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Rust Monster

Type: Aberration
Environment: Underground
Attack: Antennae touch
Special Qualities: Rust, scent
Organization: Solitary or pair

From the personal journal of Azalai Korias, Elven Wizard.

While exploring a kobold infested cave today, we found that the wretched little creatures are always full of surprises. I suspected that they were luring us into a trap, but with Kleija still resting at the inn to heal wounds suffered in the battle against the bugbears, our ranged attack capabilities were limited. The kobolds harassed us with flasks of alchemist’s fire and retreated deeper into the cavern.

A wooden portcullis slammed down behind us once we were well within the cave, and another in front. From a side passage, a pair of kobolds chirped gleefully as they herded forth an insectoid creature with strange feelers jutting out from beneath its mandibles. I recognized this horror from my studies, it was a rust monster.

The creature leapt on Khovis, corroding his shield and warhammer to uselessness before we even realized what was happening. Senna gave Zarn an order to withdraw; she didn’t want to see what the beast would do to Zarn’s adamantine laced plating. I must admit my shame at the morbid curiosity I felt.

For some adventurers, the rust monster represents an object of fear greater even than the fiercest of dragons. For while every adventurer knows that he must occasionally service and keep his weapons, gear, and armor in good repair after the slings, swords, and arrows of a melee, the threat posed by a rust monster to a hero's valuables is truly dire. Warforged have been known to flee at the first sight of these beasts.

This creature, only the size of a large wolf or pony, has a somewhat insect-like appearance. It has four legs, and a squat low body covered in a lumpy carapace-like hide. Armor plates make the rust monster's more delicate innards difficult to penetrate. Most important for adventurers to note, however, are the pair of thin antennae that rise up from beneath the beast's eyes.

These antennae allow the rust monster to corrode and draw sustenance from metallic objects. Unfortunately, even passing a metallic weapon close to the creature exposes it to great risk. Careful adventurers are advised to considering carrying a simple wooden cudgel -- and perhaps a suit of leather armor -- to dispatch these menaces. 

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