a pack of rat-ants
    a rat-ant variant


Frequently mistakenly referred to as rodents, rat-ants are vicious, fierce insects that, oddly enough, have the characteristics of both a rat and an ant. These ferocious feral creatures are six-legged, with chitinous shells and needle-sharp pincers around their mouths which are lined with rows of razor sharp teeth. They are also equipped with insect eyestalks and antennae, but have long rat-like, whip-like tails, sparse tufts of hair, claws, and lots of squeaking. Although roughly the size of rats, the rat-ant can be quite deadly, as its cookbook says plenty about peasants (and especially candy). The mere sight of food brings forth massive dripping salivation. Rat-ants are easily agitated, demonstrated by the hissing and clicking their nasty sharp mandibles.

These creatures exhibit an ant-like social order, communicating by moving their antennae in semaphore. Their communities consist of rat-ants of varying sizes, ages and social roles, and they bear live young (which if absolutely necessary, are carried by the adults). They have a crude intelligence, evidenced by the tiny spears of the warrior caste which walk precariously on their hind legs. Rat-ants assemble in packs, commanded by a leader, much in the fashion of a drill sergeant ordering his troops. The others follow suit, bobbing and and weaving to some unheard beat or rhythm, as they form orderly rows, break formation, and march, all working together as though part of a sophisticated military procession.

Rat-ant nests are jerry-built constructions of all sorts of odds and ends precariously stuck together, incorporating any new item them find into the jumble. The destruction of one of their nests forces them to frantically evacute and immediately begin constructing a new one, many times frugually incorporating all the materials from the old. At least a small number of guards always keep watch for intruders.

Giant rat-ants have also been rarely observed.

When magic began to fail in 966 packs of these creatures headed into human towns and villages, most notably Grubbo-by-the-Sea.

During the Great Monster Uprising of the Second Age of Magic, rat-ants were reported in the following regions: White Cliffs Beach, Aragain Falls, FenshireThe Gray Mountains, Antharian Caves, Granola Mines, Gurth Woodland TrialDiscipline Beach, Grubbo Hills, Crab Island, Kovalli DesertThe Glass Maze, Bozbarlandand the G.U.E. Tech Training Grounds in the Ethereal Plane of Atrii.

Although it is a mystery as to how these strange looking creatures arose, there are several theories. Most prominent amongst these are:
  1. They are extraterrestrial visitors from another world (judging from the ruins of the Cultural Complex, this is most likely  the correct theory).
  2. They are the result of an incredible magical disaster which has melded and mutated several small, cute woodland creatures (such as squirrel-voles, badger-owls and kitten-trees) and also produced the rat-ant.
  3. They are escaped medical experiments from a mad scientist who was later locked up in the Gray Mountains Asylum.
  4. They are the result of some forbidden (and very difficult) union of rat and ant.
  5. "Who knows and who cares? They're vicious little buggers, but taste better than what I slept in last night." (As far as our researchers have determined, the only person to postulate this theory was an infamous unknown drunk living in Port Foozle during the Second Age of Magic.)