IMAGE01: Surmin


From their malodorous breath to their thick, quilled, lice-ridden fur and ratlike tail, surmins are utterly repulsive creatures with large round eyes that superficially resemble rats. A newly shaved surmin is black and black and purple and red and black (though some strictly black and red varities have been sighted in Mauldwood; and black and purple ones in the Peltoid Valley, but mostly that land was too open and cultivated to support a surmin population). Its small clawed hands are almost human-like with five fingers, and its long snoutish mouth with a tiny pink tongue lolling out between fangs. It is not the tiny white claws on its four feet, nor the fangs one has to worry about; not even the foul smell the little beast continually pollutes the air with that human noses can barely tolerate...

There is no natural, defensive weapon in the world more potent than a surmin's fart. Though mostly peaceful if left alone, these rodents are easily frightened. When the surmin turns around and lifts its tail, one is advised to flee as far as possible. With an effective range of fifty frobozzits, no lion, no hellhound, some said not even a grue would dare attack it for fear of its fragrant retaliation. With the sound like cracking wood, the foul vapor of the surmin's warm wind brings with it such a noxious smell that even the most adamant warriors have been brought to their knees gagging; those that have escaped have stated that suffocating war far preferable. Even afterwards, the nauseating stench permeates the close, the hair, cleaves to the skin, and even produces a foul taste that lingers in the mouth. Though basically a shy forager, its flatulence makes it one of the most dreaded of all woodland beasts, and many a farmer, traveler, and woodcutter had lived, albeit barely, to regret a carelessly misplaced footstep.

Many zoologists have commented that there is now way in which the smell of the surmin could possibly have come about naturally and several groups of dark wizards have been implicated in the creation of these creatures. The wizards hit back in a statement, saying "to accuse us of creating the surmin is ridiculous! We are evil wizards, and as such strive to bring about misery, pain, suffering and the end of the world, but even we have limits! Yuck..."

Most surmins grow large enough that they are able to swallow a human whole. Unforunate stays in the bellies of these malodorous rodents have been described as being very stinky.

Surmins love to wallow playfully in mudhole, landfills or sewers, squealing with rodent-like glee as they bury their snot in the refuse, jerking its head up sharply to shower itself with filth. Small hands worry deep in the filth, scooping of handfulls to rub into its tiny mischievous face. Rolling on the back and smearing its belly in sludge is usually accompanied by feet kicking with gleeful abandonment.

These rodents can be found all over the Great Underground Empire, but are particularly known in the areas around Great Borphee, where they are infamous for boring their victims to death by reciting the Great Borphee County Penal Codes. To prevent this, adventurers are cautioned not to let a surmind get too close. Watch out for their droning attack cry.

While many insist that to eat a surmin would be disgusting, possibly even fatal, there are some who consider it a delicacy, and say that the trick is to chain smoke for several decades before the meal and use a lot of ketchup.

During the Great Monster Uprising of the Second Age of Magic, surmins were reported in the following regions: The Dark Forest, White Cliffs BeachFenshire, Mirror Lake, Antharian Caves, Granola Mines, Pheebor, Fields of Frotzen, Miznia Marshlands, Miznia Jungle, The Lost Castle of Y'Syska, Bozbarland, and the G.U.E. Tech Training Grounds in the Ethereal Plane of Atrii.

Due to the depicable fruitfulness of surmin during the Great Monster Uprising, the production and sales of surmin traps were in abundance. These heavy-weight steel-toothed traps were also frequently used by adventurers to thwart off their competitors.