New Monster – Darter Falcon

26 October, 2009

Something a bit different for today, an elemental-infused hunting bird:

Darter Falcon
Streaking from the sky is a pure white hawk, almost a blur as it strikes it prey.  With a triumphant screech it climbs back into the sky, its meal held in its claws.

Darter Falcon                                                  CR ½  (200 XP)
N tiny magical beast [air]
Init +4; Senses low-light vision; Perception +6
AC 20, touch 17, flat-footed 15; (+4 Dex, +3 natural, +2 size, +1 dodge)
hp 6 (1d10+1)
Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +2
Defensive Abilities evasion, resist cold, electricity and sonic 3
Spd 10 ft., fly 80 ft (average)
Melee Talons +7 (1d4-1/19-20)
Ranged feather +7 (1d3)
Special Attacks powerful dive
Str 8, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 4, Wis 14, Cha 8
Base Atk +1; CMB +7; CMD 6
Feats Dodge[B], Flyby Attack, Mobility[B], Weapon Finesse[B]
Skills Perception +6 (+14 on any vision-based Perception check)
Environment temperate to arctic
Organization solitary, pair, or flight (4-8)
Treasure Value incidental
Feathers (Su): A darter falcon may launch its feathers like darts (range increments 20′, maximum range 100′).  A darter falcon may launch up to 12 feather in a day.

Powerful Dive (Ex): When attacking as part of a charge, an darter falcon gains a +2 damage bonus with its talons.

Darter falcons were created by Promise, an ambitious wizardress, to curry favor among a group of hawking-obsessed nobles.  It is said that she bound minute quantities of elemental air into the eggs of prime hunting falcons.  To her surprise, the falcons proved able to maintain the link with the plane of elemental air even without magical aid and even pass it on to their offspring.

Several of the first darter falcons escaped and interbred with the wild falcons.  Since then, darter falcons have spread throughout the high forests.  Their speed and ability to shoot their feathers as darts, from where they get their name, keeps them safe from most predators.
Darter falcons are cloud white with pale grey marking on their feathers, their eyes are usually a brilliant sky blue.  Darter falcon eggs are easily recognizable by their pure cloud whiteness speckled with sky blue.

Prefer not to fight creatures larger than themselves, against such large attackers they will use their feather attacks in an attempt to drive the attackers away.  Only resorting to their talons to defend their mates and their nests.

Darter falcons keep to the high forests away from civilized settlements.  They keep to themselves, hunting as they need to.

A small number of darter falcons have been raised in captivity, but they are usually unhappy unless they are allowed to fly and hunt often.  They are considered quite a status symbol among the nobility.  A small number have been trained to act as couriers, carrying messages swiftly from place to place.  Darter falcon eggs sell for upward of 50 gold a piece.

Darter falcon feathers are prized in making magical arrows and bolts as they increase the range increments of such weapons by 10′.

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