An Author’s Monster Manual Featuring Rowena at Beneath a Thousand Skies

I really enjoy playing TTRPGs. There’s always a moment when I’m reading a really good book where I muse a little bit on what some of the creatures in the book would be like in a D&D campaign.

It turns out I’m not the only one who would happily fight a unique book character during a gaming session. Today, Rowena from Beneath a Thousand Skies is here to talk about a character that she thinks would be a great addition to a TTRPG.

Not only is Rowena a TTRPG expert, but she also runs an awesome blog, so be sure to check it out!

Fan Credit: Rowena at Beneath a Thousand Skies

Now, maybe it’s been because I’ve been itching to read Tamora Pierce for a while and this was the perfect excuse, but when Jodie asked me to join in with this week Stormwings were the creature that sprang immediately to mind. Which gave me the perfect excuse for a reread. While they feature primarily in the Immortals series by Tamora Pierce (Wild Magic, Wolf Speaker, Emperor Mage and The Realms of the Gods), they also appear in other series set in the same universe, including Protector of the Small (my favourite!!) and Trickster.

‘These were monsters. No animal combined a human head and chest with a bird’s legs and wings. Sunlight bounded off talons and feathers that shone like steel.’

(Wild Magic – Tamora Pierce)

Denziens of the Immortal Realms, these half-human, half-bird creatures (with the latter half made of metal, and razor sharp) are a fascinating part of the Tortall universe. Created from human nightmares, and intended to be a deterrent from war, they would make for a great addition to so many TTRPG settings, whether the world has wide-spread conflict where Stormwings could feast on the battlefield, to a world with plane-hopping (as a member of one such campaign, it’s been great to see the different denziens of the various planes even if they’re not always friendly) and more. Plus, fighting a creature that can fly and zap you from a safe distance is always a nightmare as a player, but makes for a fun combat encounter (until they kill you at least…)

There’s also a great intrigue/political aspect that you could use with Stormwings, because they are intelligent and sneaky, and while their interests will always be in favour of their own kind, especially their rulers, they are willing to work with humans and other creatures for those goals. Winged allies, who can travel great distances, and aren’t easily fooled by illusions or held back by barriers are a fantastic tool for any villain (or even just a leader trying to extend their influence) and as shown in the Immortals series, they can also provide an escape route as they are strong enough to bear a human away (although you would want a cradle, otherwise you might get some nasty cuts in interesting places from their wings and claws).

Or, for a more personal/emotional aspect, despite their nightmarish appearance, stench and the fact that they feast on the dead – Stormwings have a fondness for children of any kind, including human and will befriend and protect them. This is due to their difficulty in reproducing (all that metal makes creating life a little challenging); but could make for some interesting encounters in a ttrpg.

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Tamora Pierce: Website: https://www.tamora-pierce.net/             

Immortals Series: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074CGBPGQ

Stormwings fandom page: https://tamorapierce.fandom.com/wiki/Stormwing#Appearances 

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Blogger Bio: Rowena is a book blogger at Beneath A Thousand Skies blog and primarily reads and reviews SFF especially indie/self-published. When she isn’t buried beneath the TBR, she’s hoarding dice and playing D&D.

Blog Link: https://beneathathousandskies.com/ Bio: Blog link: https://beneathathousandskies.com/

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