The squonk (skwonk) is a large rodent, usually growing to about 20 inches in length and 20 pounds in weight. It is extremely ugly, with its entire body covered with moles, boils, and pustules. Its skin is loose and ill-fitting and its fur is sparse and stringy, making it look like it has a permanent case of mange. It has long, orange buck-teeth and a permanently mournful expression on its lopsided face. A squonk produces tears constantly, giving the appearance that it is crying. It even does so in its sleep during which it produces an unpleasant whining sound. Experienced cryptozoologists can track a squonk by the tears they leave behind.
The squonk is not an aggressive animal. When cornered, it will dissolve into a puddle of its tears where it will remain until the danger has passed. If the tears are further diluted, or washed away while the squonk is within, it can move with the water and reform later somewhere else. Separating the tears containing the dissolved squonk into smaller pools can kill the squonk, forcing it to remain dissolved in the tears forever. Squonks are considered vermin and nuisance animals. They are pests to farmers and gardeners, with a special taste for magical herbs, fungi, and other plants. They can get through most fences by dissolving, flowing through a hole in the fence, and reforming afterwards. Squonks live a solitary life in burrows, only coming into contact with other squonks to mate. Their mating season is in the early spring. The mother will give birth to a litter of 3-8 squinks and will nurse them for a month until they are old enough to go out on their own.
Squonks are nocturnal, and tend to be most active during dusk. They can live in moderately cold weather but will hibernate in northern climes. Squonks’ incisors are constantly growing and they need to gnaw on wood to keep them to size.
A juvenile squonk is called a squink. The collective noun for a group of squonks is an impossibility or a grotesqueness.
Squonks typically live alone in an underground burrow. They are native to the eastern coast of North America, ranging as far north as New England and as far south as Florida. This covers much of the breadth of Destiny and Solaris Province's coastline.
Squonks are rodents with typical mammalian biology. The process by which they can dissolve into tears and then reform is not well understood.
Squonks are herbivores, and especially prefer magical plants.
Squonk fur is not only not useful for magical purposes, it can actually impede the process, producing poor results. Squonk internal organs can be used for spells and charms, but their teeth are especially useful. Their tears can be distilled into a powerful and tasty alcoholic beverage, and are quite useful in a number of potions. However, when the squonk is dissolved in its tears, the whole batch is tainted, making it worthless and giving it an extremely foul taste that can linger on the palate for days. Squonks can be trained as familiars, but they are not popular due to their unpleasant visage, the constant need to clean up their tears, and their propensity to eat magical flora.
Squonks are not dangerous and will not attack even when cornered. They will, instead, dissolve into a puddle of their tears. It is difficult to keep squonks out of one’s garden and they will relentlessly pursue magical crops. Because they can dissolve into a free- flowing liquid, they are not deterred by physical means. There are charms and wards that will keep them out, but these will need to be recast on a regular basis. Squonks are especially vulnerable to ice spells, as the ice will freeze their liquid form into a solid. Wyverns can be trained to hunt squonks, although training is difficult; even wyverns hate the taste of squonk water.