Saturday, April 7, 2018

Cattle (wild)

Also known as aurochs, the ancestor of domestic cattle, related to the water buffalo and yak. Surprisingly, they are not naturally plains animals; they prefer to inhabit forest lands in temperate and sub-tropic zones, stretching from Eastern Europe to the Pacific Ocean. They are not indigenous to the New World.

Aurochs tend to move through their habitat in single file, hiding their numbers. If attacked, they will gather together to defend themselves, almost always charging initially once they come close enough and then standing to fight. Their horns will measure between 20 to 30 in. from the skull to point, and are usually used to butt opponents; gores only occur on a natural 20. They are able to attack more than one person in front of them each round. The horns may be up to 8 inches in diameter at the base.

Though they travel in herds, picking their way among the trees, they do not charge as a group nor do they stampede. If approached, however, individuals will charge almost at once, dropping their heads and launching themselves forward 3-4 hexes (15-20 ft.) to strike with the full weight of their bodies. They will cause 4-16 damage if they hit this way. Any creature that is stunned will be knocked down and trampled by the auroch for 1-4 additional damage.

Calves are born in the spring. During this time, the herd will usually find plenty of food in their feeding grounds and will not begin to travel long distances until the calves are old enough to keep up. They will usually move into empty valleys in the winter and seek highlands in the summer.

Auroch Bulls will be larger than cows and very threatening. A herd will typically have one bull per three cows, and these will usually move as a separate herd once the calves have grown, beginning in summer. Once a bull becomes aware of a potential threat, the bull will begin to stalk, paralleling the threat as it moves around the herd, slowly closing if it can and seeking an opportunity to charge.

The bull moves faster and can charge from 4-5 hexes (20-25 ft.) away. It will cause 5-20 damage if it hits with a charge but will still trample stunned defenders for only 1-4 damage. They are better able to protect themselves, as well, and because of their wariness are considered to have a higher intelligence than other aurochs.

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