Baluchitherium image.jpgBaluchitherium chart.jpgA species of hornless rhinocerous and one of the largest land mammals that has ever existed. The beast is almost incomprehensibly huge, the equal of four elephants in size. Because of its size, it has few predators and a slow rate of reproduction. It is a herbivore, able to consume deciduous trees, soft plants and shrubs. These are sometimes uprooted and crushed whole within the baluchitherium's gigantic teeth, each the size of a man's fist. It is largely indifferent to those that may cross its path.

It has a body length of 28-30 feet, from front to back, with its belly hanging about six feet above the ground. The massive, extending neck is between 7 and 8 feet long. Due to its size, combat hexes cost ½ movement to enter. The limbs are large and robust and will support the animal's weight, enabling it to lope at about 16 hexes per round once it reaches a full run, which it can maintain for more than an hour.

If two are encountered they will always be a mated pair. If a third is indicated, this will be a young baluchitherium; they are typically born in the early spring, when snow is still on the ground, growing to full size by mid-autumn.

To maintain their body temperature, they usually forage at night while immersing themselves in rivers, ponds or boggy tracts during the day. They are typically migratory, not due to the season but due to the need to find new sources for food. The beasts are very few in number, found principally along wooded river banks throughout the wide Asiatic Plain, from the Aral Sea to the Gobi Desert. A large population are treated as sacred by the orcs of Orza-Ko, who view it as an act of evil to kill one of the beasts. There are perhaps no more than 650 that exist in the world.

Rumors that harachai have used the beasts as pack animals is unconfirmed.

Encounters

#1 (diffident): encounters with a single animal that will simply stroll away at two hexes a round; there is a 5 in 6 chance that if approached at a slow walking speed (no faster than 3 hexes a round), then the baluchitherium will even allow a stranger to calmly lay a hand upon one of its immense legs. After a few rounds, the animal will lope at a speed of 8 hexes per round to a distance of 16-25 hexes. If a 6 is rolled, the animal will lope off for ten rounds at a full run of 16 hexes per round (it cannot sprint). If attacked, there is a 5 in 6 chance it will break into a run; on a 6, the baluchitherium will attempt to trample. Once it is wounded, and it determines that it cannot escape, the beast will begin to rampage (with its incidental damage being fearsome).

#2 (combative): a mated pair of baluchitherium is encountered; immediately upon approaching within 30 hexes, the female will show signs of aggression. The male will then attack any creature that approaches within 9-16 hexes while the female moves off. If a third baluchitherium is present, it will move off with the mother. If the baby is approached within 5-8 hexes, the female will join with the male to drive off attackers.


See Bestiary