Bird, Piasa

Masque of the Red Death (Ravenloft)Campaign Setting Logo

Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:Low (5-7)
Alignment:Chaotic evil
No. Appearing:1
Armor Class:5
Movement:9, Fl 18 (C)
Hit Dice:7+2
No. of Attacks:5 (claw/claw/horn/bite/tail)
Special Attacks:Swallow whole, Fear aura
Special Defenses:Nil
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:H (20')
Morale:Elite (13-14)
XP Value:1,300

The Bird of Piasa (Piasa Bird) resembles a black bear with a man's face, large disproportionate teeth, and the horns of an elk. Its head and neck are covered with a whiskery mane, like the beard of a man. The body resembles a lion's or a bear's save that it is scaly like that of a large fish, and it has a bear's legs ending with an eagle's claws. Its tail is at least 50' long, wound three times around the body, and tipped with a spearhead thrust backward through its hind legs. Large bat-like wings extend over its shoulders. Overall its body is black with red horns. It stands over 7' tall and is 20' long.

Combat: The Piasa attacks its opponents by swooping down on top of them. Its first attack is usually a high-pitched scream that causes fear. Anyone with a 15' radius of the Piasa under 5 HD must save vs. spell or be affected as by a fear spell. The Piasa will then rip into its victims with a claw/claw/bite routine using its horns and tail as needed. The Piasa can attack multiple opponents per round. Due to its size, any naturally rolled ā€œ20'sā€ on its bite attack are considered to have swallowed the victim whole. Anytime the Piasa does this it will break off its attack and fly to its lair to digest. The victim does not immediately die; the Piasa prefers fresh meat in its own lair. The victim can attack while inside the Piasa, but will fight at a -4 to hit. The victim also takes 1-4 hit points of damage per round.

Habitat/Society: The Piasa is the only one of its kind, or rather it is the only one that has ever been seen. It is unknown that if this is the same monster that attacked Chief Ouatoga's tribe or an offspring. The Piasa seems to go through periods of activity and inactivity that can last for years. Again it is unknown if it is the same creature or some offspring of the original.

The Piasa lives on fresh meat. Its preferred food is man, in particular children and young adults. When humans can not be found the Piasa will eat any large game animal.

The Piasa makes its home in caves in the bluffs along the Mississippi river. Its favorite or most active spot comes from the areas North of St. Louis in what is now called Alton.

Ecology: The Piasa Bird lives solely on freshly-killed meat. It produces nothing that is otherwise useful to human-kind. Due to its rarity a captured live Piasa could command a king's ransom from some of the less-respected zoos in the world. Most scientists consider the Piasa a myth, or at best, an extinct creature from eons past. Scholars of a more arcane bent agree that the Piasa bird was once merely a myth, but that when the Red Death arrived in the region, it turned this myth into a monstrous reality.