These small piglike creatures have hard shells that provide them with protection from the elements and predators. Aprigs vary in color from gray to reddish brown. They have round faces and flat snouts that are good for snuffling through piles of vegetation. They have keen senses of smell and hearing, but are very short-sighted.
Combat: Aprigs prefer to flee, but if forced to fight they attempt to bite an opponent and then run away. Aprigs’ teeth are not sharp and inflict only 1-4 (ld4) points of damage. The bite wound can become infected if not properly cleaned. If the wound is not cleaned, there is a 5% chance per day of infection setting in. An infected wound causes the creature affected to become incapacitated for 1-4 (1d4) days while the infection heals. When they fight, aprigs rush into battle squealing loudly.
Habitat/Society: Aprigs need little care and can eat almost any form plant life, even scraps. A herd consists of one boar (the leader), several sows, and some young. Once a young boar matures the owner must sell one of the boars or they will fight to the death for the right to mate with the sows. Aprig sows mate twice a year, producing as many as 10 young per litter. Aprigs communicate by a series of grunts and squeals that are limited to signals of danger, food, and pleasure.
Ecology: As a domesticated farm animal, aprigs are near the bottom of the food chain. They provide a succulent meat with a faint nutty flavor. Sows can be milked but the milk is not good quality. The shells of aprigs can be used as bowls for carrying water or grain, or to make rudimentary greaves, but cannot be worked in any way.
Full-grown aprigs are worth about 50 cp live or 20 cp as a carcass. The shell is worth as much as 10 cp if it is undamaged.
Carru resemble Brahman cattle because of the large humps immediately behind their heads. These humps are fluid storage sacs, but dont inflate and deflate. Carru are a drab gray color and have a soft hide. Their heads are covered with a tougher hide to protect the skull. Carru have two brown eyes set in the front of their heads for good forward vision. They have poor peripheral vision and a poor sense of smell. On adult males, two horns curve out from the forehead and sweep forward to in front of the eyes. Females have much shorter horns that project straight forward from the skull.
Combat: The carru adult male defends the herd from attack using its horns to slash at opponents. Each horn inflicts 1-6 (1d6) points of damage. If both horns strike, the carru has skewered its opponent and can toss it through the air in any direction for an extra l-8 (1d8) points of damage. If the opponent lands near the females, it can be trampled by them for 1-4 (1d4) points of damage per carru that tramples successfully. Young carru inflict only l-2 points of damage by trampling.
Habitat/Society: Carru are herd animals. Each herd consists of one or more adult males, at least three adult females per adult male, and several young. The largest male is the leader of the herd. Carru are domesticated creatures, not used to the wild. Carru may be used as beasts of burden, dragging ploughs or turning water wheels on the farm. They tend to stay close to the farmhouse and graze on whatever they can find. They can eat grains if grass is scarce, but this is expensive and seldom cost-effective. Carru females bear only one calf a year and suckle it for the first few weeks of its life. Suckling calves have no attack capability.
Carru hide takes dye very well and can be used to make clothing. furniture coverings, or tents. The tougher hide around the head of the carru can be stretched over a shield or buckler to strengthen it, or it can be used to make the flexible parts of a suit of leather armor.
The fluid sac behind the carru’s head contains 3-9 (1d6+21 pints of tepid water. The water tastes flat but can keep a thirsty animal or adventurer alive. The sac itself can be used to make a waterskin, but the fabric rots when it comes into contact with alcohol, so wineskins are not possible.
Adult male carru are worth as much as 1 gp on the open market for a healthy animal. Females are rarely sold live, but can bring as much as 3 gp if they are sold. Carru carcasses fetch half the price of live males.
Erdlus are large flightless, featherless birds covered with flaky scales that range in color from pale gray to deep red. An erdlu can weigh as much as 200 pounds and grow to a height of 7 feet. Its massive, round body has a pair of useless wings that fold in at its sides. A snakelike neck rises to a small round head with a huge, wedge-shaped beak. A pair of powerful, lanky legs extend down from the body and end in four-toed, razor-clawed feet.
Erdlus make ideal herd animals because of their temperaments and ability to survive on a variety of foods. They can eat many forms of tough vegetation, as well as snakes, reptiles, and insects. The eggs that erdlus provide are an excellent source of nutrition. A diet of erdlu eggs can keep a human or demihuman alive for months at a time, for the eggs are packed with a variety of nutrients and essential vitamins. If an erdlu egg is eaten raw, it is a substitute for one gallon of water. However, this substitution isn’t perfect and can only be used successfully for no more than one week. The meat of an erdlu also makes an excellent meal.
In groups, erdlus instinctively flock together for protection. If threatened, these creatures usually flee. For short distances of no more than half a mile, erdlus can race along at great speeds (movement rate 18). Their normal walking pace is much slower (movement rate 12). When escape isn’t possible, the flock turns and fights as a group. They strike first with sharp beaks (inflicting 1d6 points of damage) then rake with one of their claws (causing 1d4 points of damage).
The hard scales of an erdlu’s wings can be fashioned into shields or even armor (with an AC of 6), its beak can be used to make fine spearheads, and its claws can be crafted into daggers or tools.
An inix is a large lizard that falls between kanks and mekillots for sheer size. It weighs about two tons and grows to lengths of 16 feet. The inix’s back is protected by a thick shell, while flexible scales cover its underside.
Inixes make spirited mounts. They move at a steady pace for as much as a full day and night without needing rest , and can reach speeds equivalent to a kank for short distances (one mile). They can carry as much as 750 pounds of passengers and cargo. lnix riders often travel in howdahs, small boxlike carriages strapped to the lizard’s back. The major drawback to the inix is that it needs large amounts of vegetation and must forage every few hours to maintain its strength. If an inix doesn’t get enough to eat, it becomes nearly impossible to control. For this reason, these lizards aren’t used on trips where forage land is scarce.
lnix shells make very good armor, while the flexible scales of an inix’s underside can be woven into a fine leather mesh.
Kanks are large docile insects often used as mounts by the people of the Tablelands. A black exoskeleton of chitin covers their segmented bodies. The three body sections are the head, thorax, and abdomen. They weigh as much as 400 pounds, grow to heights of 4 feet at the back, and as long as 8 feet from head to abdomen. Around their mouths they have multijointed pincers that they can use to carry objects, feed themselves, or fight. Six lanky legs descend from their thoraxes. Each ends in a single flexible claw that allows them to grip the surfaces they walk upon.Kanks are often used as caravan mounts. They can travel a full day at their top speed, carrying a 200-pound passenger and 200 pounds of cargo. Kanks make decent herd animals, but usually only elves employ them as such. As kanks can digest almost any sort of organic matter, they can thrive in most terrain types. In addition, these creatures require little special attention. A kank hive instinctively organizes itself into food producers, soldiers, and brood queens.
Food producing kanks secrete melon-sized globules of green honey. These are stored in their abdomens and used to feed the hive’s young. (When other sources of food are scarce, this honey is also used to feed the rest of the hive.) Humans and demihumans can live exclusively on this nectar for up to three weeks before their bodies begin demanding other sources of nutrition, such as meats and vegetables. The sweet taste of the nectar is the only thing that attracts herders to these creatures, and domesticated kanks produce more globules than those living in the wild.
When the brood queens prepares to lay eggs, the hive digs into an area of extensive vegetation. Each queen can lay 20 to 50 eggs. While the hive waits for the eggs to hatch (it won’t move from the spot until they do), the soldier kanks ferociously defend the area from all predators. Herders must wait as well or abandon the hive.
While the globules of honey produced by kanks are sweet and good tasting, only the most desperate carrion eater will consume kank flesh. When a kank dies, its body produces chemicals that drench the meat with a foul-smelling odor that can make even the hungriest giant sick.
Kank chitin can be fashioned into armor, though its brittle nature makes it susceptible to shattering.
Mekillots are mighty lizards weighing up to six tons. They have huge, mound-shaped bodies growing to lengths of 30 feet. A thick shell covers the back and head of a mekillot, providing protection from the sun and good defense against attacks. Its underside has a softer shell that’s more vulnerable to damage.
Mekillots have savage dispositions, but their size and great strength make them excellent caravan beasts. A hitched pair of mekillots can pull a wagon weighing up to 20 tons at a slow, plodding pace. Caravan leaders must be prepared for their unpredictable natures, however. As they can never be truly tamed, the stubborn creatures have been known to turn off the road and go wandering for no apparent reason-still drawing their loaded wagons. Mekillots are also noted for eating their handlers and other members of a caravan team. Psionicist handlers are best equipped to deal with these difficult beasts.
In combat, a mekillot’s long tongue strikes with amazing speed and power. The tongue may then grasps the target it hit and pulls it toward the mekillot’s gaping maw.
Mekillots have a second special attack form, but it’s used as a purely defensive reaction. When something crawls beneath a mekillot, the creature instinctively drops to its belly to protect its softer undershell. The weight of the mekillot causes crushing damage but the beast may also sustain injury depending on what it falls upon.
The Athasian mulworm is an off-white colored caterpillar with no eyes. It has two feelers in the front of its head that are used as sensors. Its mouth makes up the rest of its bullet-shaped head. The body is segmented, tapering to a point at the rear. Adult mulworms are about 8 inches long and as much as 1 inch thick.
Combat: The mulworm has no attack. It lives only to become a butterfly. However, the mulworm secretes a poisonous fluid as it moves. This fluid sprays out of any worm whose skin is broken. Adventurers who crush, pierce, or slash the mulworm must make a successful Dexterity check with a -4 penalty to avoid being splashed with the poison. If a character fails the check, they must successfully save vs. poison. A character who fails suffers 15 points of damage and develops a rash that lasts for 1-4 (1d4) days (treat the splashed poison as Class A). If the character’s Dexterity check is successful, he will have a reduced resistance to the poison for the next 1-4 (1d4) hours. He also suffers a -4 penalty to his saving throw against the mulworm poison during that time.
If the poison is ingested or enters through an open wound, treat the poison as a class J poison. If the character fails the save vs. poison, he dies an excruciating death in 1d4 rounds unless immediately treated with a neutralize poison spell. Characters whose saving throw is successful receive 20 points of damage and have a -4 penalty to save vs. mulworm poison for 1-4 (d4) hours.
Leather or better armor protects the areas of the body it covers. The poison does not adhere well to weapons or armor and is useless within minutes after being applied.
Only fire can destroy the worm and its poison. Mulworms in the butterfly stage have no combat capability at all.
Habitat/Society: Athasian mulworms are content to live in berry trees and at leaves. They can be farmed as long as the caterpillar stage is not disturbed. The poison they secrete is food to the tree, enabling new leaf growth at an accelerated rate. In this manner, the mulworms ensure food for future generations of their voracious species.
In the caterpillar stage, mulworms live only to eat. They do not mate, nor do they have any real sense of other creatures Mulworms are immune to their own secretions.
Mulworms in the butterfly stage mate shortly after emerging from their cocoon and then die within a day.
Ecology: The Athasian mulworm lives for 10 days as a caterpillar in huge numbers – whatever the local tree population can sustain. It then pupates for 12 days before emerging into the sun for a brief life as a butterfly. In the pupal stage, the cocoon can be carefully unwound to obtain a very fine, strong thread. It is possible to place the pupae in a container of soft material to allow it to complete its life cycle, or the silk farmer may simply dispose of the pupae and leave some cocoons on the tree to ensure a new generation of worms. The pupal stage has no poison in it.
The worm has no natural enemies, but any creature, even a drake, that eats one will probably die in agony.