Gravedigger Moles

Despite our best efforts to get from city to city before nightfall, there is too much snow out here. It bites at our legs, and turns our walking into wading.   The summer sun rarely falls in Faur'ridar'ru, but even when it does Jhoutai's aurora just turns blinding white into shades of green and blue.   It's the bitter cold that gets you, grips the mind like a cold gauntlet and weakens your judgement. I blame that chill for why Jean didn't feel the ground shudder beneath her feet. The yawning maw of the taiga swallowed her whole, and with nothing but a scream and a stomach-churning crunch, she was gone.   I leaned over the sinkhole, swiveling my ears to see if I could hear signs of life. I could see the reflective eyes of Gravedigger Moles already poking out of their holes. Another victim to their dastardly traps. A frozen meal for dozens of tiny mouths.   The rest of the party shared a moment of mourning, and moved on.   It would be another hour to the next fortress.
- Excerpt of Faur'ridar'ru Caravan Guard Rahk'sha Tor Nzhel
 

A Snowy Killer

Gravedigger Moles are pack animals that live under the frozen wastes of Faur'ridar'ru. They earn their name for their hunting behavior, which involves creating pitfall traps in the thick ice and snow. They build networks of these tunnels, leaving only a thin layer of ice on the top, weak enough for unsuspecting prey to fall into.   The Moles live in packs of one to two dozen, and can sense the vibrations of a trap being sprung. They will crowd the walls of the triggered hole, the near blind creatures send a scout to look for prey. Should they encounter resistance from a trapped creature, they will retreat. The group of scavengers will return sporadically, waiting until the prey dies of hunger, thirst, or freezes to death before feeding on the corpse.  

Dens

When Gravedigger Moles are not patrolling their traps, they create their dens in the warmer subnivean zone of the glaciers they build upon. It is not uncommon for Gravedigger Moles to have tunnel networks that span tens of miles.  

Appearance

Gravedigger Moles sport a white to brown fur and a body layer of concentrated blubber. Their claws are sharp and flat, suitable for digging up large amounts of snow. Their snouts range from two to three inches in length and sport a series of sharp fangs suited for puncturing the thick hides of its prey and ripping off flesh.

Distribution

Gravedigger Moles are native to the snowy regions of Faur'ridar'ru. They prefer the softer soil of the taigas rather than the mountains.   They have been exported to colder colonized planets, for use as ecological scavengers.

Attributes

Average Weight
Imperial Metric
Male 1 - 2 lbs. 0.5 - 1 kg.
Female 1.2 - 2.3 lbs 0.55 - 1.5 kg.
Average Length
Imperial Metric
Male 14-20 in. 35-51 cm.
Female 16-23 in. 40-58 cm.
Adult, snout to tail

Domestication

Keeping Gravedigger Moles as pets is discouraged and illegal on many planets as they are destructive animals, can become an invasive species, and have a tendency to bite their sleeping owners.


Cover image: A Posthumous Wave Farewell by Ademal

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