Deep crows were massive bird-like insects. Aggressively predatory and possessors of an alien intelligence, these creatures were little known by sages, but feared by adventurers and spoken of only in hushed tones.
A deep crow's appearance was that of an enormous crow mixed with insectoid features. Its mouth was composed of a pair of pincers, and the creature had a cluster of several red eyes. In another departure from avian anatomy, deep crows' feet had four claws.
Considerably larger and more powerful, creatures known as ancient deep crows were speculated to be deep crows who lived long enough to reach enormous size. Others speculated that they did not belong to the same species at all, and were in fact a related creature that enthralled lesser deep crows.
Despite their inscrutable alien intelligence, deep crows sometimes displayed some identifiable personality traits. They were known for holding long-lasting grudges against anyone who had wronged them, sometimes even perpetuating that hatred through generations by teaching it to their young.
The most dangerous feature of deep crows was their powerful pincer-like mandibles, which were strong enough to lift most creatures and carry them away. It was common for deep crows to repeatedly pick up and drop creatures that fought too hard against their captors.
In addition, ancient deep crows were capable of emitting an ear-splitting caw that directly damaged the minds of anyone within a 60‑foot (18‑meter) radius who could hear it.
Essentially solitary creatures, deep crows only left their nests to hunt for prey, to look out for threats, or to mate. Their lairs were usually chosen in deep and warm places, usually near or atop volcanoes or in close proximity to lava.
Ancient deep crow lairs were magically warped by the creature's very presence, covering the entire region within a radius of 6 miles (9.7 kilometers) in a supernatural shadow, filled with echoes of distant caws. In addition, underground-dwelling beasts within 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) of the lair became enthralled by the ancient deep crow, unwittingly working for it as sentries who warned it of any intruders.
Deep crows mated only once in their lives. Following the pairing, both deep crows each produced a clutch of four to eight eggs that incubated for around one year. Newborn deep crows stayed in the nest for another year looked after by their parent, then left to fend for themselves. Their total lifespan was unknown.
Deep crows were rumored to have originated as familiars to evil spellcasters who had been abandoned in underground locations to fend for themselves, later growing to enormous sizes in the wild. Other sages speculated that they originated from ordinary crows who had been exposed to some form of energy that triggered their transformation.
Notable Deep Crows
Raah, an ancient deep crow whose lair was located in the dimensional caverns connecting to the Dran & Courtier inn in Red Larch circa 1496 DR,[note 1] suffered from a crisis of self-confidence as a result of its lack of success in finding a mate.
- The Orrery of the Wanderer
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- Jerry Holkins, Elyssa Grant, Scott Fitzgerald Gray (June 18, 2019). Acquisitions Incorporated. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-0786966905.
- Jerry Holkins, Elyssa Grant, Scott Fitzgerald Gray (June 18, 2019). Acquisitions Incorporated. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 190. ISBN 978-0786966905.