Noble Moose

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Moose are the largest species in the deer family, having long, slender legs that support a massive body, while a short, thick neck and humped shoulders that support a large head. This horse-size species can be as tall as 7 feet and 6 inches at the shoulders with long ears (10 inches) and an inconspicuous tail (3 to 5 inches). One of the most distinctive features of this species is its long, bulbous, drooping muzzle. The upper lip overhangs the lower lip and between its nostrils is a triangular patch of bare skin. Under the neck hangs a flap of furred skin called the bell, which may or may not be present in females. With no upper incisors or canines, moose must nip off plants between a bony upper palate and their lower incisors.

Males are distinguished by carrying the largest antlers of any mammal, which can weigh as much as 77 lbs. Antlers are grown in the spring and shed in the winter each year. The widest antler spread recorded is 6 feet 8 inches. Moose are sexually dimorphic, with males being more than 40% heavier than females. Live weights of males range from 800 to 1300 lbs. with lengths from 7 feet and 10 inches to 10 feet and 2 inches. Females range from 600 to 900 lbs. with lengths 7 feet and 7 inches to 9 feet and 10 inches. The largest subspecies of moose has a maximum weight of 1700 lbs. for a male and 1260 lbs. for a female.

Pelage is generally dark, black to brown or grayish brown, with the lower legs being lighter. An all-white color phase is rare. Their underfur and long guard hairs provide excellent insulation from cold. Young have a reddish brown pelage and are not spotted like other young in the deer family. Individual hairs are 6 to 10 inches long and hollow, resulting in excellent insulation.

Moose can be found in a range of habitats in the cold, northern regions of the globe that have seasonal snow cover. They inhabit the taiga and temperate forest biomes, including the tundra-subalpine zone. Forest types include boreal, broadleaf and mixed (coniferous-deciduous). Within these forests, they prefer the early successional stage, where forage is in abundance due to disturbance. Fire, logging, flooding, or glacial action greatly increase the quality and quantity of forage for moose and, ultimately, moose density. Besides forested habitats, moose will seek out areas near water, such as ponds, lakes, rivers and swamps, which also have a concentration of their favorite foods. Their large bodies, inability to sweat, and the heat produced by fermentation in their guts mean they cannot tolerate temperatures exceeding 81 degrees Farenheit for long.

Moose are polygynous. Males and females attract each other by making vocalizations and scent marking trees. Moose exhibit two different types of breeding strategies: tundra moose form harems and taiga moose form transient pair bonds. In the harem mating system, the largest, most dominant male attempts to herd a group of females together, which he defends from all other males. Other bulls challenge the harem master for the right to mate. Young bulls with smaller antlers typically retreat from the dominant bull, whereas evenly sized bulls will fight. Bulls will engage their antlers, pushing and twisting, while attempting to gore each other. In the pair bonding system, a dominant bull stays with and defends just one cow until he can mate with her. Afterward, he searches for other females who have not yet been bred by other bulls.

Species Descriptions

While sharing many traits with noble herdbeasts and noble deer, noble moose differ in one very important respect. They refuse to serve in any way, form, or fashion.

They are quite content to keep to their herds and have nothing to do with the humanoids whose lands they avoid. When they do come into contact, a noble moose will attempt to lead a human or orc hunter on a chase that will eventually put the pursuer in mortal danger.

These rules can also be used to represent noble elk or noble reindeer.

Noble Moose Species Traits
  • Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Strength, +2 Dexterity.
  • Size: Medium.
  • Size Threshold: 3rd Hit Die.
  • Base Speed: 30 ft.
  • Natural Weapons: Slam (1d4).
  • Natural Talent Track: Alertness, Endurance.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble mooses have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: Herd.
  • Automatic Languages: Herdspeak and High Fauna.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.