GRAND SAFARI BIG GAME DIGEST
Today I wire from camp outside of Bariloche in beautiful Argentina. The wilds of Patagonia are warm at this time of year, and the going is relatively easy. Our local guide, Mariano, promised that the terror birds would be active and plentiful at this time of year, and he was not wrong.
Just last night, as I reached the summit of a small ridge, I espied a majestic gander of the species Kelenken guillermoi in the final, triumphant moments of its own hunt. The gorgeous specimen easily paced a red stag and, with a mighty swing of its two-foot hatchet beak, struck the stag down in mid stride. As the beast crowed its victory, I took the shot.
The terror bird may be flightless, but its swift foot speed is sufficient to outpace nearly any prey. Indeed, it is this speed that has encouraged certain rangers, gauchos, and long riders to adopt the terror bird as a mount, despite the creature’s ill temper and predilection for human flesh.
It is truly rare to encounter a wild animal that chooses to predate upon mankind, save in times of starvation or as an afterthought following territorial defense. Kelenken guillermoi is the exception to this rule, known to actively hunt humans in its range. It is consequently recommended that any travelers to Patagonia carry at least flares, if not firearms, as a matter of course.
For my own part, sport hunting the noble terror bird was a thrilling experience that I shall never forget.
-Sir J.R. Graham, Expedition Leader for the Grand Safari
The terror birds were large, flightless, predatory birds that lived from the late Paleocene to early Pliocene. One species, K. guillermoi, survived to modernity in the “Lost World” and has since repopulated in Patagonia. K. guillermoi is as tall as a man from toe to hip, with a long neck extending up to towering proportions. They are swift and vicious, but, as avians, they are also relatively slight of build for their height. The creatures are sometimes used as mounts, guards, or hunting animals, but their appetite for human flesh and notorious ill temper make them exceedingly difficult to train.
- Body FT: 7 ST: 3 GH: 3 A: n/a
- Spirit W: 1 DR: 5 DS: 1 S: 2
- Mind I: 0 G: 2 P: 3 MS: 3
- Resilience 6 damage levels -1 at 5 DL, -2 at 3 DL and enraged, -3 at 1 DL and attempts to retreat
The terror bird attacks with a hatchet-like slashing bite. This bite, if it connects, deals 4 damage per hit, manipulation 1. If it has difficulty biting small, agile prey with its beak, it attempts to shoulder or buffet its prey to the ground and pin it their with a leg.