side of the shaft When his head was level with the alley floor he drew the metal grate across the entrance to the sewers just in time to see the first of the town guardsmen come around the corner into the alley, his lantern illuminating the spot in the alley where Bothar had occupied.

Bothar smiled to himself as he descended down the shaft into the sewers. He took particular pleasure in hearing the frustration in the Sergeants voice as he realised that he had been outsmarted by the thief again. He reached the bottom of the ladder and quietly cursed himself as he stood ankle deep in waste water and who knows what else. Well, he thought to himself I can always buy new shoes.

He paused for a moment, noting with amusement the sound of rats squeaking and skittering about the sewer tunnel. He was about to reach inside his jacket to light a candle he had in his pocket to see which way the sewers ran when he sensed a presence close to him. Looking up from his pocket he let out a shocked gasp as he noted several pairs of intense red eyes looking back at him from only a few meters down the pitch dark tunnel.

Several meters above, the town guards continued to search the alley for their runaway thief. Sergeant Lennari was standing by the metal grate in the ground when he heard a blood curdling cry faintly from below ground mixed with the sound of excited squealing like a thousand rats loosed upon a giant wheel of cheese.

“Better call for the rat-catcher lads.” He said more to himself than his fellow guards.’


These vicious, disease ridden rat-like creatures exist in far greater numbers than any of the civilized nations of Magnamund would care to imagine. Thought by many to exist only in the fetid forests of the Realm of Ruel they have a massive network of underground warrens that extend several hundreds of miles in every direction from their un-natural home of Ruel. They have lairs in most nations surrounding Ruel, and the inhabitants of most cities within a few hundred miles would be horrified to learn that there are colonies of these vile creatures in most human settlements within this range.

In their native habitat they live in what can be described as clans or tribes centred about densely populated colonies filled with breeding females and their offspring. They are guarded by male warriors and controlled by a small number of clan leaders that control all aspects of the clan or tribe. Most of the leaders are part of the same family unit and the females are their offspring. The rate at which they breed means that there can be several generations of the same family in a tribe.

Any intrusion into their colonies is met with swift and violent action by the male warriors of the tribe and they will send wave after wave of defenders into battle until the intruders are either driven out or utterly destroyed. In their natural habitat they are split into many different tribes and defend their territory ruthlessly by any incursion by other tribes, but when their masters send for them their tribal differences are momentary set aside as they fear nothing more so than the wrath of the Cener Druids that now rule over their enslaved race.

They have been forced into the service of the Cenerese over the last few centuries and are now bred to patrol the forest around Ruel and to gather food for the more vile creatures that are confined to the walls of their dark capital. They have become afflicted by disease and irrevocably changed as a race by the cruel experiments they have been subjected to by the Cener Druids. They are now the servants of the Cener and carry out their orders whenever called upon by their cruel masters in their quest for world destruction.

Although they are nimble and quite intelligent for a race that has evolved from a particularly vicious breed of vermin they rarely build anything themselves. They are natural scavengers and prefer to use things they have recovered either from fallen enemies or from other societies. They are usually dressed in the rags and of previous victims and any armour they wear is a patchwork of rotting leather and rusting metal. The weapons they use are rusting swords and knives, though occasionally they will use spears and nets to first entangle and then stab at their helpless victims. The only things they build or create themselves are the crude dwellings they inhabit in the heart of the forests of Ruel or some of the more exotic disease laden weapons they use.

The Vashag assigned by the Cener to infiltrate other nation’s settlements are masters of disguise and stealth. If the populations of the towns and cities knew of their existence then their Cener masters know full well how devastating the consequences will be for them and the Vashag they have stationed in those nations. With this in mind the Vashag operate in small numbers to hide their existence. They inhabit the sewers and rarely used cellars of the inhabitants of the human settlements only coming out of the shadows when their masters send word of some task they have for them. They are usually ordered to poison food or water supplies to weaken the defences of the Cener’s enemies or to kill or kidnap those that come close to discovering their existence in a particular nation.

Physical Characteristics

Vashag are twisted rat-like humanoids originally from vermin stock but over the centuries they have been modified through selective breeding and deliberate mutation by their Cenerese masters. They are between 4 foot and 5 foot tall and have a hunched stance. They have wicked claws on their feet and hands and possess a prehensile tail that some can use to grasp weapons. They are usually infected with some disease, though many are resistant to disease and are carriers rather than victims.

Game Information

Vazhag (Medium Humanoid)

End Dice: 2d8+1 (10 Endurance)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40 ft.
Armour Class: 15 (10 base +2 natural, +3 armour)
Base Combat Skill: +1
Attack: Dagger +3 melee (1d4) or Spear +3 melee (1d8).
Full Attack: Spear +3 melee (1d8) and Dagger +3 (1d4).
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Prehensile Tail, Disease.
Special Qualities: Fast Reflexes, Darkvision, Scent.
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +0
Abilities: Str 11, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 8
Skills: Athletics +3, Perception +5, Stealth +4, Survival +3.
Environment: Temperate forests, underground
Organization: Patrol (2-5), pack (5-20), or tribe (10-100)
Challenge Rating: 2
Allegiance: Usually Evil
Advancement: 3-6 ED (Medium)

Equipment: Vashag usually carry a spear and dagger and wear patchwork armour equivalent to studded leather.

Special Attacks

Prehensile tail
A Vashag warrior can use its tail to wield a tiny or small weapon in combat. It gains an additional attack when it makes a Full Attack action in combat. The attack is made at its lowest combat skill modifier and it cannot add its Strength modifier to the damage with this attack.

Any attack by the Vashag has a chance of infecting the target with a disease. Each time the target of the Vashag’s attack takes damage they must make a Fort Save against the usual to resist the disease. Failure in this save means the victim has been infected and the disease will take effect in the normal way (i.e. normal incubation period and subsequent saves). The GM has the final say on what disease the Vashag carry.

Special Abilities

Fast Reflexes
Vashag have very quick reactions and due to their violent and often short lives they have evolved to be quick to react to any threats. They gain a +2 racial bonus to initiative rolls.

The Vashag have lived in the perpetual gloom of the Forest of Ruel and in the underground lairs of their ancestors for thousands of years. As a result they need little or no light to see. To a distance of 30 feet they can see in complete darkness without penalty, although their vision is limited to black and white under these conditions. In low-light situations they are able to see out to 60 feet without penalty.

The Vashag have a very keen sense of smell able to distinguish the scent of other creatures from the fetid environments in which they usually dwell. This ability follows the rules in the Bestiary section of the Lone Wolf Core Book.

Any thoughts good or bad, please feel free.