Riding beetles have been bred since before the Age of Ignorance, but they were allowed to go feral for a long period after. They almost went extinct due to a lack of consistent food supply in larval stage. They have been bred so that in their larval form, they eat the massive amounts of waste produced by horses and humans alike. They will eat roughly seven times their adult weight in dung before going into a pupal stage.
Once they emerge, it takes several days for their shells to harden, leaving them vulnerable to attack, which has also not helped maintain their numbers. Once they have fully hardened, they are very sturdy creatures. The head of the riding beetle has a bizarre horn structure that serves as a handle, with the rider sitting in a saddle-shaped dip in the shell just before the wings. They have a very weak bite attack for their size, but a substantial ability to trample down almost anything that gets in their way and is slow enough not to move. As adults, they can eat almost any plant matter.
Now that the Empire has arisen, they have begun re-domesticating these rare beetles and bringing them into the service of the Emperor. They remain rare enough that the price is still high and they are often found only in the service of the Samurai class
Price: Full grown 500gp
N Large vermin
Init ; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception
AC 19, touch 9, flat-footed 19 ( natural, –1 size)
hp 49 (8d8+14)
Fort , Ref , Will
Immune mind-affecting effects
Speed 20 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor)
Melee bite (2d4+1)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks trample (1d6+6, DC 17)
Str 19, Dex 10, Con 15, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 9
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 20 (28 vs. trip)
Skills Fly –6