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Noble Owl

Owl, are a bird of prey that can be found in wooded areas, although a few species live in open country, such as farmland and tundra. Owls have large eyes and round faces. Many kinds of owls have two tufts of feathers (called ear tufts, though they are not part of the ears) on the top of the head. Owls vary widely in size according to the species. The females are slightly larger than the males. Like most birds of prey, owls have hooked beaks and curved talons (claws). The birds are mostly brown or mostly gray and many kinds are barred or speckled. Owls have stout bodies, rounded wings, and short, square tails.

Many owls are active only at night. Because of their keen senses of sight and hearing, they can hunt successfully in dim light or in the dark. Night-hunting owls can also see in daylight. An owl must turn its head in order to see in any direction other than straight ahead. It can turn its head completely around so that it can see directly behind it.

In some species the two ear openings, located on the side of the head behind the facial feathers, are of different shape. This difference helps the owl find the direction from which a sound is coming. Owls’ feathers are soft and edged with small, hairlike filaments that deaden the sound of their flight. Their silent flight helps owls to surprise prey.

Owls often keep the same mate for long periods of time. Poor nest builders, they usually make their homes in deserted nests, tree hollows, or crevices between rocks. Owls lay from one to seven or more eggs, the number depending on the species and the food supply. The slightly elongated eggs are white, off-white, or buff-colored. The female lays one egg every two or three days and begins to sit on them soon after the first is laid. In four or five weeks the eggs start to hatch. By the time the young are three months old, they are able to fly.

Owls are associated in legend with wisdom and with evil spirits. Their reputation for wisdom was probably suggested by their round faces and eyes. Superstition considers owls to be evil spirits forewarning of evil events. This reputation probably comes from their haunting calls, silent flight, and tendency to nest in deserted buildings.

Species Descriptions

Recognized and revered for their wisdom by animals, humanoids, and gods alike, noble owls occupy a rarefied position in noble animal society. They are the councilors, teachers, sages, and judges that other animals go to for help; even those who the noble owl would prey on prize their advice. And for their part, noble owls can be counted on to be scrupulously honest (though perhaps not guileless).

There have been a few noble owls who accepted a position of leadership of a colony of noble mice in exchange for the occasional tribute of one of their natural brothers or sisters. This may seem a high price to pay for leadership, but it cannot be denied that colonies with a noble owl as leader are much safer and more successful than ones without.

While most forests are ruled over by some four-legged predator, there are a few that have elected an noble owl as their monarch, causing not a little bit of friction among local packs or prides.

Noble Owl Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: -4 Strength, +6 Dexterity, +4 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
  • Size: Tiny.
  • Base Speed: 10 ft., Fly 40 (average).
  • Natural Weapons: talons (1d4) (this is a single attack using both talons).
  • Natural Armor: +2.
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Weapon Finesse.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus on Perception and Stealth checks.
  • Family: Avian.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble owls have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Social Group: None.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Raptor.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Rodent, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.
Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Noble Wild. Copyright 2009 by Lee Garvin and Skirmisher Publishing LLC.