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Blood-Stained Ice: Monsters of the Arctic—Hammer Moose (Part 4)

Blood-Stained Ice: Monsters of the Arctic—Hammer Moose (Part 4)

An Arctic Image

The world’s arctic region is both a place of great natural beauty and an inherently deadly environment. Freezing waters can turn blood to ice in mere minutes. Avalanches can bury entire parties, hiding their bodies forever under a mountainside’s worth of snow.

As deadly as the arctic is, a wide variety of monsters call it home. Having survived and evolved in one of the world’s harshest environments, these humans and beasts are deadly threats to any adventurers that intrude on their frozen domains.

Hammer Moose

Named for the bone-shattering effects of its charges, the carnivorous hammer moose stands twice as tall as a man at the shoulders. Its entire body is covered in dark gray fur that conceals a thick, muscular hide, both of which protect it from the biting cold of the arctic wastes.

The hammer moose is an active hunter, though not a particularly smart one—its tactics typically consist of chasing down and ramming its prey with its antlered, glacier-hard head. It’s not picky about what it eats either, and it will devour a human as readily as a blizzard wolf. As a result, hammer moose sometimes hunt animals that clearly overmatch them, such as large blizzard wolf packs and avalanche bears. Such encounters often end badly for the moose, though its innate magical ability to further toughen its muscles by summoning ice into them sometimes allows it to survive long enough to realize its mistake and flee.

Arctic barbarians sometimes use hammer moose as heavy assault units in wartime. They are never used as mounts, however, since they immediately and violently buck off any who try to ride them. Their lack of intelligence can also make them liabilities, since they will sometimes attack targets that draw their attention rather than ones their handlers want them to attack. Barbarian beast handlers quickly learn the necessity of keeping a firm and ready hand to ensure that their hammer moose stick to the battle plan.

Hammer Moose     Level 9 Brute

Large natural beast     XP 400

HP 118; Bloodied 59; Initiative +4

AC 21, Fortitude 21, Reflex 16, Will 17; Perception +5

Speed 8; Immune cold

Standard Actions

 [mb] Bite * At-Will

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +14 vs. AC

Hit: 2d8 + 5 damage.

 [mb] Kick * At-Will

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +14 vs. AC

Hit: 3d6 + 5 damage.

[mb] Thundering Charge * At-Will

Requirement: Must be used as part of a charge action.

Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +14 vs. AC

Hit: 4d8 + 5 damage, and the target is knocked prone.

Minor Actions

Glacial Hide * Recharge 5 6

Effect: The moose gains a +4 power bonus to AC until the beginning of the moose’s next turn.

Skills Endurance +13

Str 21 (+9); Dex 10 (+4); Wis 12 (+5)

Con 18 (+8); Int 1 (–1); Cha 8 (+3)

Alignment unaligned; Languages

Hammer Moose Tactics

A simple-minded creature, the hammer moose always starts its assault with a thundering charge, following up with bites and kicks until its target is dead. It then attacks either the next target in its line of sight or the next target its master points it toward, though the latter is not always a sure thing. Hammer moose typically fight to the death.

Encounter Groups

Level 5 Encounter (1,200 XP)

—3 hammer moose (Level 9 brute)

Level 10 Encounter (2,700 XP)

—1 arctic barbarian war shaman (Level 6 artillery)

—6 arctic barbarian archers (Level 4 artillery)

—4 blizzard wolves (Level 3 skirmisher)

—2 hammer moose (Level 9 brute)

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