Sunday, February 28, 2021

20 Magical Bird Species


"What are birds? We just don't know." - Look Around You, Season 1, Episode 2.

     Birds command perhaps the most envy of any class of animals. Who does not sometimes look out the window, and wonder how stupendous it would be to fly? As a result, they have a sort of aspirational or longing held along with them, symbols of freedom, change and often death. In a sense, they are already a little bit magic to us in a way that other animals aren't.

     In previous articles of this series we've gone over Dogs, CatsRodents & Fish. As before, the names for these creatures are source from my home setting Volmusia. The d20 on the side is included in case a GM wishes to provide an inventory for a avian merchant or a noble's menagerie.





Yvonne's Matchmaking Magpie

The result of an Mage's attempt to meddle within the lives of her followers, Matchmaking Magpies are considered mild, if amusing pests. These small birds will steal objects that are owned by potential couples, hiding them in the other's abode.


Dorician Notion Buzzard

Valued by the mages and scholars of Doru alike, the notion buzzard feeds upon failed ideas or endeavors. Wane and unhealthy looking, their droppings and molted feathers can be ground into a fine powder and smoked, which purportedly provide flashes of insight or inspiration. Non-Doricians are generally unconvinced.


Selkirk Oracular Canary

Widely held to be touched by some deity who holds dominion over prophecy or time, these unassuming canaries have the ability to cast Locate Animal/Plants, Augury & Find Traps 3/day. Oracular Canaries are highly valued by anyone who works in a high-risk profession.


Kaidan Whispering Nightjar

While many of the complaints of travelers through Kaidan center on the whispering nightjars, they are seen fondly by the inhabitants. These nocturnal birds use snippets of humanoid speech or screams in their songs, mimicking words that they hear in passing and calling them out to one another.


Jokorian Carnivorous Tinamou

These ankle-high, flightless and dull-feathered creatures have a taste for flesh, but prefer the taste of humanoids above all others. They come in a variety of browns and greens and they travel in hunting pods numbering between 15-30 members, racing with abandon through the jungles of Jokor.


Saoghalian Four-footed Sparrow

Competitors to the local rodent population, these wingless four-footed sparrows are a common sight in and around the city-state of Saoghalia. Reportedly the final "gift" of an archmage to the city, these four-footed pests have an uncanny ability worm their way into nearly any vertical structure and breed in explosive numbers.


Auyyuahian Scintillating Hummingbird

Fully diurnal, these gorgeous birds are often glimpsed from afar, but wise travelers avert their gazes if they grow close. The silvery feathers of the birds can catch the light with enough power to blind onlookers, sometimes permanently searing their sight from them. The now-blinded fool is easy prey for the razor sharp feathers of the Hummingbird.


Ymirian Giant Pine Shrike

Fearful figures to the inhabitants of the far north, the giant pine shrike is large enough to carry off horses or other cattle. They then impale their hapless prey onto the points of tree branches, or any other convenient sharp outcropping large enough to support the weight.


Porthas' Hydra Goose

Held to be a species summoned from the lower depths, the Hydra Goose was first observed by a Conjurer during an archmage's retirement party. These geese initially appear to be normal members of their species, but upon being killed through violence, their true nature reveals itself. Each time the goose is killed, a new head bursts forth from it's neck, the creature only seeming to grow more enraged in the process. A goose can typically grows 3d4 heads in this way before finally expiring.


Zelazian Sandsprinter

These flightless birds are endemic to the dunes of Zelazia, and are seen as an example of ideal behavior for the nomads who hail from there. The sandsprinter can move far faster than the eyes of most humanoids, able to dodge blows or projectiles with ease. When a sandsprinter senses a pair of eyes upon it, they drop to the ground and attempt to camouflage themselves.


Nessah's Cloudjay

A species of birds which make their home in the firmament itself. Cloudjays come in a wide variety of whites, greys and blacks. These footless birds never land once they hatch, and they have a measure of control over the weather itself, able to cast both Fog & Gust of Wind 3/day as an 8th level caster.


Ceiwannian Fencing Crane

A common sight along the river and lake shores of the elven highlands, the fencing crane is given a wide berth by humanoids and animals alike. These graceful blue-feathered creatures are an inspiration to the duelists of their homelands and a source of injuries for unwary anglers. Fencing cranes can strike hard enough to pierce plate, and they can cast True Strike 3/day.


Dolchean Bursting Robins

Less of a pest than an existential threat, bursting robins nest in the volcanic vents on the eastern slopes of the Dolchean range. Feeding primarily on precious or ferrous metals, these small and quick birds are common sights around settlements where they often attack the well to do or those with obvious jewelry. If struck too hard or pierced, the birds pop, releasing a spatter of magma around them.


Cernunnokian Twisting Dodo

The screeching, yowling cry of a twisting dodo is the center of many nightmares for the dwellers of the underdark. These skinny, flightless birds have a thick, almost rubbery hide that they can use to wiggle and push their way through even the smallest openings. Operating in clutches of 5-7 individuals, these waist-high birds will lie in wait in gaps within cave walls, or near the shores of abyssal lakes.


Tueh's Lordly Owl

Considered to be a symbol of the Maagluurtet royal family, they lordly owl is feared by travelers of the plateau for its uncanny ability to call creatures of the wild. 3/day the lordly owl can cast Animal Summoning I. They are known to be intelligent, and can be bribed or placated.


Chardonian Graffiti Parrot

Looking as if they stepped out of some mad artist's dream, graffiti parrots come in a riotous range of colors. While that alone would make them worthy of their title, graffiti parrots gained their name by their ability to sink against flat surfaces, hiding themselves as two-dimensional paintings while they are at rest. Many nobles of the island pay handsomely for captured parrots to decorate their homes.


Volmusian Castle Starling

The fortified timber homes of these starlings are a common sight within the boreal forests of the Volmus region. Equipped with a particularly robust beak, the castle starling will tear away large sections of bark or branches, bringing the pieces back and using them to create remarkably well-constructed nests. Abandoned nests are often used by the native halflings as lean-tos or emergency shelters.


Sivardian Portal Pigeons

Beginning as nothing more than an elaborate entertainment for the Storm Giants which make the Plains of Sivard their homes, the portal pigeons long ago escaped the Giant's sky castle homes. Portal pigeons can collectively open up small tears in reality, allowing their flocks to slip around in strange or otherwise impossible angles.


Lovet's Soothing Wren

Valued for the wondrously soporific effect of their songs, these tiny brown-feathered birds are more commonly seen as the pets for the nobility than in the wild. Soothing wrens can cast Sleep 3/day as a 5th level caster.


Gobluggian Comet Falcon

The streaking profile of a comet falcon is often the last sight that the unwary see before meeting their end. Lurking high up in the skies of the deserts of Goblug, these falcons use their prodigious speed to simply slam into their prey hard enough to cause localized explosions. These falcons can cast Fireball 2/day as a 7th level caster.

     As always, thanks for reading! If you're feeling up for it, I'd love a follow, and I've also set up a patreon for anyone who is kindly enough to help me eat.


  1. The Hydra-Goose is going into one my wilderness random encounters ASAP.

  2. A merchant who will sell the players magical birds coming right up!