New Mutant Monday Series Two #92 - Strigiformes

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d3 or 10d10
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 90’ (30’)
AC: 6
HD: 3
Attacks: 2 talons or by weapon
Damage: 1d6+1 / 1d6+1 or by weapon
Save: L6
Morale: 9
Hoard Class: IV (x5), VI (copper and silver, x3), 50% chance 1d3 random artifact weapons, 25% 1 suit of artifact armor (non EMA), VIII (85% x3), X.

The uplift virus has struck yet again, this time taking the common barn owl and mutating it to the point it is now a flightless, humanoid creature.

These creatures are slightly shorter than the average human, standing around 5 and a half feet in height, and barely top 75 pounds in weight. They have the huge eyes owls are known for, and a small beak, which opens to a much wider mouth. The wings have mutated into arms, which end in taloned hands with opposable thumbs. Oddly enough unlike so many other uplifted creatures, these mutants have adapted to wearing human-like clothing, instead of going naked.

They are typically nocturnal creatures, although they can be active during the daytime. They prefer the night however and typically are encountered only during daylight when they are travelling or possibly on guard duty, or even interacting with other creatures which are not nocturnal.

One thing they do have in common with their avian ancestors is the fact they live in trees or tall structures. They like to live in primordial forests and mountains, where they craft elaborate homes high in the branches or along cliff-faces. Despite being wingless, the creatures are able to levitate, up to 500 feet. They cannot move with the same speed as their ancestors, stuck at walking speeds, but this allows them to stay away from the surface. The homes are always circular in construction, with a central ‘nest’ or bed made from feathers and other soft materials.

Food has to be raw, and preferably alive, and as such they have been known to breed certain types of animals such as rats, squirrels and other such rodents, having a portion of their homes and communities set aside in order to set up breeding colonies. They cannot consume cooked meat, as it acts like class 3 poison when consumed.

Unlike many other uplifted creatures, these beings do value treasure and are also quite adept as merchants. They know the value of artifacts, and are surprisingly good craftsmen, able to use their talons with great dexterity and precision to make beautiful art. Furthermore, due to their ability and natural affinity to higher locations, they often make excellent scouts or lookouts, and are more than willing to sell their keen eyesight for this particular service.

Despite this, they often find it difficult to find those who are willing to deal with them due to their appearance. Many creatures, especially those whose ancestors were rodents, have an ingrained fear of these beings and will either run or turn hostile when they encounter them. When such a creature encounters these beings, they must make a save versus stun. If the save fails, they will run – if they have the option to do so, otherwise they will fight like cornered animals, gaining a +2 to hit, +4 damage (melee or natural weapons only) but suffer a +3 to their AC. This will last until they are dispatched, the creature is killed, or it leaves the vicinity and they can no longer see it.

This does not affect humans, only certain types of mutant animals.

They have taken several pages from humanoid culture. First the creatures will mate for life, unlike their ancestors. They live together in small family groups, typically consisting of a mated pair and 1d4 offspring.

They are also fairly social, living in communities up to 100 individuals. These communities are also strangely religious. They believe in a great maker, but unlike mythological gods, they worship a great grey owl which is physically similar to them, but always dressed in a white lab coat, and carrying a stethoscope around its neck.

Scientific devices and textbooks of all type are considered to be holy relics and are always sought after, and they do not just simply keep these hidden away and worship them, they actually take the time to learn the knowledge stored away.

When trading, they will always request such texts or artifacts, and pay premium cash for such items – although they are not above taking such items by force, if necessary.

As a result, these creatures do have an affinity towards all things science, and can often lend their knowledge (for a fee) when trying to solve scientific issues or either identify or repair artifacts.

The few times they do get involved in combat, these beings will use their talons, but they are more likely to use modified ranged weapons or better yet, melee weapons. Due to the physical makeup of their ‘hands’ they often find it difficult to use smaller items, which include weapons.

If they are outnumbered, or they have suffered more than 25% casualties, they will retreat, often using their ability to levitate to disappear into the forests and surroundings. Sometimes this works, other times it does not. They will use this ability though when engaged with hostile creatures which do not possess ranged weapons, as it allows them to deal with such nuances from a distance, with very little chance of suffering injury.

They are not adverse to using armor, although artifact armor typically has to be modified for them to wear – the one exception is EMA, which they simply cannot modify enough to fit their oddly shaped bodies.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons, xenomorphism), fear generation (modified), flight – psionic (modified), increased senses (hearing, sight, smell), intellectual affinity (barter, science, tinkering), night vision, unique senses (life, 500 feet)

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