The Magpie Count

Medium fey, chaotic neutral

Armor Class 15
Hit Points 121 (22d8 + 22)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
13 (+1) 18 (+4) 12 (+1) 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 19 (+4)

Saving Throws Dex +7, Wis +5, Cha +7
Skills Animal Handling +5, History +4, Persuasion +7, Religion +4
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Auran, Common, Sylvan
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +3

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Bird Speech. The Magpie Count can speak with and be understood by birds with an intelligence score of 3 or less.
  • Deceptive Beauty. The Magpie Count has advantage on all Charisma ability checks and saving throws.
  • Flyby. The Magpie Count does not provoke opportunity attacks when he flies out of an enemy’s reach.
  • Mimicry. The Magpie Count can mimic animal sounds and Humanoid voices. A creature that hears the sounds can tell they are imitations with a successful DC 15 Wisdom (Insight) check.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The Magpie Count makes two Thieving Talons attacks.
  • Thieving Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage. On a hit, the target must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or have an item (GM’s choice) stolen from them. If stolen, the item magically teleports into the hands of the Magpie Count.
  • Birdsong. The Magpie Count sings a lovely song. Each creature within 30 feet of the Magpie Count that can hear must make a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or fall unconscious as the song lulls them to sleep. A creature awakens if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to wake it.
  • Summon Ravens. The Magpie Count summons 1d4 swarms of ravens. The swarms act right after the Magpie Count on the same initiative count. The Magpie Count can have no more than four swarms of ravens under his control at one time.

BONUS ACTIONS

  • Summon Magpies (1/Day). The Magpie Count summons a swarm of knighted magpies. The swarm acts right after the Magpie Count on the same initiative count. The Magpie Count can have only one swarm of knighted magpies under his control at one time.

REACTIONS

  • Spellsteal. Immediately after a creature casts a spell that targets the Magpie Count or includes him in its area of effect, he can make a Charisma ability check against the spellcaster’s spell save DC. If successful, the Magpie Count negates the spell’s effect against him, and he steals the knowledge of that spell. The Magpie Count knows this spell and can cast it as an action. The Magpie Count’s spell save DC is 15, and he has a +7 to hit with spell attacks. The spellcaster can’t cast the stolen spell until the Magpie Count steals another spell or the spellcaster takes a long rest. The Magpie Count can only know one stolen spell at a time. If he attempts to steal a spell, he loses knowledge of any previously stolen spell.

TACTICS

The Count and his traveling court call both the Material Plane and the Fey Realm home. They are usually encountered in forests and cities, on roofs, or within crowns of tall towers. Since the lowlier birds that fill his court migrate and he considers himself a most gracious sovereign, it’s more likely to find him in the South during winter and North in the summer. He’s been known to take up residence in quiet hollers near urban centers where trade is plentiful, so his agents might come across carts to burgle for their shiny wares.

The Count rarely leaves his court, and so will be in the thick of a strange collection of glittering nests, broken glass littering the ground, and bits of wrapping paper and coins strewn over a throne decorated with colorful trash. The Count sits here, handing out decrees and managing his flock of allies.

ABOUT

The beautiful, petty ruler of broken and shiny things, the Magpie Count is a member of imagined nobility who keeps a court of colorful trash, winged scavengers, and those who’ve wandered through his domain, only to be lost to his mesmerizing allure. The Count’s aims are to acquire beautiful things and destroy all which he desires but cannot possess.

The Magpie Count at least dresses as a noble peer, typically appearing as a tall, androgenous man with long black hair and wearing a velvet suit adorned with medals, bright ribbons, and other trinkets. A wide set of black wings are wrapped around his back, held fast by a silken sash. Within a human court, in a dark corner, he might almost pass as an eccentric military man whose theaters are far behind him or a long-lost cousin no one wants to claim ancestry to. His eyes are a bright green that sparkle with their own light and nervously snap from place to place.

Stories regarding the Magpie Count’s origin abound, all of them more fantastical than the last. Some tales claim he is a bird turned into a man by a sorceress who fancied herself a queen and needed a consort she could control. Others claim the Count was a haughty, jealous man cursed into a kind of wandering kleptomaniac after he stole from a sorcerer. No matter the tale, there must be something magical about the Count’s formation, for the birds he keeps do seem to follow him around, answering his summons and obeying his whims.

Most curious of these is the large flock of magpies he calls his “knights,” marked with silver lines of shining paint that run down their breasts.

Whatever the truth of his history, the Magpie Count is an envious and prideful creature, given to fits of rage should he not get what he wants. He is not cruel so much as he is scattered in what it means to have a “proper” manner, almost as if he were a child-king on a toy throne, and all promises ought to be followed to the letter. While quick and clever, the Count is not beyond being tricked. Just be aware that a trick played on him will be visited ten-fold back on the trickster.

Lonely Mimic. With most of his allies being birds, the Magpie Count finds himself often lonely. To fill this void, he talks to himself using various accents and has taught his court of birds a set of unique voices. The Count spends hours going through conversations with them, but given the stilted, all-to-quick responses of the birds, one must think these are well-rehearsed parodies, and all the “talking” of the court is merely some pre-scripted series of actions. A farce of friends and lively conversation.

A Mockery of Courtly Life. In proper keeping with other noble courts, the Magpie Count has established an inner circle of advisors. A barn owl for its wisdom, a crow for its scheming mind, several doves for their beauty and gossip, a kestrel for its strength, and a raven he slyly names as his loyal assassin. Whether these birds serve their supposed purpose is anyone’s guess, but the Magpie Count seems to think they are all quite capable in their roles.

Jealous Thief. If the Magpie Count can’t have it, no one can. The Count may want that broach an adventurer is wearing, the glittery hilt of a ceremonial family sword, or the knowledge of spells locked away inside a sorcerer’s mind. He may even desire those intangible things called “happiness” and “love” he has heard so much about. If he finds them near his court, he may do terrible things to have them.

An Admirer of Beauty. The Magpie Count is enamored with beauty. It is easy to distract and tempt him with offers of something shiny he wishes to add to his collection. What he considers “beautiful,” however, can be a bit strange. While a human might be obsessed with a magnificent painting, the Count might be just as taken by a bit of garland twisting about in a tree.

Sincere Wishes. The Magpie Count is eager to make friends and have more voices in his court beyond himself and his birds. To that end, he is willing to accept deals that would ensure someone at least comes back to visit him and spend time in his domain. The Count makes his deals plainly and keeps his end of any bargain without fault. Woe to those negotiators who fail to keep up their side of the bargain.

The Magpie Count’s Feathers

The Magpie Count’s feathers have magical properties. The Count sometimes gifts them to those who have assisted him.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Affinity Torus Copyright 2022 Dias Ex Machina Author Chris Dias

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page