Out of the Darkness and Into the Light
The leucrotta is a creature of ugly appearance and temperament that haunts deserted places in search of prey.
The average leucrotta stands 7 feet tall at the shoulder and can reach a length of 9 feet in its mature form. The body of the leucrotta resembles that of a stag, with a leonine tufted tail and cloven hooves. Its head resembles that of a huge badger, but instead of teeth it has sharp, jagged bony ridges. Its body is tan, with the neck gradually darkening until it turns black at the head. The so-called teeth are sickly gray, and its eyes glow with a feral red light. The smell of animals, decomposing on a hot humid day follows the leucrotta, and its breath is especially bad.
Leucrotta attack by biting. It is rumored that their bony ridges and jaws are so powerful that they can even bite through metal.
Once an opponent is rendered helpless, a leucrotta will leave its prize and attack any other intruders if the melee is still going on. It will give chase to an enemy, but will never pursue beyond sight of any prey it has managed to already capture.
When a leucrotta retreats, it turns its back on its opponent and kicks with its hind legs.
Note to trackers: It is almost impossible to identify leucrotta tracks, since they look exactly like a stag’s.This ugly creature haunts deserted and desolate places because most other creatures cannot bear the sight of it. Its ugliness is legendary. Leucrotta lair in treacherous ravines and rocky spires, because they are as surefooted as a mountain goat. Caves, old abandoned towers, or a hollowed out deadfall are the preferred lairs for this disgusting beast. Leucrotta are not a very family oriented species, as their nasty tempers extend sometimes to each other. The beasts range over a 20-mile area.
Since the leucrotta is not a very social creature, all strangers are nothing more than sources of food. Sometimes, a powerful chaotic evil person may entrap a leucrotta and force it to serve as a guardian, but such beasts rebel at the first opportunity.
Though the leucrotta prefer freshly killed meat, they are not above eating carrion. This serves to enhance their already bad reputation.Leucrotta distance themselves from the grand picture of nature, preferring to lurk on the fringes. They serve no practical use and one would be hard pressed to find a druid that would try to protect a member of this species. Some sages speculate that the leucrotta is an unnatural abnormality, an aberration spawned by some demented power or archmage.
Still, some mages prize the leucrotta hide for creating boots of striding and springing, hoping that the surefootedness of the beast passes down to the boots themselves. There are rumors that leucrotta saliva is an effective antidote to love philters, but so far there have been no volunteers to test this theory.