|Outlands, Acheron, Baator
|6, head 3
|No. of Attacks:
|1 and 1
|3d6 and 1d3
|+2 on saves vs. mind-affecting or emotion-based spells; continue fighting until reduced to -10 hp
|L (5' high at shoulder)
The fhorge (FOUR-jay), a particularly large and vicious cousin of the boar, lives in the wilder areas of the outlands and some of the outer planes. It's noted for its foul temper and single-minded tenacity: once a fhorge gets mad at something, it won't stop until it drops dead or the target of its rage's been shredded on its tusks. No sod in his right mind annoys a fhorge - the trouble is, fhorges are cursedly easy creatures to annoy. There's a saying in Ribcage: “A fhorge's got two sides to its personality - bad and tanar'ri-bad”.
A full-grown fhorge's about 6 feet long, but can stand 5 feet tall at the shoulder. It's as strong as a bull and about the same size. The creature's covered in short, tough bristles, and its head features an exceptionally thick skull with two long, outward-curving tusks. The fhorge's tail is long and strong, and a tuft of spinelike bristles grows in a clump at the end. Its eyes are small, red, and baleful.
Combat: A fhorge isn't supernatural in the least, but a cutter wouldn't know that by watching it go after some poor sod. The creature displays a fiendish bloodlust in a fight, and embarks on murderous rampages at the slightest provocation. It likes to open battle with a surprisingly fast, determined charge - usually from dense cover where its enemies can't see it waiting. If the fhorge is encountered in its favored terrain of scrub, thickets, or woodlands, its enemies suffer a -1 penalty on their surprise checks.
When a fhorge charges, it gains a +2 bonus to its attack roll and inflicts +1 damage on each die, for a total of 3d6+3 points of damage. If its attack roll result exceeds the required number by 4 or more, its opponent must successfully save vs. paralyzation or be knocked prone. For example, if the fhorge charges a cutter in plate mail (AC 3) it needs a 12 to hit. A roll of 16 or better may knock the sod down. The fhorge tends to trample and slash savagely at anything it knocks down, gaining a +4 bonus to its attack rolls until the sod stands up or the fhorge is driven away by the victim's friends. The fhorge's armor-plated head protects the rest of its body in a charge, and it's AC 3 to any frontal attacks.
Any time it can, the fhorge attacks victims on the ground. After that, it prefers to charge opponents; it needs at least 20 feet of room to build up speed. Its least favorite tactic is slashing at and scrapping with a standing opponent it can't charge. If an enemy gets behind the fhorge, the beast can lash out with its quill-covered tail, but it suffers a -4 penalty to any attacks against opponents behind it.
One last thing a body should know about fhorges: They're harder to finish off than a Mercykiller on the trail of a fugitive. Their natural fighting rage gives them a +2 bonus to mind-affecting or emotion-based spells. They can also fight until reduced to -10 hit points. Fhorges're just too mean to know when they've been killed.
Habitat/Society: Fhorges typically travel in packs based around 1 dominant male, 2 to 4 sows, and young fhorges equal to twice the number of sows. The sows are monsters of 3+3 Hit Dice that inflict only 2d6 points of damage with their smaller tusks; other than that, everything noted above in “Combat” is true for them, too. The young have 1+1 to 2+2 Hit Dice and tusks that inflict 2d4 points of damage but they generally avoid anything man-size or larger.
Fhorges gather only in the evening and morning hours; for most of the day, they split up to forage. The young stay with the sows, but it's unusual to run across an old bristleback anywhere near his family during daylight hours. Sows ferociously attack anything that might even think about threatening their young, and are every bit as aggriessive as the bristleback males.
Ecology: If a basher's got “the appetite of a fhorge”, it means he'll eat anything and like it. Fhorges mostly eat roots, tubers, and insects, but on occasion they'll eat carrion. One of the more interesting things about a fhorge's diet is the fact that it heartily enjoys razorvine. It's about the only thing in nature that can eat the stuff. The fhorge's thick bristle-coat and bone-plated face easily protect it from the razorvine's thorns.
Fhorges are hunted for their meat and their hides which can be tanned into tough, supple leather. Most people find fhorge meat somewhat gamy, but there are those who enjoy the taste. In many areas of the Outlands and the Lower Planes, fhorge-hunting is a social activity, providing an excuse for folk of privilege to gather and gossip. However, it's a good idea not to forget about the fhorge itself - many would-be hunters have died beneath its tusks.
Roast Fhorgling with Garlic and Pepper
Take one young fhorge, cleaned and dressed, and season liberally with crushed black pepper. Stuff body cavity with onions, garlic bulbs, and hot peppers. Skewer and set over a medium fire for 4 to 6 hours. Turn every half hour, brushing with melted butter or herb-infused oil. Brush powdered garlic and black pepper into the meat each time it's turned - use a good stiff brush. The fhorgling's done when the juices run clear when the thickest part of the meat (usually the haunch) is pricked with a dagger, and the skin is cracked and browned.