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Axe beak

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Axe beak
Paraphysornis BW.jpg
(Creature)
Type Animal
CR 2
Environment temperate plains
Alignment
Images of axe beaks

Source: Bestiary 3, pg(s). 29

An axe beak is an aggressive, flightless bird which possess a fierce hunger for meat. Able to keep up with a horse, axe beaks are fearsome predators.[1] The charge of an axe beak is so fast and effective that it often knocks opponents off their feet.[1]

Appearance

The axe beak appears like a predatory ostrich. It stands atop two powerful, muscular legs that give the axe beak much of its height. Each of these legs ends in a set of three-toed feet, each toe tipped with a sharp talon designed to tear flesh. Atop these legs is the axe beak's broad body covered in large feathers and two short, stubby wings that clearly could not support such a large bird in flight. An elongated, feathered neck sprouts from the front of the body, leading to the axe beaks head which is bald like a vulture's and sports the frightening sharp beak for which the creature is named. An axe beaks stands seven feet tall and, despite what their speed would suggest, these creature weigh upwards of five hundred pounds.[1]

Habitat & Ecology

Temperate plains and vast, warm grasslands are the natural home of the axe beak. Here they compete with packs of wolves and big cats to be the area's top natural predator (a title oft claimed by distinctly less than natural creatures). Axe beaks tend to form small hunting packs of up to six birds when roaming the grasslands, but the females nest together in greater numbers in huge nesting areas. Axe beaks normally lay clutches of up to five eggs which take around two months to hatch. There are many different species of axe beak each varying in size, colouration, and build.

Axe beaks, despite their aggressive and highly territorial nature, are highly suited to being trained as mounts, beasts of burden, or guard animals, as they are highly intelligent.[1] Camels and axe beaks are used as mounts in Absalom due to the local centaur population's hatred of equines.[2]

Variants

A larger, stronger variant of the axe beak known as the ice runner inhabits the distant planet Triaxus. Ice runners stand 10 feet tall and weigh over 500 pounds, with black and white feathers. Ice runners are boreal creatures, supernaturally resistant to cold but vulnerable to fire.[3]

References