4 CONSTITUTION (Stamina)
6 CUNNING (Arcane Lore, Navigation)
8 DEXTERITY (Acrobatics, Stealth)
4 MAGIC (Entropy)
10 PERCEPTION (Searching, Seeing)
1 STRENGTH (Talons, Bite)
SPEED: 12 (FLYING 30)
ARMOR RATING: 3
TALONS: +10 – 1D6+1
BITE: +10 – 1D3+1
SPELLPOWER: 14 MANA: 30
FAVOURED STUNTS: Pierce Armour.
SPELLS: Scream, Weakness, Drain Life.
FLEET: Invigorated by whatever dark magic fuels it, Gyromen has +2 Speed.
SCALES: Demonic corruption has formed scales over Gyromen's small form, providing 3 AR.
MAGICAL: Gyromen’s demonic nature causes all its attacks to be magical. Devour does not count as a magical attack.
QUICK STRIKE: Immediately after making a successful Bite attack, Gyromen can make a Talons attack. This attack cannot generate stunt points.
SWOOP: On the turn Gyromen charges, it ignores Armor Rating.
SONG: As a major action, Gyromen can emit a supersonic song which immediately and uncontrollably attracts every bird of prey within 3 miles to it. They become bound to its will and it controls them as if they were extensions of itself (Bird of Prey Swarms take actions on the same initiative as Gyromen, but take actions separately). As enemies, they should be amalgated into separate swarms in order to avoid ceaseless dice rolling for each individual bird. The number of Bird of Prey Swarms that result from this action are entirely up to DM choice.
A Bird of Prey Swarm has the same statistics as a Falcon, but also has a Talons attack (3D6), Strength (Talons) focus, its Bite attack now does 1D6+6, has the Quick Strike and Swoop power, performs the Pierce Armour stunt at 1SP instead of 2 and has 50 Health. It is immune to any Willpower tests because it is driven by another sentience.
It also has its own Special Power, Swarm. As a major action, a Bird of Prey Swarm engulfs an adjacent foe by moving into its position. That foe suffers 3D6 penetrating damage per round and can only perform minor actions until it passes a TN 13 Dexterity (Acrobatics) test and then moves away from its current position.
Bird of Prey Swarms disperse as soon as Gyromen is slain.
SCREAM: This is a unique spell costing 5MP. All creatures within 100yrds that are not Gyromen or Bird of Prey Swarms suffer the effects of the Daze spell unless they succeed on a Willpower (Self-Discipline) test vs. Gyromen's Spellpower.
SWARMSHIELD: By moving into the same space as a Bird of Prey Swarm, Gyromen can conceal itself. While it is concealed within a Bird of Prey Swarm it cannot be targeted for spells or attacks and it suffers no damage. It cannot attack but it can perform actions as nomal. The Bird of Prey Swarm can attack in addition to performing actions as normal. While Gyromen is concealed within a swarm, they are treated as single entity for the purposes of movement, using Gyromen’s movement speed.
Gyromen is both physically and magically concealed within the Swarm, so while it is also impossible to target or harm him while he is part of the Swarm, it is also virtually impossible to visibly determine whether he is within a swarm or not. Without magical detection, it requires a TN 25 Perception (Seeing) test major action focusing on one specific swarm to see Gyromen within, with +2 to the difficulty for every 20 yards he is away.
DEVOUR: This is a special stunt costing 5SP and can only be performed with Bird of Prey Swarms that have generated SP during this turn. Gyromen commands at least three Bird of Prey Swarms (of which the one he is concealed within may or may not be among) to begin circling in the sky above an enemy. This a major action vs. an adjacent enemy. During the turn following this action they make their attack against their target, regardless of its current position. Unless the targets succeeds on a TN 16 Dexterity (Acrobatics) test (+3 for every additional Bird of Prey swarm committed) they are consumed by the swarm, and left in a dying state. They will die unless saved within the usual number of rounds.
Bar Father Sigurd and the Bearhold Clan’s sorrow consumed by hatred toward the Bereskarn, the Gyromen is the creature the Avvar most revile. It is in turn, one of the mysterious creatures that has set foot on Thedas, not least because no scholar has ever encountered the beast and lived to record it.
It appears, to the Avvar and all onlookers, as some kind of possessed swarm of malicious birds; specifically, owls, hawks, ravens, crows, falcons; the only consistent thing is that they are all native to the Frostback Mountains. For an unknown reason, it is not known to have ever appeared outside those snowy reaches. One supposes that it is a demon that possesses the swarm, although there has not been another recorded case of a creature of the fade dividing itself to manipulate more than one creature in such a way; and the suggestion that in some cases thousands of different demons would operate in such unity is preposterous. Additionally, demons are not known to replicate one another’s habits. Usually if something as anomalous as the Gyromen emerges, it is in but a single instance, before it is slain. Yet Avvar history, enigmatic and badly recorded as it may be, notes that the Gyromen has been a persistently recurring menace for as long as they remember. Despite how many times they slay it and burn every last bird “infected”, much to their sorrow, it reappears. The regularity of these reappearances is also the height of inconsistency: a lone Gyromen in a single century has been recorded, while two in a year were mentioned in another account. One supposes the explanation might be that the nefarious demon that possesses these creatures has somehow escaped destruction every single time, despite the influence of the clans’ apostate shamans, but the Avvar have their own explanation.
Educated scholars would recall that the Avvar revere a deity known as the Lady of the Skies. This god is said to not only be the patron of all birds and creatures that wander the skies, but also can be treated as their god of death. Although the Avvar dearly love their birds, and thus are filled with such inimitable sorrow at having to slaughter – and unmatched fury at having them turned against – them, they are also freely recognised and even revered as agents of death. Instead of cremating or burying their dead, the Avvar dismember them and grind their bones to ease their consumption by the birds of prey, and in turn, the Lady of the Skies.
The Avvar, in their superstitious ways, have come to believe that the Gyromen is an agent of the Lady, sent to wreak her vengeance when they offend her. Truly, this is one of the most devastating grievances that the Avvar face, for not only do they suffer in the abhorrent nature of fighting their own birds, but they are driven to seek a cause they will not find for their god betraying them. In the past this has lead to human sacrifice, but more recent shamans among them have decreed that those hunters lost in slaying the terrible beast are enough to appease the Lady.
A note to a scholar or explorer who would investigate, an attempt to document this anomaly is a fool’s errand. There is no way to predict its appearance unless you believe that offending the Lady of the Skies will cause it to appear. Even if you were to stumble upon it, you would meet a swift and terrible death. The creature is highly aggressive and should be avoided at all costs, without exception it has never communicated to any human and thus cannot be reasoned with. A single bird of prey can kill a man, you are pursued by on occasion thousands, united as a perversely harmonic entity masterminded by a terrifying intellect, unable to be attributed to a simple animal. The physical danger is further backed with a demonic magical threat, a master of entropic magic in its own right.
It is in my professional opinion, that the recorded power and ferocity of this creature, combined with the many mysteries and the lack of knowledge surrounding it, the Gyromen, as the Avvar call it, should be considered one of the most dangerous creatures in Thedas, and should be treated as such. I hope you live to never encounter it.
(From the journal of former Senior Enchanter Maleus)
The Gyromen, because of its complex nature, cannot be attributed as a challenge for a specific number of PCs at any given level. Although as noted, no living individual is aware of this, the Gyromen is just one possessed bird, a bird which, alone, most Level 5 parties could easily dispose of, but the danger a Gyromen’s Song ability presents can be varying. The number of Bird of Prey Swarms you as the GM make appear can make the difficulty of the encounter dramatically vary. You can limit it to 1 or 2, and thus prevent the use of Devour, or make it 10 or more swarms, providing a serious danger to even the toughest parties. All in all, the Gyromen can be as difficult or as weak as you want it to be. It can be the heart of a scenario, or a random encounter and without modifying any stats.
EDITED 03/04/12: changed the manifestation of Entropy spells as stunts to Gyromen simply having Mana and casting spells. Fixed typos/grammatical mistakes. Added "Scales". Changed Bird of Prey Swarms to being immune to all Willpower tests rather than just Morale. Altered reqs for using Devour slightly.
Last edited by 5trangeCase
on Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:28 am, edited 2 times in total.