Monday, 22 August 2011

Derelth Elves, Axebeaks and Giant Eagles

The Derelth elves have inhabited the Talloak Forest for thousands of years - certainly since before the rise of the human empires. They have generally stayed isolated and ignored the changing fortunes of the Toutus Empire. They have never really contested authority over the Talloak Forest - they have ignored the humans' claims and just done as they pleased. Because the Talloak Forest is home to tribes of chaotic humanoids who have caused far more damage than the elves, the Toutians have ignored the elves as well.
The Derelth are known for their associations with certain types of bird - they have domesticated certain birds of prey as pets (Forktailed Falcons - treat as normal hawks), and use large flightless birds called Axebeaks as steeds, even riding them into battle.
The Derelth have an alliance with an eyrie of giant eagles - in emergencies the eagles can provide travel by air for a select few elves, and can also scout and harry weak foes.
The Derelth no longer have permanent settlements - they set up camp for a couple of weeks or so then move on.
Back in the past they were great builders and architects - their ruined towns are dotted around the Talloak Forest. These are abandoned by the elves now, but other races have taken over the ruins.
Like other elves, the champions of the Derelth are a mixture of rangers and spellswords.
Derleth Elves hold both Telemacon and Eldara as their favourite deities.

Adapted from AD&D/OSRIC, here are the Axebeak and the Giant Eagle for Labyrinth Lord

Name           Axebeak         Giant Eagle
No. Enc.       1d10            1d4
Alignment      Unaligned       Neutral
Movement       240'            60'/fly 360'
Armour Class   6               6
Hit Dice       3 (14 hp)       4 (18 hp)
Attacks        2 claws/1 bite  2 claws/1 bite
THAC0          17              16
Damage         1d3/1d3/2d4     1d4/1d4/2d6
Save As        F2              F4
Hoard Class    nil             nil
Size           Large (8' tall) Large (7' tall, 15' span)
Type           Animal          Magical Beast
Intelligence   1-2 (animal)    12-13 (very)
XP Value       50              80

Axebeaks are flightless predatory birds that run around on two tall legs, with long necks, heavy beaks and short stubby wings that are only used for display and balance. They may be related to either the ostriches or the dreaded Diatrymas from the southern continents. Axebeaks prefer plains but are sometimes found in forests and hills where there is food.
When wild, Axebeaks will attack and eat small animals including domestic pets, livestock, children and halflings. If hungry or in a large pack they may be brave enough to attack adult humans, horses or cattle.
Occasionally intelligent humanoids such as the Derelth elves will domesticate axebeaks as mounts. As such they can carry 200lb at full speed, up to 300lb at 150' or a maximum 400lb at 90'. They can be trained to attack in a similar way to a warhorse, and can also charge when the rider wields a lance.

Giant eagles are magnificent creatures that are more than mere animals. They are at least as intelligent as most people, and certainly wiser and more aloof. They sometimes assist elves, mages or neutral clerics who show them the appropriate respect. In battle a giant eagle rarely lands, prefering to swoop onto prey (treat as charge: +2 to hit and double claw damage) . If both claws hit and the target is man-sized or smaller, the eagle can snatch the opponent into the air and drop them from a height (1d6+1 x10 ft drop, doing 1d6 damage per 10'). Giant eagles live on great mountain tops or in the heart of primal forests.

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