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Old August 4, 2016, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[Wiki Article] Creature: Owlbear (Draft I)

“Nothing is as angry as an owlbear. Everything is its enemy and its food – from the mouse to the dragon. Nothing scares it, nothing calms it and nothing stops it. To an owlbear, every fight is its last, and it acts as if everything it meets will kill and eat it unless it kills and eats those it encounters first. The owlbear consumes everything it can fit in its mouth and breaks everything it can’t.”

Creature Name

Owlbear

Abstract Description

The owlbear, despite a complete lack of magical properties, is not a natural monstrous creature. There are many theories as to its origin but the commonly accepted form of inception for the beast is that it was the crossbred product of a brilliant, though thoroughly insane, wizard. Given the absolute ferocity and lethality of his creation it is entirely likely that whoever created them is no longer alive. Whatever the original purpose of such a freakish creation as the owlbear, the creature bred true and has become quite well-established in woodlands across the world, where it plays a key role in a region's ecosystem as an apex predator.

Physical Characteristics

As its name suggests, the owlbear is the result of the crossbreeding of an owl and a bear. The owlbear possesses the powerful body of a bear and the head of an owl. Its head possess a monstrous hooked beak that is strong enough to puncture full plate armor and break bone with ease and can swivel almost completely around. Its feet and talons are a curious mix of the two species - hairless, leathery with wicked curved talons like that of an owl but thick and powerful like a bear. It is not immediately obvious what species of owl and bear were used in the creature’s creation but given their observed characteristics it is acceptable to surmise that its parent species were an eagle owl and a grizzly bear.
A fully grown owlbear male can measure twelve feet in total length and weigh up to eighteen hundred pounds. Females are generally three quarters the size of males. Though it appears that the owlbear has a coat of fur, it is in fact two layers very fine feathers, densely packed together. The feathers of the under layer is akin to down and acts as insulation. The outer layer of feathers protects the creature from the elements, water, sleet and snow sloughing off easily.
Owlbears have a shambling gait reminiscent of bears and like bears, are deceptively fast, being able to effortlessly outrun people on foot, wild boar and deer over short distances. Owlbears are silent and stealthy in movement but when threatened or agitated, will emit a deep, harrowing screech that is half eagles cry, half bears roar. They possess exceptional vision and hearing, especially at night, but do not have the keen sense of smell of bears. Owlbears are excellent swimmers and climbers.

Reproduction

Despite their inherent aggression, owlbears mate for life. This is because that finding a suitable mate is a laborious and danger task. Many owlbears die or are severely injured when searching for their life mates. After mating, a female owlbear lays a clutch of four to six large and perfectly spherical eggs in spring. The male and the female will take turns guarding the eggs until they hatch approximately sixty days after laying. The young are miniature versions of their parents, just as aggressive and just as voracious with death amongst hatchlings common. They grow fast and are fully mature by eighteen months when they are forced out of their parent’s territory to fend for themselves.

Climate/Terrain

Owlbears live in wooded areas where there is sufficient prey species to support their huge appetites. They are not known to frequent very hot or very cold areas or where there are large populations of people. They are most commonly found in temperate forests and close to water sources. A lone owlbear is nomadic whereas a mated pair will establish a territory of several hundred square miles. A pair of owlbears will nest in a natural cave formation, their nest littered with feathers, bones and detritus from their kills.

Organization

Before they have mated, owlbears are solitary creatures with no fixed territory which inevitably leads them into confrontation with other owlbears whether they are rivals or potential mates. Once they have established themselves with a mate, a territory is sought where they will raise their young. Owlbears can be encountered on their own, as pairs or as a family group with two adults and one or more young.

Diet

Owlbears are carnivores and will eat the flesh of almost all animals. They will dig rabbits and mice out of the ground, ambush deer and wild pigs and chase down people foolish enough to enter their territory. Prey can be stunned with a swipe of its claws or held immobile while they are ripped to pieces by the powerful beak. Like bears, owlbears will sweep salmon from rivers when they are spawning and swallow them whole before returning to the water for more. Owlbears feasting on beached whales have been noted on a few occasions.

Special Abilities

The owlbear has been observed to have no special or preternatural abilities.

Inherent Resistances, Immunities and/or Vulnerabilities

It is rumored that charm and calming spells are greatly reduced in effectiveness when used on an owlbear. The reason for this is not known as the majority of those that have attempted to charm or calm an owlbear are dead.

Owlbears can be temporarily disorientated through bright flashes and loud noises, but this also further enrages them.

Combat

Similar to bears, when an owlbear attacks, it will rear onto its hind legs swiping with its vicious talons, attempting to hug its prey. Once immobilized, the owlbear will use its beak to tear large rents in its victim which often result in massive blood loss and inevitably death. If the prey is large enough, the owlbear will attempt to rip the throat out to end the fight quickly.

Training

Owlbears cannot be trained. Attempts to do so result in either their escape or the trainer’s death. If kept in captivity, owlbears will simply waste away and die once their initial fury at capture dissipates. There is no known reason or cure for the condition

Trade

Because of their inability to be trained and the fact they die in captivity, there is virtually no market for the capture of live owlbears except for study purposes. Scribes do, however, prize their feathers for quills as they retain a sharp point for longer and possess a certain prestige due to their scarcity. Nobles with more bravery than sense will occasionally hunt and owlbear for sport.

Note

The owlbear is not my creation. It is a creature common to many fantasy settings and games. I simply wanted to bring it into the world of Aelyria as it is one of my favorite creatures.
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Old August 5, 2016, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Without getting int the nuts and bolts of the article, I'm not really sure what adding the owl bear into the wiki really adds to the site. As it stands, we have a lot of D&D drawn creatures and what not as it is - do we need to add another one? In discussions with people I've had in the past re: adding things to the wiki, the one thing I've touched upon repeatedly is the desire to move away from thinking that everything needs to appear in the wiki. I have no objections to the use of the owl bear in your moderated threads, if you wish to. But I don't really see a whole lot of need to put it in our wiki. The beasts that are there currently serve to give an idea of what's in the world without having to go too far in-depth. Certainly, there doesn't need to be an article for every beast, which is why a lot of beasts we've currently put in the wiki/compendium haven't been added.

But I am thinking that if there's any need to pilfer or purloin animals from somewhere else, something as simple and doesn't-really-add-much as an owl bear isn't really going to be the thing. But, as I said, that shouldn't prevent you or anyone else for potentially introducing them as creatures to use in the game itself.
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Old August 5, 2016, 02:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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