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Noble Elephant

Elephants are large mammals with a long proboscis or trunk that they use for numerous purposes, particularly for grasping objects. The elephant’s ear flaps are particularly large and help to control the temperature of their massive bodies. Their incisors grow into large tusks, which serve as tools for digging and moving, as well as weapons for fighting. The African species have larger ears and concave backs while the Asian elephant has smaller ears and a convex back.

Elephants are herbivores and they can be found in numerous habitats, including savannas, forests, deserts and marshes, and prefer to stay near water. Elephants are considered to be keystone species due to the impact they have on their environments. Other animals tend to avoid them, and predators such as lions, tigers, hyenas and wild dogs usually target only the calves.

Male African elephants typically stand 10.5–13.1 feet tall and weigh 10,000–13,330 pounds, while females are typically 7.2–8.5 feet tall and weigh 4,800–7,130 pounds. Male Asian elephants may reach 10.5 feet in height and weigh up to 12,000 pounds, while females are 7.3 feet tall and weigh 6,000 pounds, on average. The tail of an Asian elephant stretches to 3.9–4.9 feet long.

The trunk or proboscis, is a fusion of the nose and upper lip. The trunk is elongated and specialized to become the elephant’s most important and versatile appendage. Elephant trunks have multiple functions, including breathing, olfaction, touching, grasping and sound production. The animal’s sense of smell may be four times as sensitive as that of a bloodhound. The trunk’s ability to make powerful twisting and coiling movements allows it to collect food, wrestle with other elephants and lift up to 770 lb. It can also be used for delicate tasks, such as wiping an eye and checking orifices. It is capable of cracking a peanut shell without cracking the seed. With its trunk, an elephant can reach food at heights up to 23 feet and deep into mud or sand for water. It can siphon water both to spray into the mouth for drinking and over the body for cooling. An adult Asian elephant is capable of holding 2.2 gallons of water in its trunk. Elephants also spray dust or grass on themselves, possibly to protect against insects. When underwater, an elephant can use its trunk as a snorkel. Losing the trunk would be detrimental to an elephant’s survival, although in rare cases elephants have survived with shortened trunks. Elephants may show side preferences when grasping with their trunks: some prefer to twist them to the left, others to the right.

Species Descriptions

While certainly not the oldest species among noble animals, noble elephants do have the oldest society. Their traditions and customs remain as they were among their mammoth ancestors. Any elephant can trace his lineage, by memory, all the way back to when they were all wooly. Noble elephants have kept a complex system of rituals and songs for so long that it has even become instinct among their natural cousins.

They remember the days of ice, when it seemed the world would forever be blanketed in white, and they remember proudly challenging the primitive humans.

When the ice finally melted and mankind began to build settlements like those of the elves and dwarves, a split occurred within the ranks of noble elephant society.

Those who became what is known as Noble African Elephants still bear the resentment of being hunted for food and chose to remain a challenge to humanoid power. Those who became what is known as Noble Asian Elephants decided to attempt to bury old slights and began to serve the race they believed would one day determine the fate of the world. The two breeds of noble elephant, while politically and philosophically opposed, remain on friendly terms with each other, on the rare instances when they come into contact.

Of course, not all Noble African Elephants challenge, and not all Noble Asian Elephants serve. Those who do serve find themselves treasured; as unparalleled laborers, fearsome war mounts, and blessed emissaries of the gods.

Noble Elephant Species Traits

  • Size: Medium.
  • Size Threshold: 5th and 11th Hit Die.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Trunk (Ex): A noble elephant’s trunk can sometimes be used as a substitute hand. The trunk can grasp items, tools, or even weapons. This is always counted as an off-hand (-4 penalty to hit).
  • Natural Weapons: slam (1d6), 2 stamps (1d6)
  • Skills: Cannot jump. Because of the configuration of a noble elephant’s knees, it cannot use the Acrobatics skill to make jump checks and automatically fails such checks.
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Natural Talent Track: Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Bull Rush, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception).
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble elephants have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: Herd.
  • Automatic Languages: Elephant and High Fauna.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

Both breeds use the noble elephant character class if they wish to advance in their natural abilities.

Noble Elephant, African Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble African elephant shares the same species traits and level progression as the noble elephant.

Noble Elephant, Asian Sub-Species Traits

In all other ways, the noble Asian elephant shares the same species traits and level progression as the noble elephant.

Noble Elephant Class

Hit Die: d8

Class Skills

The noble elephant’s class skills are Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Perception (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Survival (Wis).

Skill Ranks Per Level: 2 + Int modifier.

Table: Noble Elephant
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special
1st +0 +2 +2 +0 Bonus feat
2nd +1 +3 +3 +0 Natural armor +1
3rd +2 +3 +3 +1 Bonus feat
4th +3 +4 +4 +1 Natural armor +2
5th +3 +4 +4 +1 Bonus feat
6th +4 +5 +5 +2 Natural weapons (tusks 1d8), speed increase +10
7th +5 +5 +5 +2 Bonus feat
8th +6/+1 +6 +6 +2 Natural armor +3
9th +6/+1 +6 +6 +3 Bonus feat
10th +7/+2 +7 +7 +3 Natural armor +4
11th +8/+3 +7 +7 +3 Bonus feat

Class Features

All of the following are class features of the noble elephant class.

Bonus Feat

At every odd level you gain a bonus feat from the following list: Aggressive Attitude, Alertness, Awesome Blow, Call Stampede, Cautious Attitude, Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Perception), Trampling Overrun, Trumpet.

Natural Armor

At 2nd level you gain a +1 Natural Armor bonus. This increases by +1 at 4th, 8th, and 10th level. These bonuses stack with the Natural Armor bonuses gained from size increases.

Natural Weapons

At 6th level, you gain tusks, which you can use to make a gore attack for 1d8 damage. These tusks grow with you, increasing in damage as your size increases.

Speed Increase

At 6th level, your Base speed increases by +10.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Noble Wild. Copyright 2009 by Lee Garvin and Skirmisher Publishing LLC.