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Emu

As tall as a human, this large bird seems to be composed mainly of a pair of legs that merge with a round, feathery body. Its long, skinny neck supports a rather small head that darts to and fro.

Emu CR 1/2

XP 200
N Medium animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +9

DEFENSE

AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+3 Dex)
hp 9 (2d8)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +0

OFFENSE

Speed 40 ft.
Melee 2 kicks -4 (1d3)

STATISTICS

Str 11, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 4
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMD 14
Feats Endurance, RunB
Skills Perception +9; Racial Modifiers +4 Perception
SQ docile

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Docile (Ex)

Unless specifically trained for combat (see the Handle Animal skill) an emu‘s kicks are treated as secondary attacks.

ECOLOGY

An emu is a smaller breed of flightless bird, often favored by smaller races such as gnomes and halflings. Typically weighing between 50 to 100 pounds, an emu stands 5 to 6 feet tall. A light load for an emu is up to 38 pounds, a medium load is 39-76 pounds, and a heavy load is 77-115 pounds. An emu can drag 575 pounds.

Emus live are most common in areas of forest and savanna woodland, and least common in populated and very arid areas, except during wet periods. Emus predominately travel in pairs, and while they can form enormous flocks, this is an atypical social behavior that arises from the common need to move towards food sources. Emus have been shown to travel long distances to reach abundant feeding areas. Emus are able to swim when necessary, although they rarely do so unless the area is flooded or they need to cross a river.

They are also known to be inquisitive animals, and are known to approach humans if they see movement of a limb or a piece of clothing. They may follow and observe humans in the wild. Sometimes they poke other animals and then run away after drawing a reaction, as though they are playing a game. An emu spends much of its time preening its plumage with its beak.

Emus sleep during the night, and begin to settle down at sunset, although it does not sleep continuously throughout the night. It can awake and arise up to eight times per night in order to feed or defecate. Before going into a deep sleep, the emu squats on its tarsus and begins to enter a drowsy state. However, it is alert enough to react to visual or aural stimuli and return to an awakened state. During this time, the neck descends closer to the body and the eyelids begin to lower. If there are no aural or visual disturbances, it will go into a deep form of sleep after 20 minutes. During this time the body is lowered until it is touching the ground and its legs are folded. The feathers direct any rain downwards along the mound-like body into the ground, and it has been surmised that the sleeping position is a type of camouflage meant to mimic a small hill. The neck is brought down very low and the beak turned down so that the whole neck becomes S-shaped and folding onto itself. An emu will typically awake from the deep sleep once every 90 to 120 minutes and stand in a tarsal position to eat or defecate. This lasts for ten to twenty minutes and the cycle is repeated four to six times during most nights. Overall, an emu sleeps for around seven hours every day. Young emus are known to sleep with their neck flat and stretching forward along the ground surface.

The statistics presented above are for a typical emu. Tougher emus with the advanced simple template exist, but are relatively uncommon and, unlike ostriches, these creatures are not generally called “battle emus.” Like ostriches, emus can be trained for combat with the Handle Animal skill, and such mounts often serve halflings, gnomes, and other small races as steeds in combat.

A Small-size paladin may choose an emu for a special mount. Druids and rangers may select emus as animal companions, using the statistics below.

Emu Animal Companion

Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40 ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack 2 kicks (1d4); Ability Scores Str 11, Dex 16, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 4; Special Qualities low-light vision.

4th-Level Advancement: Ability Scores Str +2, Con +2; Special Qualities combat trained.

Costs

Emu: 20 gp

Emu (combat trained): 30 gp

Section 15: Copyright Notice

5 Adventures, 25 Rooms. Copyright 2010, Spes Magna Games; Mark L. Chance.