Monday, October 7, 2013


Imported from the Greek tales of Hercules, stymphalidies are man-eating cranes with razor wings.  With brass feathers and bloodthirsty appetites, they could easily be the escaped pets of some god, just as they were in the Greek myths (bred by Ares, to be exact).  Or they can just be natural products of your world’s fantasy environment, where “survival of the fittest” takes on a whole new meaning.  I especially like the idea of using stymphalidies as an adventuring party’s first encounter after reaching a new land or continent.  When even the birds are deadly, PCs know they’ve traveled somewhere dangerous and worth exploring (or worth beating a hasty retreat from)…

The stretch of coast known as Razorfeather is avoided by travelers and fisherfolk—and with good reason.  Those poor unfortunate souls who aren’t cut to pieces by the stymphalidies along the swampy shoreline usually run afoul of the egg-implanting gryphs that live further inland.

Jangling Melly is an annis hag who terrifies villagers along the Chalk Cliffs.  Her name comes from her habit of adorning herself with the brass feathers of her pet stymphalidies.

The zebra hunters and auroch tenders of the Blazing Chimeras loathe stymphalidies, who decimate the Chimeras’ herds during their seasonal migrations.  One of their most gifted rangers attempted to track the birds to their nesting grounds, only to discover a smoking crater instead.  He is not sure where the crater leads—underground, perhaps, or the Plane Earth or Fire, or even one of the Hells—because he was driven off by gorgons and strange steam mephits with horribly bloated limbs and bellies.  The ranger has sworn to return to the crater, but he would welcome backup from brave adventurers.

Pathfinder #26 88–89 & Pathfinder Bestiary 3 257

Note that the stymphalidies first appeared in Pathfinder #26: The Sixfold Trial as the stymphalides swarm and the giant stymphalidies.  The giant version (with its “ies” discrepancy in the spelling) is what made it into the Bestiary 3.

Two hours of new and independent music for you, including Lorde (who I’m loving to death—and so is everyone else on the planet, apparently).  Download it!

(Music starts about 90 seconds into the file.  If the feed skips, let the file load in Firefox or Chrome, Save As an mp3, and enjoy in iTunes.  Link good till Friday, 10/11, at midnight.)

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