The Swift Storm

Aello is a harpy. “These are the vilest of all monsters. No plague or visitation of the gods sent up from the waves of the river Styx has ever been worse than these. They are birds with the faces of girls, with filth oozing from their bellies, with hooked claws for hands and faces pale with a hunger that is never satisfied.” Virgil. The Aenied, III.212-218. Translated by David West. Penguin Classics: revised edition, 2003.

Aello, Harpy Ranger 4; CR 8
XP 4,800
CE Medium monstrous humanoid
Init +4 (+6 in plains); Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +11

AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +4 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 natural)
hp 82 (11d10+22)
Fort +11, Ref +14, Will +8

Speed 20 ft., fly 80 ft. (average)
Melee masterwork morningstar +14/+9 (1d8+2), 2 talons +8 (1d6+1), or
Melee (vs. humans) masterwork morningstar +16/+11 (1d8+4), 2 talons +10 (1d6+3), or
Ranged masterwork composite longbow with +1 arrows +13/+8 (1d8+9/x3, 110 ft. range increment), or
Ranged (vs. humans) masterwork composite longbow with +1 arrows +15/+10 (1d8+11/x3, 110 ft. range increment), or
Ranged (vs. humans) masterwork composite longbow with +1 human bane arrows +17/+12 (1d8+13 plus 2d6/x3, 110 ft. range increment)
Special Attacks captivating song, favored enemy (humans) +2

Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 1st)
1st – resist energy

Str 14, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +11; CMB +12; CMD 25
Feats Ability Focus (captivating song), Deadly Aim, Dodge, Endurance (B), Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Far Shot (B), Skill Focus (Bluff)
Skills Bluff +11, Craft (fletching) +6, Fly +14, Intimidate +12, Knowledge (local) +8, Perception +11, Perform (song) +8, Stealth +15, Survival +11
SQ favored terrain (plains) +2, track +2, wild empathy +6
Languages Common

Captivating Song (Su) Aello’s song has the power to infect the minds of those that hear it, calling them to her side. When she sings, all creatures aside from other harpies within a 300-foot spread must succeed on a DC 17 Will saving throw or become captivated. A creature that successfully saves is not subject to Aello’s song for 24 hours. A victim under the effects of the captivating song moves toward Aello using the most direct means available. If the path leads them into a dangerous area such as through fire or off a cliff, that creature receives a second saving throw to end the effect before moving into peril. Captivated creatures can take no actions other than to defend themselves. A victim within 5 feet of Aello simply stands and offers no resistance to her attacks. This effect continues for as long as Aello sings and for 1 round thereafter. This is a sonic mind-affecting charm effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Favored Enemy (Ex) Aello enjoys a +2 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against humans. Likewise, she gets a +2 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. She make a Knowledge (local) skill check untrained when attempting to identify humans.

Favored Terrain (Ex) Aello gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when is a plains terrain. When traveling through plains, she leaves no trail and cannot be tracked (though she may leave a trail if she so chooses).

Hunter’s Bond (Ex) Aello can spend a move action to grant half her favored enemy bonus against a single human to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear her. This bonus lasts for 1 round. This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.

Treasure NPC gear (+1 studded leather, quiver with 10 +1 human bane arrows and 10 +1 arrows, cloak of resistance +1, potion of blur, two potions of cure moderate wounds, masterwork composite longbow [Str 14], masterwork morningstar, two vials of alchemist fire, two tanglefoot bags, plus 45 gp)

Aello the Swift Storm hunts well-traveled plains for human prey, a task for she is frighteningly well-suited. She drop most humans with a single arrow fired with Deadly Aim. Against more experienced humans, she attacks with her magical arrows, preferring to stay at the upper limits of her bow’s range increment. Too sow confusion and disorient her prey, she may make strafing runs using alchemist fire and tanglefoot bags. Victims of her captivating song are typically ignored while free-willed foes remain a threat.

Worst of all, Aello seldom hunts alone. She is usually accompanied by a flight of six regular harpies armed with light crossbows. (This makes Aello and company roughly equal to a CR 11 encounter). Aello keeps her harpies under control by threats, violence, and a share of the spoils, including the choicest morsels cut from victims’ bodies.

Aello earned her nickname the Swift Storm due to her preference for ambushes and hit-and-run tactics. Especially against ground-bound opponents, Aello doesn’t see the need to risk too much injury on her hunts. Most often she and her followers retreat after suffering minor to moderate wounds. They then lick their wounds and look for an opportunity to attack again, hoping to wear down their prey through attrition. A favorite tactic is for Aello and company to all focus their ranged attacks against a single victim. Then, they fly away for a few minutes before returning to strike again.

The Swift Storm sometimes sells her services to evil masters, especially when doing so gives her an opportunity to torment and kill humans. She is not an especially loyal henchmen. Still, her skill with ranged combat and ambush tactics have their uses, and more than one evil creature has sought Aello’s services.

May 15th, 2010  in Quid Novi?, RPG 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “The Swift Storm”

  • Able says:

    What is “Deadly Aim” is this flavor text or a specific ability, and if that latter, shouldn’t it be statted out in the description?

  • admin says:

    Able: Deadly Aim is a Pathfinder feat. It’s essentially a ranged combat version of Power Attack.

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