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Stymphalian

Stymphalians - "Stormwings"

Realm: Hellas
Typical Height Range: Males - 4' to 5' /// Females - 4' to 5'
Typical Weight Range: Males - 80 to 120 lbs /// Females 80 to 120 lbs
Typical Alignments: N/C
Typical Marks: Typhon
Forcemarks: Typhon
Instinctive Traits: Desecration and Vandalism, Aggression, Hydrophobia

Stormwings are solely found within Typhon's camp. They're more or less designed to make harpies obsolete, and much of their cultural propaganda reflects that. They are found extensively throughout the Pelopenissos, and the Island of Crete. Their diet consists of meats and starchy foods, often scavenged, sometimes hunted or bought. They closely resemble harpies save for their sharp dense feathers. The feathers are stiff and hard, and can be voluntarily hardened to metallic properties, for armour or for vicious slashing attacks. Whether hardened or not, the feathers always appear glossy and metallic.

They have something of a penchant for blood, coupled with a near-narcotic reaction to desecration of corpses. Because of this trait, Stormwings and Anubi do not regard one another at all well. Because of their dense feathers, stormwings tend to be phobic of deep water, to varying degrees. Stormwings fight harpies fairly often, though their superiority in melee combat is matched by the harpy advantages to maneuvering and climbing.

Typical stormwing flocks are 3 to 10 individuals, sharing duties such as defense of home, which is important because their chrome-coloured eggs are much sought-after as trophies.

Highly detailed information
Stormwing
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Stormwing (Accipitridae Stymphalis), colloquially known as "Tinseltails" or "Kreugerbirds", is a mid-sized monster species that is only somewhat uncommon within the Greek Realm. The Stormwings were originally called Stymphalian Birds, as per Greek lore, but the term Stormwing was popularized in novels written by Tamora Pierce prior to the Realm Invasion, and was adapted into common parliance before historians were able to set the matter straight. The Stormwings themselves rapidly took to the new name, and its Greek translation, "καταιγίδα πτέρυγα". Their threat level to marked adventurers has been evaluated as: Moderate-Low? citation needed. Their threat level to unmarked adventurers has been evaluated as: Moderate citation needed.

  1. 1 Description
  2. 2 Ecology and behavior
* 2.1 Reproduction
  1. 3 Combat and Adventuring
* 3.1 Combat notes

Description
Stormwings, much like their cousins the Harpies, resemble large vultures with human faces and torsos. The key difference is the metallic sheen of the feathers and claws sported by the Stormwings. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not actual metal, but the effect is rather acheived through a combination of biological adaptation and Realm Supernatural Energy. Stormwings range between 1m (39 inches) and 1.5m (60 inches)1 tall, with wingspans of 2.5 (100 inches) to 4m (160 inches), the females tending to be 10 to 15% larger than the males. Their wings are broad, with exaggerated flight primaries and greater flexibility than most terrestrial birds. The torso is relatively narrow, since their dependance on RSE for flight precludes the need for large pectoral muscle groups. Their feet are bulkier than would be expected, in order to support their weight of 30 to 50kg (66 to 110lb) and to afford them larger claws and a rudimentary degree of manual dexterity2. Their backs, tails, and upper legs are all feathered, leaving only the feet, chest, and head exposed; the head and chest bearing human skin and hair, which has a tendency to become dirty and greasy, since Stormwings are instinctually somewhat hydrophobic due to their predisposition to simply sink in deeper bodies of water3. Their colouration ranges from 'bronze' to 'chrome' on their feathers, which will always be very reflective, and their skin runs the gamut of the human shades.

Ecology and behavior
The Stormwing range is typically coastal and interspersed along unpatrolled roadways, though it is not uncommon to see them range wide distances in search of carrion or prey. They'll make their homes primarily in cliffsides, valley slopes, and abandoned human buildings, and will only very rarely make efforts to modify or construct their dwellings. Many of the derelict skyscrapers abandoned by human society at the time of the Realm Exodus have active or abandoned Stormwing nesting sites, as often, they'll simply drive harpies out of preferable territory. Stormwings have a tendency towards social groupings of a dozen or more, suiting their styles of stealing territory, extorting travellers, defending their stolen territory and goods, scavenging for food, and capturing unmarked humans. These are all frequent behaviors, and typically when stormwings are seen, they are doing -or looking to do- one of the above. They are aggressive and devious in their pursuit of their objectives, frequently falling back on ambushes, traps, and trickery. Their gastrointestinal system is robust, to accommodate a wide range of potential foods, though their diet tends to be approximately 80% meat, with a distinct tendency to raw and rotting food. It is not uncommon to see converted humans maintain appearance and decor by eating cooked food, along with thankful maitenance of basic hygiene, but Stormwing converts have an extraordinarily difficult time adapting to their handicaps outside of the Realms. Stormwings have a reported expected lifespan of approximately 60 years4, comparable to that of humans.

Reproduction
While their superior natural weaponry affords Stormwings an edge over Harpies5, the same self-assured arrogance that permeates their society and their more aggressive behavior more than offsets their advantages, as other species are far less likely to help them, or even to tolerate their presence in an area. Athens, Corinth, and Troy, for example, put heavy residence restrictions on the number of Stormwings allowed to take up permanent residence, while Sparta bars them completely from city limits. As a result of these factors, and of increased internal conflict within their species, Stormwing reproduction and expansion is far slower than that of the Harpies, and relies to a fair degree on the acquisition of unmarked humans. Male stormwings' genitalia, as with nearly all avian species, is carried internally, and when active, bears the same proto-metal adaptations on the exterior of the anatomy as their feathers, making it the only "flesh" portion of their bodies to do so. It is presumed that the adaptation is to prevent damage from the protometallic feathers of the female during intercourse. When natural mating does occur, however, the female typically carries and then lays a single egg, which bears similar metallic properties to their feathers until ready to hatch. Numerous eggs, however, are abandoned for various reasons, and it is not uncommon for some examples of greedier or sadistic monsters (or adventurers) to collect the metallic eggs for display, since dead eggs will not lose their protometal hardness and polished sheen6.

Combat and Adventuring
The extraordinary ability that Stormwings are best known for is their ability to harden their protometallic feathers on conscious or subconscious impulse. When this ability is employed, the feathers go from a semi-rigid chitin-like state, such as that of the porcupine or hedgehog, to a literal metallic state. This is espescially true of the flight primaries, which are then weilded like a rack of scythes to great effect against unarmoured targets. The feathers, at this point, are approximately the hardness and density of annodized aluminum, despite tests showing a complete lack of aluminum in their composition. They will often berserk while attacking, slashing wildly with hardened flight primaries and talons in quite fearsome displays. Of some interest, when feathers are damaged in this state, such as against armour or when struck by a weapon, they will retain this damage back into their chitinous form, and become worthless for flight purposes. It is not unknown for a stormwing to fight to the point of grounding itself in this fashion. The feathers appear to be metallic, chrome-like in their reflective properties, whether they have been hardened or not, and retain their weight (density comparable to aluminum) whether hardened or not. This effectively means that one cannot visually ascertain which portions of the stormwing have been hardened, but the stormwing is always denser than water, and easily drowned. The hardening adaptation cannot be indefinitely maintained, not because of RSE limitations, but because of mobility limitations. Stormwings that maintain too much of their bodies in metalized form will frequently injure themselves as the bladelike feather edges contact their own skin, which lacks any sort of immunity against their own weapons7. Very rare is the Stormwing that will betray this fact, they behave as though their bodies were fully armoured, as that reputation suits their needs.

Combat Notes
While Stormwings will frequently bluster and threaten, they actually prefer to avoid combat against armed prey whenever possible8. However, once engaged with a Stormwing, it is to one's advantage to employ ranged weapons and keep to tight cover whenever possible, since in spite of appearances, their feathers provide them with virtually no protection whatsoever from piercing or impact attacks. Spring rifles, arrows, shuriken, and polearms are all very effective, while fighting one with a sword is liable to be an extremely difficult fight, since they tend to be highly evasive and very rapid. The single best deterrent to Stormwing attack is to travel in large, armed groups, preferably free of unmarked humans. If interacting with 'friendly' Stormwings, do not touch them unexpectedly, since the instinctive reaction is to metalize and immediately raise the feathers of a surprized or injured spot, which can result in serious injury to a human hand. If interacting with stormwings, be cautious of even non-metalized feathers, since they are not as flexible as terrestrial avian feathers, and can still pierce skin if handled incorrectly, just as porcupine or cactus will. Stormwings cannot fly or change the state of their feathers outside of the Realms, due to a lack of RSE capacity, and will therefore never pursue a departing ship or adventuring party beyond Realm borders9. Some are able to 'throw' their feathers at a target in a scatterfire ranged attack. It's difficult to know for certain which can do this, as most will claim to be able to, despite the ability itself being fairly rare.


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The Stormwing ('Accipitridae Stymphalis'), colloquially known as "Tinseltails" or "Kreugerbirds", is a mid-sized monster species that is only somewhat uncommon within the Greek Realm. The Stormwings were originally called Stymphalian Birds, as per Greek lore, but the term Stormwing was popularized in novels written by Tamora Pierce prior to the Realm Invasion, and was adapted into common parliance before historians were able to set the matter straight. The Stormwings themselves rapidly took to the new name, and its Greek translation, ??????????. Their threat level to marked adventurers has been evaluated as: Moderate-Low? [ citation needed ] . Their threat level to unmarked adventurers has been evaluated as: Moderate [ citation needed ] .



Description

Stormwings, much like their cousins the Harpies, resemble large vultures with human faces and torsos. The key difference is the metallic sheen of the feathers and claws sported by the Stormwings. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not actual metal, but the effect is rather acheived through a combination of biological adaptation and Realm Supernatural Energy. Stormwings range between 1m (39 inches) and 1.5m (60 inches) [ 1 ] tall, with wingspans of 2.5 (100 inches) to 4m (160 inches), the females tending to be 10 to 15% larger than the males. Their wings are broad, with exaggerated flight primaries and greater flexibility than most terrestrial birds. The torso is relatively narrow, since their dependance on RSE for flight precludes the need for large pectoral muscle groups. Their feet are bulkier than would be expected, in order to support their weight of 30 to 50kg (66 to 110lb) and to afford them larger claws and a rudimentary degree of manual dexterity [ 2 ] . Their backs, tails, and upper legs are all feathered, leaving only the feet, chest, and head exposed; the head and chest bearing human skin and hair, which has a tendency to become dirty and greasy, since Stormwings are instinctually somewhat hydrophobic due to their predisposition to simply sink in deeper bodies of water [ 3 ] . Their colouration ranges from 'bronze' to 'chrome' on their feathers, which will always be very reflective, and their skin runs the gamut of the human shades.

Ecology and behavior

The Stormwing range is typically coastal and interspersed along unpatrolled roadways, though it is not uncommon to see them range wide distances in search of carrion or prey. They'll make their homes primarily in cliffsides, valley slopes, and abandoned human buildings, and will only very rarely make efforts to modify or construct their dwellings. Many of the derelict skyscrapers abandoned by human society at the time of the Realm Exodus have active or abandoned Stormwing nesting sites, as often, they'll simply drive harpies out of preferable territory. Stormwings have a tendency towards social groupings of a dozen or more, suiting their styles of stealing territory, extorting travellers, defending their stolen territory and goods, scavenging for food, and capturing unmarked humans. These are all frequent behaviors, and typically when stormwings are seen, they are doing -or looking to do- one of the above. They are aggressive and devious in their pursuit of their objectives, frequently falling back on ambushes, traps, and trickery. Their gastrointestinal system is robust, to accommodate a wide range of potential foods, though their diet tends to be approximately 80% meat, with a distinct tendency to raw and rotting food. It is not uncommon to see converted humans maintain appearance and decor by eating cooked food, along with thankful maitenance of basic hygiene, but Stormwing converts have an extraordinarily difficult time adapting to their handicaps outside of the Realms. Stormwings have a reported expected lifespan of approximately 60 years [ 4 ] , comparable to that of humans.

Reproduction

While their superior natural weaponry affords Stormwings an edge over Harpies [ 5 ] , the same self-assured arrogance that permeates their society and their more aggressive behavior more than offsets their advantages, as other species are far less likely to help them, or even to tolerate their presence in an area. Athens, Corinth, and Troy, for example, put heavy residence restrictions on the number of Stormwings allowed to take up permanent residence, while Sparta bars them completely from city limits. As a result of these factors, and of increased internal conflict within their species, Stormwing reproduction and expansion is far slower than that of the Harpies, and relies to a fair degree on the acquisition of unmarked humans. Male stormwings' genitalia, as with nearly all avian species, is carried internally, and when active, bears the same proto-metal adaptations on the exterior of the anatomy as their feathers, making it the only "flesh" portion of their bodies to do so. It is presumed that the adaptation is to prevent damage from the protometallic feathers of the female during intercourse. When natural mating does occur, however, the female typically carries and then lays a single egg, which bears similar metallic properties to their feathers until ready to hatch. Numerous eggs, however, are abandoned for various reasons, and it is not uncommon for some examples of greedier or sadistic monsters (or adventurers) to collect the metallic eggs for display, since dead eggs will not lose their protometal hardness and polished sheen [ 6 ] .

Combat and Adventuring

The extraordinary ability that Stormwings are best known for is their ability to harden their protometallic feathers on conscious or subconscious impulse. When this ability is employed, the feathers go from a semi-rigid chitin-like state, such as that of the porcupine or hedgehog, to a literal metallic state. This is espescially true of the flight primaries, which are then weilded like a rack of scythes to great effect against unarmoured targets. The feathers, at this point, are approximately the hardness and density of annodized aluminum, despite tests showing a complete lack of aluminum in their composition. They will often berserk while attacking, slashing wildly with hardened flight primaries and talons in quite fearsome displays. Of some interest, when feathers are damaged in this state, such as against armour or when struck by a weapon, they will retain this damage back into their chitinous form, and become worthless for flight purposes. It is not unknown for a stormwing to fight to the point of grounding itself in this fashion. The feathers appear to be metallic, chrome-like in their reflective properties, whether they have been hardened or not, and retain their weight (density comparable to aluminum) whether hardened or not. This effectively means that one cannot visually ascertain which portions of the stormwing have been hardened, but the stormwing is always denser than water, and easily drowned. The hardening adaptation cannot be indefinitely maintained, not because of RSE limitations, but because of mobility limitations. Stormwings that maintain too much of their bodies in metalized form will frequently injure themselves as the bladelike feather edges contact their own skin, which lacks any sort of immunity against their own weapons [ 7 ] . Very rare is the Stormwing that will betray this fact, they behave as though their bodies were fully armoured, as that reputation suits their needs.

Combat Notes

While Stormwings will frequently bluster and threaten, they actually prefer to avoid combat against armed prey whenever possible [ 8 ] . However, once engaged with a Stormwing, it is to one's advantage to employ ranged weapons and keep to tight cover whenever possible, since in spite of appearances, their feathers provide them with virtually no protection whatsoever from piercing or impact attacks. Spring rifles, arrows, shuriken, and polearms are all very effective, while fighting one with a sword is liable to be an extremely difficult fight, since they tend to be highly evasive and very rapid. The single best deterrent to Stormwing attack is to travel in large, armed groups, preferably free of unmarked humans. If interacting with 'friendly' Stormwings, do not touch them unexpectedly, since the instinctive reaction is to metalize and immediately raise the feathers of a surprized or injured spot, which can result in serious injury to a human hand. If interacting with stormwings, be cautious of even non-metalized feathers, since they are not as flexible as terrestrial avian feathers, and can still pierce skin if handled incorrectly, just as porcupine or cactus will. Stormwings cannot fly or change the state of their feathers outside of the Realms, due to a lack of RSE capacity, and will therefore never pursue a departing ship or adventuring party beyond Realm borders [ 9 ] . Some are able to 'throw' their feathers at a target in a scatterfire ranged attack. It's difficult to know for certain which can do this, as most will claim to be able to, despite the ability itself being fairly rare.

Created by admin. Last Modification: Friday 29 of July, 2011 22:51:10 CDT by admin.