|Intelligence:||Animal (1)||Animal (1)||Low to exceptional (5-16)|
|Movement:||18||15, Fl 15 (D)||12, Fl 12 (C)|
|Hit Dice:||1 to 3||9||4+4|
|THAC0:||1-2 HD: 19|
3 HD: 17
|No. of Attacks:||1||3||4|
|Damage/Attack:||1 HD: 1-4|
2 HD: 1-6
3 HD: 1-8
|Special Attacks:||Nil||Surprise||See below|
|Special Defenses:||Nil||Immune to poison||See below|
|Size:||S to L (2-8’ tall)||L (12’ tall)||L (8’ tall)|
|Morale:||Average (8-10)||Steady (11-12)||Champion (15-16)|
|XP Value:||1 HD: 15|
2 HD: 35
3 HD: 65
Spell user: 1,400
Avians, whether magical or mundane in nature, are among the most interesting creatures ever to evolve. Their unique physiology sets them apart from all other life, and their grace and beauty have earned them a place of respect and adoration in the tales of many races.
These large avians are typified by the ostrich (3 HD), emu (2 HD), and rhea (1 HD). Although they share many of the unique physiological adaptations that have enabled other avians to take wing and break the bonds of earth, they are forever chained to the surface, unable to fly.
The ostrich is a large, flightless bird that lives on the grassy plains and rolling savannas of tropical and subtropical regions. It is the largest and strongest of mundane avians, standing fully eight feet from foot to crown and weighing up to 300 pounds. The animal’s small head and short, flat beak are perched atop a long, featherless neck. When it runs, an ostrich fans out its wings for stability and employs its powerful legs to attain speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. If forced to fight, an ostrich uses its legs to deliver a powerful kick that inflicts 1d8 points of damage.
Male ostriches have black bodies with white wings and tail feathers. Females, as is typical in many animals, are far less colorful than the males, being a dull gray or brown in color. The white feathers of the male are highly prized by merchants, as they can be used in hat- and dress-making. In many parts of the world, ostrich farms are not uncommon.
Male ostriches often mate with as many as four females. Larger flocks of ostriches consist of 1d4+1 males, their mates, and their offspring. The females lay their eggs in a single nest, where they are incubated by the females by day and guarded by the males at night.
The emu is another large, flightless bird that is almost as large as the ostrich. An emu can reach a height of six feet from foot to crown and a weight of 130 pounds. Unlike those of their larger cousins, the wings of an emu are rudimentary appendages hidden beneath their coarse, hair-like feathers. An emu.s plumage is dull brown, darker on the head, neck, and along its back, while its underside is much lighter.
The rhea greatly resembles a small ostrich. Rheas average three feet in height and 80 pounds in weight. The most noteworthy differences between the two species are in the structure of the feet (ostriches have two toes while rheas have three) and the tail feathers. While the ostrich has elegant, flowing tail plumes, the rhea’s are far shorter. Long feathers on the sides of the rhea, however, swoop down to cover the stunted tail feathers. These unusual feathers, like the tail feathers of an ostrich, are sought after by fashion designers; for this reason rhea are often hunted or raised on farms. Rheas generally gather in groups of three to six individuals, though this number climbs to as many as 25 during mating season.
The rhea’s hard beak delivers a peck for 1d4 points of damage.
The boobrie is a giant relative of the stork. Its origins are lost in mists of ancient time and arcane lore. Although some scholars suggest that there is a link between the boobrie and the roc, there seems to be little that the two species have in common (apart from their great size.)
An adult boobrie stands roughly 12 feet tall and may weigh as much as 300 pounds. Although its weight may seem low for such a huge creature, it is important to remember that this animal, like most fliers, is built very light. When a boobrie is threatened or comes across a creature too powerful for it to fight, it fluffs up its feathers to look even more imposing than it already is. When it does this, a number of long feathers on the back of the boobrie’s neck become erect, making it look as though the creature were two or three feet taller.
The boobrie stands on two long, slender legs. Its feet are split into four slender toes that stretch very wide to enable the creature to move quickly through marshes and swamps. Although these legs enable the creature to run at a very high speed, they are fairly weak when used in combat. A boobrie will hunt primarily with its beak, which is shaped much like that of a heron, with a hook like that of an eagle. In addition, its powerful jaw muscles and the sharp, serrated edge of its beak give it a vicious bite.
A boobrie’s diet is largely made up of giant catfish and other large denizens of the wetlands. On occasion, though, it hunts for other prey. When times are rough, the boobrie feeds on all manner of snakes, lizards, and, if it finds them, giant spiders. Its occasional dependence on a diet of creatures that can deliver a toxic bite has, over the centuries, caused the boobrie to develop an immunity to all manner of toxins.
When a boobrie hunts, it finds a grove of tall marsh grass or similar vegetation and slips into it. Once within its hunting blind, it remains perfectly still, often for hours at a time, until prey comes within sight. Then, with a speed which seems uncanny in such a large creature, it springs forth and attacks. When employing this means of ambush, a boobrie forces its opponents to suffer a -3 penalty to their surprise rolls.
If two boobrie are encountered, they are usually (75%) a mated pair. These adult boobries always have at least 5 hit points per Hit Die. If the boobries are not adults (25% chance), they are young with 4 or fewer hit points per Hit Die.
Eblis are intelligent avians noted for their cruel nature and evil ways. Eblis stand much taller than the average human, reaching heights of up to eight feet. Their bodies look much like those of storks, with grey, tan, or off-white plumage on their bodies and sleek black necks. Their heads are narrow and end in long, needle-like beaks that are glossy black in color.
Eblis speak a language of chirps, whistles, and deep-throated hoots. While it is all but impossible for humans to duplicate, it can be understood by the trained listener. In addition, 25% of all spellcasting eblis have managed to learn a rudimentary version of common, which permits them to converse with those they encounter.
When an eblis engages in physical combat, it lashes out with its beak to peck at opponents. Eblis are very agile, which not only accounts for their excellent Armor Class, but also enables them to make up to four stabbing attacks each round.
Each community of eblis is led by one individual that has a limited spellcasting capability. Eblis of this type can cast 2d4 spells per day; eblis cast as 3rd-level spellcasters. To determine which spells are available, roll 1d8 and consult the following table. Duplicate rolls indicate that the spell may be employed more than once per day.
Eblis love shiny objects (like gems); they often decorate their homes with these. In fact, even the most wise and powerful of the eblis can be bribed with a particularly impressive jewel. When characters attempt to loot an eblis lair, note that its treasures are woven into the nest itself and thus require some effort to remove. In addition to those items that men find valuable (like coins and gems), dozens of other objects may have caught an eblis’s eye. While these may range from shards of broken glass to shiny pieces of metal from a broken suit of armor, they are always worthless. Sorting through these items in search of valuable ones can be fairly time consuming.
An eblis community consists of 2d4 huts, each of which is inhabited by a male and his mate. In addition, 30% of the huts have a single egg or chick in them as well. These huts are built from straw and grasses common to the marsh around the community. Care is taken by the eblis to make these huts very difficult to detect. In fact, only a determined search of the area by a ranger or someone with the animal lore proficiency is likely to uncover the community.
All eblis secrete an oil that coats their feathers and provides them with some protection from the elements. In addition, this oil is naturally resistant to fire, granting the eblis a +1 bonus to all saving throws against fire- and flame-based attacks. Any damage caused by a fire- or flame-based attack is lessened by -1 for each die of damage.
The evil nature of the eblis is best seen in the delight it takes in hunting and killing. When an eblis spots travelers who have objects it desires for its nest, it attacks. Since the eblis is cunning, these attacks often take the forms of ambushes. There is reason to believe, however, that the true evil behind the eblis culture is not in the average members of the race, but in their spellcasting leaders. Past experience has shown that common eblis are, by and large, far less prone to evil or cruelty than their masters. Thus many scholars have come to believe that the eblis spellcasters acquire their power through some evil deed and are forever warped into malefic beings.
Last Modified: March 20, 2014, 17:35:47 GMT
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