|A Skelastodon perusing a natural philosophy collection|
No. Enc.: 1-6
Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 2 tusks, 1 front trample
Damage: 2d6 (tusk), 1d10 (trample)
Special: Immune to piercing weapons
Due to the mass of such creatures and the cold of the Desolate North, where they roam, it takes a long, long time for a Zombastodon's flesh to rot. Many never make it to that point, succumbing either to environmental hazards (like bands of hexcrawling adventurers) or to the unraveling of their animating necromantic energies.
Those that endure become specimens of Mammut Ossifer, though we couldn't keep the coolies and other such hangers-on in the expedition from settling on the vulgar and unenlightened term 'Skelastadons'.
Opinion is divided as to the mechanism, but over the long, long time that it takes for Morbidium to mature into Ossifer, these creatures gain a surprising intelligence and the capacity for speech. While still malevolent and driven by a hatred of the living, their intellects are invariably also keen on metaphysical or scientific pursuits, such that on a roll of 7 or greater on 2d6 they will attempt to engage any sentient newcomer in argument. Indeed, it is invariable that whenever more than one is encountered the herd will be discussing some subtle point of philosophy in their nasally, trumpeting tones.
One report by Professor Emeritus Algernon Finneaus Merici is worth mentioning. The good Professor was leading a secondary foray from base camp to investigate sightings of an old ruin in the Smoking Valley when they were ambushed at night by a pair of Skelastodons who proceeded to engage the Professor in disputations on the nature of the transubstantiation of souls while slaughtering every other member of the expedition. Eventually, after the initial massacre and hours of scholastic exchange, the pair allowed the Professor to leave unharmed.
Rumours persist among the natives of Skelastodons capable of casting spells, but no example has ever been witnessed.