Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Why is a raven like a writing desk?


Oh, the sights you shall see in these magical streets. Art By: Odilon Redon

Spotlight Raven
Description
Quick flashes of bright light, the nigh soundless swish of black feathers on air. Alighting on rooftop, branch, or bust of Pallas to harken back to the saintly days of yore. A raven, though not a raven. Silver head in proportion, backwards facing bullet shape, domed glass front jerking about to regard a world beneath it. Light flashes again, a visual croak or caw, harshly illuminating for barest moments. 

The strange Spotlight Raven. Pictures Mangled By: Me

Just so everyone knows, the picture of the monster is a collage of late 19th and early 20th century illustrations. I did not draw it, just put it together. The pictures are public domain, so I am not unduly benefiting from their use.
 
Upstander, Balthasar (6M – 274). Lords of the Infinite Skies: A Catalog of Birds Found in the Infinite City. Infinite City: Yoshiwara Publishing House. Pg. 274

A product of the Storyteller Wars, Corvus Corax Luminus, commonly referred to as the Spotlight Raven, is a rare, but not unheard of, sight in Infinite City. Appearing at the start of the Storyteller Wars, it is assumed that they were created as a form of defense against unwanted visitors to Marchen encampments. Due to the highly secretive nature of the Marchen, we are without information as to the creation and purpose of C. Corax Luminus. Information concerning C. Corax Luminus is derived from observations and inferences of the creatures' behavior.

Ornithologists are continually baffled by C. Corax Luminus' near limitless lifespan, as well as its apparent immunity to the pangs of hunger and the need to mate. While not needing to feed, it appears that C. Corax Luminus remains under the compulsion to protect its nesting area.

Those unfortunate enough to stumble upon the nesting area of a C. Corax Luminus will find themselves in dire straits. The metallic 'lamp' that comprises C. Corax Luminus' head is capable of producing blinding flashes of light. Along their blinding capability, C. Corax Luminus is capable of producing rapid flashes in such as sequence as to cause a neurological paroxysm, commonly referred to as a seizure. 

These birds prefer to roost in dilapidated structures and alleys. Art By: Gustave Dore
 
During the period that the 'intruder' is in a vulnerable state, C. Corax Luminus will attempt to flee the area or attack the 'intruder' if the creature is in a cornered state or if the 'intruder' is near C. Corax Luminus' nesting site.

During the Storyteller Wars, C. Corax Luminus would congregate in large groups that were commonly referred to as cabals. Fortunately, for the citizens of the city, the population of C. Corax Luminus has dwindled to the point that such congregations no longer occur...

OSR / AD&D / LotFP
Activity Cycle: Primarily Day
Alignment: Neutral (though they have vicious tendencies)
Intelligence: Low-Moderate (They display an intelligence beneath humans but above most animals)
Treasure: Miscellaneous shiny objects may be found in their nests.
AC: 4 / 16
Move: 60 Feet (Flight) / 10 Feet (Ground)
HD: 3
THAC0 / To-Hit: 17 / +3
# of Attacks: 3 (2 Claws, 1 Flash)
Damage -
Claws: 1D3
All Saves: 15
Special Attacks -
Blinding Flash: Everyone caught in the 25 foot cone must make either a save versus Paralyze (Enduring the Flash) OR a save versus Breath (Quickly Closing/Covering Eyes). Those that fail their save are blinded for 1D3 rounds. A successful save does not make the target immune to future uses of this ability.

Strobing Flash: Everyone caught in the 25 foot cone must make a save versus Paralyze. Those that fail their save fall to the ground and are incapable of any action for 1D3+1 rounds, rendering them helpless. Those that succeed at their save are completely immune to future uses of this ability by the same raven (the raven is only capable of strobing at a certain frequency, a successful save means the target is unaffected by the raven's particular frequency).

Special Abilities -
Breathless: Spotlight Ravens do not need to breathe, and are immune to all gas attacks and inhaled poisons.

Ageless: Spotlight Ravens do not age, making them immune to magical aging.

Strange Sight: Spotlight Ravens are capable of 'seeing' in any conditions despite light levels or obscuring smoke. Their sight is still orientated toward the front.

Experience Award: 600

A strange, but somewhat common sight, in the Infinite City. Art By: Charles Meryon

Pathfinder / 3.X
CR 2
XP: 600
N Tiny animal
Initiative: +2
Senses: Blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +6
DEFENSE
AC: 15, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 size)
HP 15 (3d8+1)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +2

OFFENSE
Speed: 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee: 2 Claws +5 (1D3-3)
Space: 2-1/2 ft.
Reach: 0 ft.

STATISTICS
Str 4, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 4, Wis 15, Cha 7
Base Attack: +2
CMB: -1
CMD: 6
Feats: Flyby Attack, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (Claws)
Skills: Fly +9

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Blinding Flash: Everyone caught in the 25 foot cone must make either a Reflex save (DC 13) OR a Fortitude Save (DC 13). Those that fail their save are blinded for 1D3 rounds. A successful save does not make the target immune to future uses of this ability.

Strobing Flash: Everyone caught in the 25 foot cone must make a Fortitude save (DC 13). Those that fail their save fall to the ground and are incapable of any action for 1D3+1 rounds, rendering them helpless. Those that succeed at their save are completely immune to future uses of this ability by the same raven (the raven is only capable of strobing at a certain frequency, a successful save means the target is unaffected by the raven's particular frequency).

Breathless: Spotlight Ravens do not need to breathe, and are immune to all gas attacks and inhaled poisons.

Ageless: Spotlight Ravens do not age, making them immune to magical aging.

This is just here because I like the picture. Art By: Odilon Redon

Into the Odd
Str 4, Dex 16, Wil 11, 2 hp.
Driven to defend its nest and kill intruders
Claws: 1D4

Blinding Flash: Everyone caught in the 25 foot cone must make either a Strength save (Enduring the Flash) OR a Dexterity save (Quickly Closing/Covering Eyes). Those that fail their save are blinded for 1D3 rounds. A successful save does not make the target immune to future uses of this ability.

Strobing Flash: Everyone caught in the 25 foot cone must make a Will save. Those that fail their save fall to the ground and are incapable of any action for 1D3+1 rounds, rendering them helpless. Those that succeed at their save are completely immune to future uses of this ability by the same raven (the raven is only capable of strobing at a certain frequency, a successful save means the target is unaffected by the raven's particular frequency).

Breathless: Spotlight Ravens do not need to breathe, and are immune to all gas attacks and inhaled poisons.

Ageless: Spotlight Ravens do not age, making them immune to the effects of aging.

Strange Sight: Spotlight Ravens are capable of 'seeing' in any conditions despite light levels or obscuring smoke. Their sight is still orientated toward the front.