The cherufe is a snake-like creature which dwells alongside magma pools deep within volcanic caverns. Ancient civilizations satiated the cherufes' appetite with sacrificial victims, practices long abandoned except in the darkest corners of the world. Twenty years ago, when the Ascendancy first came into executive power, and volcanoes long dormant ferociously erupted, cherufes began to stir. And they were hungry.
Like other exotics, cherufes became a popular pet sold on the black market at first. However, it soon became apparent that the creatures grew too large and too violent to maintain in private homes. Like pythons and other reptilian creatures, they were released into the wild, dumped in rivers, and cast into sewers by their former owners. Their short burst of popularity dwindled and they were largely forgotten.
Cherufes are carnivorous, and with the proper diet may grow large enough to rival any crocodile, however unlike their cousins, these reptilian creatures swarm around vents, warmth, and running water rather than standing pools and swamps. They have leathery, tough hides rather than scales, a jaw filled with razor-sharp teeth, and incredible dexterity in the water.
An initial description of the cherufe presence in Moscow is described in this post, by Regus Nicodemus.