||Temperate, tropical land or coast
||6, Fl 15 (C)
|No. of Attacks:
||1-3/1-3/1-6 or 1-3/1-3/weapon
||Singing and charm
Harpies are wicked avian beasts that prey upon nearly all creatures but prefer
the flesh of humans and demihumans.
Harpies have the bodies of vultures but the upper torsos and heads of women.
Their human features are youthful, but hideous, with frayed unkempt hair and
decaying teeth. A foul odor surrounds all harpies and that which they touch.
Harpies never bathe nor clean themselves in any way. Their dress, if anything, is
limited to tattered rags and shiny trinkets taken from previous victims.
The language of harpies, in contrast to their enticing song, is a horrible
collection of cackles and shrieks. Although there are instances of harpies which
could speak the languages of other creatures, these are few and far between.
The song of the harpies has the ability to charm all humans and demihumans who
hear it (elves are resistant to the charm). Those who fail their saving throw
versus spell will proceed towards the harpy with all possible speed, only to
stand entranced while the harpy slays them at its leisure. This charm will last
as long as the harpy continues to sing. Harpies can sing even while engaged in
It is impossible to fend off a harpy song simply by clasping hands over ears
because the charm takes effect the moment the first note is heard. Characters
making prior preparations to block out the sound, (wax in ears, etc.), are immune
to the effects of the song. In addition, characters who make their saving
throw are thereafter immune to its effect, until such time as they encounter a
different group of harpies.
If forced to fight, harpies can do so quite effectively by delivering a
vicious bite and raking simultaneously with their talons. About 50% of all harpies
encountered will use weapons, usually a bone club (damage 1-8) which they wield
The touch of a harpy upon a charmed individual has a similar, though somewhat
less potent, effect. Those who are touched and miss their saving throw versus
spell will stand mesmerized for 20+1d10 hours.
The effect of either charm is broken if the harpy is slain.
Harpies make their home upon coastlines in regions near shipping lanes and by
well-traveled paths. There they use their song to lure travelers to their doom.
Their lair is usually a shallow cave, which they defile until no animal dare
approach it. Here they remain unless hunting. Harpies often carry victims back
to their lair to devour them in more familiar surroundings.
Harpies have little use for treasure, other than the shiny baubles which they
often attach to their clothes. Other items, such as gold and weapons, are
frequently interspersed amongst the filth and bones that litter the cave. This
refuse can reach a depth of several feet in the oldest of harpy lairs.
A typical harpy lair houses about a half-dozen of these wretched creatures. No
male harpies have ever been seen and it seems that harpies can reproduce at
will by laying a single egg every other year. Harpies take no care of their
young, which live off carcasses and cave vermin until they themselves are old enough
to sing and hunt.
Harpies have no social structure, frequently quarreling over who gets what
part of a victim and when to stop the torturing and start the feasting.
Occasionally these quarrels will turn violent, so that more than one harpy feast has
begun with the last minute addition of the losing harpy to the menu.
Harpies will occassionally agree to cooperate in evil acts with other
Harpies hunt all manner of beasts, remaining in an area for as long as the
food supply lasts. They are despised and greatly feared by all creatures weaker
Harpies have a voracious appetite, devouring all manner of man and beast. They
take great delight in torture, and frequently kill for pleasure. Slain victims
which harpies do not eat are simply left to rot.
Their life span is unknown but seems to be about 50 years.
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