Updated: Jun 4
Knights of Terrova Creature Design: Giovanni’s Steam Boar, Sus Scroffa Giovanni
Physical Description: A shaggy roan coat will be the first thing you notice about this rather unique animal the second would be its extreme bulk, males standing well over five feet (152 cm) at the shoulder weighing up to 3,000 pounds (1360kg) females standing 3’ 5” (106 cm) and weighing around 600 pounds (272 kg), this animal is truly a sight to behold when seen roaming it’s native foraging grounds, the swamps of the New England Federation. The animal’s coat is noticeably missing from the beast’s back and head, these areas are devoid of hair instead covered with rust-colored pangaleon-Esq scales, the scales on the males head turn bright blue when attracting mates. In an odd turn of events, this ungulate does not have hooves but rather large webbed feet that allow for excellent swimming. The young of this species are covered completely in a soft mottled green downy fur that slowly is molted in favor of their adult patterning.
Diet: This beast prefers to graze on aquatic vegetation, diving up to 25 feet to feed, but is an opportunistic scavenger who will not turn down eggs, nuts, fish, or meat when available.
Behavior: Often traveling in small sounder consisting of one boar 2-4 sows and their offspring Giovanni’s Steam Boar is a highly territorial animal. Using a highly muscular section of its nasal passages the threatened boar will heat up the air it is currently exhaling creating a blast of steam to ward off the attacker if that fails it will charge. Due to the animals’ abysmal vision, their charges are often wide and give the unfortunate would-be aggressor time to flee the area. If the attacker decides to keep up the assault the Boar will expel a highly caustic chemical from the pores in it’s scaled back (see the bombardier beetle of the old world) this chemical burns the skin and renders the assaulter temporarily blind until the chemical is washed out. The tough scales and shaggy fur of the boar render the effects of the chemical mute on itself but their young are not immune to such attacks causing the boar to refrain from using this last resort option when around its offspring.
Ecology: The adult of this species has very few natural predators, only the largest most daring hunters will target a full-grown boar. Their offspring, however, are small and defenseless rendering them an easy meal for any would-be predator that can find them away from their sounder. You can tell a sounder of steam boars are in an area by the wake of destruction they leave in their path, knocking down trees, breaking foliage, rooting through the soil, and making wallows for themselves these animals significantly alter their environment as they roam and feed.
Life Cycle: These animals often have their young in the spring following a three-month pregnancy. Females will have litters containing anywhere from 4-20 piglets. Sounders will become unnaturally aggressive when with young offspring. The steam piglets are born about half a foot (15 cm) in length weighing about 3 pounds (1.36 kg), fully furred, able to run, and with all senses developed. Reaching adulthood at 2 years of age the young steam boars will break off from their parental sounder and forge new sounders of their own. The steam boar will live on average 13 years in the wild 24 years in captivity.
Relations with humans: Farmers lament the sighting of steam boars on their property, as these animals have been known to raid livestock pens for feed and the weak or sick members of the herd/flock and have been known to destroy harvests eating and uprooting entire fields. This causes many farmers to hire wandering groups of adventures to hunt down or scare off any invading sounders inhabiting their property. The fur and scales of this animal can often be ground down and used in heavy-duty acid/heat resistant spells, their meat is tough and bland yet edible for those in dire need of sustenance. If harvested right and unused the sacs of caustic chemicals just below the tough hide on their back can be used as a form of a biological grenade.