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An Epideromancer's Pet Project.
The only known natural (or unnatural) enemy to tenembrae were made by a Fleshworker named Rodney Kevin Sykes in 2003. Using a bunch of hamsters bought from a typical pet store as base forms, he started adding various forms of bioluminescence from other life forms.
After a few tries with fireflies that turned out less than perfect, he settled for using the organ on an angler fish as a template. Both creatures use the reactivity of Luciferin and Luciferase to create cold light, but the Hamster/fish combination was far more friendly than the hamster/insect combination. Directly under the skin, layers of tissues where the chemicals can react produce a steady, off-white glow over most of the creature's body; primarily the torso. A very small bit of polar bear fur structure has been modified and combined to make the fur almost nearly transparent to the light. As a result, Luminbrae are always around 90% white regarding fur color, with occasional brown, orange, or black patches.
Very few of the original Luminbrae can be found; the second version using fish elements are far more common. Part of this is due to the fact that Sykes set up a breeding program to see if the luminesence could be transferred to the offspring of a Luminbrae and standard hamster. (It can be and usually is.) The other part is that the original Luminbrae were very bitey, and would attack people indiscriminately.
Against Tenembrae, any sort of Luminbrae is a potent threat. Merely by existing, they produce a field of light that seriously weakens the shadow creatures, and it's not uncommon for them to chase down fleeing ones. They can be used to protect a body from being eaten by tenembrae if it's been exposed to magick that might make it irresistable to them. The only problem is keeping the rodents in one spot; they are very active and like to travel.
Body: 10-20 (Small and furry)
Speed: 20-30 (Come back here!)
Mind: 10-15 (No Deep Thoughts)
Soul: 10-30 (Great Pets)
All Luminbrae have the skill Glow In The Dark at the level of their Body Stat.
Impact on the Underground
First and foremost, Luminbrae piss off the Sleepers almost as much as the Lonesome Lunchbox clockwork, for similar reasons: They make the exposure of magick much more likely. If they're found, they are either killed or captured, usually the first. If somebody could go on television as a gene-splicing technician and explain the glow-in-the-dark hamster as a byproduct of DNA engineering, the Sleepers might let it go, but whoever did so would then have multiple governments, environmental groups, and the PETA organizations jumping all over them. With all the angry groups getting involved over the no-longer-secret animals, they might end up hunted into extinction.
Until that happens, they're semi-popular in the Underground, especially in Avatar Circles. The Luminbrae interest in travel and exploration fits well with the Pilgrim, and their docility makes them popular with avatars of the Mother, the Peacemaker, the Fool, and (for reasons unknown) the Judge. In the Adept crowd, they are less common, but a bunch of Mak Attaxers are clamoring to get some of their own. While they can and do breed rapidly if given the chance, the problems in transporting glow-in-the-dark hamsters secretly means there's a major distribution bottleneck. They can go for as much as a low powered handgun in the OU's marketplace as a result. Anyone who has a natural tendency to run into Tenembrae will like them for their utility, as opposed to, say, liking them as small fuzzy creatures to play with.
Diet and Upkeep
It has been rumored that Luminbrae carry a price for those who keep them as pets, namely that they eat only human liver (or alternatively, they eat only the vitreous humour or 'eyeball juice' of human eyes). This is a rumor; Luminbrae can usually subsist fine on standard pet food pellets and water. Some owners have noticed a taste for fish; this may or may not be true, or may be true for some Luminbrae but not all.
On the other hand, they do have the imprint of magick on their very existence, so it's not uncommon for minor unnatural phenomena to happen near them, typically once on a monthly basis.
They require the standard equipment a normal hamster needs for a fulfilling life (by hamster standards), meaning a cage with cedar chips, a water bottle, an exercise wheel, possibly a spherical ball to run around inside. Light-traveling Pilgrim Avatars with such pets usually don't have the space for such amenities; the creatures don't seem to mind.
It is (meta)physically possible for Luminbrae to become hosts to demons as familiars or lycanthropes, but highly unlikely from a statistical standpoint.
Rod Sykes has disappeared from the Underground, leading those who know about the Luminbrae to say that the Sleepers whacked him in retalitation for creating them. This is not true. Sykes took a little trip to the House of Renunciation and then took a big trip to Tibet, where he can be founded meditating in a monastery, trying to annihilate his ego and move beyond the restrictions of his body.
I think their stats might be a bit off IMHO they are based on hamsters unless Sykes specifically designed them to be more robust. Its even odder that their enhancements are passed on to normal hamsters (random magick or major charge?). Still its a rather neat idea, and totally off the wall.