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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  10:05:23  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So the thread on Awakened Animals got me to remembering a race I created a while back that I named the Vulturan. However, I'm rather poor at designing some things; and so I thought here would be a good place to see what suggestions others might have for me regarding what I had made.

Sooooo...here are the Vulturan:

Vulturan
Small Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 1d8+1, 1d4+1 (Wizard 1) & Toughness (11 HP)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 10 ft., fly 80 ft. (average)
AC: 14 (+1 size, +2 dex, +1 natural), touch 13 , flat-footed 12
Base Attacks/Grapple: 0/-4
Attack: Talons +3 melee (1d3)
Full Attack: 2 talons +3 melee (1d3) and bite -2 melee (1d4)
Face/Reach: 5 ft./ 5 ft.
Special Attacks: spells
Special Qualities: Low Light Vision, Scribe Scroll
Saves: Fort +3, Ref+4 , Will +4
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 14, Chr 7
Skills: Concentration +4, Knowledge Arcana +4, Listen +2, Spellcraft +4, Spot +14
Feats: Eschew Materials, Toughness, Weapon Finesse; Flaws: Forlorn (no Familiar)
Climate/Terrain: Temperate to Arid Forests, Hills and Plains.
Organization: Vultur (Solitary), Kettle (1d4+4) or Committee (4d4+10 in lair)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None Carried outside of Lair
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Advancement: As Wizard

As you look skyward you notice that the vultures are already beginning to flock to the scene of your battle; obviously eager to gain a free meal of your fallen foes. As they perch in the trees while you clean your blades and take what treasure your enemy carried, they begin to hiss and grunt as they jockey for places in the nearby trees. Just a normal day on the battle-field, until two of your comrades collapse next to you and your own head begins to swim. As you collapse to the ground you look up and see the vulture hopping over and then sitting on your chest as it speaks “Good man-meat, you will serve us well!”

Typical of Griffon Vultures, the Vulturan are about 36-40 inches long, with wingspans of 8-9 feet and heavy weight of 20 pounds for males and up to 25 pounds for females; being much more cunning and powerful, they eat better than their mundane common Griffon Vulture kin. Their white heads are in sharp contrast to their brown underlying feathers and black flight feathers.

Combat

All adult Vulturan are at least a level 1 Wizard. Vulturan are cowards to their core; but they are brazen and evil as well. A solitary Vultur is a spy and nothing more, it will do all in its power to flee if it is discovered to be a magical creature. Vulturan prefer spells that immobilize their enemy; using such as Color Spray, Sleep and other magic to subdue their foes. They love to control powerful warriors, and will often use spells such as Charm Person to control them in melee against the foes of the Vulturan. Only when a foe is down will a Vultur dare to swoop down and use a coup de grâce to finish them. Their claws, while capable, are not very reliable for damage in combat; and it is in their best interest to never be caught on the ground at any rate. On the rare occasion when they are fighting upon the ground, the Vulturan will use flanking heavily. When in Committee they often have net traps placed and also are often found to swoop down on prey with nets on lines between two Vulturan to ensnare enemies. Once ensnared by a net, the Vulturan will gleefully dogpile an unfortunate victim and tear at them with talons and rending sharp bites.

Spells: Spells typically carried by a 1st level Vultur Wizard are: 0th: Daze, Detect Magic & Mage Hand; 1st: Sleep OR Color Spray & Charm Person OR Hypnotism. When in Committee, some few of the Vulturan will be guards, and such as these will carry spells such as: 0th: Daze x2 & Flare; 1st: Cause Fear OR Color Spray & Charm Person OR a second Cause Fear.

Only young Vulturan do not yet know the working of magic; these are in addition to the numbers given for a Committee, amounting to one young for every four adults. These Vulturan have only 1d8+1 Hit Points. One in three young Vulturan is fully non-combatant due to its young age.

Vulturan Society

The Vulturan are a unique and emerging race; though much like Vultures, the Vulturan are far more sinister and evilly motivated. Though their lives are much the same as they were prior to becoming Awakened by their former master, they are also very much evolving into a new race much different from their origins.

The Vulturan still congregate much the same as they once did as common vultures; but they now prefer to nest in the abandoned ruins of a wizard’s tower or deserted cities of fallen civilizations. They are obsessed with magic, and because of this they seek it at all turns. They communally raise and teach the young of the Committee both how to live off the land, and how to wield the magic that created their race.

While a female Vultur is nearly always larger than a male, they are not as common and so the emerging Vultur society is still dominated by males; though in Committee it will be the most powerful female that is considered the spiritual leader and dominant political force. The Vulturan revere the Vrock as their patrons; and the Vrock Gruln is storied among them as the progenitor of their race it is said.

Because the Vulturan are not experienced in building or repairing the structures they now prefer to live within, they will often enslave some few small and weak creatures to do their bidding in such matters. They prefer to have Kobolds or Goblins as their servants; but such creatures invariably end up as dinner when foraging becomes scarce for the Committee. Truly large and successful Committees may negotiate with other powerful and/or evil creatures to guard a Vulturan lair; and at such times beings such as Gargoyles or Rust Monsters (or other creatures that do not want what the Vulturan want) will be found within the ruins of the Vulturan.
At other times, a smaller group such as a Kettle might be in service to some more powerful creature. Powerful evil wizards often see value in spies that can work magic, and clean up the bodies they experiment on; this being true especially of Necromancers. Hags are also known to favor Vulturan as spies and messengers, and will often hire them to work in these matters.

Vulturan in the Forgotten Realms

The Vulturan started with the Awakening of only three Griffon Vultures who were pets of the wizard Kelhark Karantos from the lands of Semphar. Kelhark, though not a true necromancer, favored vultures as instruments of torture; and due to his vile nature he was quickly chased from Semphar in his youth. Wide ranging travels finally brought him to the ruined tower of an ancient wizard within The Flooded Forest north of Ylraphon upon the shores of the Dragon Reach.

Kelhark set about restoring the tower so that he might then conduct his vile researches on victims captured from across the waters in Harrowdale. He was aided by, as told by the Vulturan, by a powerful demon named Gruln; a Vrock said to be tied to the amulet the wizard wore about his neck. After a short period of time he succeeded in doing so and felt he had sufficiently cloaked his lair in magical traps and illusions to prevent it being found, as well as luring menacing beasts to live nearby; and immediately set upon his research.

After many years of careful kidnappings and vile research, Kelhark stumbled upon a powerful spell with which he could create a servant race. He used this magic to Awaken the first three Vulturan from his three Griffon Vulture pets. These came to be known as Gyps (the only male), Accip and Tridae; all plays upon the scientific name of his favored animal. Gyps soon bred again with Accip and the next generation of Vulturan started with their first child. However, Tridae fell madly in love with the demon Gruln who was also greatly intrigued by the mortal form of a creature very similar to himself.

The trio quickly learned magic from their master Kelhark and the demon Gruln; and Tridae seemed to excel even beyond her siblings. It wasn’t until several years later that Kelhark realized his doom as he was suddenly surrounded in his own laboratory by a full Committee of Vulturan bent on his death. The demon Gruln had promised great power to Tridae, and she had studied in earnest to learn great power from her master Kelhark so that her love could be free of imprisonment. She assaulted her master, and though nearly every single Vulturan was slain that day, Tridae finally vanquished Kelhark and tore his eyes from his skull.

When the small Kettle that had gone scavenging that day returned to Kelhark’s tower, Gyps and Accip found that their “father” had been murdered by their sister; and yet another battle was fought. Gyps and Tridae fell to their death that day, leaving an enraged and vengeful Accip as the sole original Vulturan alive within Kelhark’s tower. She refused to free Gruln, and instead donned the magical amulet that to this day leaves the Vrock at her command.

Appearing initially as nothing more than a common Griffon Vultures that can be found from Baldur’s Gate in the west to Semphar in the east and from the Dales and Moonsea of the North to the sweltering plains of The Shaar in the south; Accip’s Committee grew over the next two decades back to a rather powerful group of evil beings that now roost within the slowly dwindling glory of Kelhark’s tower within the swamplands of The Flooded Forest. Recently, a band of adventurers fought their way to Kelhark’s tower after discovering an intelligent vulture had been spying on them. Little did they know that the creature was simply luring them into a trap; and their bones were soon picked clean by Accip’s Committee and the demon Gruln.

Accip continues to grow in power, and has even exiled a smaller Committee from the swamp into surrounding lands; but sent with them scrolls and a minor spellbook from the adventurer’s wizard (now very dead) to study from and use. Accip is becoming old however, now in her early thirties she is beginning to realize she has only a few years left in life; but is not satisfied with her lot. Her motivations are to find magic to prolong her life, and she has various Vulturan ranging far and wide sitting even upon buildings in cities such as Mulmaster looking for some magic that might keep her alive.

Even if she is not able to do so, the Vulturan will begin to spread unchecked as they mingle with the resident vultures of the lands they infiltrate. Even within the area of Kelhark’s tower, the normal vultures have been forced out, and Accip has begun to strike deals with creatures to aid her. She fools them all by using her magic to take the form of a human wizard when dealing with them. This “witch” then “transforms” into the form of a vulture and flies away; and so some few have heard whispers of a Swamp Witch named Accip as far away as Scardale and Raven’s Bluff.

Note: Accip should be at least a 9th level wizard. She rarely uses any magic item that requires her to hold it; but she does possess magical rings, bracelets, potions, scrolls and of course the magical amulet that allows her to summon the Vrock Gruln to do her bidding. Her most recent acquisition is actually a Crystal Ball that she is fully enjoying. She favors Charms, Illusions, Necromancy and Summoning; but rarely uses blatant damaging magic. Her absolute favorite spell is Polymorph Self, and she has developed literally dozens of guises with this spell that she uses in various places. Second to this she favors Magic Jar as a means to gain access to people and locations to pilfer magic or spy. She has used many spells to cloak her lair in secrecy; and only the Vulturan know the safest routes through the “Mire of Magic” she has augmented that her Father initially created to guard his tower.

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Thauranil
Master of Realmslore

India
1591 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  12:49:41  Show Profile Send Thauranil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is quite interesting only vultures are not really evil you know, they fit an important role in the environment. In fact the decline of the vulture population in India has caused some serious culturally and environmental problems, so perhaps not all of your vulturans should be depicted as evil.
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  17:43:52  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I know Vultures are not evil...they are animals.

In my own game, not all Vulturan are evil. In fact, after being pushed out from the original group (that is heavily influenced by a demon) some begin to adopt Druidic powers instead of those of a wizard. These Druids are also "Forlorn" and have no animal companions; though they usually travel with Kettles of normal Griffon Vultures. These Druidic Vulturan would have 13 Hit Points and obviously a different spell selection.

However, the base group is exceedingly vile because that is the stock that they come from. Even after being Awakened, Accip still was forced to inflict torture on prisoners of her Father...which she enjoyed. To her, it is quite satisfying to devour the flesh of a still living being as it screams!

I've also hidden among the Vulturan some Fiendish Vulturan as well; offspring of the demon Gruln and his earlier mistress Tridae. These plot with their own Father Gruln to destroy the amulet Accip holds so that Gruln can be free upon the Prime Material to do as he wishes.

I've thought to develop a bond between Druidic Vulturan and some human Druid of the Dales; but I haven't decided yet.

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1949 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  22:01:39  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must admit, the thought of fiendish (half-vrock) vultures, the spawn of Tridae, is interesting. As is the idea of an undead lich-ish Vulturan (Accip).

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1949 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  22:06:51  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This could be easily tied in to Gray Richardson's thoughts on vulturic(?) Aearee. Some of which are found in this scroll.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out


Edited by - Fellfire on 19 May 2012 22:07:38
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  22:07:40  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I must admit, that I related a LOT to the Dark Crystal movie baddies when thinking on the Vulturan...but I kept them almost completely unchanged physically.

I had considered that some Fiendish Vulturan might have arms like their demonic ancestor Gruln! Perhaps even being Medium sized.

The fun thing is the evolution of a new race!

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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1949 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  22:09:56  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fine work, Dalor. Nice write-up too.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

Green Dragonscale Dice Bag by Crystalsidyll - check it out

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 19 May 2012 :  22:43:47  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Fellfire

This could be easily tied in to Gray Richardson's thoughts on vulturic(?) Aearee. Some of which are found in this scroll.



AWESOME stuff there Fellfire! Thanks!

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Mapolq
Senior Scribe

Brazil
466 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2012 :  02:08:10  Show Profile Send Mapolq a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great post, Dalor! I don't really have anything to add right now, it's an interesting creature with a cool backstory.

By the way, is the wizard's tower supposed to be the one that is shown on some maps of the Flooded Forest? I don't remember having seen any official lore for that site.

Never sleep under the jackfruit tree.

Tales of Moonsea - A Neverwinter Nights 2 Persistent World. Check out our website at http://www.talesofmoonsea.com and our video trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=am304WqOAAo&feature=youtu.be, as well as our thread here at Candlekeep: http://www.forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=12955

My campaign thread: http://www.forum.candlekeep.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16447
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2012 :  02:11:51  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mapolq

Great post, Dalor! I don't really have anything to add right now, it's an interesting creature with a cool backstory.

By the way, is the wizard's tower supposed to be the one that is shown on some maps of the Flooded Forest? I don't remember having seen any official lore for that site.



I didn't actually pick a particular location; though I have heard that the location you are speaking of was once a city.

I had in mind a lone tower on the edge of The Flooded Forest near the shore.

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2018 :  18:13:15  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My memory is so hazy I had forgotten completely about these things!

<scribbles them into idea for the Realms>

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1638 Posts

Posted - 08 Feb 2018 :  21:12:04  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They'd fit better in Mystara. But then there's already Nagpa.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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