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Monday, October 19, 2009

Shade Flock

They lurk beneath overgrown trees and within derelict buildings where shadows gather, their black forms creating a deeper shadow within the shade. The Shade Flock is a manifestation of the plane of shadow, taking the form of black, vaguely bird-like creatures that perch and lurk within the shade. They are most often found near desolate places, abandoned structures, uninhabited woods, or dark ravines. Normally they are harmless, albeit creepy, manifestations, but through certain summoning and binding rituals they can be turned to a darker purpose.

Researching the rituals involved in summoning and controlling a Shade Flock is a Great test of ritual magic, requiring access to an appropriate library or tome. The actual ritual is not particularly complex (Good difficultly). Once completed the ritualist can command the Shade Flock for one week, at which time the Flock returns to its plane of origin.

Shade Flocks can be used as both spies and thieves. The ritual required to summon the Flock also binds it to the ritualist, allowing them to see what the Flock sees.

The Shade Flock has the following characteristics:
  • Each Flock consists of a dozen individual creatures, which work as a sort of collective entity. Each individual must remain within 100 yards of the main flock.
  • The Flock must remain in shadow or darkened areas. Any creature exposed to direct sunlight for a full round is driven back to its plane of origin.
  • The Flock can fly at Good speed (subject to available darkness), and has Good vision and tracking ability. They can track the psychic energies of a target chosen by their summoner, tracking them with unerring accuracy.
  • The Flock has Great stealth capability, being nearly invisible in their native shadows.
  • Each member of the Shade Flock has Fair toughness and if forced to fight can peck or claw with Average ability. They have Great resistance to mundane weapons.
  • Flock members can carry small items, and have Good thieving ability. Once an item is in possession of the Flock, it can be teleported between Flock members at will, once per round.
The Flock's typical tactic is to shadow their target until darkness provides an opportunity to capture whatever they have been tasked with stealing. Once the item is in their possession they will scatter and use their teleportation ability to keep their treasure away from any pursuit. Shade Flocks will actively avoid conflict, preferring to fall back and regroup if facing serious opposition.
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