Rendition done by Atolm of the Wizards of the Coast forums. All rights reserved.
Colossal Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 19d10+114 (218 hp)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 100 ft. (average)
Armor Class: 19 (+3 dex, +14 natural, -8 size), touch 5, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +19/+46
Attack: Bite +23 melee (4d6+16/19-20x2)
Full Attack: Bite +23 melee (4d6+16/19-20x2)
Space/Reach: 30 ft./30 ft.
Special Attacks: Augmented critical, horrible flavor, swallow whole
Special Qualities: Energy immunity, resistance to sonic 10, scent, scent of the scales, sonography
Saves: Fort +22, Ref +16, Will +10
Abilities: Str 32 (+11), Dex 16, Con 22(+6), Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 15
Skills: Escape Artist +14, Listen +30
Feats: Close-Quarters Fighting, Dive For Cover, Dragon Hunter, Dragon Hunter Defense, Iron Will, Lightening Reflexes, Snatch(B), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Any land
Organization: Bother (3-40)
Challenge Rating: 14
Advancement: 20-39 HD (Colossal)
Level Adjustment: -
These enormous beasts are a strange sight to behold, appearing almost as scaley worms, though at one end is a sharp, monsterous beak, and the other end a fantastic fan of feathers that spreads out hundreds of feat. This fan is constantly being wafted up and down, propelling the creature at a deceptively slow speed. The scales are rounded and hairy tufts of feathers sprout here and there at random. With each beat of the wings the scales part slightly to reveal the tufts, and the creature's form flattens ever so slightly, seeming to glide in between beats.
Veroiseau, also known as Vultures of the Scales, are unique in being one of the few creatures to prey upon dragon. None are certain, even the dragons, of whether the veroiseau were bred or created in some or if they simply evolved. Reguardless of their origins, they are a nuisance at best and deadly at worst. Veroiseau can always be found in great flocks on the outskirts of dragon lairs. They are patient, brazen beasts with the tenacity of the mountains themselves. They consistently prod and poke, trying to find a weakness to exploit, often with a cunning that is almost sentient. Most grown draconic beings are perfectly capable of defending themselves, though they are harried and provoked to distraction. The dragon will then often lash out, the veroiseau fighting back to the death. The others will back off for a time and then return to continue.
The main danger is to be found in the dragon's litter if any, the veroiseau always watching for the mother to leave to hunt or drink, and then they will swoop in and take of the eggs or young. Never will the young be allowed to leave in peace once grown enough to fend for themselves, the veroiseau distracting the mother while the young are set upon by the others. When not able to eat dragon the veroiseau will feed on nearly anything, be it vegetation or animal, often drastically lowering the available food for the dragon itself. If a settlement of some kind is nearby they are often plagued with hungry veroiseau.
The veroiseau breed at an astonishing rate, laying hundreds of fist-sized eggs right upon the dragon's mountain and surrounding areas, covered over with a large quantity of hardened mucous which causes them to resemble irregular stones, as well as possess a horrible taste. They are then abandoned only to hatch within a few months. They live as snakes for the first few weeks of their lives, slithering upon the ground and up cliffs to eat of rodents and insects, roots and leaves. They soon gain the ability of flight and grow in leaps and bounds, reaching their adult growth in their first two years.
Whenever possible these eggs are hidden literally within the dragon's lair, the hatchling slithering out to crack open the dragon eggs and hide within, feasting upon the forming wyrmling. It will remain within for as long as possible, sneaking out to taste of the remains of the mother or father's hunt while they sleep or at gone.
A veroiseau can eat its full weight in one sitting and especially after a meal of meat will lie down to doze for many days, even weeks, rousing only to defend itself if need be.
The veroiseau prefer to attack en masse, using sheer size and numbers to overcome whatever they fight. They then swallow whole whatever is smaller, or tear with their massive beak what is too large or tough.
A veroiseau's bite is considered magical for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Augmented Critical (Ex): The veroiseau's bite threatens a critical hit on a natural attack roll of 19–20.
Energy Immunity (Ex): Every veroiseau has an immunity to a single type of energy listed below. This immunity is often derived from the type of dragon that it lives about.
A veroiseau immune to acid has plumage and scales of various shades of greens.
A veroiseau immune to cold has plumage and scales of brilliant whites and silvers.
A veroiseau immune to fire has plumage and scales of scintilating reds and oranges.
A veroiseau immune to electricity has plumage and scales of flashy blues and purples.
A veroiseau immune to positive energy has radiant plumage and scales of the palest gold.
A veroiseau immune to negative energy has pitch plumage and scales that are darker than night.
All veroiseau have resistance to sonic 10.
Horrible Flavor (Ex): A veroiseau secretes an oil that allows it to keep its scales and feathers in pristine condition and help it slides through the air. Though this oil has no smell it has a truley horrendous taste to non-veroiseau. Any creature that attempts a bite attack against a veroiseau must succeed on a DC 30 will save or be unwilling to bite a veroiseau for 24 hours. If the creature biting the veroiseau makes the save three consecutive times its tongue numbs and it may continue biting without requiring a save. However, the biting creature loses all sense of taste and smell for 1 day per bite after numbing.
Scent of the Scales (Ex): A veroiseau can detect the scent of draconic or reptilian beings at twice the standard range.
Sonography (Ex): A veroiseau has the equivalent of blindsight out to 200 feet. As a standard action it may release an extended cry so high-pitched that few can detect it. It may see all things in a 60-foot cone, even straight through solid matter. A veroiseau's cry cannot penetrate force effects or areas of supernatural silence. A veroiseau that has in some way been deafened is rendered effectively blind.
Swallow Whole (Ex): A veroiseau can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of a smaller size than itself by making a successful grapple check. Once inside, the opponent takes 4d6+12 points of crushing damage plus 10 points of acid damage per round from the veroiseau’s gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 50 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 22, a veroiseau's stomach is heavily armored and uses its full natural armor). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. A veroiseau’s interior can hold 1 gargantuan, 2 huge, 8 large, 16 large, 32 Small, 128 Tiny, or 512 Diminutive or smaller opponents.
Skills: A veroiseau gets a +10 racial bonus on escape artist and listen checks.
Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble : 02-06-2007 at 10:28 AM.
Nice. Gives a possible answer to the question "if dragons are so damned powerful and smart, why aren't they running everything?" (Other answers are obviously possible). One unbelievably minor nit/pet peeve in the fluff:
Veroiseau, also known as Vultures of the Scales, are unique in being one of the few creatures to prey upon dragon.
If they are "unique" then they are not "one of the few," they are the *only*.