Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder 1E | Pathfinder 2E | Starfinder

All | Unique
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Families | Templates | Types | Subtypes | Universal Monster Rules


Storm Aurochs

Lighting crackles in the eyes of this enormous bull, whose body seems composed of dark storm clouds.

Storm Aurochs CR 9

Source Pathfinder #96: Shadow of the Storm Tyrant pg. 90
XP 6,400
CN Huge magical beast
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +21

Defense

AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 20 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +12 natural, –2 size)
hp 126 (12d10+60)
Fort +13, Ref +10, Will +12
DR 5/magic; Immune electricity, sonic; SR 20

Offense

Speed 50 ft.
Melee gore +20 (2d8+15)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks powerful charge (gore, 4d8+30 plus 3d6 electricity), stampede, storming charge, trample (3d8+15 plus 3d6 sonic, DC 26)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +11)
Constant—air walk

Statistics

Str 31, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 3, Wis 22, Cha 8
Base Atk +12; CMB +24 (+26 bull rush); CMD 37 (39 vs. bull rush, 41 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack, Wind Stance
Skills Perception +21
Languages Auran (can’t speak)

Ecology

Environment any sky
Organization solitary, pair, or herd (3–30)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Stampede (Ex) A stampede occurs if three or more storm aurochs make a trample attack while remaining adjacent to each other. While stampeding, storm aurochs can trample foes of their size or smaller, and the trample’s save DC increases by 2.

Storming Charge (Su) A storm aurochs steps grow thunderous as it charges toward its enemies. A storm aurochs’ powerful charge deals an additional 3d6 points of electricity damage, and its trample deals an additional 3d6 points of sonic damage, which are already included in the above statistics. If the storm aurochs is outdoors and in a stormy area—one featuring a rain shower, clouds and wind, hot and cloudy conditions, or even a tornado (including a whirlwind formed by a djinni or an air elemental of at least Large size)—its powerful charge and trample instead deal 3d10 points of electricity or sonic damage respectively, rather than 3d6 points of damage.

Description

Stampeding across the sky in booming herds, storm aurochs resemble nothing so much as vast and powerful thunderstorms bearing down across Golarion. Storm and cloud giants value these magnificent beasts not only for their meat and hides, but also as symbols of mystic power and divine strength. Though ostensibly domesticated centuries ago by storm giants, storm aurochs remain among the most fearsome and dangerous of the creatures that pass through Golarion’s skies. A storm aurochs is roughly twice the size of a normal aurochs, growing up to 20 feet long and standing 15 feet tall at the shoulder. Storm aurochs weigh on average anywhere from 5 to 7 tons, with females being noticeably smaller and slimmer than males. Both males and females bear prodigious horns atop their heads that crackle with electrical energy, though the female’s horns are slightly smaller.

Ecology

Storm aurochs behave much as their more mundane cousins do. They are gregarious, herbivorous creatures that travel in herds of up to several dozen extended family members. These untamed herds are nomadic, and their migratory patterns mirror Golarion’s natural weather patterns. Herds are fiercely territorial, with weather fronts forming the natural boundary between two herds’ territories. Territorial disputes are common, though rarely lethal, and are often accompanied by terrific natural and magical storms.

In addition to more traditional fodder, storm aurochs also graze on clouds. It is unclear whether or not this provides them any real nourishment, and it may be that they do so purely out of enjoyment. This can be a blessing and a curse for areas frequented by herds of storm aurochs; these areas soon become cloudless and sunny. Overgrazing can prevent much needed rain from reaching the ground, eventually leading to periods of drought and famine for those living nearby. For this reason, farmers often see herds of storm aurochs as pests. Aside from the dangers inherent in facing a storm aurochs, slaying one often comes with the added danger of drawing the ire of its storm giant owner, and so most communities prefer to relocate an aurochs herd as gently as possible, or perhaps even negotiate with the owner, rather than trying to slay the aurochs.

Domesticated storm aurochs tolerate the presence and activities of storm or cloud giants with little hostility. This doesn’t always hold for other races, and how a storm aurochs reacts to the presence of an adventuring party often depends on the temperament of the individual aurochs and the circumstances of the meeting. Storm aurochs are canny enough to recognize weapons, however, and usually respond to the approach of armed individuals of any species with extreme aggression.

Habitat & Society

Storm aurochs are most commonly found in the possession of storm giants, where the animals spend their days grazing on the giants’ expansive coastal estates. Storm giants keep aurochs for their meat, their hides, and their ability to influence the weather. The giants rarely use the creatures as beasts of burden, as unlike normal domesticated cattle or oxen, storm aurochs do not tolerate being placed in a yoke. A storm giant can use this fact to test the strength or patience of members of lesser races who come seeking the giant’s aid. The giant first requires the petitioner to harness the giant’s bull and plow his field. If the appellant accomplishes this task, either through cunning or brute strength, the giant is willing to hear her request. Those who give up the task or harm the aurochs in the effort, are banished from the giant’s presence or slain outright.

Cloud giants also keep herds of storm aurochs, though less commonly than storm giants. Cloud giants particularly favor the taste of storm aurochs meat, which they serve at feasts and gatherings of great importance, or to honor particularly noteworthy guests. Cloud giants also make use of storm aurochs in one of their more idiosyncratic pastimes; bull-leaping. Young cloud giants, newly come of age, take turns leaping over a charging storm aurochs, sometimes even boosting themselves off the auroch’s horns to gain extra height and momentum. Leapers perform feats of acrobatics as they pass over the bull, each seeking to impress her fellows with her daring and prowess. Bull-leaping has fallen out of favor among younger cloud giants, who increasingly turn their attentions toward more philosophical pursuits, but it’s still commonly practiced by more traditional, rural cloud giant families.

Storm aurochs hold a deep spiritual significance for both storm and cloud giants. Cloud giants believe that the aurochs are gifts from Ioz’om, their version of Gozreh in his sky-father aspect, as a reward for their dutiful worship and piety. Storm giants also connect storm aurochs to Gozreh, through their sky-father incarnation, Hyjarth. Though most believe much as the cloud giants do, a few take their worship of the storm aurochs further. They claim that Hyjarth sacrificed the first storm aurochs to create the world itself, building the land from its bones and filling the seas with its blood. These storm giants gather in mystery cults across Golarion to reenact this ritual sacrifice, slaying a captive storm aurochs in order to honor Hyjarth and ensure that their lands and seas remain fruitful.

Skyshaping Stampede

When storm aurochs gather in one place, they can have a profound impact on the weather. Such a gathering is known as a skyshaping stampede.

Whenever three storm aurochs are within 10 feet of one another, all three of them can work together to use any of the following spell-like abilities: control weather, control winds (DC 16), fog cloud, siroccoAPG (DC 17), or sleet storm.

To take part in a skyshaping stampede, all three storm aurochs must take a full-round action to move through the area to be affected, usually by circling the spell’s point of origin or tracing the path they desire winds to take. This movement provokes attacks of opportunity as normal. These spell-like abilities function at CL 12th (or at a caster level equal to the Hit Dice of the most powerful aurochs involved). The save DCs are Charisma-based, and function as if the herd has a Charisma score of 12, unless one of the aurochs has a higher Charisma score, in which case the spell-like ability DCs are adjusted by that aurochs’s Charisma modifier.