1001 Inconsequential Flora & Fauna


Homebrew and House Rules

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VoodistMonk wrote:
It is not known if Arcanus-sunacra is attracted to hosts already possessing reservoirs of arcane energy, or if Arcanus-sunacra is responsible for their hosts' arcane abilities.

Sounds a bit like a hokey religion...

Just a menacing... phantom of a thought....


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350. Almost-birds
Of the etherweave finch's cousins, most disturbing is the almost-bird. These birds, in their ethereal wanderings, strayed close to the Realm of Dreams long ago, and a different sort of web caught them. Now, they are a common sight in the dreams--and nightmares--of mortals. They are also a common sight in Leng, where they seem to be particularly fecund. Denizens of Leng keep them as pets, Leng spiders use them to send each other messages, and ghouls consider them delicious.

Almost-birds usually don't spend long in the Realm of Dreams; they only visit to gather the materials and food they need. Nonetheless, they have been warped over time by their visits into something monstrous. Their beaks are split into four parts, and contain multiple long extending probosces. Their feathers are, in fact, fully living tissue, and each feather's shaft pumps with blood like a vein, giving them a strange reddish coloring when viewed in full flight, moulting, or in certain lighting. Otherwise, they have a pale pink hue, with milky white feathers. An almost-bird has a highly mutable form, and though it possesses no natural shapeshifting ability, its body morphs and deforms in synch with the distortion of the Realm of Dreams, essentially acting as if the bird were as much a part of the dreamscape as the soil of Leng itself.

Certain hags frequenting the Ethereal Plane like to use these birds' feathers for quick quills--excellent for signatures in blood, when it doesn't matter whose.

Almost-birds do not feed on the dead, having learned to fear everything associated with the ghouls of Leng. They are happy to feed on just about everything else, however, even cutting shallow incisions in living flesh and licking up blood like vampire bats. They rarely gather in flocks larger than twenty. They have the statistics of ravens.


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Pizza Lord wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
It is not known if Arcanus-sunacra is attracted to hosts already possessing reservoirs of arcane energy, or if Arcanus-sunacra is responsible for their hosts' arcane abilities.

Sounds a bit like a hokey religion...

Just a menacing... phantom of a thought....

Was I too obvious?


VoodistMonk wrote:
Pizza Lord wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
It is not known if Arcanus-sunacra is attracted to hosts already possessing reservoirs of arcane energy, or if Arcanus-sunacra is responsible for their hosts' arcane abilities.

Sounds a bit like a hokey religion...

Just a menacing... phantom of a thought....
Was I too obvious?

We shouldn't attack you for this one. It's not like you cloned it or anything.


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351. Netherdonna

This species of belladonna primarily grows on the negative energy plane, and *can* grow on the material plane as well, but only in areas that have strong connections to the negative energy plane. Netherdonna produces highly poisonous onyx-black berries that are infused with negative energy (Ingested Poison, Fort Save DC18 negates, Initial effect: Enervation 1d4-1 negative levels (min 0), Secondary Effect: 1d3-1 Con dmg (min 0), Onset 1 minute, Frequency 12 hours, Cure 2 consecutive saves). While these berries are highly toxic if ingested, they still can be used cosmetically to create eye drops that dilate one's pupils to appear otherworldly seductive and alluring; if you use these eye drops, you gain a +2DC for any compulsion, charm, or otherwise seductive spells or abilities that you use vs. any target that meets your gaze for the next 4 hours, but during this time you treat everyone as having 20% concealment due to slightly blurred vision. Using Netherdonna eye drops is not recommended for long term or repeated use however, because over time it distorts your vision and can eventually lead to permanent blindness.

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(This thread's about to go to the birds!)

350. Zoon These lake and pond-dwelling fowl, sometimes called 'beaver bowers' by birders, but more commonly just called zoon, after their mournful cry, are related to egrets and loons, and live in nests atop beaver lodges. Among their more unique attributes is that they nest in triads, and have no gender until their breeding season, at which point the formerly cooperative and affectionate triad members become fiercely competitive and quarrelsome, attempting to foil each others attempts to hunt, or even steal food from each other, as the most successful of the three changes the coloration of their feathers over time, with the final transformation causing the other two to revert back to plain white. The color change does not occur via the replacement of plumage, like in many other birds, but via a chemical change in the feather-shaft, so that the feathers themselves literally change color over the process of several weeks. The bird who transforms, usually a brilliant rose-pink, umber or orange on the underside, and midnight blue or deep purple on the back, more like some bright tropical parrot than a plain egret, also becomes the female, and the dominant member of the triad for that season. She is then fertilized by both (now) males, and lays a pair of eggs (more rarely four), one (or two) fertilized by each male, which is why the female position is so hotly contested, as only the female gets to pass their genes down to *all* of the resultant offspring. Within a month of the eggs being laid, the brilliant plumage has again faded to an unexceptional off-white, but for that brief time, the female is dominant, and the males defer to her in all things, before they revert to a genderless state (and more equal behavior).

Generally a successful triad switches off, with a different member becoming the female in successive seasons, and an individual zoon who is 'too successful' and becomes the female two or three seasons in a row will sometimes be abandoned by their unhappy mates, who long for their own chance to become (ever so briefly) the dominant partner, leaving together to go find a more equal 'third partner.'

Zoon can be all-too easily identified by hunters, as they decorate their 'beaver-bowers' with their shed white plumage, secured to the outer surface of the lodge with their excrement, which serves to insulate the beaver lodge nicely (neither the zoon nor the musky beavers seem to mind the resultant smell...), and making the lodges highly visible at a distance, with it's shiny white decoration. (Any shed feathers with leftover coloration changes from breeding season are discarded, as the zoon do not seem to care for the reminder of their unequal status or intense squabbling and hypercompetitiveness during that time.) Hunters note the location of a zoon triad, and stake out the area, waiting for breeding season, as a female zoon in full plumage is worth top coin to collectors, but must be killed within that week her coloration is in top form, and stuffed immediately, as her plumage (and gender) revert to standard within a few weeks if the zoon is captured alive. Not even animal controlling magic will cause the zoon to retain her color, or to change her color, as it is not under conscious control, but a reaction to behavioral cues from her mates, diet and deep instinct. Even if the zoon suffers too much damage in the capture to be 'stuffable,' the feathers themselves can be sold to make brilliantly colored feather pens or to decorate gentleman's hats or ladies gowns, making the zoon rare outside of lonely settings, where their mournful cries seem more appropriate.

(Apologies to David Brin. These are totally pre-Uplift Gubru! And I chose Zoon as a species-name, because the Bestiary is totally lacking in critters whose names start with Z. Or Q or J or U, for that matter. We must have justice for the lonely letters!)

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351. Vixens These lizards were named after foxes because they are even more elusive and challenging a hunt. These lizards have six legs, like the basilisk, and are capable swimmers and climbers. They have very acute senses, and the ability to shift the pigments in their skins, allowing them to blend into their surroundings, and to shut down their metabolism to estivate, sometimes for months at a time, their breathing slowed down to such an extent that they can take a deep breath, burrow into the mud at the bottom of a pond, and sleep throughout the wet season like a frog, not breathing again for months until they awaken during the dry season.

Truly their most unique feature is that they have a 'super-adrenaline' gland that allows them to move in a short burst of speed, almost like a cheetah, for a brief period of time, after which they are exhausted, and often immediately camouflage themselves in their new location, and perhaps even enter their hibernative state, if they feel their current location is safe. (Such as having scampered up a tree, or to the bottom of a lake and burrowed into the mud.)

As a result of these various adaptations, the vixen was truly a challenging creature to hunt, so much so that it was hunted to near-extinction by the upper classes of Thassilon, and now only a Small strain still remains haunting the Storval plateau. (Originally, the Vixen was size Medium, but this version can no longer be found, save occasionally as stuffed trophies, or illustrations in musty old naturalist's guides from the time of Thassilon's ascendance.)

The Shoanti also consider them a challenging hunt, and bringing one back is a suitable trial for worthiness, although the Shoanti hunt them for their meat (which must be cooked to a precise degree to render it flavorful, as too little, and it is bitter, and too much, and it is bland) and their hides, not for sport, and are at no risk of making the surviving vixen population endangered.

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352. Semisolid Polyhedra Not many creatures in this bestiary can have their creator identified, other than 'the gods.' But the Semisolid Polyhedra were created by Nexian alchemist Fussbudget of Ishkabibble, using an arcane means to concentrate a gelatinous cube into a small polyhedral leathery semisolid mass that flops around and attempts to feed by squishing insects or trapping small rodents under it's flat 'faces' and then squatting on them long enough for it's (much weakened) digestive secretions to dissolve them. It can no longer engulf prey, due to it's semisolid nature, and generally avoids prey larger than Tiny, as it does about as much damage with it's 'slam' attack as a halfling with a knife (and it's acidic secretions are even weaker, so that it might take a minute or two to dissolve and digest a rat.

Why Ishkabibble created these creatures, shaped like tetrahedra, octahedrons or icosahedrons (never a cube, quoth Fussbudget, 'it already looked like a cube, why would I want to reinvent that?'), is unclear, as are many things about this eccentric gnome researcher, but it is whispered that he has been *hired* to pursue this research, and that his hidden benefactor is none other than the sentient ooze hive-mind at the center of Oenopion!

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353. Aerana These spiders are somewhat larger than the average garden pest, but still as small as a mouse, and quite distinctive for wearing a tiny fluttering 'tunic' made of their own webbing over their abdomen, with a slightly different pattern of more reflective silk at the center, like a personal glyph, that varies with each aerana (related aerana have similar patterns, and aerana seem most attracted to aerana whose silk patterns are most dissimilar to their own, and when two aerana encounter one another, the first thing they do is stand up on their back four legs and show off their glyphs to one another, so that they can determine if they are related).

Their more unique traits include that they are more intelligent than most so-called vermin, about as much as a cat, and have magical powers. They can cast three cantrips, once per day each; light, daze and ghost sound, which they use for hunting (light to attract moths at night) and self-defense (daze to stun small birds who threaten them, ghost sound to create the sound of a larger predator to frighten off threats). They can also shapeshift into a humanoid form, although the form remains diminutive, and therefore is not terribly useful as a disguise, or for any more creative use, due to the aerana's limited intellect. Still, even after their daily cantrips are expended, the sudden shapeshifting into a miniscule humanoid and yelling and waving their arms can startle a thrush or rodent about to devour them, and buy them another day of life. (This tactic does not seem to work on crows, who just gobble up the little humanoid as readily as they would a little spider...)

Aerana seem more common in areas that are also frequented by aranea, who, if they are living in disguise as humanoids in the region, tend to drive away or kill the aerana to help masque their presence from those who know of this correlation.

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(Day off for holiday-that-did-not-age-well, so my brain is hungry to create content!)

354. Stone Lichen This rare bluish-gray lichen is unique in that it only thrives on stone that has formerly been flesh, slowly transforming it and digesting the flesh. It is most commonly found in the nesting and hunting grounds of cockatrices and basilisks, who care nothing for the slow degradation of their 'statuary,' as it spends decades smoothing away their features and eroding them down to vaguely-humanoid lumps of stone. Medusa are more likely to scour the fungus away and even decorate their 'statue gardens,' except in the case of individuals they loathed in life and want to see worn away by the devouring lichens.

An individual who has suffered the depredations of this lichen and is restored to flesh magically suffers 1d2 points of Strength, Dexterity and Constitution drain for every year that the lichen spent eating away at their surface features and often has a ghastly appearance, as if they'd been horribly burnt by acid (which, in fact, they have, just over a long time). Magical restoration is the only reprieve, at that point, as such damage does not heal naturally.

(Ha ha, you got turned to stone, then after you finally got changed back, your face had been eaten off!)

355. Snake Bite An odd species of fern, snake bite occurs in barren stripes in the deep jungles, due to a symbiotic relationship with a species of ant. The fern itself curls up like a snake during the heat of the day, but unfurls during the dusk to catch the waning rays of the sun and stays open all night, curling up again a few hours after dawn to ride out the hottest part of the day. When it's unfurled, a pair of stamen dangle from from the uppermost part, like the fangs of a viper, and drip sweet nectar, which hardens slightly on contact with the air and falls to the ground like the little sweet balls in boba tea, to be carried away to their underground homes amid the plants roots, tiny wooden cavities like walnuts that serve as their nesting chambers. And so the plant provides both nourishment and shelter to the ants. In return, the ants keep an area several yards around the plant meticulously clear of other vegetation, with the exception of other snake bite plants, and also shuttle pollen back and forth between the plants, having a curious behavior of scrupulously ignoring ants from the hives under neighboring plants. Plants other than snakebite are systematically dismantled, torn apart by their mandibles, and even their roots pulled up and shredded. Not even big trees are allowed to throw shade on their home and provider, and when shadows from the east or west fall on the snakebite plant, the ants march in that direction, climb the offending tree, and over the course of days or weeks, snip every leaf off of it, and continue to do so for the years it takes for the tree to die off and collapse to rot under it's own weight, leaving distinctive stripe-like clear patches in the jungles depths, for the snakebite to thrive.

(Swollen thorn acacia trees are my favorite thing!)

356. Lamia Kits Currently thought to be extinct, it's not clear where these creatures came from, and so they could technically reappear at any time, if their original source of creation still exists and deems them to be useful... Lamia kits were not originally known to be related to lamia, which was the intention. These small creatures, found only in Katapesh, had the torso of a slender human child and the lower body of a sleek desert cat. They were not too bright, more than the aforementioned desert cat, but not quite up to a child of their apparent age. They were first discovered in one of their two alternate forms, as they had the ability to change shape into either a desert cat, or a humanoid child, and in either case would be affectionate and 'clingy' by nature, because prolonged contact with one would sap the will of a person similar to the touch of the lamia that created them through some dark gift of Lamashtu. They were sent to weaken the resistances of local tribes, in the guise of lost children, or docile desert cats, so that when the lamia themselves took action, the tribesmen's minds were weak and pliable to their enchantments, but the ruse was uncovered and most of the lamia kin rooted out and destroyed (along with one or two actual lost and traumatized children, and dozens of innocent desert cats that had grown to accustomed to living among the local tribes...).

(Pet the tribble. Let it's trill sooth you...)

357. Cockadeuce A cockadeuce is like a cockatrice, but lacks any sort of petrification ability. It's meat is as revolting as the rest of it, and it lacks any redeeming features.

(Trice doesn't even mean 'thrice.' I don't even know what I was thinking with that wordplay.)


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358. Focus Locust...
These grasshoppers make flashes of light, as well as sounds, when they rub legs against their wings. Incredibly, Focus Locusts' lights are visible in almost every spectrum, and their noises are both audible in almost every spectrum, but also from quite unreasonable distances. Focus Locusts' are apparently capable of equally seeing and hearing every portion of both spectrums... using their audio and visual effects as a form of complex communication, conveying both reason and emotion within their limited understanding of each.

What makes Focus Locust unique is that they have a habit of translating noises and lights they hear and see into other parts of the their respective spectrums... transmitting noises they hear from one frequency out in a different frequency, and converting ultraviolet or infrared light into visible spectrum light... this seemingly random translation of stimuli plays havoc on anything nearby in the environment...

Focus Locust have a DC1 to be noticed, and this never increases with range. They are both audible and visible in every known spectrum and can be located from nearly any distance without penalty using any known senses. They even constantly produce vibrations that trigger Tremorsense.

These effects represent themselves as random Ghost Sounds and Silent Images, the DC is always 15 to disbelieve.

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VoodistMonk wrote:
358. Focus Locust...

No range limit? As in, people in other countries, perhaps even on other planets, are seeing, hearing, etc. nothing but the infernal 'chirping' of Focus Locusts 24/7, drowning out all other stimuli? That seems a bit extreme.


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Set wrote:
VoodistMonk wrote:
358. Focus Locust...

No range limit? As in, people in other countries, perhaps even on other planets, are seeing, hearing, etc. nothing but the infernal 'chirping' of Focus Locusts 24/7, drowning out all other stimuli? That seems a bit extreme.

Forgive the undersight, I was thinking about that after posting... but alas, it was past the window for editing.

I was referring specifically to Perception skill check penalties associated with range, but it would still be limited by line of effect... on a planet roughly equal in diameter to that of Earth, that limits visual line of effect to about 3 miles... which is hilarious if these grasshoppers are catching your eye on the horizon like a signal mirror. Lol. Audio line of effect would probably be far shorter, depending on the environment... but I am still willing to allow these stupid crickets to show up on one's audio radar from "quite unreasonable distances". Lol.

It's hilarious for what it is, but no, not from space or other countries (unless you are just looking across a border). But ultimately, the flash of light is still only equal to that of a steel hitting flint, and their chirps are still only as loud as any other cricket or grasshopper. The flashes and chirps are just showing up in every spectrum, they aren't any brighter or louder than normal.


So a focus locust in a tiny stasis box is like a signal flare. "When you find the Gnoll camp, just open the box, the royal griffin riders will do the rest."


Goth Guru wrote:
So a focus locust in a tiny stasis box is like a signal flare. "When you find the Gnoll camp, just open the box, the royal griffin riders will do the rest."

It's really not that different from children filling jars with fireflies... just a lot cooler with griffin riders and $#!+...

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Ah cool, I thought I must be misreading that. "Somewhere in the world, the focus locust is chirping, and we all get to hear it. Thank the gods there aren't more than one of them..." :)


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359. Crystal Panthera (Lions, Tigers, Leopards, Cougars, Panthers, & Jaguars)

Instead of fur, these species of the panthera family have thousands of individual crystals that naturally form on their skin that have a similar appearance as a geode, and their crystalline skin absorbs, refracts, and transforms the light that is reflected upon them by their surroundings. Unlike chameleons, these crystalline cats do not need to touch an object to change the pigmentation of their skin; rather, they need only be close enough to the object to reflect its colored light, so they quickly blend into trees, bushes, and tall grasses with exceptional ease just by being near them. Due to their skin reflecting the light from all that is around them, this functions as an "active" camouflage that quickly changes their color even while dashing at full speed, and making them highly efficient predators that are nigh-undetectable while creeping closer to pounce on their prey. Iconically, they can be treated as Invisible while they are swimming through water (although you can still see the ripples in the water).

The crystals on their skin grow continuously throughout their life, and eventually become too large for comfort. This typically happens twice per year, usually in the summer and then again in the winter, and these cats will hunker down in a safe place and go through a moulting phase that lasts for 3-5 days as they shed these excess crystals.

Strangely, these cats are considered "eligere stipant" hunters, or "elite pack" hunters, so while they do form "packs" of typically 3-6 cats, these packs are highly-exclusionary, and they will only create packs with other cats whom they deem as ideal specimens. It is not uncommon for these packs to leave behind the sick, wounded, slow, or otherwise imperfect hunting compatriots. Once such a pack is formed, they will typically remain together for life, and will not associate with other cats or other packs unless to mate. These cats are territorial as well, and will fight other packs over hunting grounds.

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360. Murder Hornets These somewhat provocatively named rust-colored wasps are small and inoffensive, but derive their names from their appetite for blood, from which they derive nutrients and protein. They used to be seen in forests, building nests in the trees near the nesting grounds of predatory cats and wolves, but now they are frequently seen buzzing around slaughterhouses, where they build their nests in the eaves, or, more recently, around the Final Blades in Galt, the nation in which they are most common, these drab and fairly mild-mannered (for wasps, anyway) creatures have a reputation all out of proportion to their nomenclature, despite their macabre appetites, and tendency to get excited and buzz around livestock headed for the slaughter, or people being marched up to the final blades, anticipating bloodshed.

361. Snakeweed This Mwangi flower has a variety of pale pastel colors and a single flower shaped like a fluted tube that stands straight up, and has a fine pollen that is dispersed whenever the tube is disturbed, say, by a hummingbird alighting to feed on the nectar within. No one is exactly sure where the name came from, as it is neither a weed, nor seemingly in any way associated with snakes.

Snakeweed pollen causes a strange effect in humanoids, a lassitude followed by intense hyper-realistic dreams of beautiful alien cities and mysterious robed figures. A few rare individuals 'sleepwalk' during this time, and sometimes find themselves in strange places when they awaken, forgotten ruins, archives and libraries, or deep in the jungle, as if, during their visions, someone else was using their body to search for information, or some elusive location... Still, the odd effects are rare, and the pollen's dreams are pleasant and distracting, so the pollen is a popular snuff in the Pesh dens of Katapesh (although it is frightfully expensive, as it must be imported from the Expanse and transported the length of the Pale River.

(While your mind idly dreams of their past splendors, Serpentfolk sorcerer-priests of past millenia explore our future in your body, seeking out what has become of their great civilization and seeking clues as to how to stave off it's decline, or, at least, how to see it rise again...)

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362. Bull Rats Named for how tough the little buggers are, the townsfolk of Ferry Creek have no idea how accurate the name they've given these ridiculously hard-to-kill brown rats is.

Decades ago, long enough that most of the locals have plum forgotten all about it, there was a coven of hags causing trouble in the region, and that coven of hags had managed to hire a minotaur gang to serve as 'muscle.' They had a falling out when the 'muscle' got an idea about just overrunning one or two of the smaller poorly-defended villages in the region and building the beginning of a 'minotaur empire,' starting by getting all three of the other members of his gang (all females, conveniently, he tolerated no competing males in his 'gang') pregnant, intending to sire an army. The hags were less amused, as this didn't mesh well with their longer-term and subtler machinations for the region, and after a summer of treachery, finally hunted down the last of the minotaurs attracted to the boasts of this would-be minotaur emperor, turning them all into rats.

But something went awry. A fair number of the transformed rats had been pregnant minotaur females, and even transformed, they remained pregnant, and delivered little rat babies, as one would expect. Little rat babies, that, like their transformed 'ex-minotaur' mothers, were as tough as minotaurs! (six hit dice, full BAB and thirty-three hit points.)

And they bred true, with each other, their preferred partners, driving 'lesser' rats away. Their bite was no more dangerous than a normal rat, nor did they retain any unusual strength or cleverness, but they were very hard to kill, taking many arrows, or repeated hacking blows from weapons sized to kill men! This is generally accepted as 'not how these things are supposed to work,' and yet, these are the facts on the ground, and no amount of explaining to these rats of unusual vigor that they are supposed to have lay down and died several axe-blows ago seems to convince them to play by the rules. One could say they are... bull-headed.

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363. Chelish Roses When Aroden died, it is said that half of the formerly blood-red roses in Ergorian turned white. Some say they bled for their fallen lord, or in sympathy with his own passing. Thrunites like to downplay the significance of the event, and it goes without mention, all white rose bushes uprooted and moved out of sight of disapproving Thrunite eyes, as they do not care for too much speculation about fallen gods of 'old Cheliax' and prefer to focus the minds of the people on what is important in the new order.

A gardener began the mildly heretical notion that the roses had been deprived somehow, that Aroden had drawn vital essence from the land of Cheliax at the moment of his passing, and that the fading of the roses was merely a symptom of a greater sickness. To properly strengthen the land, this diabolist felt, the rose-bushes that remained would be watered with blood, usually butchers blood or the blood of slave 'volunteers' (contrary to sensationalist rumor, none were actually killed for their blood, they just contributed enough to not render them too weak to be otherwise productive), but eventually the blood of tieflings, and even summoned fiendish creatures and actual fiends, to give the rose-bushes greater vigor. Certainly not every rose-bush in the Chelish capital shares such traits, but a surprising number of them have grown particularly sinister of aspect, with thorns that glisten with an almost metallic sheen, and branches that seem to twist about to catch on clothes and flesh, even in the absence of wind, as if the plants have grown hungry for the taste of blood, and are no longer content to wait for the gardeners to come by with their watered-down 'feedings.'

Needless to say, the roses are blood-red. No other color would be tolerated, and naturally white and yellow roses are seen as gauche, even insulting... More than one assassination has been presaged by an anonymous gift of a white rose, and at least one notable duel was fought over a deliberately provocative 'gift' of a yellow rose. ("Not worth a blood rose, I'll give you a piss rose instead.")

The insult is reversed in some places outside of Cheliax, and the gift of a blood-red rose from Cheliax (which a lay-person might not immediately be able to tell from a 'normal' red rose) can be seen as an implied threat in Andoran, Ravounel or Vidrian, the thread being 'you were ours once, you will be ours again...'

The deliberate introduction of fiendish blood has also added the slightest bit of vitality to the blood roses of the capitol. A mere shadow of the supernatural resistances of tieflings and devils, the rose bushes have an unusually broad tolerance to heat spells and cold snaps, as well as being able to thrive with less than the expected level of light, and thriving in shaded gardens under the canopy of trees, or the eaves of buildings, so long as they are regularly 'fed.'


Set wrote:

362. Bull Rats Named for how tough the little buggers are, the townsfolk of Ferry Creek have no idea how accurate the name they've given these ridiculously hard-to-kill brown rats is.

Decades ago, long enough that most of the locals have plum forgotten all about it, there was a coven of hags causing trouble in the region, and that coven of hags had managed to hire a minotaur gang to serve as 'muscle.' They had a falling out when the 'muscle' got an idea about just overrunning one or two of the smaller poorly-defended villages in the region and building the beginning of a 'minotaur empire,' starting by getting all three of the other members of his gang (all females, conveniently, he tolerated no competing males in his 'gang') pregnant, intending to sire an army. The hags were less amused, as this didn't mesh well with their longer-term and subtler machinations for the region, and after a summer of treachery, finally hunted down the last of the minotaurs attracted to the boasts of this would-be minotaur emperor, turning them all into rats.

But something went awry. A fair number of the transformed rats had been pregnant minotaur females, and even transformed, they remained pregnant, and delivered little rat babies, as one would expect. Little rat babies, that, like their transformed 'ex-minotaur' mothers, were as tough as minotaurs! (six hit dice, full BAB and thirty-three hit points.)

And they bred true, with each other, their preferred partners, driving 'lesser' rats away. Their bite was no more dangerous than a normal rat, nor did they retain any unusual strength or cleverness, but they were very hard to kill, taking many arrows, or repeated hacking blows from weapons sized to kill men! This is generally accepted as 'not how these things are supposed to work,' and yet, these are the facts on the ground, and no amount of explaining to these rats of unusual vigor that they are supposed to have lay down and died several axe-blows ago seems to convince them to play by the rules. One could...

I really, really like these guys. But they aren't inconsequential with the stats you are using here, they will outlast and even kill animals that normally prey upon them and possibly even a few humanoids if they turn into a Swarm. Maybe just increase the hit points without the hit dice/bab?


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Sprakimg of rats...

364. Muskrat- These rats are a little bigger than the common brown rat, and no less intelligent or hardy, but they have a unique and possibly magical ability to spray a musk similar to skunks. Unlike skunks, however, this musk doesn't smell bad. Okay, well, sometimes it DOES smell bad, but sometimes it smells quite good, like fresh bread. Or inoffensive, like stale grass. Or so-so, like rice. It all depends on what the muskrat ate last, as they process a part of their meal into ammunition for their scent glands. Some enterprising perfumers have taken to using muskrats as organic dispensers, as they gorge the little fellows on various flowers and concoctions to create pleasing new scents. While these little fellows can become familiars for Wizards and sorcerers, doing so is considered as immature as binding a succubus or incubus to one's carnal service- it is a loud advertisement to fellow practitioners of magic that one is looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend.


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Freehold DM wrote:

Sprakimg of rats...

364. Muskrat- These rats are a little bigger than the common brown rat, and no less intelligent or hardy, but they have a unique and possibly magical ability to spray a musk similar to skunks. Unlike skunks, however, this musk doesn't smell bad. Okay, well, sometimes it DOES smell bad, but sometimes it smells quite good, like fresh bread. Or inoffensive, like stale grass. Or so-so, like rice. It all depends on what the muskrat ate last, as they process a part of their meal into ammunition for their scent glands. Some enterprising perfumers have taken to using muskrats as organic dispensers, as they gorge the little fellows on various flowers and concoctions to create pleasing new scents. While these little fellows can become familiars for Wizards and sorcerers, doing so is considered as immature as binding a succubus or incubus to one's carnal service- it is a loud advertisement to fellow practitioners of magic that one is looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

365. Close relative of spice wheasles.

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Freehold DM wrote:
I really, really like these guys. But they aren't inconsequential with the stats you are using here, they will outlast and even kill animals that normally prey upon them and possibly even a few humanoids if they turn into a Swarm. Maybe just increase the hit points without the hit dice/BAB?

I was trying to mostly stick to the polymorph other rules, but extra BAB just means their 1d3-4 bite (1 pt. nonlethal, per the rules) just hits more often. The HD increase also comes with an 5 extra skill points, 2 extra feats and 1 extra point in an Ability score (which I'd rule stayed the same as it was as a minotaur, so it would have a Str 3 instead of a Str 2, which means exactly bupkiss for it's damage, but that it can carry/drag slightly more weight...). But it's hard to say how effective it would be as an attacker. A cat could pin it and suffocate it as easily as a rat with 'normal' hit points, for instance.

But yeah, if these suckers could swarm, yikes. Same damage, like eight times the hit points! (Since 1 HD rats make a 3 HD swarm, there's precedent for making a swarm of 6 HD rats anywhere from 8 HD (1 + 2 = 3) to *18 HD!* (1 x 3 = 3))

A more amusing version, ignoring the rules, would have a completely normal rat that skill has tiny horns and a gore attack for like, 1d3-4, just like its bite, and a minotaur-like attitude, so it would constantly paw the ground like a bull, attempt to intimidate things vastly larger than it, and ram things with it's tiny ineffectual horn-nubs (while still having like, 4 hp and a Str 2, it would definitely *not* have the intelligence, skills, feats or other mental stats of a minotaur, just an attitude that's all wrong for the form it's ended up in!).

Anywho, the whole idea came from a 2nd edition AD&D game I played in college where my wizard turned a minotaur we were fighting into a 55 hp rat, and we decided to keep it as a pet. It did not 'breed true' and remained one of a kind. :)

Goth Guru wrote:
365. Close relative of spice wheasles.

And now I need to go away from the computer, because all I'm seeing in my brain is five weasels in skimpy dresses singing 'If you wanna be my lover.'

Help!? I need a new brain. Goth Guru just broke this one!


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366. Pachycephalornis translation: pachy - thick, cephalo - head, ornis - bird

Also called "Meteor Birds", his tiny-sized, dinosaur-like bird of prey has a reptilian body with long feathered wings and a thick-boned dome that protects the top of its skull; they weigh roughly 6-8lbs and are approximately 90-110cm 35-44inches in length. Strangely, this theropod does not have talons with which to grab or skewer prey, but rather it has tetradactyl totipalmate toes that are connected by webbing, making them moderately strong swimmers when necessary. While the rest of its bones are hollow like other birds, its spine, skull, and dome are filled with dense marrow, and it attempts to dive and ram its prey while in flight. While diving, it keeps its head up to see where its target is, but just before impact it lowers its head and its spine stretches out to become a perfect straight line with its dome, as to maximize the blunt force trauma it can inflict.

Pachycephalornis have sleek, scaled bodies and can reach speeds of over 150mph while diving. As such, they can easily injure or kill themselves if they strike solid surfaces, such as striking the earth, trees, or edifices. So they exclusively do not hunt ground-based creatures nor low-flying creatures, and instead hunt higher-flying birds and other creatures while they are flying far from the earth. However, they are not averse to diving and ramming creatures that are floating on the surface of lakes or oceans, such as seagulls, ducks, and swans. Due to evolving since the earliest era of dinosaurs, these creatures have light grey and light blue scales and plumage, making them difficult to spot in contrast to blue sky or cloud cover.

Impressively, the tiny Pachycephalornis generates a massive amount of force when diving at full speed, and can usually incapacitate their targets with a single blow, especially if the prey is unaware they're being hunted. Ground-based scavengers are a small slice of hell for Pachycephalornis though, because once their knocked-out prey falls to the earth, they have no real weapons to keep hyenas or vultures at bay once they are also on the ground.

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Ryze Kuja wrote:
366. Pachycephalornis translation: pachy - thick, cephalo - head, ornis - bird

Oh heck, these are just so well-written that it feels like a real scientific article about a real dinosaur!

Also, nice punchy-bird! :)


In all the time I watched Futurama, I never thought of that. Thanks Set. Dinner and a show, BAM!


Goth Guru wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Sprakimg of rats...

364. Muskrat- These rats are a little bigger than the common brown rat, and no less intelligent or hardy, but they have a unique and possibly magical ability to spray a musk similar to skunks. Unlike skunks, however, this musk doesn't smell bad. Okay, well, sometimes it DOES smell bad, but sometimes it smells quite good, like fresh bread. Or inoffensive, like stale grass. Or so-so, like rice. It all depends on what the muskrat ate last, as they process a part of their meal into ammunition for their scent glands. Some enterprising perfumers have taken to using muskrats as organic dispensers, as they gorge the little fellows on various flowers and concoctions to create pleasing new scents. While these little fellows can become familiars for Wizards and sorcerers, doing so is considered as immature as binding a succubus or incubus to one's carnal service- it is a loud advertisement to fellow practitioners of magic that one is looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

365. Close relative of spice wheasles.

BAM!


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Goth Guru wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Sprakimg of rats...

364. Muskrat- These rats are a little bigger than the common brown rat, and no less intelligent or hardy, but they have a unique and possibly magical ability to spray a musk similar to skunks. Unlike skunks, however, this musk doesn't smell bad. Okay, well, sometimes it DOES smell bad, but sometimes it smells quite good, like fresh bread. Or inoffensive, like stale grass. Or so-so, like rice. It all depends on what the muskrat ate last, as they process a part of their meal into ammunition for their scent glands. Some enterprising perfumers have taken to using muskrats as organic dispensers, as they gorge the little fellows on various flowers and concoctions to create pleasing new scents. While these little fellows can become familiars for Wizards and sorcerers, doing so is considered as immature as binding a succubus or incubus to one's carnal service- it is a loud advertisement to fellow practitioners of magic that one is looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

365. Close relative of spice wheasles.

Speaking of close relatives...

367. Peshmouse- Not long after Muskrats were successfully used for parfum, experimentation began on using them for other purposes. Some attempted to domesticate them and use them as living air fresheners for well to do homes, but their overall size, diet, and the reasons they spray their sometimes pleasing scent(usually out of fear) meant that this did not work well. A large amount of muskrats were discarded near a pesh den, and a few made their way inside. They became the next victims of the substances pleasurable aspects, but over time, people in the neighborhood began to notice the pesh den, already a neighborhood eyesore, was increasing in popularity. Moreover, those who went in rarely left, and when they did they remained in a tight radius of the den. Only through accident was what was later known as the peshmouse discovered, a emaciated version of the muskrat, completely addicted to pesh to the point it rarely eats anything else, and just like it's larger cousin, occasionally emanating the scent of pesh. While this was certainly not enough to offer a high or even a buzz, it WAS enough to remind a heavy user of the pleasures of pesh even when not using, which encouraged then to remain where they were to enjoy more. The owner of that den made an astonishing amount of money domesticating this breed of muskrat, and now they are found in mid and high level pesh operations, where they turn modest users into regular ones and keep servants(rarely slaves) in factories that make pesh content at their labors, looking forward to the next hit.


Freehold DM wrote:
Goth Guru wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:

Sprakimg of rats...

364. Muskrat- These rats are a little bigger than the common brown rat, and no less intelligent or hardy, but they have a unique and possibly magical ability to spray a musk similar to skunks. Unlike skunks, however, this musk doesn't smell bad. Okay, well, sometimes it DOES smell bad, but sometimes it smells quite good, like fresh bread. Or inoffensive, like stale grass. Or so-so, like rice. It all depends on what the muskrat ate last, as they process a part of their meal into ammunition for their scent glands. Some enterprising perfumers have taken to using muskrats as organic dispensers, as they gorge the little fellows on various flowers and concoctions to create pleasing new scents. While these little fellows can become familiars for Wizards and sorcerers, doing so is considered as immature as binding a succubus or incubus to one's carnal service- it is a loud advertisement to fellow practitioners of magic that one is looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend.

365. Close relative of spice wheasles.

Speaking of close relatives...

367. Peshmouse- Not long after Muskrats were successfully used for parfum, experimentation began on using them for other purposes. Some attempted to domesticate them and use them as living air fresheners for well to do homes, but their overall size, diet, and the reasons they spray their sometimes pleasing scent(usually out of fear) meant that this did not work well. A large amount of muskrats were discarded near a pesh den, and a few made their way inside. They became the next victims of the substances pleasurable aspects, but over time, people in the neighborhood began to notice the pesh den, already a neighborhood eyesore, was increasing in popularity. Moreover, those who went in rarely left, and when they did they remained in a tight radius of the den. Only through accident was what was later known as the peshmouse discovered, a emaciated version of the muskrat, completely...

Addendum- Wizards/sorcerers can have a peshmouse as a familiar, but that is a walking advertisement of how said wizard spends their free time, or that they are a sahir-afiyun, which is a considerably more respectful and potent assumption.

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368. Verdigris These cat-sized creatures look exactly like the larger rust monsters they are related to, and dwarves in particular abhor them and have all sorts of superstitious beliefs about them being larval rust monsters, or a mutant strain that if overfed 'mature' into full-size rust monsters, or 1 in 1000 verdigris births are rust monsters or whatever, none of which seems to be true. These tiny aberrations are affectionate, like puppies, not at all like the vermin they superficially resemble, and feed off of the decay that builds up on certain metals, particularly copper, but also silver and iron. Unlike their larger cousins, the verdigris do not in any way hasten this process, merely obsessively clean and polish any metal in their presence with their feathery antennae, until it gleams, at which point they move on to the next less-than-pristine metal object they can find and polish.

Most common in damp underground areas, verdigris are most commonly found in svirfneblin communities, serving both a useful function in maintaining metal objects and preserving them from decay, and also as pets. Dwarves exterminate them on sight, due to beliefs about their relations to rust monsters, and drow raise them as food animals, feeding them bits of rusty metal from worn out weapons or slave shackles, and then eating their own meat (which has been compared to lobster, with a a bitter metallic tang that the drow call 'piquant' and pretty much everyone else agrees is unpleasant or 'bite-y').

Perhaps the creepiest thing about them is that their hides contain trace amounts of the metals they obsessively 'clean' and when they die, those same shiny metals begin to tarnish unusually fast, so that living verdigris gather to 'wash the corpse' of their fallen kin, sharing one last meal from the departed's own hide (although it is not true that they cannibalize their own, merely that they clean off the decay and leave the bodies shiny before abandoning them).


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Dinosaurs! RAWR

369. Colossostyracospondylus translation: Colosso - gigantic, styraco - spiked, spondylus - vertebrae

This colossal-sized herbivorous dinosaur has a large spike coming out of every third vertebrae along its spine, ending in one large spike at the end of its tail. Each spike along its spine is roughly 2-3ft long, but the spike at the end of its tail is 6ft long, and then a crown of 1.25ft-1.5ft spikes adorn the top of its head. Colossostyracospondylus are roughly 80-95ft long from head to tail, and stand roughly 42-48ft tall at the top of the shoulder. Despite its monumentally imposing size, these creatures are quite docile, and only attack when threatened or if it perceives that its young are in danger. Colossostyracospondylus are so large that they easily fall prey to smaller predators working in packs, so these creatures are almost always found in large herds.

Some time ago, Great Thinker Maeralya Orisandoryl published an article in Wild Megafauna Illustrated magazine in vol. 97 regarding the impressive fighting capability that Colossostyracospondylus use when threatened by equal or larger sized creatures, and she noted that the Colossostyracospondylus will attempt to trip their aggressors by hooking them with the 6ft spike on its tail, and then once tripped, they can generate the maximum amount of force with a downward tailslap while trying to drive their spike deep into vital organs. However, when faced with smaller predators working in a pack, it has little defense due to how slowly it moves in comparison to the quicker predators; so, the young and adolescent Colossostyracospondylus are absolutely necessary to fighting off these packs.

370. Protogryphusaurus translation: proto - before, gryphus - griffon, saurus - lizard

Protogryphusaurus are highly similar to griffons in both size, shape, and behaviors, except their offspring come from eggs and they have reptilian scaled bodies with webbed pterodon-like wings. Although originally believed to be the evolutionary ancestor of modern griffons when first observed, named, and taxonomically-categorized centuries ago, Great Thinkers have argued ad nauseum over the recent decades as to the fact that this is incorrect. It has recently been unequivocally decided by Great Thinkers and Researchers that griffons and Protogryphusaurus have no actual relationship, but the name "Protogryphusaurus" stuck nevertheless.

371. Acrotrachelotitan translation: Acro - high, trachelo - throat/neck, titan - giant

Acrotrachelotitans are colossal-sized xylophagous and folivorous dinosaurs that have a large ape-like muscular body but with a head and neck that resembles a Brachiosaurus; at the shoulder, they stand roughly 50ft tall, but their long neck is an additional 40-50ft tall, for a total of roughly 90-100 ft tall while standing on their hind legs. As xylophages and folivores, they specifically eat trees, and they pull the entire tree out of the earth roots and all, and then consume the entirety of the wood and foliage.

Like apes, Acrotrachelotitans have dextrous hands with opposable thumbs and fingers on both their hands and feet, making them exceptional grapplers when threatened by predators. These reptilian-scaled giants also have a long muscular prehensile tail that ends in a "hand" that ends in three ribbon-esque "fingers" as well, and this is what they use to grab trees by spiraling their tail around the tree and then using their entire body to pull and uproot them.

It is widely known that Acrotrachelotitans are highly territorial and ferociously protective of their young, to the point of becoming berserk with rage, and are to be avoided at all costs.

372. Avileuconychus translation: Avi - bird, leuco - white, nychus - claw

This rooster-like dinosaur has a reptilian-scaled body with feathered wings that have 3-inch needle-like claws protruding from the alula joint that they use to claw and grapple their prey, but despite having wings Avileuconychus are flightless creatures. They are roughly 20-25lbs and 3.5-3.8ft long from head to tail, and have digitigrade legs with a 6-inch ivory claw that protrudes from the top of their left knee that they use to gouge their grappled prey, which typically range from rodents to ruminants, such as deer and elk. Like their larger velociraptor cousins, Avileuconychus are quick, fearless hunters and excel communicating with their pack to surround and swarm larger prey.

Like other creatures that organically produce ivory, such as rhinoceri and elephants, Avileuconychus are hunted and poached by humanoids for their ivory claw.

373. Antarctopeltus translation: Antarcto - Antarctic, pelta - shield

The Antarctopeltus is a 180-200lbs herbivorous quadruped with short legs and a wide, flat back, and exclusively lives in cold and freezing climes. Iconically, Antarctopeltus have two hearts and are cold-blooded like most other dinosaurs and lizard, except one heart pumps normal blood throughout the body, but the other "cryo-heart" pumps a colder-than-freezing blood-like liquid throughout veins that specifically travel throughout its back and tail. The veins from this secondary "cryo-heart" run to the outer layer of the skin and have a natural skin-like "vent" that can expose these arteries, veins, and capillaries across its back and tail to the outside air. This allows the Antarctopeltus to have "controlled bleeding" to create hundreds of icicle-like spikes that protrude out of its back and tail that are literally formed out of its own cryo-blood; the spikes that form from the capillaries can be as long as 12-15inches, and the spikes from the veins can be as long as 20-24 inches, and the spikes that are formed from the arteries can form as long as 40-45 inches.

Predators of Antarctopeltus are rare because these creatures employ defensive tactics similar to a porcupine, and their frozen cryo-blood spikes are designed to purposefully break off after perforating the skin of any would-be predators. Not only does this cause localized frostbite on the predator's skin, but once the predator's warm blood thaws these frozen spikes back into cryo-blood, that cryo-blood can potentially enter the bloodstream of the predator, and it is typically instant death when this colder-than-freezing cryo-blood reaches their heart.

374. Panopodovenator translation: pan - full, podo - foot, venator - hunter

This 4ft-5.5ft tall carnivorous reptilian dinosaur has a similar appearance as a deinonychus, except they are plantigrade-footed, making them naturally exceptional at running long distances without fatigue; additionally, these intrepid hunters have exceptional olfactory and visual senses, and seemingly have a complete lack of a circadian rhythm, so they are naturally diurnal, crepuscular, and nocturnal hunters that only sleep once they've killed and feasted on their prey. Once a Panopodovenator has identified a creature as their quarry, they run down their prey day and night to the point of muscle-failure exhaustion using a combination of relentless pursuit and guerilla-style tactics.

375. Homomimus translation: homo - same, mimus - mimic

No one knows the true form of a Homomimus, but suffice to say, they are essentially the prehistoric version of the mimic creature, but can only ever assume the forms of reptilian animals and scaled dinosaurs. While they are typically never more than 1000lbs, Homomimus excel at infiltrating the ranks of herbivorous herd animals and picking off them one by one when individuals of the herd feel secure and get complacent in their vigilance. They will typically follow wandering members of the herd and then change forms and ambush them once they're sufficiently isolated, and then drag the carcass to a safe distance to feast.

376. Dicraeokentrocanthus translation: Dicraeo - forked, kentro - spiky, canthus - spine

This 20-22 ton aquatic herbivorous dinosaur has a large bony frill similar to a protoceratops, as well as 6 large muscular flippers (one pair at the shoulder, another pair at the hip bone, and a 3rd pair in the middle of their body equidistantly between the shoulder and hip bone), and is roughly 40ft from head to tail. Dicraeokentrocanthus have two spines that connect at the base of the cranium and again at the tailbone, and appear in the shape of an ellipse or an american football across its back. Each individual vertebrae across their back has three spikes that protrude out of its skin, and are no more than about 5-6 inches in length. Dicraeokentrocanthus are highly proficient swimmers that can change direction nigh-instantaneously and omnidirectionally, and employ escape strategies similar to a gazelle, with quick sharp turns, darting, and sprinting. Uncharacteristically for their size, these creatures can reach speeds of over 50mph while attempting to evade predators; however, when cornered and escape is no longer an option, it will attempt to ram predators with its bony frill.

377. Calliopteryx translation: callio - beautiful, pteryx - wing

This omnivorous pterodon has a wingspan of 28-35ft and a body length of roughly 6-7ft, and typically hunts birds, rodents, and other small animals, but will also eat fruits, berries, and nuts when it cannot find prey. Its under- and over- wing ribbing and webbing has splotchy coloring scheme that appears like a rorschach, and continually oscillates through all colors of the visible spectrum, from red to orange to yellow, then green, blue, and purple, and then back to red. While this odd, pigmentation-changing feature appears to be pointless, and to their detriment as predators, Great Thinkers and Researchers believe this feature to be a "failed evolutionary trait" that may have been an attempt to blend into their environments like chameleons, except for now, all it does is make them stand out in contrast to their environments and without their ability to control it. Some Great Thinkers and Researchers have proffered the possibility that these creatures are actually still evolving to the point that they CAN control it, but this is pure speculation. Nevertheless, there is a strange alluring charm to these creatures, and are aesthetically pleasant to behold.

378. Cyanorhinoraptor translation: cyano - blue, rhino - nose, raptor - plunderer

This ovivorous blind and deaf cousin of the velociraptor has an iconically dark-blue nose and an incredible olfactory sense in which it uses to specifically locate eggs, as well as to map its immediate environment. Blindsight: 120ft, Lifesense: 30ft. Astonishingly, Cyanorhinoraptors can smell eggs and egg shells from up to 1,000 meters away, and can smell the scent of egg yoke up to a mile away. Like their velociraptor cousins, Cyanorhinoraptors are about the size of a turkey.

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Love calliopteryx! I want one as a familiar, or some sort of quirk that their feathers can be preserved magically, color-changing trait intact, and are popular quills for wizards of X land, or that they are often used as material components for items of spells like color spray, chromatic orb or various prismatic spells.

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379. Spore Guardians These tiny humanoids appear to be related to treants, but are shepherds of lowly mushrooms, not mighty trees, and indistinguishable from a toadstool when not in motion. They have some fraction of the resilience of a true treant, being somewhat resistant to physical damage that is not slashing (DR 5/slashing or cold iron), but also have a vulnerability to cold iron, perhaps due to their strong connections to the First World, from which they first came. A sign of the presence of a spore guardian would be 'faerie circles' that include different sorts of mushrooms, as spore guardians animate mushrooms and walk them some distance away from their breaching point to come to rest sometimes hundreds of yards away, in a different hospitable area, to help the spores spread to new territories, but have a quirk in that they like to see mushrooms arranged in circles, and sometimes fill in a circle with different types of mushroom, something that does not occur naturally.

Spore guardians have little offensive ability, and are no tougher than the rat-sized creature they appear to be, with a slam attack no more dangerous than a rat's bite, and have a light sensitivity weakness to boot. They do however produce choking spores that cause suffocation and irritation, which can affect anything biting them, or they can expel once / d4 rounds into an adjacent square as a sort of 'breath weapon.' The spores cause the target to begin choking and become temporarily blinded, sickened and staggered for a round, and then dazzled and sickened for remaining rounds until the effect is shaken off (with a Fort save DC 11). Animals tend to be strongly repelled by this experience and do not again attack the spore guardian, or the mushrooms it is protecting from their predation. This protection only lasts until the mushroom has released it's spores, at which point the 'fruiting body' of the mushroom (the visible portion on the surface) is extraneous and the spore guardian moves on to a new area of the forest, it's mission here completed.

Spore guardians are more intelligent than a simple animal, but far less than a treant, being somewhat uncharitably similar to a particularly simple-minded orc (Int 6) and only capable of understanding simple words in Sylvan (but not speaking), and using an at will speak with plants ability that functions only on mushrooms.

They make fine familiars for fungus leshies, but few else are willing to put up with their obsessive tendencies to 'decorate' their surroundings with faerie circles of different mushroom types.

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Set wrote:
379. Spore Guardians

Bah, posted this after work, took a nap and remembered stuff that I forgot to post after I woke up!

* Spore guardians release the spores of the various mushrooms they've encountered in their travels as they wander, only releasing their *own* spores at the time of their death, spore that can cause a new spore guardian to erupt from the corpse of anyone who dies within a few *years* of being sprayed with the spores (the spores can lie dormant a long time!). All newly born spore guardians seem to know everything that their parent, and each parent before them, from the very beginning when they first came over from the First World, knew, but, since they are kind of morons, and have mostly specialized lore about mushrooms (with the occasional useful tidbit about ancient battles where lots of decay happened, or climactic periods of warmth and humidity), that's not terribly useful for historians.

* Spore guardians travel very slowly on their stumpy little legs (5'), but can curl up into a lumpy sphere and roll along at a much quicker pace (20' 'running'). They are more or less blind while traveling in this manner, and tend to stop and get their bearings and then 'roll' for a few rounds, before unfolding, looking around, and then 'rolling out' again if they still haven't reached a desirable spot.


The spore guardian is another creature that is appropriate for an ioun trainer. Certain plant growth spells will speed up their growth in monster corpses.


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380. Songweaver Spider

Songweaver Spiders have bodies that are roughly the size of a human palm and they have long, spindly legs that extend another 1.2-1.5ft long from their bodies; they create fairly large webs in trees that have lots of branches, and once their web has been spun, they purposefully stretch the web even further as if it was a drum skin by twisting and pulling the web's anchor points around these branches. It takes a Songweaver Spider roughly 1 hour to create this web, and it is quite common for a Songweaver Spider to pull its web so tight that it even pulls the branches of the tree together at the furthest point of the limb. Once the web has been pulled taut to the spider's liking, the spider then plays a tune by strumming the web in specific strands which sounds highly similar to the percussive hits of a bongo drum, and then uses its spell-like ability to cause the spider's song to repeat over and over, as per the spell Echo this Echo effect lasts 10 minutes, creating a rhythmically-entrancing tune. During the song, the vibrations of the web's strands are quite intense, so once this 10 minute song has ended, the web becomes loose and destroyed, and the Songweaver Spider must remove this webbing before creating another one if it decides to use the same branches for its next web.

When insects, rodents, and various vermin hear the sound of the Songweaver Spider, they become enticed as per a Suggestion spell to investigate the source of the music can only affect creatures up to 4HD or less, Will Save DC 10 negates. If any creature (including the spider) touches the web while this Echo effect is active, the song ends immediately. So, Songweaver Spiders take great care as to hide and ambush their prey before they can get caught and wreck the web whenever possible, and inject their prey with a neurotoxic venom that causes paralysis, and then cocoon them; they attempt to protect this web as much as possible because it is common for a single song to attract multiple victims. Songweaver Spiders pose no immediate danger to humanoids; though, those who have been bitten by Songweaver Spiders produce hideous festering, green boils on their skin that have a strong itching sensation, and these effects abate in roughly 3-5 days.

Some musically-inclined mages use Songweaver Spiders as familiars (use Scarlet Spider Stats, except change Poison (Ex) to Bite—injury; save Fort DC 10; frequency 1/round for 4 rounds; effect 1 Cha; cure 1 save, and master gains +3 Perform (Percussion or String instruments only)). <---- this spider's venom doesn't actually cause 1 Cha damage to anyone unless it becomes a familiar, then and only then can it gain this 1 Cha dmg effect


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381. Whiplash Spider

A distant cousin of the Songweaver Spider (#380), these arachnids are slightly larger, being about 8 inches in length and about 6 inches across. While they can eat insects, their size typically necessitates consuming small creatures like birds, mice, or squirrels. They do not have the musical capabilities of songweaver spiders.

While their webbing is strong enough to catch and hold a bird or small creature that falls into it, these spiders have a unique way of hunting. Similar to their cousins, the songweaver spider, their webs are stretched between branches. Unlike the songweaver spider, they choose smaller branches and saplings and purposefully twist their webs in a manner that bends and strains the branches into a snare-like tension. These are typically arrayed in a circular, web-like pattern with the whiplash spider waiting at the center. They have keen senses but also leave strands of webbing along the outskirts that sends vibrations to them when disturbed. When they detect a small creature, or sometimes larger creature that might threaten them, they purposely sever their own webbing, sending a branch snapping out at the target with whip-like force. This is usually enough to kill vermin or other prey or startling and painful enough to drive off larger ones.

These spiders are also excellent trackers, as sometimes they must leave their circle of traps to hunt down small prey that's been flung through the air.

There have been stories of druids raising or using magic to make incredibly large versions of whiplash spiders that they use as siege-like engines against troublesome neighbors. The spiders are able to bend trees at the edges of forests and fire catapult size ammunition into farmland or border keeps. While this is much slower than normal catapults (about an hour between shots per spider), the fact that they can fire from tree cover, which most siege engines can't be moved through or fire from, and the fact that they can move to any tree around the edge and keep the enemy from targeting a specific siege engine has been moderately effective when called upon, let alone the fact that any force charging an apparent siege weapon location runs headfirst into an immense spider.


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382. Silverleaf Moonroot, is a tropical shrub with blue or purple flowers often mistaken for (and related to) Wolfsbane. Unlike Wolfsbane's bulbous root that is sought for its medical properties, Silverleaf Moonroot is in known for its singular taproot that can penetrate deep into the ultramafic soils which it has adapted to thrive.

Silverleaf Moonroot has a propensity for absorbing heavy metals from the soils, and even waters, which it is exposed to. In particular, Silverleaf Moonroot can absorb massive amounts of elemental silver from the environment... storing as much as 25% silver (in oxide or sulfide form) of the dry weight of its sap. The sap bleeds dull grey or black beacuse of the silver content.

The the accumulation of heavy metals eventually affects the formation of cell walls, physically replacing lignin with elemental silver within the very structure of the plant... especially the taproot. These taproots' percentage of elemental silver will prematurely petrify the root, eventually killing the plant.

If recovered, these roots can be weaponized against anything particularly weak to silver... a well preserved taproot counts as an Alchemically Silvered Wooden Stake, and always has the fragile property.


Ultramafic. That's a term I haven't heard since grad school. Nice.


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Lathiira wrote:
Ultramafic. That's a term I haven't heard since grad school. Nice.

I am quite interested in phytoremediation and find myself researching hyperaccumulators... like Pycnandra acuminata, which absorbs nickel, and was basically what I based Silverleaf Moonroot on. Pycnandra acuminata is said to grow in ultramafic soils.

However, I have no idea what the roots of Pycnandra acuminata look like, I made up the taproot specifically to resemble [and functionally provide] a pre-silvered wooden stake.

I made up the relation to Wolfsbane, for Silverleaf Moonroot, because I liked the thought of it being somewhat readily useful against both vampires and werewolves. I didn't want it to be worth seeking out, but a kind GM could allow a Know:Nature check and a Survival check to identify and recover one in a tough situation. Silverleaf Moonroot is quite hardy, and will grow nearly anywhere a GM wants it to be found.

I like to have Silverleaf Moonroot and Paueliel trees follow Ley Lines...

Not that it matters, but I had an absolutely massive petrified Paueliel tree in my Kingmaker campaign. It was a currently dead "tree of life" at the intersection of two Ley Lines, its taproot had tapped into the actual intersection of the Ley Lines and fueled an incredible growth. The tree was sacred to the Elves in Kyonin, and they would make pilgrimages to it. Treerazer sent a contruct named Hexxus to cut down the tree and remain guardian over the tree's stump. The party defeated Hexxus, and Old Bedlame used her magic to revive it... a tiny sprout appearing out of the petrified stump. When Nyrissa's otherworldly blooms started to corrupt the kingdom, the Paueliel tree turned into a massive Scythe Tree that absorbed Old Bedlame in the process of its corrupted growth... a Gargantuan Scythe Tree combining Scythe Tree stats with Lotus Tree stats and just giving it all the class levels Old Bedlame had (I had made her a Ley Line Guardian Witch instead of a Soecerer). Lol.

She [the Gargantuan, sentient Scythe - Paueliel Tree] clearcut a circle with her bladed branches, clearing everything within her reach, and the Rose Warden king made a permenant wall of roses [and thorns] around the clearing with two beautiful arched entryways. It became a temple to anyone that wanted to go talk to a stupidly massive sentient tree.

Would the aforementioned Gargantuan, sentient Scythe - Paueliel Tree qualify as INCONSEQUENTIAL FLORA & FAUNA?

A Scythe Tree is CR6, a Lotus Tree is CR20, and I know Old Bedlame had at least 8 levels of Ley Line Guardian Witch.


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Ale, Wine, and Spirits

383. Silkberry Grapevine

Silkberry Wine is one of the most popular wines in the world because its grapes can grow almost anywhere (except not in cold climates), so its supply is vast and the wine is rather cheap in cost. Ironically, Silkberry Grapes are somewhat bland in taste and texture when eaten directly off the vine, but they take well to fermentation when aged in wooden barrels, especially barrels made from the wood of Cauliron or Ochregon Trees.

When Silkberry Wine is created, the grapes are pressed into a Must, which includes the stems, seeds, skins, and juice of the grape. This Must is allowed to age in the barrel for a period of 6-8 weeks and during this time it soaks in the flavor from the wooden barrel it has been placed in. After this 6-8 weeks, the stems, seeds, and skins (called Pomace) are strained and removed from the grape juice, revealing a luxuriously silky-textured sweet grape juice. The Pomace is then used in a variety of ways; it can be used as animal feed, crop fertilizer, mixed with balsamico, garlic, tomato paste, or egg yolks for making various vinaigrettes, or even mixed with honey and fermented to make mead; meanwhile the grape juice is mixed with yeast and placed in wood barrels for a fermentation process that usually lasts between 2-10 years, and the silky wine that is created from this grape juice is what gives Silkberries their name.

Similar to white grape wines, the wine that is created from Silkberries is clear but mildly yellow-ish, and is traditionally sipped from tall, thin bamboo cups as to enhance both its flavor and texture.

384. Dhulcili'im Root pronounced dull - SILLY - ihm

This light-green and light-blue colored turnip-like root vegetable is widely known for its sweet sugary taste, especially if it is harvested before it has fully ripened. While Dhulcili'im can be enjoyed cooked or raw, its most common use is for making mead and ales, because consuming Dhulcili'im spirits provides a similar benefit as a Root spell and imbibers gain a +2 competence bonus on all Acrobatics checks made to balance or remain standing while inebriated. Tavernkeepers will oftentimes serve Dhulcili'im ale to patrons who have been "over-served" as to help prevent any mishaps from falling or tripping into the various furniture and decor, as well as to prevent any accidental destruction of the irreplaceable paraphernalia and nostalgic items adorning the walls and tables. Consuming Dhulcili'im spirits is quite helpful in training for drunken boxing fighting styles as well.

385. Two-tailed Sripuri Scorpion pronounced Sree - per - EE

Everyone knows that Sripuri Scorpions have two tails and two stingers, so these scorpions are more colloquially known simply as "Sripuris" or "Sripuri Scorpions", and these two-tailed scorpions are exclusively indigenous to the underdark; they are roughly the size of an adult human's hand, and the stinger on each tail produces a different toxin. Its right stinger has a potent neurotoxic venom that causes paralysis in its prey, but is also potent enough to cause a stagger effect in humanoids for up to 1d2 rounds Fort DC 13 negates; Sripuri most often use this venom for subduing prey. However, its left stinger produces a vasculotoxic venom that specifically attacks the pituitary gland, causing hypopituitarism that can last for up to an hour Fort DC 13 negates, and Sripuri Scorpions specifically use this venom for defense from larger predators; while affected by this vasculotoxic venom, humanoid victims have reported seeing wildly vivid hallucinations. While Sripuri venom is highly potent, humanoid deaths resulting from these scorpions are rare, and typically only result from allergic reactions.

Long ago, a drow trader named Idrini Diesrezial became famous by coming up with the bright idea to milk the venom from caged Sripuri Scorpions, and then combining these two venoms into various liquors and high-proof spirits. Today, some stupidly-brave tavern goers decide drinking competitions by consuming liquors that have been laced with Sripuri venom. Most humanoids can only stomach 3-6 shots of this liquor before capitulating, but dwarves have notoriously been able to withstand up to 9 or 10 shots before falling prey to the paralysis and hallucinations. The rules of these drinking competitions are simple: Last man standing wins. Oftentimes, those who have succumbed to the hallucinations but not the paralysis effect must be restrained, because it's not uncommon for these poor souls to fight off imaginary swarms of bats or attempt to vanquish the imaginary dragon serving drinks behind the bar. Bouncers and barkeeps are well abreast of these shenanigans, and these escapades are prepared for and rarely result in an 86 from the bar. Usually, everyone has a good laugh.

While there are many liquor and spirit makers who use Sripuri venom, these various liquors all have different names, but these liquors are ubiquitously called "Scorpion Sauce".

For example,

Patron: "Oi! Barkeep! Gimme some Scorpion Sauce fer me 'n me boys 'ere!"
Barkeep: "Sure thing friend, we've got Weeping Venom, Shilzefyde's Cinderfyre, Ataxia's Torture, and if you're feeling particularly rich and brave, we've also got some top shelfer Scorpion Sauce called Banshee's Caress; I've had it before and she's a dousy; and if you don't wanna drink it, you could probably use it to remove 20 years of rust off yer wagon wheels; so, what'll it be?"

386. Phantomwheat

While this wheat takes root and grows in the material plane, its root, stalk, and grain is incorporeal, and requires gloves and tools, as well as crates and receptacles, that have all been enchanted with Ghost Touch; alternatively, it can be handled with spells and effects with the [force] descriptor, such as Scoop or Unseen Servant or Wall of Force. Once Phantomwheat has been harvested, the grain must be specially fermented in a liquid that contains a branding iron, a strip of black silk, and an amount of diamond dust worth 5,000gp for 3 weeks, and this fermenting process is actually a magical ritual that emulates the exact opposite of a Ghost Brand spell, which permanently causes the grain to become corporeal. Once this grain has become corporeal, it still retains its ethereal, translucent color, but can now be handled without the aid of Ghost Touch tools or [force] spells and can now be turned into flour, yeast, and other various bread products.

While Phantomwheat grain can be used to create anything that other wheats and ryes can be made into, one of the most celebrated products is Phantomwheat Ale. Phantomwheat Ales are typically light ales, and have a sharply bitter taste that takes some getting used to. Due to its difficult and costly production process, Phantomwheat products and ales are quite expensive.

387. Thunder Oysters

Thunder Oysters typically live in the shallows of oceans and brackish estuaries, similar to their other bivalve mollusk cousins, but these creatures are particularly ornery about being handled. It has the special ability to ionize the salt water that passes through its filter, which in turn continually builds up static energy. Once a Thunder Oyster has been disturbed beyond its liking, it releases a potent shock and a loud thunderclap that emulates a Jolt spell causes non-lethal damage only to deter and scare its potential predator. While this defense is plenty to thwart predators in the wild, it must wait 24 hours to build enough static for another discharge, and it is hardly a nuisance for humanoids who wear clothing enchanted with electrical resistance while collecting them.

These oysters have a particularly dark shell, and this shell is what is brewed in a kettle for creating the dark-colored ales that everyone loves as "Thunder Stouts". The meat of the oyster is not used in the making of these ales, but the meat of a Thunder Oyster is commonly served in a mixture of melted butter, lemon zest, and a spicy sauce whenever you order a Thunder Stout at a tavern (if that tavern is even a proper REAL tavern). Patrons who consume these stouts experience a pleasant "static-y" sensation down their throat with each gulp of their Thunder Stout.

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Man, your stuff is so full of detail, Ryze, I love it!

I'm particularly fond of sripuri scorpions and thunder oysters, from this latest batch.


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Phantom Wheat is required for making Ghost Toasties.

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388. 'Leth Leeches These slug-sized leeches resemble teeny-tiny Aboleth, complete with tentacles and three red patches that look like eyespots. They are otherwise almost entirely mindless vermin, but with a supernatural ability to transform the skin around their painless bite to a shiny wet surface that absorbs oxygen from water, but requires moisture to avoid drying out painfully, and also causes the lungs to fill with fluid. A single leech affects a size S target, who becomes fatigued after the transformation, until they submerge in water for at least a full round, and are able to 'catch their breath' by absorbing oxygen from the water. If they remain out of the water after this point, they have to make Fortitude saves or become exhausted, and then finally collapse into unconsciousness and suffocate. The transformation process (and the blood loss to the leech) causes 1 pt. of Ability Damage to Constitution. A Medium-sized creature requires two leeches to fully transform (and is merely fatigued for the duration, until the transformation is complete), and takes 2 pts. of Ability Damage. A lesser known side-effect of their numbing venom is that it also reduces resistance to mental effects, and the recipient suffers from a -1 penalty to mind-affecting effects per leech currently attached.

Along the shores of the Sodden Lands, an insular and vicious tribe of Song'o halflings are locally infamous for using 'Leth Leeches to farm the surrounding waters for fish and shellfish (and various other sea products like coral and pearl), using them to stay submerged for hours at a time, and have an ongoing murderous feud with local grindylow.


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389. Lopajack- These hoofed ruminants look very much like their deer cousins, save that they have no true horns, only strange, soft appendages in their place that look like disturbing tendrils when flaccid, but when erect look exactly like common antlers for an buck. Both males and females have this defense mechanism, and rear strangely compared to normal deer, using their horns to threaten to charge predators as opposed to fight during mating season. Some hunters have discovered the skin of these tendrils is excellent for gloves.

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birbs!

390. Doublers These roosters are only hatched in the surrounds of the city of Pezzack, in Cheliax, and if removed from that environs, fail to produce more doubler spawn, only normal roosters. (Hens are never doublers, the mutation only affects males.)

Doublers have four legs, four wings (one set growing directly above the other, making them useless for flight) and two heads, and grow to about twice the size of a standard rooster. Otherwise they behave in all other ways as normal roosters, being territorial, aggressive and oh-so-very-loud in the mornings.

They have a relatively short life expectancy, even by short-lived chicken standards, as almost inevitably, one head will peck another at some point, perhaps to strike at a nearby insect, perhaps to poach a bit of food from the other, and the other head will retaliate, neither giving way until one of them is dead, with the whole doubler dying of shock and slow suffocation within the hour (as they apparently need the air intake of two living heads to support their increased mass).

And so, unable to be reliably exported, and unable to reproduce themselves outside of Pezzack (even eggs taken from a clutch laid in Pezzack will never produce a doubler if hatched outside of the region), doublers remain a strictly local phenomena, and are often consider to be mythical outside of that area.

391. Glass Falcons These small falcons are most common near the World's End Mountains in Taldor, and notable for their translucence of flesh and feather alike. Due to this effect, they cast barely any perceptible shadow, which greatly improves their success at hunting, although they were nearly hunted to extinction when it became a fad to preserve their hide alchemically and fashion fine translucent gloves from them. (If not preserved, chemical changes after death from the breakdown of certain tissues cause them to become an unsightly brownish-grey, ruining their translucence. Once this process occurs, within an hour of death, the hide cannot be restored to translucence save by magic.)

Fortunately for the glass falcon, fads come and go among the Taldan aristocracy, and soon after one high-born derisively referred to the glass falcon opera gloves of a rival as 'sausage casings for that walking sausage who calls herself Contess...' they fell out of favor and the population of glass falcons has since rebounded to near it's former levels, which were never terribly common in any event.

Mages of Nex will occasionally use the alchemically or magically preserved feathers as writing quills, but this fortunately has not become a species-threatening trend.


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392. Blot Raven These avian creatures resemble ravens and crows in size and color but they have a distinctive plume of reddish-purple feathers along their spine from their crown to tail feathers. Females will also tend to have reddish-purple wingtips.

They have a gurgling caw that sounds like they're either gargling or drowning. Their most notable feature is their ink-black feathers which are not truly black, but instead, translucent and hollow, similar to Glass Falcons (#391). They naturally produce an ink-like bodily fluid that flows into their feathers, spreading along them and giving them their midnight luster.

Very small amounts eke out from their feathers, like a paintbrush, leaving ink-like stains around their nests, branches they perch upon, and upon creatures touching or biting them.

As a defensive mechanism they can also squirt jets of ink from their wingtips and from glands on their heel spurs. They can do this once every other round, but no more than 4 times per day and are quite adept at aiming for faces and eyes of other creatures. This causes momentary blinding, but can generally be washed away with enough water or cleared up within a few minutes.

Blot Ravens make terrible familiars, as they seem inordinately annoyed by magical writings, such as scrolls and even spellbooks which might not be inherently magical themselves. As such, in the presence of such objects, they tend to spray ink all over them, ruining them.

The ink they produce functions as well as any other ink used for writing purposes and tastes about as enticing, but it is not toxic or any more harmful than ordinary blood would be and doesn't prevent them from being eaten or otherwise consumed safely (by anything in the mood for eating raven or crow).

The larger feathers, if carefully harvested and prepared are often sold as ink-ready quills, able to naturally contain enough ink for approximately one page of writing.


391 and 392. I wanna make a character that takes a Glass Falcon as a familiar and a Blot Raven as an animal companion, and then have the Blot Raven take Greater Dirty Tricks.

Maybe Glass Falcons give the master +3 Stealth?

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