Beasts of Burden

The eco-system of Athas is quite alien to our own.  With a few exceptions (goats), most of the animals your characters interact with on a daily basis have no counterpart in reality.  There are no horses on Athas.  Instead, people rely on trained crodlu.  To pull an argosy across the wastes, the great wagons are often hitched to a pair of mekillots.  Here is a guide to some of the most common beasts of burden to give you a frame of reference.

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Crodlu: Crodlu are a species of flightless, scaled avian that roams the wilderness in herds. They have powerful hind legs, which were built for jumping great lengths. Crodlu have great endurance and can run at high speeds for long periods of time. Crodlu are caught as chicks and are trained as mounts as they are being raised.

Erdlu: Erdlu are large, flightless, omnivorous birds covered in scales. They are primarily used as livestock. They can weigh up to two hundred pounds and stand almost seven feet tall. Aside from its value as a meat animal, the erdlu’s beak, wing scales, and claws all find their way into various weapon heads and tools, and the egg of an erdlu is an excellent source of food and water.

Inix: An inix is a large lizard with a long, curling tail and a broad mouth. Inixes weigh roughly two tons and can grow up to 16 feet long.

Kank: Kanks are large, docile insects used as mounts and herd animals, as they thrive in any environment and produce a nourishing nectar. Kanks require little attention.

Mekillot: Mekillots are mighty lizards that weigh up to six tons, with huge mound–shaped bodies that can be thirty feet long. They are covered with a thick shell everywhere except for on their sides and bellies. Mekillots are used as caravan beasts; a hitched pair can pull a full wagon at a slow pace. Mekillots are never truly tamed, however, and the creatures have been known to go off the road and wander for days. They also like to make snacks of their handlers. Most caravans that use mekillots have a small team of mindbenders to deal with the beasts.

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