Hrid

Unique to the Knives of Rallah, the massive ostrich-like birds called Hrid are the chief herd animal in Ralstaa. Standing up to ten feet tall with their necks extended, perhaps the most unusual feature of the hrid is that, rather than feathers, it is covered in long, shaggy hair which usually ranges from red-brown to near-black. These gentle giants are naturally social, living in herds of well over a hundred, and grazing on insect life and carrion on the forest floor of the Starwood. Because these creatures thrive so well in the rugged forests of Ralstaa, and because they are so easy to drive, and even breed, they have become the backbone of the High Kingdom's agriculture, and their eggs, meat, and hides are all essential to the running of Ral settlements.

Potency


Visage

Though at first glance a hrid might be mistaken for a towering, flightless bird, all is not as simple as it seems. These exotic south-Ralstaan natives stand as high as ten feet tall when reaching to pick fruit from a tree, or look for danger, but at rest are closer to eight. They have long, muscular necks, and beaked heads with bird-like eyes, hooked beaks, and a pair of shaggy crests almost like ears, though without the prehensile nature of other animal's ears. These flap comically to keep insects away while they feed. Though the body appears to be covered in feathers, it is in fact covered in a coarse, thick hair, like that of a mountain goat, excellent for cheap textiles, and ranging from chocolate brown, to red brown, and occasionally to grey.

The body is hunched, with a long flat furred tail, and two short arms that extend at the front, used primarily for holding food, and too weak and short for use as front legs. The rear legs however are powerful, and can deliver an easily fatal kick from a prone creature, and allow it to jump to easily twice it's height. These end in leathery paws and dark claws rather than bird-like talons.

Aetherial

With its light frame and powerful legs, the hrid is an astounding sprinter, and has a vertical leap that can top the canopies of even the Starwood. They have weak backs however, and are easily spooked, so they make poor beasts of burden or mounts, and they tire quickly, so even pulling a sled quickly exhausts the animals. The ululating call of a hrid searching for its herd is particularly piercing, and utterly terrifying to foreigners who do not know what they're hearing in the dense, unnaturally silent wood - especially when a hundred other voices might reply from close at hand!

Craft


Cunning

Hrid are exceedingly social creatures, grazing in large herds of up to a hundred animals in the wild, even larger when kept by landsmen. They will usually feed in tight groups around trees and forest floors, with sentries around the outskirts of the group watching for large flying predators like ikar and griffins, and chicks at the centre. Because they bury their eggs, hrid have little concern for them, and will often intentionally range far from their hatchery to feed, but they do return to the area where their eggs are at night. Not especially clever creatures, hrid are easily spooked, and often an entire herd will vanish in all directions into the trees at the slightest noise, and then spend hours calling to one another to try to reunite the herd. They do, however, display exceptional skill at using their hard beats and powerful feet, as well as their arms, in disarming and dismembering the deadly-venomous giant forest centipedes that are their favourite meal, which in domestic herds has the dual effect of feeding the hrid, and ridding populated regions of the massive creature, which will often find its way into landsmen dwellings (especially beds and chimneys) otherwise. They dislike open ground, preferring the cover of the forest canopy, but because so much of Ralstaa is forested this makes them a near-ideal agricultural cornerstone.

Ecology

Hrid for the mainstay of Ralstaan agriculture. They are butchered for their gamy red meat, their massive eggs are harvested, both for the yolk which forms the basis of many meals (the whites are indigestible to most) and for their strong shells, which are frequently used as bowls, or for storage. Hrid wool can be shaved from those slaughtered for meat (or even from live herds, though they do no grow their hair so fast as sheep) and spun into strong, versatile, if coarse thread, forming the basis for cheaper textiles, and their shaven hides can be tanned into a supple leather of modest strength. Hrid head and eyes are considered a particular delicacy, but are eaten only on holy festivals, so most go unused. Only hrid bones and organs go unused by the Ralstaans, and when they are slaughtered often a large, shallow charnel pit is dug for these, and then the rich, churned soil used to plant root vegetables in the following year, though it might be well into the forest.

Statistics


Statistics Traits
statistic roll average elite heroic maximum random trait rating subtrait rating
Agility d n n n n [[include 2d6]] Plan plan
Beauty d n n n n [[include 2d6]] Diet diet
Constitution d n n n n [[include 2d6]] Cycle cycle
Dexterity d n n n n [[include 2d6]] trait n
Endurance d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Initiative d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Strength d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Intelligence d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Knowledge d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Perception d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Will d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Wisdom d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Bravery d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Charm d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Leadership d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Negotiation d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Luck d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Vital Information
sex modifiers
Male no change
Female n
Length ? feet ? inches + Body inches +?' - ?'
Weight (Body + Brawn Skill) x ? lbs + ? lbs - ? lbs
Age
category range modifiers skill spend
Infant n-n years All stats reduced to 65% 5%
Child n-n years All stats reduced to 75% 25%
Adolescent n-n years Physical stats reduced to 90%, Mental and Interpersonal stats 85% 50%
Mature n-n years Physical and Interpersonal stats are 100%, Mental stats reduced to 95% 60%
Adult n-n years All stats are 100% 70%
Midde-Aged n-n years Physical stats reduced to 90%, Mental and Interpersonal stats are 100% 75%
Old n-n years Physical stats reduced to 85%, Mental and Interpersonal stats are reduced to 95% 80%
Venerable n+ years Physical stats reduced to 80%, Mental and Interpersonal stats are reduced to 90% 75%
Random Traits (1d6-5)