This jet-black bird has a long, hooked beak. Its piercing orange eyes reflect any light that hits them, making them appear to glow ominously.
Blackwisp Egret CR 1/3
Speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee bite +3 (1d4–3)
Deceptive Target (Ex)
A blackwisp egret’s glowing eyes belie its true position at night. In areas of dim light or darkness, ranged attacks against a blackwisp egret suffer a 20% miss chance.
Environment temperate swamps
Organization solitary, pair, or flock (3–12)
Blackwisp egrets are relatively harmless during the day, but at night, their glowing eyes are often mistaken for the deadly will-o’-wisps that plague many marshes and swamps. Many people flee in terror upon seeing flocks of glowing orbs in the night and wind up twisting an ankle on a gnarled tree root or falling into a sinkhole as they bolt. These misfortunes have led many who travel through marshes to consider blackwisp egrets unlucky omens.
Blackwisp egrets are hunters and scavengers, living on anything from frogs to fish to carrion left by other denizens of the marsh. Their long, serrated beaks are excellent for cutting through the clothing of deceased travelers, and flocks of egrets on the edge of starvation sometimes even attack living travelers.
Almost invisible at night thanks to their jet-black feathers, the birds are well adapted to hunting by stealth in their environment. They flock together for protection, as even the most dangerous predators avoid such groups when encountered in darkness, fearing that they may actually be a group of will-o’-wisps. The few swamp druids who still make their homes in the marsh have been known to domesticate these birds, encouraging them to slowly circle the druids’ homes at night to ward away unwanted visitors.
Blackwisp Egret Companions
Size Medium; Attack bite (1d6); Ability Scores Str +4, Dex –2, Con +2; Special Qualities deceptive target.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #91: Battle of Bloodmarch Hill © 2015, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Patrick Renie, with Tyler Beck, Adam Daigle, Richard Pett, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, and David Schwartz.