The hurrum is a brightly-colored beetle known for its pleasant buzzing noises. In the Dark Sun setting, they are popular pets for wealthy merchants, and serve as simple luxuries. For most adventurers, they serve as a mark of financial success, a purely pleasurable indulgence.
A hurrum is about 1 inch long and has a bright, opalescent shell that varies in color from cobalt-blue to copper-green. It is often accompanied by a low humming noise. The halflings of Athas are said to be especially delighted by the feeling of a virbrating, humming, hurrum crawling accross the skin, bearing with it an ever-so-slight breeze. They also find the creatures delicious, if they're hungry.
The hum of a hurrum is caused by it beating its wings against its carapace and body rapidly. They do this primarily as a form of communication (a hurrum's mating process is to change pitch with a potential mate until a harmony is produced), and to attract prey. For humanoids, a hurrum's hum is simply soothing and hypnotic, but for small flying insects, the lure of the hum can be deadly. The hurrum also cool themselves by this wing action (a slight breeze accompanies a hurrum as it buzzes) - direct sunlight kills a hurrum in about an hour, with thier buzzing becoming more higher-pitched and frantic, until they die. The shell of a hurrum also changes color with the pitch of the hum.
Hurrum are naturally found as loners, and, given their sunlight vulnerability, are found in dark places. The hum there allows them to communicate with each other, in addition to attracting mates.
A hurrum may be a simple beetle, but it is more intelligent than most insects (Int 2), and not so easily spooked (Average (9) morale).
- MC12: Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert (1994)
- Dragon 397 (DDI Link)