Appearance and Mannerisms:
As other vultures, its living space are great plains and deserts and its food requirements are basically the same. While about three times the size of an ordinary vulture, its behaviour is not much different, though it has an easier time to scare away other vultures and predators.
Philosophy: being a corpse-eater gives you certain unique views on the world around you. The Great Vulture is a long-living lonely creature, with its keen sight seeing many moments of life and death. This gives it a unique sense of ecology, seeing the place of every creature, of her living and dieing, in the great drama of all living things: the Nature. While being a watcher of this grand drama, it is specially drawn to intelligent creatures, seeing many do not understand this and are afraid of their last moments. Knowing all beings have their Lows and Highs, it is but its fate to meet them in their Low moments, mostly the Last moments...
The Great Vulture has but a special liking for intelligent beings. Not necessarily eating them, but talking to them. As it is shy and few people tolerate its presence, the only chance it gets for some good talk is when a person is alone and looks unthreatening.
On the plains and deserts, it happens from time to time that people loose their way, get injured, separated from companions, loose their water or even get tied on the sun in the wild (heavy crimes are punished so). In such moments you may encounter the Great Vulture. Being in such a situation and encountering a friendly vulture of too big proportions, AND a speaking one, can result in certain confusion about your state of mind.
So it has taken on a role of a 'guardian' of dieing ones, soothing their fear of coming death and making them company. It will try to keep of other predators if your fear of death is too big. It may grant you but a wish, killing you fast and painless, if your suffering takes too long... It doesn't kill intelligent beings otherwise.
The tribes living in the plains/deserts have many stories about the Vulture. Some say it is good, some say it is evil, some say it is cursed. Few would seek him(her?) willingly. There are but stories about people looking for their loved ones, helped by the Vulture. Sometimes they are found living, sometimes not. Shamen may know a way to contact it, to find the bodies of lost for proper burial.
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? Responses (9)-9
You could build a whole mythology around the bird. Could easily be used in any situation where a character is near death. Have to seperate him from his companions, but hey, how hard is that?
The Vulture could be the only link in solving what the players are searching for. A long lost city lost to war in ages past or the corpse of a long missing high mage or king. A character may meet the vulture on accident one time because of a near death experience and only once revived would they all realize that this bird may be the only one that can help them. Who is going to possibly sacrifice themselves so they can once again question the knowledge of the vulture and perhaps find what they have been searching for.
Another chance meeting: while they are approaching a lost city or old tombs, the Vulture appears. It may be one of those places, where no-one-ever-returned-from, so it wants to see if they want suicide, or just don't know. They may scare it away, but may also talk to get useful information: people die outright when they enter the ruins. An ancient death-curse? It is hundreds of years old, so it has seen quite a few adventurers, living and dead.
Good to have a friendly vulture.
Juicy. I have an idea for a sub using this info. The Vulture shall rise again!!!
Excellent! I want to see it! :)
The "Vale of the Vulture-Kings, Carrion-Sages of Istandor", progresses. Albeit slowly :-)
These sentences get my imagination going! The Great Vulture has but a special liking for intelligent beings. Not necessarily eating them, but talking to them. As it is shy and few people tolerate its presence, the only chance it gets for some good talk is when a person is alone and looks unthreatening.
This is really neat. The benevolent vulture. Could make for an interesting patron.
I should probably use the uncommented feature in my profile because I keep stumbling on stuff that I already commented on it.
On old, but great idea. Great use of a common (or maybe not so common) bird and one that has the omen of death all about it. Imagine that it is just looking for intelligent conversation. Very fun!