||Temperate mountain forests and jungles
||Dusk and dawn
||6, Fl 24 (E)
|No. of Attacks:
||G (35' long)
||Very steady (14)
A distant cousin to the dragon, the wyvern is a huge flying lizard with a
poisonous stinger in its tail.
The 35-foot-long dark brown to gray body of the wyvern is half tail. Its
leathery batlike wings are over 50 feet from tip to tip. The head alone is 4 feet
long and filled with long, sharp teeth. Unlike the dragon, it has only hind legs,
using them the same way a hunting bird would. The tip of the tail is a thick
knot of cartilage from which a 2- foot-long stinger protrudes, very much like
that of a scorpion. The eyes are red or orange. A wyvern does not have a strong
odor, although its lair might smell of a recent kill. These beasts can make two
sounds: a loud hiss, which sounds like a hot sword plunged into water, and a
low, deep-throated growl, much like that of a bull crocodile.
Rather stupid, but aggressive, wyverns will nearly always attack. In combat,
the wyvern always prefers to be flying, and will seize any opportunity to take
flight and continue combat. If trapped on the ground it will bite (2-16 points
of damage) and use its stinger (1-6 points of damage), attacking the most
convenient target or targets. The tail is very mobile, easily striking over the back
of the wyvern to hit an opponent to its front. The stinger injects poison (type
F) into the wound, against which the victim must make a save vs. poison or
die. Even if the saving throw is successful, the victim suffers 1-6 points of
physical damage from the sting.
From the air the wyvern is a far more deadly opponent. It dives upon ground
targets, attempting to snatch them up in its two taloned claws (1-6 points of
damage each) and fly off. Man-sized victims are snatched if at least one talon
hits for damage. Large victims require both talons to hit in order to snatch them
up. The wyvern cannot fly while carrying anything bigger. After a dive, it
takes the wyvern a full round to circle around. On the next round it can dive
again. Once airborne with prey in its talons, the wyvern stings and bites each
round, both at +4 to hit, until the victim is motionless. In aerial combat, the
wyvern will make a pass during which it will either bite or sting. Then it will
land and feast, not hunting again until the next day.
As a hunter, the wyvern is cunning. It will avoid letting its shadow fall
across its prey as a warning. The final approach of the dive is done in complete
silence, imposing a -2 surprise modifier on the target. It trails its prey from
downwind whenever possible. A mature wyvern often waits for the right moment to
strike, and is willing to let prey go that is too powerful or within easy reach
of cover. Such a wyvern understands that men, particularly those armed in
bright metal, are stronger than their size would indicate. Given a perfect
opportunity, it will attempt to snatch up an unarmored member and fly out of range.
The wyvern is a solitary creature, nesting only with its mate and young. It
tends to lair on mountainsides that overlook forests, jungles, or sometimes
plains. A wyvern makes its lair in large caverns that can be found in such places,
staking out a territory about 25 miles across. If game is sparse, it will hunt
with a small group of its own kind. Only young wyverns attack others of their
kind, usually to establish new territory. Older wyverns settle disputes in an
unknown manner without actual combat.
Some wyverns have been known to work with evil dragons. Usually these dragons
completely dominate the weaker and smaller wyverns.
An adult wyvern consumes the equivalent of a man-sized to large creature once
per day. This could translate to a horse, pig, or a handful of sheep. While it
eats them whole, the bones are not digested, and neither are metal objects. The
wyvern eats carrion only if desperate.
The wyvern has no natural enemies, although it would not be a match for
certain powerful creatures. It is noted for the foul taste of its flesh. No one has
found a way to cure its hide and the bones are light and brittle to aid in
flying. Certain body parts are used by spell casters as spell components, for which
they will pay a reasonable price.