This four-legged creature has the tusked jaw, broad shoulders, and bristled back of a boar, and large eyes with cross-shaped irises. A pair of short, bony protrusions mark its forehead, as though its horns had broken off in battle.
Burstigeit CR 3
AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 15 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, –1 size)
hp 30 (4d10+8)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +2; +2 vs. poison, spells, and spell–like abilities
Defensive Abilities ferocity, hardy; Resist cold 5, fire 5
Weaknesses light sensitivity
1/day—ant haul (self only)
Str 18, Dex 15, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Base Atk +4; CMB +9; CMD 21 (25 vs. trip)
Feats Acrobatic Steps, Nimble Moves
Skills Climb +12, Perception +8, Survival +0 (+4 to find food); Racial Modifiers +4 Survival to find food
Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair, or herd (3–18)
Burstigeits were created by the dwarves generations ago to serve as beasts of burden. Bred to withstand the hardships of the Deeplands, these pack animals are an integral part of dwarven culture, especially in communities that rely heavily on trade with surface dwellers.
Burstigeits are sturdy, quadrupedal mammals with broad shoulders. Like boars, burstigeits have thin tails that hang halfway to the ground; tough, bristly hair on their backs; and tusks jutting from their lower jaws.
While vaguely similar to massive boars, their hind legs are longer and thicker than those of their porcine cousins. Burstigeits’ hooves are also sharper and stronger than those of a boar, letting them climb nearly as well as mountain goats.
A typical adult burstigeit stands 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weighs 1,600 pounds.
After the dwarves emerged from the Deeplands, they set to work building the Sky Citadels, which served as symbols of their strength and power as well as staging points to conduct trade with and defend against surface dwellers. The increased trade brought the dwarves great wealth, but it also put stress on the supply lines that they had relied upon for generations. Hand carts and pack baskets quickly became insufficient for carrying the large quantities of ore, gems, and fine dwarven crafts demanded by their customers in the world above.
Though some creatures in the Deeplands could be used as pack animals, few of them were suited for travel aboveground, and transferring shipments from deeper communities onto surface-dwelling beasts cost time and money. Efficiency-minded dwarves began searching for beasts that could be bred to better meet their needs.
The dwarves living within the Sky Citadels had discovered mountain goats and sheep almost immediately upon emerging from the Deeplands. Trade with humans soon also brought them into contact with pigs and cows.
They saw the benefit of raising these herd animals and cleared flat areas around their mountain homes where the creatures could be put out to pasture. Dwarves living near the surface learned to harvest valuable resources from these animals, and the cleverest among them realized that these beasts had certain characteristics that could prove useful in transporting goods from the deepest mines all the way to distant surface markets.
Habitat and Society
Burstigeits are similar to the herd animals from which they were bred. Because they are domesticated, their organization is heavily controlled by their breeders, but they generally follow the social structures common to wild boars. Burstigeit herds are dominated by a single, older female and consist primarily of other females and their young. Adult males are separated from the females, except during breeding season, which is in late fall through early winter.
Burstigeit young are called piglets—though mostly out of convenience, since they aren’t pigs. Unlike their parents, whose fur tends to be a uniform gray-brown, the piglets bear light-and-dark horizontal striping. Piglets reach maturity after about a year, at which point most burstigeits are sold.
Some underground dwarven settlements do keep normal pigs and goats, but must rely on natural or artificial ventilation to keep the livestock’s waste from creating unpleasant and dangerous problems. Fortunately, in the case of burstigeits, dwarven ingenuity overcame this challenge. The dwarves feed the creatures a diet of fungus combined with specially grown algae that reduces the smell and toxicity of their waste.
Being bred in the Deeplands, burstigeits do suffer from sensitivity to bright lights.
When they travel on the surface, their dwarven keepers fit them with blinders or special headgear with darkened lenses. This measure keeps them calmer and makes it easier for handlers to manage them, but unfortunately makes it harder for the beasts to see predators or other dangers approaching.
Burstigeits are slightly more stubborn than a typical donkey, and those prone to stereotyping might say that the burstigeits’ personality is a reflection of the dwarves who bred them. However, the creatures are slow to anger and don’t startle easily; if something does manage to rile them up, they can be quite dangerous. When disturbed, burstigeits unleash a wailing shriek—halfway between a squeal and a scream—that can be unsettling to those who aren’t used to being around them.
While burstigeits are rarely encountered outside of dwarven settlements, the creatures have existed for thousands of years, and occasionally a beast escapes. If the creature manages to survive long enough, it can go wild, and sometimes small groups of surviving beasts gather together. A herd of feral burstigeits can wreak havoc on a Deeplands farming community, devastating fungus crops and causing other damage.
Burstigeits are mainly used as pack animals, but some breeders have attempted to create versions to use as mounts. A burstigeit’s temperament usually dooms such attempts to failure, but there are occasional successes.
Burstigeit Warbeast (CR 5): Warbeasts are advanced burstigeits bred and trained as combat mounts. In addition to its gore attack, a burstigeit warbeast can use its front hooves to make two secondary natural weapon attacks that each deal 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #118: Siege of Stone © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Thurston Hillman, with Paris Crenshaw, Crystal Frasier, Patchen Mortimer, and Kalervo Oikarinen.