Nekomata appear as small felines of a breed similar to the house cats and strays present in any city. Observant travelers will notice they have two tails. They are encountered in the wild hills of Hibernia, and are feared and respected by the tribes of savages, barbarians, and mystics who reside there.
If threatened, the resemblance to a normal animal will quickly be shed. Similar to human warriors of the Hibernian hill tribes, these cats undergo a Warp Spasm and become large, monstrous beasts when angry. They twist and turn within their skin, foaming at the mouth and growing to a length of 5 feet or more. The final appearance does not necessarily resemble the larger natural cats found elsewhere.
If a body has not been through any burial rituals, a Nekomata may jump over it to animate and command it as a zombie. This undead is essentially mindless, fighting or performing physical tasks as directed by its master. The zombie will stay animate even if contact with the Nekomata is lost, performing the last action as directed until destroyed. If the animated dead is still intact when the fight is over or physical task complete, the Nekomata will usually release it from control and return the creature to a freshly dead state.
There are tales of similar creatures in other realms that can take the forms of humans and breed with them, but the specimens in the hills of Hibernia are not known to do this.
NEKOMATA: AC 6 or 14; HD 3+2 up to 8; MV 150'*; ATTACKS claw/claw/bite - 1st round 1d4/1d4/1d6, Subsequent rounds 1d8/1d8/2d8; SPECIAL raise dead / dream communication / illusion of small fires as above; AL N
*if difficult to translate MV 150', just assume they can move 1.25 times as fast as a human, so slightly faster
ZOMBIES: treat as your standard low-level mindless undead; Zombie from Basic or AD&D 1E works