Dark plumage covers this homely avian in patterns of black and dark brown. The bird’s long, needle-like beak opens slightly as it utters a grating call, its massive ventral sack distending hugely with every shrill cry.
Cikavak CR 2
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee bite +9 (1d4-3)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 3rd; concentration +0)
Str 4, Dex 20, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 4
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 12
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Fly +14, Perception +6, Sense Motive +2, Stealth +17
Languages understands Common; telepathy (touch)
Environment any temperate
Organization solitary, pair, or flock (2–6)
The cikavak is a remarkably ugly magical bird—a supernatural creature conjured through a lengthy ritual. Most have muddy brown plumage with black stripes along the edges of their wings and tail. Other birds have black plumage or develop grey streaks in their tails. A dark grey comb flops atop their heads and shapeless wattles dangle from their throats.
Cikavaks possess elongated, dull-gray beaks, which they use to draw up nectar and other fluids like a straw. This dagger-like appendage can also stab forward to deliver a painful bite.
Although it requires considerable effort to call up these homely avians, the magic is surprisingly common, found among peasants and townsfolk as well as mages. Once summoned, these magical creatures remain faithful toward their masters for as long as they live. While cikavaks don’t speak, they comprehend the Common tongue and can use their magical ability to speak with animals to help their master communicate with encountered creatures. Cikavaks also possess the ability to produce magical silence, often using it to still the cries of more melodious birds.
Cikavaks possess another odd ability: when fully distended, their remarkable ventral pouches are capable of holding up to half a gallon of almost any liquid. These resilient pouches take little or no damage from their contents, holding potions without ingesting them or even carrying acid without injury.
Thieves have been known to make use of this ability, directing the birds to siphon up liquids with their beaks. Their cikavacs steal honey from neighbors’ beehives, as well as milk, beer, and wine. The most audacious thieves have been known to send their birds into magicians’ towers, within alchemists’ shops, or to the local apothecary in order to seize more exotic substances. They then carry these stolen fluids back to their owner using their impressive ventral pouches. While cikavaks are normally strong flyers, when laden with a pouch full of liquid, their flight is clumsy at best.
Those attempting to call a cikavak with folk magic rituals must gather an egg from a black hen as well as 30 gp worth of herbs and colored chalks. Cast at sunset, the folk ritual requires half an hour and requires a successful DC 24 Knowledge (Arcana) check to succeed. (The material components can be used multiple times, until the ritual succeeds). The hen’s egg must then be carried and kept warm for 40 days. During this time, the ritual caster must not bathe or be subject to any spell effects. Usable only by non-casters, the ritual’s feeble magic is immediately dispelled if the cikavak’s master uses any other sort of spell or spell-like ability.