The Dogo-Kalamu is a large ground bird vaguely reminiscent of the pheasant of quail, except weighing sixty to eighty pounds, being flightless, and having a disposition much like a badger with a toothache and a sour stomach. The avians have an overall brown color with males displaying rare color in the breeding season. Females are about 20% larger and retain a drab color year round. On rare occasions, small clutches of pint size Dogo-Kalamu chicks can be found following along a single parent.
The Dogo-Kalamu were once just pheasants and quail, but nearly ten centuries of constant exposure to tained magic have left the birds much larger, flightless, and highly territorial. There are several factors to the Dogo-Kalamu that make it a valuable resource to the brave souls to dare to enter the Wastelands.
Dogo-Kalamu meat is safe to eat and the bird itself, while aggressive and mean spirited is not horribly difficult to fend off or kill. A single Dogo can produce as much meat as a similarly sized deer. As an added bonus, Dogo eggs are rich in protein, and having a turquoise iridescent color, are prized for making delicate jewelry. Dogo birds also instinctively know where shelter and water can be found so canny explorers often follow the birds to find where they roost. Dogo feathers are also very tough and durable, and if used to make a cloak or cape, offer good protection from direct sunlight and wind blown sand.
Often mistaken for another species, the Kubwa-Kalamu is an unusually large Dogo-Kalamu, often as large as a full grown man and only about a foot shorter. These giant Dogo tend to exist as leaders of rare Dogo-Kalamu squadrons. These groups of birds tend to have large ranges and like the Chungwa Wolf can leave the boundaries of the Wastelands for short periods of time. All Kubwa-Kalamu are alpha females, and most of their squadrons are male suitors hoping for a chance to breed.
Roleplaying Notes and Plot Hooks
The Dogo-Kalamu can be used in most any open desert like setting, the wastelands setting isnt set in stone. Unlike ostriches, the Dogo is a predator that will defend itself and it’s chicks.
White meat or dark? - While exploring the desert regions, the PCs are able to rest and eat with some locals, the dinner being a dogo cooking on a spit. The locals (insert suitable tribal folk) teach the PCs in theory how ot track, hunt, kill, clean, and cook a Dogo. Later on as they continue their voyage, the PCs are required to hunt for food, or go hungry. Here chicky chicky chicky
Goblin… cavalry? - a group of somewhat addle-pated goblins have managed to get a flock Dogos tame enough to ride like hell-bound war steeds. While they are fast, discipline is low, and the Dogos are just as likely to turn on the goblins as on their foes.
The Dogo-Whisperer - A sun baked wise man can communicate with the Dogos and virtually lives as one of them. The problem is that the PCs have been tasked with bringing the hermit back from the wild for a greater responcibility (next in line for leadership, has a secret, needs to teach the duke’s son the Dogo Dance)