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Ankheg

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Ankheg
Ankheg hunt
(Creature)
Type Magical beast
CR 3
Environment temperate or warm plains
Alignment

Source: Pathfinder Bestiary, pg(s). 15

Verminous dangers that roam the hinterlands of civilisation Ankheg are subterranean, insect-like menaces that prey on livestock and the farmers that guard them.

AppearanceEdit

The ankheg are obviously insect in nature, the length of it near horse sized body is covered in hard chitin from clacking mandibles to the back of its abdomen. While the ankheg, unusually for an insect, has only one set of eyes the most intimidating feature of its head is its mouth which is not only flanked by a pair of large clacking mandibles but also drips burning green acid that it can use as an attack. While normal ankhegs are only as long as a horse there are larger desert dwelling ankhegs that prey on the deep desert giant scorpions that are said to be as long as an elephant.[1]

Habitat & EcologyEdit

Ankheg tend to dwell on the outskirts of civilisation, they can only dig through soil, sand and gravel and not rock so they are never found in rocky areas. Their preferred habitat seems to be rural farmland as such places not only have loose soil but a large supply of livestock to feed on. Ankheg also often dwell in the desert with some of them growing far larger than normal ankhegs,[1] they are common in the deserts of Garund with some being found in the deserts of northern Katapesh[2], they are even resilient enough to dwell in the scorching Cinderlands of eastern Varisia.[3]The ankheg's most famous home is the Skittermounds in the desolate Hold of Belkzen where ankhegs create huge nests beneath the lands vast sandy mounds, here armies of the creatures battle each other for territory and scant resources.[4]

Interestingly despite the vast nests of the Skittermounds ankhegs normally do not gather in such numbers and are often solitary hunters. Despite its appearance ankhegs are actually more intelligent than they look, a lot smarter than normal insects and are sometimes trained to serve as either beasts of burden, mounts or war beasts. Unfortunately they are not the most intelligent creatures, while smarter than insects they are still stupider than most animals and have a nasty tendency to squirt acid when surprised or scared. As a result ankhegs are only trained by savage races that value their fighting ability over the safety of those near them, this includes races like hobgoblins, troglodytes and particularly the vicious orcs who are renowned for their love of violent war beasts.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Paizo Staff. (2009). Pathfinder Bestiary, p. 15. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
  2. Steve Kenson. (2009). In the Shadow of Pale Mountain. House of the Beast, p. 57. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-160-2
  3. Jacob Frazier. (2008). The Cinderlands. A History of Ashes, p. 64. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-093-3
  4. {{Cite article/Skeletons of Scarwall|62}

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