Horse Cacti «Pineto»

Reported By: unknown contributor in 1st Edition

Role: Mount
Base Stock: Joshua Tree

MCC Stat Block: Pineto 'Horse Cacti' (1d8 (4)): Init +3; atk trailslap melee +8 (1d4+6); AC 14; HD 5D5 hp 15 each; MV 60' ; 1d20; SV Fort +1, Ref +0, Will -3
Mutations: (P) Heightened Senses: Visual, Heightened Senses: Olfactory

Number Appearing: 1d8
Morale: 6
Hit Dice: HD 5D5
Armor: 4 (AC 14)
Size: Large 4 Meters

Movement: MV 60'

Attack: Trailslap melee +8 (1d4+6)

MS: 2   PS: 30
IN: 2   DX: 11
CH: 6   CN: 15

Frequency: Rare
Organization: Herd
Activity Cycle: Day
Diet: Herbivore
Habitat: Any Desert, Plains
Tech Level: 0 - 0
Artifacts: None

Description (Initial Observations): A Mutated thornbush that is neither a horse nor a cactus. The Pinetos has a horizontal trunk and thick leg stalks giving it a equine appearance. This is increaed by way the pineto dips its roots to take in water by lowering its "head" to drink. The compairson to a cacuts comes from the sharp thorns entirely covering the plant. These thorns make it impossible to ride without a saddle. A sharp prod must be jammed between trunk and the root ball. They are extremely valueable as mounts, and it is very difficult to catch them and then even harder to tame them. However those that are are considered excellent mounts.

Description (Additional Observations): The horse cacti is both a horse and cactus in name only. It is in actually a mobile cactus-like plant with behaviors in many ways resembling a horse. The plant has a large, horizontal central trunk which is supported by either four or six thick, stubby stalks which act as legs. These legs can propel the creature at great speeds. When the creature moves as quickly as it can, the action of the legs resembles a horse galloping. The trunk extends into a thick, neck-like growth which the plant keeps elevated. At the end of the "neck" is a large assortment of leaves, roots and a clump of visual and olfactory organs. The leaves are used to gather sunlight, and the roots absorb liquids. The plant lowers its leaves and roots into pools of water when it drinks, an action that further resembles horse activity. The pineto is much more cactus than horse. Every centimeter of its surface except for the leaves and roots is covered with long, sharp thorns. These thorns are usually 5 centimeters or so in length Althcmgh sharp, they are somewhat flexible. These thorns give a pineto the appearance of having a hairy "coat" of thorns. The pinetos can be ridden, but a saddle of thick leather or other strong material is required.

Reactions: No known interactions

Behavior: Pinetos have keen visual and olfactory organs that warn them of approaching strangers allowing them to flee

Behavior: Behavior not recorded

Society: Horse cacti are encountered in small groups of two or fuu1, u1 hrn.b of as much as 16. They reproduce by budding. Pinetos are extremely skittish and will bolt as soon as they perceive a threat. Only one of a pack has to become aware of the threat for everyone else to run. Intelligent races, such as sleeths, have tamed pinetos and used them as beasts of burden and riding animals. In this respect, they have the same endurance and load-bearing qualities as a normal horse.