Friday, April 22, 2011

Northaven Bestiary - Behemoth

When the fugitives of Apocalypse first landed at Northaven, one of the first native fauna they encountered were the Behemoths, giant land mammals that lived in the marshes of the River delta. The remaining psychically sensitive individuals among the exiles quickly discovered these creatures were mildly sensitive themselves, and possessed an unusually high intelligence level as well a culture of sorts. The exiles being desperate for a reliable food source, and lacking the population size to perform the manual labor required to maintain large crops, the Behemoths quickly became that source of labor (their massive claws being perfect for furrowing and reaping large areas in a short time), overseen by what would become known years later as the Guild of Foremen. This Guild consists of men just psychically sensitive enough to control and direct the beasts.

Despite the protestations of the more environmentally-minded exiles, the fragile, formative culture of the Behemoths was destroyed to accommodate the needs of Northaven's new human population. Some vestiges of that culture remain, however, and the Foremen have learned to stand aside during the annual mating season in late summer, when the largest male Behemoths engage in almost ritual combat for harem privileges.

While these herbivorous creatures are normally docile, when roused to anger they can be frightfully destructive, as when an overzealous Foreman instigated a rampage near a sizable local farming village that ended up being destroyed by just four of the angry creatures before they could be put down. In the four hundred years or so of Northaven's human occupation, there as not been a single recorded instance of a Behemoth dying of what could be termed "old age", which has led to local sayings such as "may you live as long as a Behemoth", or "a memory longer than a Behemoth's".

More still may remain of the Behemoth's primeval culture than most people suspect - last year there were rumors of some sort of religious gathering of Behemoths in the deep marshes.

Behemoth: HD6-10; AC3[17]; atk 2 claws; dmg 1d10 each; Save as: F6-10; Special - mild psychic sensitivity, communications, and resistances.

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