Monster of the Week: The Wampus Cat

Category: Monster of the Week
Created on Thursday, 29 July 2010 Written by Steve

Also Known As: Ewah or Ew’ah (Cherokee).

Description: The Wampus Cat is a demonic creature that looks like a bipedal mountain with large yellow eyes.

BMA Classification: The Wampus Cat is listed on the Bureau of Monster Affairs’ Official Monster List.
Powers: In addition to the claws, teeth, and other abilities typical of a predatory cat (stealth, night vision, agility, etc.), the Wampus Cat can cause panic in anyone who meets its gaze. The creature also has unusual regenerative powers that seem to comply with the belief that cats have nine lives.

Vulnerabilities: Like many demonic creatures, the Wampus Cat is vulnerable to certain religious rituals and objects. Reading Psalms or passages of the I Ching causes fear in the creature and will usually cause it to run away. The sound of church bells has a similar effect. The creature is also burned by holy water, though crosses and other religious objects do not harm or frighten the creature in the least. Wampus Cats have no apparent aversion to sanctified or holy ground.

Biology and Habitat: Although the Wampus Cat is not native to our reality, its biological needs seem to be similar to that of a regular large cat. The Wampus Cat is a predator who feeds on wild animals, livestock, and occasionally humans, but does not have any particular preference for human (or, as some stories claim, infant) flesh.

While Wampus Cats have been sighted all over the world, they seem to be most common in Appalachia, especially in the area between Knoxville, Tennessee, Roanoke, Virginia, and Greensboro, North Carolina.

Sightings: Stories of the Wampus Cat pre-date European colonization. One Cherokee tale claims that the Wampus Cat was born when a woman who didn’t trust her husband observed magical rituals forbidden to women and was cursed by the tribal shaman. According to another story, a woman whose husband was killed by the Ewah managed to defeat the creature using a magical cat mask, but someone merged with the demon and still walks the mountains as a protector of the Cherokee people.

Among the descendants of the region’s white settlers, the Wampus Cat was once a human witch who would transform into a cat in order to sneak into a house and put the inhabitants into a magical sleep so she could steal her livestock. During one such theft, she was caught while transforming back into human form, which left her stuck in a form between cat and human.

A live specimen of the Wampus Cat was captured in 1993 by members of the Knoxville M-Force office, and most of the information here is the result of experimentation performed at M-Force’s Triangle Research Facility.

Additional Information:
There are two other varieties of creature sometimes referred to by the name “Wampus Cat.” Both are classified as Unconfirmed Cryptids by the BMA. In parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, is used to refer to an extremely large, six-legged panther. No credible contemporary reports of the creature exist and it is believed to be entirely folkloric, possibly based on a long-ago encounter with a supernumerary version of a mundane big cat.

The other Wampus Cat, allegedly found in Alabama, is said to be the result of genetic experimentation by the U.S. Government during World War II. According to local legend, a secret government program managed to create a creature that was part mountain lion and part gray wolf, but a breeding pair of the creatures escaped and can still be found in the area around the Cheaha Mountain in the Talledega Forest. There have been a few alleged attacks on livestock by this creature, but none of them have provided evidence that the predator was anything more than a regular mountain lion. Additionally, FOIA request have failed to turn up any evidence of a World-War II-era program to produce such a hybrid animal. It is therefore presumes that this animal is merely the result of conspiracy theory and urban legend.

Body: 15Wampus Cat by Meknits
Brain: 10
Job: Cat Demon (15)
Gimmicks: Cause Fear (12) -- Once per round, the Wampus Cat may attempt to cause fear in a single target by making eye contact with the target and wining a resisted Gimmick roll against the target’s Nerve roll. If the Wampus Cat wins the result depends on the Success Degree of the roll: 5 or less: Victim suffers a -2 to all attacks for the rest of the scene; 6-10: Victim flees in panic for a number of rounds equal to the Cat’s Success Degree; 11+ Victim is paralyzed with fear and can take no action for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 Success Degree. A character who knows about the Wampus Cat’s ability and is actively trying to avoid may take up to a +4 bonus to his Nerve roll by taking a like penalty to all other rolls made that round.

Nine Lives (13) -- If the Wampus Cat is reduced to 5 or fewer Health Points, make a Gimmick roll. If the roll succeeds, the Wampus Cat regains a number of Health Points equal to the Gimmick roll and its Gimmick Number is reduced by 1. When the Gimmick Number is reduced to 5 (or when a Gimmick roll fails), the cat has used up its nine lives and can be killed normally.

Weakness: Fear of Scripture/Church Bells (13): During any round where a person reads from the Psalms or I Ching or a church bell is wrung, the Wampus Cat must make a Weakness roll. If the Weakness takes effect, the creature will attempt to flee.

Skills: Stealth +3; Tracking +2; Climbing +1
Armor Rating:  1
Damage Bonus:  The Wampus Cat makes a single attack roll with a Damage Bonus of +2 for both claws. If the defender fails his roll, the Wampus Cat may immediately make another attack roll to bite the opponent. The defender suffers a -2 on his roll to defend against the bite. If the bite attack succeeds, the Damage Bonus of the attack is +3.
Other Traits: Vulnerability to Holy Water -- The Wampus Cat suffers damage when hit by holy water. Damage is handled as if from a regular attack. For most delivery methods (splashing, water balloons, water guns), the Damage Bonus is 0. If the attacker has a way of hitting the Wampus Cat with a large amount of holy water (for example, holding its head down in a sink of holy water), the Damage Bonus is +1 per gallon of water involved.
HP: 15
Yum Yums:  2

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Monster of the Week: The Wampus Cat.
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