They were humanoid in shape and about 1 foot (30 centimeters) in height. They were shaggy-looking and filth-crusted creatures, only dressed in old scraps of fabric, hide, or dirty rags if not simply naked. They had coarse patchy hair and small beady eyes, as well as an assortment of warts and pimples on their grayish and wrinkled baggy skin. However, their ragged gray skin helped jermlaine to blend in with their subterranean habitats. Furthermore, their choice of attire or lack thereof was rooted in a desire to not hamper their camouflage potential.
Jermlaine had small eyes that were adapted for life underground and thus were uncomfortable in bright light.
Being rather weak creatures, jermlaine were rarely known for engaging foes head-on. They typically relied upon a variety of traps - including pit traps, trip wires, and nets - to immobilize enemies before pouncing on them. If they laired with osquip, jermlaine would likely be lying in wait within strategically placed, little foxholes constructed from the hardened feces of the creature. If their immobilized foe was heavily armored, jermlaine would then resort to pouring acid or flaming oil upon them.
The exact origins of the jermlaine were unknown, though scholars speculated that they were either distant relatives of gnomes or simply gnomes that were struck with a curse that shrunk only their bones and not their skin. Other scholars speculated that mites and synads were simply different stages of a gnome degenerating into a jermlaine.
However, they were among some of the oldest underground cultures and were responsible for carving many of the small, narrow tunnels that would later be expanded upon by other underground races.
Jermlaine are heavily associated with rats, to the point that they were sometimes referred to as "rat-brothers" or "rodent-riders." Rodents could typically be found alongside jermlaine acting as mounts, beasts of burden, or guardians of their lairs. Furthermore, many jermlaine clans were known to name themselves after whichever type of rodent they shared their lairs with.
Jermlaine who were courageous enough to become wanderers on the surface were known as "Rovers." They filled a role in jermlaine society similar to bards, albeit without the musical - spreading news and gossip between communities, as well as trade goods. Rovers were typically seen riding upon rats.
Jermlaine typically made their homes underground in narrow tunnel networks.
Jermlaine language consisted of high-pitched squeaks and twitters that were reminiscent of rats or bats. Jermlaine were even known to be capable of conversing with all forms of rat creatures. Some were even said to be capable of understanding common, dwarvish, gnomish, ghukliak, and orcish - but were incapable of speaking the languages themselves.
Jermlaine generally detested all races that were bigger than them and delighted in humiliating such creatures whenever possible. For example, they typically would shave the head of creatures they immobilized, then utilize their hair in crafting either ropes or nets. Other tricks they were known to play on captive creatures included rubbing poison oak or ivy and destroying items precious to them.
Outside of tormenting captive creatures the jermlaine were generally known for engaging in acts of vandalism, theft, and other mischievous behavior.
|This article is incomplete. You can help the Forgotten Realms Wiki by providing more information.|
- Mike Mearls, Bart Carroll, Bill Benham (December 2019). Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio, Volume 1: Monsters Malevolent and Benign. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11.
- Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter (September 2002). Monster Manual II 3rd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 131. ISBN 07-8692-873-5.
- David "Zeb" Cook, et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume Two. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8753-X.
- Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), pp. 176–177. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 53. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
- Johnathan M. Richards (August 1999). “Ecology of the Jermlaine”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #262 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 56–61.
- Douglas Niles (1986). Dungeoneer's Survival Guide. (TSR, Inc.), p. 68. ISBN 0-88038-272-4.
- Douglas Niles (1986). Dungeoneer's Survival Guide. (TSR, Inc.), p. 70. ISBN 0-88038-272-4.
- Anthony Pryor (June 1995). “Campaign Guide”. In Michele Carter, Doug Stewart eds. Spellbound (TSR, Inc.), p. 22. ISBN 978-0786901395.
- Thay Encounters Charts included in Anthony Pryor (June 1995). Spellbound. Edited by Michele Carter, Doug Stewart. (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 978-0786901395.
- Ari Marmell, Anthony Pryor, Robert J. Schwalb, Greg A. Vaughan (May 2007). Drow of the Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 16. ISBN 978-0-7869-4151-3.