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Nashrous were animalistic demons that roamed the Abyss in packs hunting for victims to sate their hunger for flesh and blood. Speculated by some scholars to be Abyssal perversions of predators like wolves or lions, they were known for their dogged determination and persistence when chasing down their prey.[1]

We were coming across the first layer of the Abyss when they scented us. First there were three or four, then ten, then a hundred. Mali and Skrit went down in the first few seconds; the rest of us ran. I don’t know where the others are— hells, I don’t know where I am. All I know is that diving through that portal kept me alive.
— Berrin Orlan, former adventurer and unwitting planar traveler[1]

Description[]

Nashrous typically stood about 10 feet (3 meters) tall and weighed around 800 pounds (360 kilograms). Their bizarre appearance was utterly nightmarish, a thin, bony thicket of amalgamated spikes and claws covered by a thick coat of glistening chitin.[1]

The creatures had ten limbs, four long, lithe legs well-adapted to jumping and able to rapidly propel them along the ground, and six arms for killing their victims. Two of the arms were massive, able to gore and impale with ease, while the other four were light, swift, scythe-like claws that extended out from the center of forms, that being the location of their cluster of menacing eyes.[1]

Behavior[]

Nashrous were no more intelligent than animals, possessing, at best, rudimentary minds. They neither spoke, nor understood any languages.[1]

Despite this lack of intelligence however, nashrous were fiends nonetheless, sadistic, twisted predators that seemed to live only for the pleasure of rending and devouring their prey. They were vicious and tenacious in the pursuit of their quarry, taking savage delight in devouring other beings to sate their bloodthirst.[1]

Abilities[]

Nashrous were fast and agile creatures well-suited for chasing down prey. Their larger arms were deadlier, and more likely to strike their enemies, than their smaller talons.[1]

Nashrous had a unique, curious vulnerability— a weak spot. Whether by cleverness, luck, or brute strength, a single, critical blow against a nashrou could cause them instantaneous death, even in situations where a similar wound would leave them alive, if injured.[1]

Combat[]

The six arms of nashrous were designed to counter a wide variety of threats, the larger arms being used to deal with dangerous enemies and the smaller ones for other threats, although they could only use four at once. The creatures were ferocious killers and tireless hunters known to pursue their targets for days if not weeks, across the Abyss and even follow their targets onto other planes.[1]

When in packs, nashrous charged into the densest group of foes with intent to sow chaos in the enemy formation and deal as much damage as possible. A lone nashrou was a far more cautious predator, preferring to stalk unseen and catch prey at a vulnerable moment, rarely if ever going up against more than two creatures and typically fleeing if outnumbered.[1]

Ecology[]

Though chaotic creatures of bestial intelligence, nashrous did have a society of sorts within the strict pack hierarchy of privilege and importance, a structure that determined when an individual could feed and how much. Packs were sorted into three types, and groups of three to ten were "natural" Abyssal hazards.[1]

The weakest and smallest members were scouts sent ahead of the main body of the pack to look for potential food, and would either become sufficiently powerful to join the rest or quickly die. The larger and faster members, known by scholars as "stalkers" would continue to harry the chosen victims for hour and possibly days, working them into a panic. After the prey was frenzied and distressed the "slayers", the largest, strongest, and most murderous of the pack, would move in for the slaughter.[1]

Nashrous had a tendency to devour the prey on the spot before moving on and did not collect treasure, so no valuables would be left at a communal lair.[1]

Others[]

Nashrous were most likely to be found alone if the rest of their pack was destroyed or if on the Material Plane, either because they chased something through a portal there or due to being summoned by a powerful spellcaster. Spells such as summon monster III and more powerful versions could be used to summon a nashrou. The spell lesser planar ally could also be used to summon one or more nashrous, although given their uncontrollable viciousness and the practical impossibility of bargaining with them, it was best to try and compel the brutes into service for short periods of time.[1]

Nashrous were sometimes used by more powerful demons and demon lords as "hunting hounds".[1]

Homelands[]

Nashrous were native to the Plain of Infinite Portals, hence they were most common there, but they could be found elsewhere throughout the Abyss, particularly in blasted, volcanic plains.

Biology[]

Like most Abyssal creatures, nashrous fell outside the Material Plane understanding of belonging to an ecosystem. Despite their wanton bloodlust, nashrous didn't actually require food, but they were capable of growing in size. This was not in correlation with any natural process; instead they became more powerful with every creature they killed and consumed.[1]

Nashrous also had an excellent sense of smell.[1]

Rumors and Legends[]

According to certain legends and tales, nashrous were the debased creations of either Malar the Beastlord, god of hunting and savagery, or Garagos the Reaver, god of destruction and war, though they weren't found on the homeplanes of either. According to some, a bloodreaver (a dedicated cleric of Garagos) unleashed the creatures upon the Abyss, possibly to toughen them or test them against its inhabitants, whereupon they rapidly spread throughout the upper layers.[1]

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