Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The Brollothere

The most noble steed, the greatest mount, the subject (or at least a subject) of countless legends and stories, is a creature known as the Brollothere. 

The Brollothere has the legs of a camel, the body of a horse, and the tail of an ox. Its face is long and pointed, somewhere between an okapi and a borzoi. It has loose, ivory fur and its eyes are pearly white without pupil or iris. It has two golden ram horns arching around its head, which gave it its nickname “king goat.” It's a bit bigger than a clydesdale.

Its eyes make it seem as though it is unaware of its surroundings, but there's a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest otherwise. Some have speculated that it has an incredible sense of smell, while others posit that it is mildly clairvoyant. 

The Brollothere is suited to any environment. It can climb and swim with ease, and can gallop over nearly any terrain no matter how difficult. It can change it’s gait from that of a dromedary to that of a horse to best suit whatever land it traverses. Each of its legs has an additional joint right above the knee that can bend in the opposite direction, allowing for more mobility without compromising the strength of its joints. It’s faster than a race horse, tougher than a war horse, and never seems to tire (although it doesn’t like traveling at night). 

It’s possible that there is more than one Brollothere, since it has shown up in stories from all sorts of cultures, but generally it’s considered to be a wholly unique creature. After all, it is said to be one of the blessed children of the Six-Eyed Unicorn, who birthed forth nine great beasts to roam the world while it slowly dies on its island in the Lake of Essence. 

Despite it’s legendary stature, the Brollothere is actually rather undiscerning when it comes to letting people ride it. That being said, it has some stern guidelines every rider must abide by.

  1. The rider must be of lawful or neutral alignment. The Brollothere is willing to make exceptions for those chaotically aligned, as long as their intentions are virtuous and they show adequate respect to the beast.
  2. The rider must not mount any other steed as long as they are companion to the Brollothere. The Brollothere is said to shun anyone who has chosen another mount after having ridden it, but it’s possible that it can be won back over with adequate gifts and concessions.
  3. The Brollothere will not tolerate being used as a beast of burden. It is a mount worthy of a king, and it will not take kindly to anyone that deigns treat it like a lowly mule or ass.
  4. The Brollothere has a strong aversion to subterranean spaces and will absolutely refuse to enter any dungeon (though due to its size it wouldn’t be able to fit in most anyway). Leaving the Brollothere on it’s own isn’t much of an issue, since it can look after itself perfectly fine. No predator would ever dare attack it.
  5. The Brollothere will not attack another creature. In combat, the most it would do is shove or buck, even if its life or the life of its rider is in direct danger.

The Brollothere can survive on remarkably little food and water, but it has a special fondness for fruit—especially the golden figs that grow in the verdant oases of Harvoul. Bring it one of those and it will surely take a liking to you. 

In the most dire of circumstances, the Brollothere would let you sup from one of its six teats, from which pours a rich, golden milk. One mouthful is enough to sustain a grown adult through a whole day. The milk is highly sought after by gourmet societies and many a grifter has tried to peddle homemade knockoffs as the real thing. 

Where to spot the Brollothere:
  1. Drinking from a sacred stream in a sacred grove atop a sacred mountain.
  2. Rescuing a group of orphans who are about to drown in a river.
  3. In the planar menagerie of a high-powered wizard.
  4. Ridden on by a purehearted king who’s going into battle against the villainous invaders laying siege to his small kingdom.
  5. Wandering alone among the golden sands of the endless desert. Or perhaps it’s merely a mirage?
  6. Leading a caravan of dwarves in search of a new home through an icy tundra.
  7. Off in the distance, in a dewy forest, at daybreak, silhouetted by the morning sun.
  8. Following around a motley crew of rapscallions and vagabonds who just can’t seem to get rid of it.
  9. Leaping from peak to peak with a pack of cloud goats in a misty mountain range.
  10. On sale at Farmer Lunn’s ranch. Going rate is 10,000 GP, but he’s willing to negotiate.

The Brollothere
8 HD, AC 7 [12, if ascending], Attacks: shove. On a successful hit the target is knocked back up to 10’ and must save vs. paralysis or fall prone. Movement: 360’ (x1.5 a standard riding horse). 

It can carry two full-grown adults in armor and gear with ease. A third would slow it down to 180’, and not much more could fit on it other than a child or halfling (whose weight would be negligible).

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