New Mutant Monday # 34 - White Raven

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 2d8
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 180’ (60’) Flight
AC: 3
HD: 1
Attacks: 1 peck or 2 bullets
Damage: 1d4 or see description
Save: L5
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: X, XII, VIII (95%, bullets or power cells only!)

Other than the change in plumage, these mutant ravens have changed little compared to their ancestors. They are about the same size and weight as their ancestors, and show remarkable intelligence, even greater than that of pre-final war ravens.

These creatures can be found in any environment, except for the arctic. They prefer to live in temperate zones, and many have found their way to the tropics. It has been observed they also prefer ruins over the open wild, needing far less territory for their homes (as much as only 10% compared to the wilds).

As previously stated, these creatures are highly intelligent, displaying far more intelligence than most humans and humanoids are capable of. The biggest problem is they are incapable of speech, other than the usual caws, chirps and other sounds they often make. They are capable of writing, using their beaks and claws, although they and other parties trying to communicate with them find this tedious and frustrating.

In the wild, they live together in flocks and build communities of nests high in trees, ruins or in typically inaccessible locations. At first glance, they appear to be ordinary nests. When someone happens to get close enough to peer inside the nests, they will find the nests have been carefully constructed. The construction makes the nests far more impervious to the perils of nature and man alike. The exterior is constructed of twigs and branches, but always around a base of metal or stone. Inside the nest itself there are hidden compartments where the birds store their valuables. A hidden panel can be accessed and this allows a roof, likewise made of stone or metal, covered by branches, to slide over the top of the nest, protecting it from all danger.

The mutant birds have one weakness – make that three, which is something they cannot fight, due to mutation. They love shiny objects, bullets and energy cells. They are obsessed with these items and will do almost anything they can to obtain them. The nests have cubby holes filled with coins and these objects.

Whenever they come into contact with small, coin-shaped or sized shiny objects, bullets or energy cells, they will go out of their way to obtain them, no matter what. Often this leads to outright theft, but occasionally they are able to supress their desires and will trade other items for what they want. No one knows why they love these objects so much, but like mythological dragons hoarding treasure, they will hoard these items.

If someone attacks their home or nests, they will gladly use the bullets they have accumulated over the years to fend off any would-be attackers. Scholars often wonder why they would use the bullets if they go out of their way to hoard them. As it turns out, they hoard the casings, and do not really care for the lead or gunpowder.

In combat, the birds will first swoop in and peck. Their salvia has a strange property, which after a successful beak attack the target must make a saving throw versus poison or become confused. This state will last for 2d4 turns, and while in the state, the victim will drop all coins, small shiny objects, or energy cells and wander away in a daze. By the time the victim comes out from this fugue, the birds will have gathered up the loot and will have flown off.

If this does not work, they always carry a stash of the bullets in their claws. The average bird will carry 2d8 rounds and they will throw the bullets with such force that the round will detonate upon impact. After the battle is complete, the birds will swoop in and gather the brass and anything they can find from those killed during their aerial bombardment. Consult the following table for the size and damage of the bullet they use.

Roll

Bullet Size

Damage

1-2

Very small

1d4

3-4

Small

1d6

5-7

Medium

1d8

8-9

Heavy

1d10

10

Very Heavy

1d12

The birds have a great knowledge of the territory they live in (which typically encompasses 400 plus 20d10 square miles in the wilderness, but only 10% of that in ruins). They will often sell their knowledge to those who are willing to pay the price in coin. This will be done through telepathy (if the purchaser has it), or the crow can draw out a map and mark locations of interest.

They will also be willing to act as guides or even areal support, if provided with enough bullets and coin to make up for it.

Mutations Albinism, heightened intelligence, increased Will Power, obsession (defect), toxic weapon