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The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 01:15 PM
Xelcius

A creature flies in, appearing as a man-sized swan and buzzard lying back to back with their wings merging together to form a single beast of two visages...

A story at least a thousand years old tells us of how the race of the Xelcius came to complicate the world. A pair of twins, born to a lowly farmer, were birthed in the middle of a brutal winter, sickly and undersized. Though not wealthy the parents were rich in honor and the love of one another. Such it was with great reluctance, and when both babes were on the border of death, that the father braved a journey into the nearby mountains, seeking a woman said to be both a giver of curses and a masterly healer. She was known to always be honorable in her dealings, though kept her word to the literal truth, rumored to always leave a crucial keyhole through which to slip. The man and his wife had already agreed to take the risk, for otherwise it was the death of their little ones.

The witch agreed to come and save the twins if she could name her price after the deed. She promised not to take the life or health of anyone, nor any materials wants. Puzzled but desperate he agreed. He led her back down into the village and into his hut. There the witch spent all night with the twins and by the light of the rising sun she departed, leaving the babes with red, healthy faces devoid of fever. The hearts of the parents were troubled however for she had left without any mention of payment though with a smirk on her face.

Their worries soon faded away as both sons grew rapidly and without growing sick ever again. However, though one son was a model child whom listened to the teaching of his father and through his actions and deeds brought respect to their name, the other was rebellious and filled with loathing at rules and restraints. Filled with lies and deceit he was uncontrollable and lacked any constraint, voicing what came into his mind and doing whatever he wished. His father was wary of punishing however for even from his youngest years the son was able to hold grudges for many a time and held no qualms about bringing back vengeance.

The first son joined with the emporers army and rose in the ranks as he led many men to battle and recieved many honors and the respect of all. The second son however become a thief and assassin, doing whatever deed brought substantial coin. It was realized soon by the parents what the payment had been. The heart and honor of their child.

Thus it was that the first son was ordered to capture his brother and bring him to justice. Though weary in his heart he knew the deed must be done and so he set out to capture him. This was to be a task that would become an obsession as the brother would be found and a battle insue, but always he was able to escape. Though tempered in war and possessed of much skill the other was keen of mind and devious beyond all reckoning. Many a time both were close to death after their encounter and there grew a burning desire to do away with the other for all time.

During this time however each had taken a wife. The first son a woman of low standing but with a kind heart and a deep love for her husband. The other however had married a wealthy and beautiful woman after together having plotted and succeeding in killing her aged husband in secret. Neither wished the death of their husbands but their mates would not listen to reason, both intent on the downfall of the other. Thus the two met, though they detested the other, and met with the aged witch to make a deal. The witch agreed, promising that she would keep them from ever doing battle again, though once more made no mention of payment. She had been awaiting a request such as this, but had been unwilling to act until asked, remaining true to a promise spoken long ago that she would only use her powers when asked. The evil son had long ago snuck onto her mountain and stolen many expensive things so that she as well bore a grudge for him. The good son had also met with her and threatened her if she would not give him back his honor and decency, of which she refused.

When the two brothers next met and were in each other's arms as they wrestled they both found themselves unable to release the other and feathers began to grow upon their bodies. With a great force they managed to turn themselves back to back and remained that way. One became a swan of great beauty, reflecting the state of his heart while the other took on the traits of a vulture which matched that of his inner self. The evil brother immediately fell limp in the sunlight and so the other had to drag him. When the sun set however their conditions were reversed. Each time they awoke one would set out in the direction of their wife, but the direction would change as each awoke and neither could make any leeway.

During the night the vulture however managed to find one of his many contacts who upon the rising of the sun waited for the swan to awaken before knocking it out with a great blow. The man then delivered the creature to the wealthy woman. She sent a messenger to fetch the second wife as she raged at the duplicity of the witch. When both wives stood before the creature however both found themselves changing as well, one become a swan to match her husband while the other a a buzzard to match hers. They all fled then, deep into the wilderness. One had her husband during the day, the other the night. To their horror however each laid eggs that were as two combined, and what hatched was a creature cursed like that of the fathers.

A xelcius is often a very angry creature. During the night its buzzard half wreaks havoc, stealing and slaying while during the day its swan counterpart attempts to aid those harmed by its other side. To make matters worse the buzzard half will often fly upside down to appear as the swan in disguise. Neither creature is usually aware of its other half's deeds, knowing nothing of the other being upon it except for its weight and its difference in appearance. It is well that the swan is constantly attempts to thwart its other side or the fruition of the buzzard's ambitious plans would make it far more dangerous.

A xelcius weighs about 95 lbs. and stands some 5 and a half feet tall on average. They speak Common and can speak with any natural bird as the Speak With Animals spell.


Xelcius Traits

Different As Day and Night (Su): A xelcius swan is a creature of daylight and warm skies. During daylight hours it has full control over its body and gains fast healing 2 while in direct natural sunshine. When the sun has set however the swan falls into a deep coma and thus rises the buzzard who gains fast healing 2 in shadows. This is an instinctive change that occurs even if neither side is aware of the time of day. The comatose half cannot be awoken by any means short of a Wish or Miracle or some other high level spell, and only then for 1 round.

Joined (Ex): A xelcius, though different creatures, share the same body. Thus physical damage and maladies of any kind are shared between the two. The creature has two minds however, so mental conditions are not shared.

A xelcius's two parts normally give it a total of 6 HD, though each half has 3 HD for the purpose of how they are affected by some spells. When advancing a Xelcius the HD is always an equal number as the two halves contribute towards the whole.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 01:16 PM
Xelcius Buzzard

Medium Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 6d8+12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (3 squares), fly 50 ft. (poor)
Armor Class: 18 (+6 natural, +2 dex), touch 12, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+6
Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d8 )
Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d8 ) and 2 claws +6 melee (1d6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Buzzing of flies, pluck eyes, sneak attack 2d6
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., death watch, immunity to poison and disease, light sensitivity, low-light vision, topsy turvy, xelcius traits
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +7, Will +4
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 15, Wis 15, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +8, Intimidate +7, Move Silently +8, Spot +6
Feats: Great Fortitude, Hamstring (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Hamstring,CW), Multiattack, Weapon Finesse(B)
Environment: Any mountain
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always Chaotic Evil
Advancement: 8-12 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: -

A xelcius buzzard is a wholey unpleasant creature with feathers of a dark greasy grey color, approaching black, with serrated edges that lie flat and hard against the skin with a scale-like appearance. It has vicious glinting talons at the end of thickly armored legs and a curved, tearing beak protruding from a featherless visage of dull crimson warts. Its eyes are slanted, though the slitted pupils are reptilian and of a burning orange-red hue that seem to glow vaguely in the deepest shadows.

Combat
A xelcious buzzard prefers to keep to the shadows, and then leaping out to rapidly yank out the eyes of its victims. It then hunts them at its leisure as they stumble about blindinly. If overpowered a xelcius buzzard is quick to flee

Buzzing of Flies (Su): Any creature that a xelcius buzzard kills is covered over by a swarm of large, intensely agressive biting flies within 1d6 rounds. They are as a spider swarm, though without poison, but with a fly speed of 30 feet (good maneuverability).

Deathwatch (Su): A xelcius buzzard can continuously sense the condition of creatures near death as the Deathwatch spell out to 100 feet.

Light Sensitivity (Ex): Xelcius buzzards are dazzled in bright light or within the radius of a daylight spell.

Pluck Eyes (Ex & Su): Each time a xelcius buzzard deals sneak attack damage to a creature, there is a 20% chance that it plucks out its victim's eyes, blinding it permanently. A remove blindness/deafness spell does not replace the lost eyes. A heal spell restores both the creature's eyes and its vision.

A xelcius buzzard can see through the empty sockets of any one victim it has plucked the eyes out of within 48 hours. Its eyes appear within the sockets and can see anything the victim would normally be able to see, and is vulnerable to any gaze attacks, blinding and similiar conditions. It is unable to see about its avian body, though all other senses are unimpaired.

Sneak Attack (Ex): A xelcius buzzard can make a sneak attack like a rogue, dealing an extra 2d6 points of damage whenever a foe is denied his or her Dexterity bonus, or when the buzzard is flanking.

Topsy Turvy (Ex): A xelcius buzzard, despite its less than agile flight, may fly upside down as a full round action, appearing as its swanish counterpart. Its flight maneuverability drops to clumsy. If a mind-affecting effect is aimed at the swan form the buzzard is unaffected.

Skills: A xelcius buzzard has a +4 racial bonus on Hide and Spot checks and a +8 bonus on Intimidate checks.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 01:24 PM
Xelcius Swan

Medium Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 6d8+12 (39 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (3 squares), fly 50 ft. (poor), swim 20 ft.
Armor Class: 18 (+5 natural, +2 deflection, +1 dex), touch 13, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+7
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d4+1 plus purity of jade)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d4+1 plus purity of jade) plus 2 slams +5 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Gold burst, ki strike, purity of jade
Special Qualities: Heartening breeze, lover of light, low-light vision, xelcius traits
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 14
Skills: Diplomacy +11, Heal +7, Spot +7, Swim +9
Feats: Dodge, Elusive Target (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Elusive_Target,CW), Mobility, Multiattack(B)
Environment: Any mountain or aquatic
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always Lawful Good
Advancement: 8-12 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: -

A xelcius swan is almost unnaturally beautiful with pearlesque feathers edged with a pale silver that catches the light. These feathers curl and come to a point, and are always shifting and moving in an unseen breeze. The large slanted eyes are a gentle gold and the dull edges of its beak glimmer a faint blue.

Combat
A xelcius swan prefers to be on the defensive, doing battle with a fluid grace that is almost a dance and taking advantage of its opponent's flailing.

Goldburst (Sp): While in full sunlight a Xelcius can use a move action to absorb the bright rays. It may then use a standard action to release a blinding flare of brilliant gold from its eyes that acts as the Glitterdust spell except it affects creatures in a 20-foot cone (DC 15 fortitude save negates blindness). Evil-aligned creatures that fail their initial save must make a secondary save or become permanently blinded. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Heartening Breeze (Su):
As a full round action a Xelcius can beat its wings mightily, producing a warm breeze that seems to go right through you and sets a tingling in one's blood. Any affected ally within a 60 foot cone receives a +2 morale bonus on saving throws against charm and fear effects and a +2 morale bonus on attack and weapon damage rolls. The effect lasts for as long as the ally feels the xelcius swan's breeze and for 5 rounds thereafter.

Ki Strike (Su): A xelcius swan's unarmed attacks are empowered with ki. Its unarmed attacks are treated as lawful and magic weapons for the purpose of dealing damage to creatures with damage reduction.

Lover of Light (Ex): A xelcius swan is immune to dazzling and blindness as the results of light.

Purity of Jade (Su): A xelcius swan's bite attack inflicts the ravages of *Jade Water. The touch of a xelcius swan's beak also acts as a purify food and water spell.

* From the Book of Exalted Deeds, p. 35.

Skills: A xelcius swan has a +4 racial bonus on Diplomacy and Spot checks and a +8 bonus on Swim checks.

InaVegt
2006-08-12, 01:26 PM
I have a challenge for you, a creature which has all alignments at the same time

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 01:49 PM
I have a challenge for you, a creature which has all alignments at the same time
I'm glad you liked the Xelcius. No, really, you're too kind! ::)

InaVegt
2006-08-12, 01:51 PM
I'm glad you liked the Xelcius. No, really, you're too kind! *::)I was hoping that wasn't nessecary, you know I like all your creations, don't you?

The Demented One
2006-08-12, 01:55 PM
Wow...the Brothers Grimm would be proud. Oh yeah, and there's a creature too!

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 02:11 PM
you know I like all your creations, don't you?
Not neccessarily, but I'm glad thats been the case so far. I just like to have 'some' kind of feedback ;)



Wow...the Brothers Grimm would be proud. Oh yeah, and there's a creature too! :P

Steward
2006-08-12, 03:44 PM
Cool. I have a tiny question; does the creature need to be able to see the sun/moon in order to change or does it just do it automatically regardless of whether or not it is aware of the time of day?

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 03:45 PM
Cool. I have a tiny question; does the creature need to be able to see the sun/moon in order to change or does it just do it automatically regardless of whether or not it is aware of the time of day?
Automatically.

NullAshton
2006-08-12, 07:32 PM
What happens if the swan continuously travels around the world so that it's in constant day?

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 07:55 PM
What happens if the swan continuously travels around the world so that it's in constant day?
Then its flying jusssst a tad faster than its 50 foot flight speed ;)

NullAshton
2006-08-12, 08:35 PM
So? Swan pays someone to create a magical flying craft to do this. Then he/she just surfs the sky, always staying in the daylight, occasionally stopping at a city for a few hours.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-12, 08:49 PM
So? Swan pays someone to create a magical flying craft to do this. Then he/she just surfs the sky, always staying in the daylight, occasionally stopping at a city for a few hours.
For a magical flying craft to do that it'd be having to go around a thousand miles per hour just to keep up with the sun (almost twice the speed of sound). I don't quite see that happening short of a horrendously epic item that no CR 5 should have.

Elrosth
2006-08-13, 12:41 AM
Unless the setting your playing in has a world that would fit in our mediterrainian sea or something. Then it might be a viable strategy. :)

DMgrinder
2006-08-13, 01:41 AM
So? Swan pays someone to create a magical flying craft to do this. Then he/she just surfs the sky, always staying in the daylight, occasionally stopping at a city for a few hours.

Or, it just stays on the north pole where it never gets dark during the summer and is always dark during the winter.

Spuddly
2006-08-13, 01:44 AM
Could you stat up the Beast With Two Backs? :D

Steward
2006-08-13, 02:41 AM
Could you stat up the Beast With Two Backs? :D

I think our party faced that one once. It was essentially a creature that with two torsos, a conjoined head, and four legs. Pretty easy to take down if you visualize it in just the right way.

Elrosth
2006-08-13, 05:04 AM
Could you stat up the Beast With Two Backs? :D


lol... I think that's more of an encounter than a monster...

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-13, 08:24 AM
Could you stat up the Beast With Two Backs? :D
Eh?

I_Got_This_Name
2006-08-13, 12:58 PM
This monster is, once again, sheer brilliance. The only problem I can see is a bit of a pet peeve I have with Lawful Good being used whenever anyone wants to make something a Really Good Thing, and Chaotic Evil whenever it's a Bad Guy; I'd consider the Neutral alignments (NG and NE) better for this.

Also, for Buzzing of Flies, how does the Fly Swarm act? Does it stay in one place, look for new targets, obey the will of the Xelcius Buzzard, attack the Xelcius?

I've also got a monster request; not really a challenging one, but one I'd like to see and have a bit of a writer's block for: Genies of the Energy planes; Positive, Negative, and Temporal.

The only ideas I have for them is that I want the Temporal genies to be hazardous to PCs (probably not good-aligned), the Positive genies should be either evil or of such an alien mindset as to be no different (from the PC's perspective), and the Negative ones should not be evil (I'm kinda leaning toward good-aligned on this; the Negative plane needs something Good to live in it). Also, the Temporal ones should be the most powerful.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-08-13, 01:58 PM
I have a challenge for you, a creature which has all alignments at the same time

I don't know if VT has done this, but I have (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=Contests;action=display;num=11491794 64;start=0#0). Sort of. I have all the alignment subtypes at the same time. Does that count?

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-13, 05:51 PM
The only problem I can see is a bit of a pet peeve I have with Lawful Good being used whenever anyone wants to make something a Really Good Thing, and Chaotic Evil whenever it's a Bad Guy; I'd consider the Neutral alignments (NG and NE) better for this.
Oh, well, I agree with you there. However, as you read in the story the one brother was raised to be honorable and law-abiding, all the more so because of his wayward brother.

So has nothing to do with being a Really Good Thing.


Also, for Buzzing of Flies, how does the Fly Swarm act? Does it stay in one place, look for new targets, obey the will of the Xelcius Buzzard, attack the Xelcius?
All that happens is the flies are attracted to the kills of the buzzard. I did mention they were agressive though, so they basically attack whenever anyone gets close to their meal, whoever that may be.


I'm taking a bit of a rest from requests though for awhile.

Elrosth
2006-08-14, 02:32 AM
What? You can't take a break! What do we pay you for?

Oh, that's right. We don't pay you. Very well then, we'll double it and give you a week's paid vacation.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-08-14, 03:25 PM
Hrmmm, if I could only set up paypal...

Elrosth
2006-08-18, 02:46 AM
Nah. You'd be better off taking a page out of the ad-profit's strategy. Every time a party encounters your monster, you get a couple cents.

Of course, that would ultimately lead to you doing nothing but re-statting goblin variations. Oh well, worth a shot.