Tuesday, April 24, 2012


No. Enc.: 1d6 (2d6)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 90' (180' jump) Move at half normal rate when levitating.
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 2+ (Can gain levels as either Fighter or Spell Caster, also can multi-class/dual-class)
Attacks: 1d6, determined randomly each turn.
Damage: 1d4 per claw, or by weapon, or by spell.
Save: MU2+ (Fighters save as MUs / MUs save as Fighers)
Morale: 8

Thysanurians are cold blooded rationalists and pragmatists who blindly seek out magical papyri, scrolls, spell-books and the like in order to consume them and assimilate the spells contained within. It takes them 1d10 minutes per level of the targeted spell to consume it once the Thysanurian has made a successful attack roll against the scroll, book, etc. They can usually only consume spells inscribed upon organic substrates, but a few reports have surfaced concerning Thysanurians that are alleged to have become capable of digesting inorganic materials, such as synthetic fabrics, but this has yet to be confirmed.

The few specimens of Thysanurians that have had functioning compound eyes have also tended to be vampiric, though it is unclear if they were actually undead, or just haemovores.

Known Sub-Types
Silvren: Start with 4 HD, inflict 2d4 with each claw, and have a +4 Char Reaction with Ants and Ant-like creatures.
Firebrats: Start with 3 HD, Save or take only 1 point of damage from fire or heat.


  1. I want one for my retinue. Are they city-dwellers?

  2. Library-dwellers, usually. Though they can be found along the shores of the Bitter Sea or out in the wastes surrounding the Kalaramar Drifts, looking for ancient stockpiles of hoarded scrolls and the like. They have an insatiable appetite for learning and go to great lengths to track down the most savory bits of unsavory lore...

  3. Interesting. How does they're cold blooded rationalism manifest?

  4. Hi Trey. Thysanurians are prone to excuse anything they deem necessary to achieve their core aims, anything whatsoever. Atrocities are irrelevant, conventions are meaningless, and other people's rights are unimportant; all that matters is their pursuit of knowledge and power that they can consume. This is rationalized by these beings as a straight forward function of biology, nothing personal. They also tend to see this as a sign of their being in the right, that they were intended to devour all scrolls within a library, for example, not because of anything supernatural, but because it is in their very nature. There's no emotional component, no affect, just an implacable, ruthless, literally cold-blooded attitude bordering upon psychopathy. In a way, they are like quiet, calm berserkers driven to attack/devour scrolls, books, etc. If allowed to go about their business without interruption, they'll consume shelf-loads of books/scrolls, then leave. They don't ask, they don't see any need to gain permission, nor do they bother with any niceties or etiquette; they just go right up to the target of their appetite and start consuming, but not mindlessly--they will defend themselves and they will clearly, cogently explain quite calmly just what they are doing and why to anyone who seeks to stop them.

    Arguing about the 'rightness' or 'wrongness' of their consuming scrolls, etc. usually proves to be a losing proposition, if only in terms of sheer frustration.

  5. I guess it's pretty clear on what side of the instrumental rationality vs. historical rationality divide these fellers find themselves on. Instrumental reason with a biologistic justification. I would imagine many libraries adopt a "kill on sight" policy for these sophisticated silverfish.

  6. 'Kill on Sight' works well enough when the creature concerned isn't using invisibility or some form of shape-shifting, or if they drop in after hours thanks to the assistance of a few thieves with no particular scruples.

    Another interesting aspect of the particular form of rationality that these creatures have adopted/adapted, is that they tend not to be fooled by illusions or phantasms. But this is a special ability only higher-HD specimens might have developed, not something that they all possess. Dispel Magic becomes a natural/at-will attack/ability after 8+ HD.

    They dislike fiction and will by-pass fiction in favor of biographies, memoirs, or self-help books. they particularly like atlases, map-books, tour guides and the collected minutes of meetings. They wreck a lot of damage in the Legal Records sections of various offices, at least as much as in any library. Quite a few deeds, contracts, claims and other documents have been lost to the peculiar literary-predation of these creatures.

  7. Awesome. I shall have them invade my universe en masse immediately.

    1. Thank You! We'd love to hear how it goes for you. Please consider dropping by and letting us know how the invasion progresses!

  8. Excellent work on a disturbing creature.

    Do they have some sort of 'sense' for the written word? Being blind, how do they locate their meals?

    1. Thank you. We like these creatures; they make interesting opponents. Thysanurians have an extremely sensitive tactile sense coupled with their olfactory and taste capabilities, which allows them to detect even the difference in the raised surface of ink on some substrate such as parchment, but they can also determine the make-up of the substrate and the ink, and they can then attempt to decipher their impressions, in some cases learning to understand languages they have not met previously. The Thysanurians have no need for any sort of visual sense. So that covers how they 'read,' but not how they locate their chosen prey i.e. written words.

      Thysanurians use a form of dowsing or divination in order to determine where to go looking for the next tasty treatise. They can also smell most common forms of substrates (parchment, papyrus, paper, plastics, pressed chitin, plant-fibers, etc.) at a considerable distance (think miles, not feet). They likewise can 'taste' ink, dyes, and paints etc. with their antennae at a great distance as well (akin to a cow smelling water more than a mile away).

      Some of them have developed spells such as Detect Book or Find Library, but they are not quick to share such things among themselves, let alone with outsiders.

      Thysanurians will employ magic items that detect books, scrolls, etc. if they can acquire them. They often wind up buying these sorts of things from groups of player characters who do not realize the real value of such things...


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