Alicanto

Taken from the creature codex
© deviantArt user Kaek, accessed here

This creature appears as a magnificent eagle with golden feathers. It shines with the light of the sun.

Although they resemble a bird of prey, the resplendent alicantos do not feed on meat. Rather, they eat metals of all kinds, although they prefer softer precious metals such as silver and gold. Thus, miners and treasure hunters have a love-hate relationship with these birds. A humanoid who is canny enough to spot and track an alicanto back to its lair is likely to find a motherload of ore—one that the bird and its kin will defend with blazing light and sharp talons.

Alicantos are far more social than other birds of prey, gathering into sizable flocks to defend their food sources. They are common in deserts and caves, where the forces of nature have exposed precious metal for the alicantos’ access. These lairs are most commonly found at exposed seams of metal ore, although the birds have typically eaten most of what is available at the surface. The bodies of foolhardy adventurers can be found in these caves—the coins are typically consumed, metal weapons and armor picked at and damaged, but other valuables left untouched. Some alicantos take up posts in urban areas, where they prove pests. A single alicanto can scarf down a hundred coins worth of metal in a single sitting, and an aerie of alicantos can result in widespread economic panic.

Although some claim that alicantos are born from the feathers of a phoenix, they have a mundane reproductive cycle. Alicantos lay two or three eggs at a time, but typically only raise a single chick to maturity per brood—the smaller chicks are killed by their larger sibling. Alicantos can be trained if raised from an egg, and such birds are valuable to treasure seekers. An alicanto egg is worth 250 gp on the open market. An arcane spellcaster of 5th level or higher can take an alicanto as a familiar using the Improved Familiar feat.

Alicanto               CR 1

XP 400
N Small magical beast
Init +1; Senses low-light vision, metal sense, Perception +5
Aura 
brilliant aura (20 ft., DC 13)

Defense

AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 13 (2d10+2)
Fort 
+4, Ref +4, Will +1
Immune blindness, dazzling; Resist fire 5

Offense

Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft (good)
Melee 
2 claws +3 (1d4), bite +3 (1d4)
Ranged radiant beam +4 (1d6 plus blindness)
Special Attacks metal beak

Statistics

Str 11, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 2, Wis13, Cha 14
Feats Acrobatic
Skills 
Acrobatics +3, Fly +9, Perception +5

Ecology

Environment any deserts and underground
Organization solitary, pair or aerie (3-12)
Treasure standard (no coins)

Special Abilities

Brilliant Aura (Su) An alicanto radiates an aura of bright light up to 20 ft and dim light in a radius of 40 ft. Any creature within the bright light must succeed a DC 13 Fortitude save or be dazzled as long as it remains in the brilliant aura and for 1d4+1 rounds thereafter. Creatures in the brilliant aura can avert their gaze, as if this were a gaze attack. The save DC is Charisma based. An alicanto can snuff out or resume this aura as a move action.

Metal Beak (Ex) An alicanto ignores the first 10 points of hardness of an object with its bite attack.

Metal Sense (Ex) This functions as the scent special ability, except that an alicanto can only detect metals or creatures carrying or wearing metal. An alicanto can distinguish between different kinds of metal with this ability.

Radiant Beam (Su) As a standard action, an alicanto can focus its brilliant aura to a burning beam. Treat this as a ranged touch attack with a range of 60 feet and no range increment that deals 1d6 points of damage. Undead and creatures that are vulnerable to sunlight take twice the damage. A creature struck by an alicanto’s radiant beam must succeed a DC 13 Fortitude save or be blinded for 1 round. The save DC is Charisma based. An alicanto can only use this ability when its brilliant aura is active.