Savage Cryptids of North America: The Wampus Cat (or Ew’ah)!

Wampus Cat
This cryptid has been sighted throughout the Appalachian Mountains region of the U.S., with the highest number of sightings in Tennessee and West Virginia.  Described as a large, panther like cat with glowing yellow eyes, sightings have dated back to the colonial days of the United States.

The origins of the Wampus Cat, or Wampus Beast as it is also known, are buried in  several Native American cultures. One such tale is that of a Cherokee woman, upset that she could not go on a hunt with her husband and the other young warriors, wears a cougar’s hide to disguise herself as she followed them. The first night, the men set up a camp with a fire and began to take turns telling mighty hunting stories. The wife, hidden under the cougar pelt approached the campfire to listen in on the tales. She is found and the tribe’s medicine man curses her to become the creature she hid under, transforming her into a half cougar, half-man creature. 

A rather different tale, also from the Cherokee, says that the wife sought revenge on a magical beast known at Ew’ah that killed her husband by driving him insane. To do so, she wore the skin of a mountain lion. When the beast saw her, it tried to use its magic on her only to have the spirit of the mountain lion, still inhabiting the pelt she wore, turn the magic back on the beast causing it to flee. This tale states that the scorned woman’s spirit is hunting the fleeing spirit of the beast to this day. 

Other local legends tell of a witch that roamed West Virginia, hunting and killing livestock at night. The townsfolk hunted her down and caught her in the middle of her transformation from a large cat beast back to her frail old human form. They attacked her and left her for dead, but she lived, forever stuck between forms as a half cat, half human monstrosity. 

The Wampus Cat is a cross between a human and a mountain lion or a cougar. The cat’s fur covers the entire form, but it’s forelimbs are shaped more like human arms and end in paws that are almost hand-like. The creature can walk on its hindquarters  though still runs on all fours. The creature is attracted to fires and has been known to attack campers, but more often just steals food, even when the food has been secured or hidden.

While most people have seen this cryptid as a four limbed creature, several sightings within the Appalachian region have seen a six limbed version of the Wampus Cat. It is believed this six limbed beast is a rarer, more powerful beast with some psychic ability to drive those it hunts insane. This six limbed creature is believed to be the Ew’ah spirit.

Wampus Cat
Attributes:
Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d10, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Survival d8
Pace: 8; Parry: 7; Toughness: 6
Special Abilities
Swift Runner: The Wampus Cat has a d10 run die. 
Frightful Visage: The Wampus cat is quite unsettling to look upon. When first seeing a wampus cat, the viewer must make a fear check. 
Hardy: Wampus cats are unusually hardy creatures and thus don’t suffer a wound on a shaken result if already shaken. 
Low Light Vision: Wampus cats ignore penalties for dim and dark illumination. 

(WC)Six Limbed Wampus Cat, or Ew’ah
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d10, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d10, Notice d8, Psionics d8, Stealth d6, Survival d8
Pace: 8; Parry: 7; Toughness: 6;  Power Points: 20
Special Abilities
Swift Runner: The Wampus Cat has a d10 run die. 
Frightful Visage: The Wampus cat is quite unsettling to look upon. When first seeing a wampus cat, the viewer must make a fear check. 
Hardy: Wampus cats are unusually hardy creatures and thus don’t suffer a wound on a shaken result if already shaken. 
Low Light Vision: Wampus cats ignore penalties for dim and dark illumination.
Sure Footed: The six limbs grants the Ew’ah greater stability and climbing ability. It gains a +2 bonus to resist being tripped and to climbing checks. 
Psychic Powers: 
Lower Resolve (boost/lower trait, limited to reducing Spirit). PP: 3, modifier: Strong (pg 156 of adventure edition)
Confusion: no changes (pg 157)
Fear: PP 4, medium area of effect (pg 161)
Stun: no changes (pg 168)

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