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Bird, Blindingcrow

This glossy black crow has fleshy pustules and sores growing out from under its plumage. This bird is has a thick, heavy bill and even more surprisingly has a central third leg that ends in an array of sharpened talons.

Unaligned Tiny monstrosity

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 1 (1d4 -1)
Speed 10 ft., fly 50 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
2 (-4)14 (+2)8 (-1)2 (-4)12 (+1)6 (-2)

Condition Immunities blindness
Skills Perception +3
Senses darkvision 30 ft.
Languages none
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)

Actions

  • Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the creature must make a successful DC 9 Con saving throw or take 1 necrotic damage and contract blinding sickness (see below).

Special Traits

  • Blinding Sickness. A creature infected with blinding sickness must make a DC 9 Con saving throw after completing each long rest. On a failure, the infected creature gains 1 level of exhaustion; on a success, it loses 1 level of exhaustion. The disease is cured when the creature has 0 levels of exhaustion, or through lesser restoration or comparable magic. The real danger from the disease, however, is blindness. When a creature reaches 3 levels of exhaustion caused by blinding sickness, or when it has taken 3 or more necrotic damage in less than 10 minutes from blindingcrows that carry the disease, the creature is permanently blinded. Greater restoration or comparable magic is needed to cure this blindness.

About

Environment Non-arctic land
Organization solitary, pair, flock (3–12), or murder (13–100)

Blindingcrows are fairly intelligent carrion birds known for their problem-solving skills and ability to adapt within the city environment. Despite past attempts to exterminate them, blindingcrows are more common than ever in the city’s trash dumps and are known for their distinctive screeching caw. Sociable, especially when not nesting, blindingcrows may gather in communal roosts on winter nights, sometimes with thousands or even tens of thousands roosting at one location.

When large groups of these birds gather, they sometimes form a huge swarming flock and chase predators in a behavior called mobbing. Loud noises are the most common cause for a murder of blindingcrows to attack an individual.

As foragers, these birds also clean up dead animals and garbage. In fact, blindingcrows are often blamed for overturning garbage cans when the real culprits are usually raccoons or dogs. From prolonged exposure to the toxins and wastes in their urban environments where the blindingcrows live and feed, they have developed an ironic affinity for a particular disease. Blinding sickness has festered within these birds, and they pass it from one to another during mating and while feeding. The feathers of these birds, although a glossy black, are marred by oozing, sores that drain diseased fluid and that dry and become encrusted. When the birds preen themselves, this diseased fluid transfers to their beaks where it infects their bite attacks. Despite their third claw and sinister reputation, blindingcrows are no more effective with claw attacks than a normal crow. Only when blindingcrows swarm do their claw attacks really present a threat and live up to their name.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Tome of Blighted Horrors, © 2016, Frog God Games, LLC; Authors John Ling, Authors Richard Pett, Pete Pollard, Alistair Rigg, Jeffrey Swank, and Greg A. Vaughan.

Additional Credit Author Jeffrey Swank, based on material by Richard Pett.