Blues

Chris Van Deelen
 

No. Enc: 2d4 or 20d12 (flocks)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 300’ (100’) Fly
30’ (10’) ground
AC: 3
HD: 1
Attacks: 1 peck and 2 claws or by weapon type
Damage: 1d3 / 1d4+1 / 1d4+1
Save: L1
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: I (x5), II (x5) III (x5) and 50% chance of 2d8 gizmos, and 25% chance of 1d6 grenades or pistols (primitive or high-tech)

 

Originally thought to be extinct back around the beginning of the 21st century, it was discovered that this beautiful and rare species of Macaw was in fact thriving deep in the amazon jungle. The birds were carefully monitored and the tract of jungle that they had been discovered in was declared a preserve. This allowed the birds to continue to thrive and multiply and eventually they were taken off the endangered list.

Then the final wars broke out and the world was forever changed. Thankfully due to their remoteness and the fact that their territory had been declared a preserve, the wars barely touched their homes. Still, the species did in fact suffer the effects of the wars, as the radiation and toxins that were released finally found their secluded homes.

Many members of the species perished, and once again the small but beautiful birds were threatened with potential extinction. Despite the hardships they did manage to survive, although like pretty much all life on the planet, they re-emerged into the world changed. Mutation had come to the birds.

Physically, there appears to be no difference between the new species and their ancestors. There is no obvious difference between the generations. When one interacts with them however, they quickly discover that they are not simple mindless birds.

Quite the contrary. They are highly intelligent and have become tool users. These birds are fully capable of speech and although their claws appear to be un-altered, they can use them as hands, and have even developed opposable thumbs, allowing the species to use tools with ease.

They have organized their flocks into family oriented clans, and although they are separate they are still loyal to one another as a species. Each major flock has a single male leader, typically the oldest and most experienced and his word is final when it comes to all matters. He will listen to advice of others in the flock and if he believes that their advice is sound, then he will take it under consideration. Rarely does this ever lead to possible strife or problems for the flock as a whole, and if it does, then the male can be peacefully displaced if the flock demands it. There has never been a case in the history of these birds that a displaced leader has ever fought the final judgment of the flock.

Like humans, these birds mate in pairs and typically for life. The females reach sexual maturity at around five years of age and the males around seven or eight. The females are usually the aggressors and will pursue the males that they wish to have as mates until they are utterly rejected or the male gives in. Sex for the birds is frequent and typically rather noisy, which some species find offensive but members of this avian group tend to cheer on lustily.

The female lays 2-6 eggs and stays with them for a period of 2 months until they hatch. The young are cared for by both parents and are fully independent and capable of surviving on their own after 1 year. As a species they seem to have an unlimited lifespan, only succumbing to disease, violence or other such hazards.

Their diet subsists mainly of nuts and fruit, but they have become quite partial to bread products and have a real passion for pancakes and waffles, especially if smothered by berries or honey.

They also have friendly rivalries with other avian species that inhabit the jungles of the Amazon, and there is conflict between them, but unlike most other species, instead of outright war in which many die, they resolve conflicts with sports. The biggest game for these creatures is a strange version of soccer that is played in the air. Any major conflict is resolved through this method and the winner takes all.

As stated earlier, they are highly intelligent and have become tool users, although due to their diminutive size they often find using artifacts to be difficult. If they are forced into combat, they will often use explosive weapons such as grenades (which they like to use like bombs), and can even use small pistols and even melee weapons, but they are more likely to flee if anyone attempts to engage in physical combat.

These birds are also masters of escape. They are able to open and manipulate the most complex locks they encounter, even electronic systems. It is part of the mental mutations that they have developed over the years. Outlanders often hire the birds to help them open locks and bypass security. If the price is right, then they will help.

They will trade with outlanders mainly for foodstuffs but they also like small artifact that they can use, particularly music players and personal data devices, even GPS enabled technology, so that they can navigate the skies with relative ease.

Mutations: Aberrant form (opposable thumbs, speech capability), increased mental attribute (Intelligence and Will Power), intellectual affinity (tinkering, modified)

Source: Rio 1 & 2

Chris Van Deelen is the author of the Skirmisher Publishing LLC sourcebook Creatures of the Tropical Wastes sourcebook, co-author of its Wisdom from the Wastelands game supplement and contributor to the 'Sword of Kos: Hekaton' Anthology.