Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bat, Cat & Hawk

As wizard’s familiars go, bats, cats, and hawks are practically paradigms—only owls and the corvidae (ravens and crows) arguably have a better claim.  The non-arcane versions of these animals can spur adventures, too.

Bassinghust the Red is a kind-hearted wizard of middle years who is also somewhat of a botanist.  In summer his valley suffers lightning strikes, so he keeps a lookout for wildfires from his tower by day, while his bat familiar holds vigil by night. The valley’s residents thus now regard all bats fondly, even though Bassinghust’s, a lazy lump called Snipe, spends as much time as possible napping on the brim of his master’s hat.

The cats of Cleobury all disappear on the third night of every week, as well as the vernal equinox.  A lammasu seems to be responsible.

The archaic practice of employing a use name to disguise one’s true name has largely fallen out of favor (the use name was proof against most kinds of charms, compulsions and possessions, but left one uniquely vulnerable if one’s true name were known).  Still, it was once common, especially among the elves—a Lohengrin Evetheress might go by “Silverleaf” or “Lark.” The elf clan of Verniloss goes one better—they embed pieces of their spirits in hawk and falcon familiars, who are then loyal for all time.

Pathfinder Bestiary 131

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