Rebarangifers

Rebarangifers

rating: +10

12 votes (+11, -1) 4.5★

rating: +10+x
Aggressiveness 0/5 Rebarangifers do not want anything to do with humans. They will run away when approached.
Frequency 2/5 These creatures are extremely uncommon, leading some to believe they’re at risk of dying out altogether.
Intelligence 1/5 It is doubtful whether they possess any intelligence at all.
Pritoria Index 1/5 The only danger one needs to look out for is the petrifying miasma constantly emanating from the carapace and mouth.

Description

Rebarangifers (also known as clay-deer) are ‘animals’ resembling ornamental lawn deer, the kind one might find in a well-to-do neighborhood. Everything about their appearance gives the impression of living in comfort, especially to the lowly wanderer. To those desperate to fill their atrophied stomachs, they might even resemble a good meal. But the sturdy clay-deer is none of those things. It is a being simultaneously carrying the spark of life and lacking any of its components.

Found exclusively in The Sub-Basement, these timid little things seem unaware of their resilience to physical harm or the natural defenses rendering them untouchable in the most literal sense. Anything within a meter or so of them will find themselves suffocating in a cloud of grey plasma and transmuted into a mass of concrete and related materials.

In the instance of living victims, the process will be excruciating. First the skin, throat, and lungs harden as asphyxiation sets in. Over the next four minutes most of the body is converted, the victim still awake. By the time consciousness fails death is inevitable. Damage done by the miasma is irreversible but is not always a death sentence. Rumors speak of a man who survived complete petrification millennia ago and attained immortality from it. Investigations into these claims are ongoing.

Behavior

Rebarangifers' usual haunts are the dead cells of the Sub-Basement, where they have ample food to eat. For them, construction materials such as coal, lead, and steel are on the menu. Above all they will do anything to munch on wire. They are known to dig around electronics to find scrumptious cables akin to how pigs search for roots. Their social structure is analogous to Baseline white-tail deer.

Biology

The clay-deer has a simplistic biology resembling that of a real decoration. So simple that an artisan would make a better healer for its kind than any man or woman of science. Every single individual has the appearance of a white-tail fawn, built to scale. This is due to the segmented carapace, which is made of ceramic and colored with miasma-infused paint. Over time the miasma leeches into oft-visited locations, discoloring older deer.

Reproduction is a process unknown to science. Neither sexual nor asexual means explain how rebarangifers come to be. As a result of this fact it has been proposed that they are manufactured at a plant somewhere in the system. Less credible sources suggest they've always existed and others still swear that they simply appeared one day.

The skeleton is made up of a series of rebar rods connected by ball sockets. Six rods are connected with secondary rods to create a hexagonal prism, which provides structural support. Comparable structures provide support to the legs, with the notable difference that the leg structures have sockets at the knee while the ‘ribcage’ is devoid of such joints.

Food is digested through a lead pipe bolted to the skeleton at six points. How this occurs is anyone’s guess. The organ itself is just as poorly understood. Among the few things we do know is that at least some nutrients go to the production of miasma. Miasma's composition is difficult to study because it can only be put in containers made of a select few materials. It also only exists as a plasma, or a gas when supercooled. Electronic measurement is impossible because it's an extremely good conductor. Hopefully a treatment can be developed in the future.

Discovery

Clay-deer are not new to the Backrooms. For as long as humans have occupied The Sub-Basement, the Rebarangifers were there, lurking. Even before the first sketches from firsthand witnesses, their presence was implied by the fumes they exhale so readily. Unlucky pioneers were sometimes found encased in miasma-rock. Below is an account of one such finding during one of the UNCB's first expeditions into the level.

Expedition Log, Entry 8.
Edward Stumm is presumed KIA. By KIA I mean turned to stone, or at least something that looks like it. I look away for one second and he's off doing "reconnaissance", which really means messing around with the machines to see if anything interesting happens. Next thing I know there's this awful wheezing sound followed by silence. He was already dead when I got there.

It wasn't until much later that the culprit of this morbid scene was discovered and identified. While major inroads have been made in divining the origin of Rebarangifers, the path to knowledge is still a long one.

Survival Guide

There is little to fear from Rebarangifers. Any direct threat they pose can easily be warded off by scaring them off with loud noises. Miasma is still dangerous but can be avoided with common sense and awareness of one's surroundings.

Should you find yourself in a cloud of the substance, run in the other direction. Escaping within 15 seconds will leave you partially (if not completely) disabled, but alive. Breathing problems and patches of hardened skin make getting around post-exposure a struggle.


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