Borkines

Typical Borkine

Agility 2D+2: dodge 3D+2, brawling 4D, running SD
Mechanical 0D
Strength 4D+2: lift 7D, stamina 5D+ 1
Knowledge lD+l: willpower 30
Perception 3D: search 3D+2
Technical 1D
Strength Damage: 4D
Move: 12
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 0
Body Points: 24
Wound levels: 3

Natural Abilities: gore (damage +2D); trample (damage +3D); resistance to disease, poison, cold, and heat (stamina +2D); large size (scale value 4)

The people of Earth have given the galaxy many gifts and innovations; of them, the borkine is certainly the most dubious. Created during the early colonial period of Terran expansion, chis beast of many burdens is a genetically engineered amalgamation of several Terran species of herd and farm animal, including cows, horses, camels, pigs, alpacas, sheep, and many others. It’s designed to live anywhere people can live, and thrive in a number of environments effectively. The original name of this creature was the “OmniBeast” but over the centuries the term “borkine” has come to be the common moniker through interstellar legend and the proliferation of “bork” based food produces.

The beast is, for its faults, a boon to colonial efforts and planets with harsh climates. It can live in temperatures from -50 to 70 degrees Celsius, survive without water for 20 days, eat nearly any vegetation, and can be used for several different tasks. Aside from serving as a simple food source, both meat and dairy, they can be used for plowing, ground clearance, cargo hauling, mounts, and, if bandits should appear, as cover. For all intentions, it’s a very hardy and efficient animal, which is the crux of the problem.

Borkines, despite their many uses, must be managed carefully or their propensity for survival will eventually cause their own extinction. The female borkine, or borkow, can give birth to one to three young twice per solar year. With their resistance to disease, poison, and harsh climate, their numbers can quickly outgrow the food supply. For this reason the males, or borkulls, are kept away from the females on developed worlds and are stocked in much smaller numbers.

In the wild, about one male will be encountered per 10 to 20 females in herds of a few hundred to several thousand. Here, the matter of population control generally depends on an abundance of predators, as where there are wild borkine carnivores are sure to flourish. On farms, ranches, and patrolled areas, the ratio is about one to 50 or more. Generically speaking, the borkine does not seem to suffer from the breeding problems of having too few males.

Typically docile, though stubborn, the borkine has been known to be hostile when not tended regularly by people. In the wild, the females generally ignore most interlopers that don’t have designs on eating them, but the males gore and trample intruders readily. If they feel threatened, females create a wall around the young, or borkalves, and await the outcome. If sufficiently panicked or with no males present, approximately 1D borkows per attacker stay and fight while the remainder stampedes into the distance.

Combat with a borkine, male or female, is very basic. They typically charge their opponents and gore chem; chose chat are knocked down are then trampled. The beast then runs anywhere from 20 to 40 meters beyond, or to the side of the target, turns around, and charges again. Once the aggressor is believed to be unable to continue fighting, the borkine returns to the herd. Most who encounter a raging borkine generally play dead or run away, unless sufficiently armed to deal with a creature of such mass.

If unfortunate enough to be in the path of a borkine stampede, there is little defense, aside from heavy artillery. Stout or high shelter should be sought, as they are unlikely to plow into a strong wall or tree.