Creature Feature (5e): Extremoturtur

Extremoturtur’s are an anomaly of nature and a rare one at that. These tiny creatures live in extremely hot environments on the prime material plane, appearing not unlike tiny turtles (it should be noted that whether there is a true ancestral link is as of yet unclear). They are dark red, slow, and rarely move except to breed or to avoid direct contact with the lava that they often live near. While impressive on their own, what makes these creatures unique is they do this all with, seemingly, no magic imbued into them (although whether magic was used to create their impressive biological adaptations or it was natural evolution is hotly debated). 


Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 12 
Hit Points 3 (1d4+1)
Speed 5 ft., swim 10 ft.

1 (-5) 1 (-5) 12 (+1) 2 (-4) 10 (+0) 4 (-)

Damage Immunities fire
Senses passive Perception 10
Challenge 0 (10 XP)

Special Traits

  • Extreme Temperature Sensitivity. Extremoturtur’s take 1 damage per round away from temperatures under 1,000 degrees fahrenheit (any environment that ordinarily deals fire damage is sufficiently hot). Exposure to temperatures under 40 degrees Fahrenheit will immediately kill them. 
  • Fire Eater. Extremoturtur’s require no food or water.
  • Hot! An Extremoturtur is extremely hot to the touch, dealing 1d4 fire damage to anyone who touches it with bare skin. 


  • Nip. Melee Weapon Attack: -5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (1d4 – 5) piercing damage. On a hit, the target takes an additional 1d4 fire damage (as per the Hot! trait). 


Extremoturturs survive off the heat of extreme heat sources, converting the energy of the heat into fuel for the body. They are extremely rare creatures, found almost exclusively in volcanic regions near flowing lava, and even then appear only in very small (1d4) numbers. Keeping extremoturturs in captivity has proven difficult (and costly), as they seem to not only require extreme heat but can even die of stress if the conditions of their natural habitat are not suitably mimicked. Interestingly, all attempts so far to introduce the pseudo-turtles (as they are sometimes called) into any seemingly suitably hot plane has ended in failure. Some scholars speculate that whatever incredibly tiny (and incredibly specific) amount of moisture can still be found around their natural environment plays a key role in their survival. 

Potential Uses

Extremoturturs bring up many questions scholars must now ask about biology and its relation to magic. It was always assumed that the only way creatures can survive in ultra hot environments, such as the Plane of Fire or the Hells, was through magic. While certainly, extremoturturs are far more sensitive to environmental conditions then fire elementals or devils tend to be (and obviously far less varied in their abilities), if there are any non-magical means to resist fire and heat, it is worth studying. 

If the nature of their resistance can be determined, it may be possible to produce entirely non-magical suits of armor, or even entire ships, completely immune to heat. Likewise, if the pseudo-turtles ability to convert heat into the energy non-magical entities usually get from food can be understood, potentially whole new avenues of both natural and magical biology (and the manipulation thereof) can be opened. It should be noted that extremoturturs’ bodies lose their natural heat upon death and, while their shells and flesh remain highly resistant to it, heat rapidly flows through the material, failing to properly protect anything beneath it, were it to be used for clothing or armor. This is in addition to the fact that a Medium sized creature would require 100 or so extremoturturs to make a completely covering set of clothing from their hides and shells. This amount of hides would take years for most to acquire, and just three or four such suits might well send the species into extinction.

Extremoturturs are an extremely frustrating element of nature as they thus far opened many questions up but are proving quite difficult when it comes to answering them. Field study seems to be the only effective avenue but even then the creatures are quite rare and can die of stress if handled too often. For this reason, many of the merchant princes and mages who once took interest in the creatures have since abandoned hope of a breakthrough, seeing arcane research as a more valuable alternative. Yet as frustrating, rare, and expensive as such research is, a few still look at the pseudo-turtles with a glimmer in their eye.

A Rumor

There are rumors that an order of druids has taken to protecting extremoturturs, whose numbers are supposedly dwindling due to both (arguably) legitimate arcane research as well as clueless merchant princes seeking a new exotic pet. Calling themselves the Keepers of the Coals, they mark volcanoes with the sign of a fiery hand that has extremoturturs nearby, demanding travelers keep away. For good or ill, this had an unintended consequence: scholars and poachers opposed to the Keepers’ gatekeeping now had signs pointing them towards their valued prizes. Woe to any who are caught trespassing on the Keepers’ lands though. Especially with volcanoes and lava so often nearby. 

About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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