Dungeon Diving PB style
The “Fury Beetle” receives its name from the monster’s seemingly erratic and frantic movement and its beetle/insect-like appearance, although it is not an insect at all! It is some massive alien behemoth that has been transplanted to Earth from god only knows where, and has adopted southeastern and eastern Canada as well as the eastern United States as its new home. In the last decade, Simvan Monster Riders have transplanted the Fury Beetle to the New West and Saskatchewan as riding animals, but 97% of these beasts remain under Simvan control and do not run free.The few hundred that do are found mostly in forest areas (Fury Beetles dislike deserts and hot, arid lands). When on the move, the Fury Beetle darts along in varying bursts of speed and in a zigzag pattern.When attacked, the monster scampers to and fro and back and forward, while emitting a terrible wailing. Once engaged in combat the creature fights to the death or until the attacker is slain or gives up the fight and flees. A cornered Beetle, or mother guarding her young, will also fight to the death. Fury Beetles are easily startled and instinctively lash out at the cause of their surprise.
For generations Fury Beetles were feared and shunned as nothing more than ferocious monsters, as of 105 P.A., the beasts are sometimes hunted for food, and their armor plates are used to make M.D.C. armor (a full Fury Beetle suit of plate armor offers 70 M.D.C. but weighs 35 lbs/16 kg; costs about 22,000 credits). In addition to Simvan Monster Riders, Fury Beetles are used as exotic riding animals by some Wild Psi-Stalkers, Noli Bushmen, Greet Hunters, Mastadonoids, Psi-Druids, Cowboys, Wilderness Scouts and even the occasional practitioner of magic. A few adventurous souls, like the Cartiers of the Fury Ranch (Ontario), are pioneering the domestication of Fury Beetles as riding animals and edible livestock (young ones are quite delicious and a single animal can feed a town of 2000 and still have leftovers; older animals are edible but the meat is tougher and less tasty). The Fury Ranch is the largest and most successful of these daring, frontier entrepreneurs. Left alone in the wild,Fury Beetles are solitary creatures that travel alone or in mated pairs.
They are not particularly aggressive or intentionally evil, but are extremely nervous and easily startled. When startled, frightened, or angered, the creature either runs, stampeding across the countryside knocking down trees, flattening crops, smashing through fences and crashing into buildings, or fights. Those who engage in combat will usually fight to the death, so “playing ’possum” can bring a quick end to such an incident. They are incredibly powerful and a single Fury Beetle has been known to level an entire wilderness town. Even tamed riding animals are known to throw their rider when startled or worse yet, bite him. However, a properly tamed and trained animal can make an excellent mount, especially for traveling merchants, mercenaries and anybody hauling a lot of equipment and supplies. The size of a semi-truck, and lined with spikes that are ideal for securing packages, one can tie up to 20 tons of equipment to its sturdy back without slowing the beast down, plus it can pull an additional 40 tons (although at one third its normal speed). Furthermore, the animal is something of an all-terrain vehicle, able to climb over rocky and uneven land (its many legs offering amazing stability and speed), and swim on the surface of rivers and lakes.
Fury Beetles are omnivores who hunt fish, deer, caribou, moose, and fellow Fury Beetles (they fight to the death remember, and usually eat their fallen opponent), but rarely attack humanoids unless they feel threatened. They also eat a variety of plants, including grass and farm crops, as well as food scraps and garbage.