Friday, October 19, 2012

Savage Menagerie: Corpse Owl

No. Enc.: 1 (1d3)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Fly 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3
Attacks: 2 (peck, claw)
Damage: 1d6, 1d6
Save: L2
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: None

In the post-apocalygeddon wastes, there is no creature more feared and loathed as the Corpse Owl. The Corpse Owl is a virulent disease carrier—one that has been connected to the virus responsible for the rise of the Walking Dead (MF rulebook, page 101).

The Corpse Owl is a large bird (about 1 or 2 feet tall) that, by most outward appearances, should be dead. It’s often covered with wounds and injuries that would be fatal to most creatures. Its body is twisted and torn. Patches of skin and feathers slough off. A sickly fetid odor can be detected long before a Corpse Owl is seen. Corpse Owls are usually found nesting in the highest tree or tallest ruins in the area. Corpse Owls are usually found singularly; groups of two or three are extremely rare. The Owl’s nest and surrounding area is coated in a yellow-green fluid that reeks of rotting flesh and foulness. This liquid is extremely dangerous as described below.

A Corpse Owl attacks with its beak and claws, hitting for 1d6 hit points for either attack. But the real danger of a Corpse Owl is from the disease it carries. The fluids leaking from a Corpse Owl host an aggressive necro-animation virus, killing and reanimating a victim within minutes. Even a small droplet of this ichor can infect a healthy victim. If a character is successfully attacked by a Corpse Owl, or if he makes contact with this foul substance, he should save versus poison or death. A successful save will cause the victim to crash to the ground, writhing in agony as the virus courses through his system. Every muscle will lock up for 24 hours and a raging fever will cause delirium and delusions. He’ll also suffer 4d6 hit points of damage as a result. If a save is failed, however, the victim will succumb to the disease within moments, dying within 2d6 rounds. The victim will rise as a Walking Dead within 1d4 turns. The safest way to deal with a Corpse Owl is with long-range weaponry. Hand-to-hand or close-up combat is suicide.

If a sudden outbreak of the Walking Dead erupts in an area, it could be the work of a Corpse Owl that has nested nearby. It is theorized that an Ancient “bird flu” virus mutated during The Final Wars and that the Corpse Owl was the eventual evolutionary carrier.

Mutations: dermal skin poison (special: necro-animation virus)

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