These creatures closely resemble their smaller vulture cousins, but with two heads and on a truly massive scale. Their feathers are as black as night, but unlike most bird feathers they are greasy. Their beaks are huge and devastating in combat, and their talons are the size of longswords with such strength behind them that they can shear through rock. Adult rukhs typically stand 35 feet tall, with a wingspan of at least 60 feet, and typically weigh around 800 pounds, although specimens larger than this are quite uncommon.34
Habitat and ecology
Rukhs prefer the desert environment where they can be be found hunting and, as a rule, they avoid prey their own size. Their preferred prey is a large animal, such as a horse or a camel, although they happily eat lone humanoids, often even attacking small caravans. As there are no trees big enough to support one of their massive nests, rukhs usually have to nest atop cliffs or mountains. With the speed at which the rukh flies, it can sometimes roam up to 100 miles from its lair amongst snow-topped mountains to its hunting grounds in the desert.24
Rukhs are the some of the most deadly, opportunistic hunters that dwell in the desert. Despite their vulture-like appearance, the rukhs are most closely related to Golarion's other enormous avian predator: the roc. Despite not being related to vultures, however, the behaviour of young rukhs is remarkably similar to that of vultures, hunting in small flocks of up to ten birds preying on the dead and dying. The major difference is that young rukhs do not wait for the desert to finish off their victims. Thus, the sight of a flock of two-headed birds tends to send most desert dwellers into a panic. Most young rukhs do not make it to adulthood, as they are often hunted for food; their large bodies can easily feed ten people for several days and their fresh corpses fetch a high price—up to 30 gold pieces—in desert cities like Katapesh.24
- In The Jackal's Price, the 3.5 statistics for rukh gave it the "Animal" type. However, Bestiary 4 assigns "Magical beast" for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and that defines canon status for the PathfinderWiki for monster statistics.
- Dennis Baker et al. (2013). Bestiary 4, p. 228. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-575-4
- Jacob Burgess, Adam Daigle, and Darrin Drader. (2009). Bestiary. The Jackal's Price, p. 84. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-161-9
- Jacob Burgess, Adam Daigle, and Darrin Drader. (2009). Bestiary. The Jackal's Price, p. 85. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-161-9