Saturday, December 22, 2012

Thoats

Thoat, Lesser
About the size of a human horse, this Barsoomian creature has eight legs with yellowish elephant-like feet, a long neck, hairless grey hide, and a wide, flat tail. Red Martians breed lesser thoats as mounts, and sometimes employ them as beasts of burden. AC 6, HD 4, Move 24"
Thoat, Greater
The greater thoat resembles its lesser cousin in form, but stands ten feet high at the shoulder. In temperament, it's more vicious and unruly. Green Martians ride greater thoats in battle. AC 6, HD 6, Move 24"

Creatures of Man size or smaller who attempt to mount a greater thoat without prior telepathic training must save versus Dragon Breath or sustain 2-12 trample damage.

There are two species of thoat on Mars: the small, comparatively docile breed used by the red Martians as saddle animals and, to a lesser extent, as beasts of burden on the farms that border the great irrigation canals; and then there are the huge, vicious, unruly beasts that the green warriors use exclusively as steeds of war.

These creatures tower fully ten feet at the shoulder. They have four legs on either side and a broad, flat tail, larger at the tip than at the root, that they hold straight out behind while running. Their gaping mouths split their heads from their snouts to their long, massive necks. Their bodies, the upper portion of which is a dark slate color and exceedingly smooth and glossy, are entirely devoid of hair. Their bellies are white, and their legs shade gradually from the slate color of their bodies to a vivid yellow at the feet, which are heavily padded and nailless.

The thoat of the green man has the most abominable disposition of any creature I have ever seen, not even the green men themselves excepted. They are constantly fighting among themselves, and woe betide the rider who loses control of his terrible mount; yet, paradoxical as it may appear, they are ridden without bridle or bit; and are controlled solely by telepathic means, which, fortunately for me, I learned many ago while I was prisoner of Lorquas Ptomel, jed of the Tharks, a green Martian horde.

The beast to whose back I had vaulted was a vicious devil, and he took violent exception to me and probably to my odor. He tried to buck me off; and, failing that, reached back with his huge, gaping jaws in an effort to seize me.*

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