Camelback Riding (sage study)
Camelback riding is a sage study in the field of Animal Training, which provides the disciplines of managing, packing and breeding camels, enabling the character to train and administer to their health. This allows the use of camels in combat, as well as cooperating with the camel in order to survive the most difficult of natural conditions. Camels are most effective in arid regions, as they are able to traverse wide deserts, enduring their stony surfaces as well as deep sand, while maintaining stores of water within themselves.
Characters without this training are able to "ride" upon camels, but they're unable to manage the animals by themselves. Lacking knowledge, they must rely upon a trained rider or servant to lead the camel. This is called assisted riding.
Camels are used as freight animals and for combat. When ridden, an inflexible saddle seats the rider upon the camel's hump, distributing the rider's weight comfortably over the animal. As the camel is somewhat taller than the horse, fighting from camelback requires a longer, lighter weapon, so that combatants are limited to spears, bows and scimitars when mounted.
A full grown dromedary camel (common in Africa and South Asia) is more than 6 ft. at the shoulder; if a camel had withers, these would be about 19-20 hands high. A Bactrian camel (Central Asia) can be a foot taller. Camels can run at strides between 4-14 hexes, and sprint at 15-23 hexes for bursts of two minutes (10 rounds). Domedaries weigh between 660 and 1,320 lbs., while Bactrian camels weigh between 660 to 2,200.
The sage abilities below are those acquired by a character through the study, according to status.
- Pack Camel: enables the character to properly load a camel so that its health is not threatened by desert conditions.
- Camel Feeding & Diet: gives judgment regarding the physical size and needs of camels.
- Camel Handling I: enables the character to direct the camel and ride with minimal skill.
- Camel-mounted Combat I: the character possesses enough skill to fight from camelback.
- Camel Handling II: provides the character with greater control in managing the camel's movements and strides.
- Camel-mounted Combat II: expands the character's effectiveness as a mounted rider.
- Camel Physiology: maintenance and restoration of health in camels, along with treating diseases and parasites.
- Desert Navigation: provides the character with heightened knowledge, through observing the camel, of how to find one's way.
- Disorient Horses: gives skill in managing the camel while disorienting horses with the camel's odour.
- Improve Encumbrance: increases the capacity and endurance of the camel.
- Rider & Camel Survival: enables the camel to travel further on less water, while learning to trust the camel's survival instincts in order to better survive.
- Camel Breeding: selects bulls and cows in order to produce a breeding stock of camels.
- Camel Racing: provides the skill for pushing a camel past its ordinary endurance in order to win races.
- Camel Whispering: builds a rapport with camels and allows the rider to communicate directly.
- Induce Spitting: enables the rider to have the camel spit when desired, most importantly in combat.