Description[edit | edit source]
A gullion was a relatively large bird, 3 feet (91 centimeters) tall when standing upright. They otherwise looked like a standard seagull, except that they often had bold-colored feathers, such as orange or purple.
Gullions had no inherent magical abilities.
Behavior[edit | edit source]
Gullions typically could be found in small flocks of about ten birds up to ones as large as 100. They had adapted to "hitching rides" with spelljammers by learning to float on their gravity planes—as if in water—and to fly in their air envelopes, and in this way they had spread throughout the known spheres, from space port to space port, living as scavengers. They were particularly hard to hit when flying within an air envelope, because they understood how to use the gravity plane to make their flight erratic, which frustrated those crews who wished to eradicate them.
Like regular seagulls, they were not terribly choosy about what they would eat—rats or trash were sometimes menu items, for example—and while only possessing animal intelligence, they seemed to have a knack for sneaking away food when someone was not looking. There were even reports of gullions working together to create diversions.
Combat[edit | edit source]
Gullions only posed a danger if extremely hungry and in large numbers, when they had been known to swarm and attack with their beaks, trying to immobilize whoever might possess food. They would then go after the food or, if none was available, might even peck flesh from the victim.
Ecology[edit | edit source]
Gullions could survive in most climates; they seemed to spread to wherever a spelljamming vessel would take them. Not all gullions traveled with spelljammers. It was not uncommon for certain flocks of the birds to never leave the port town in which they lived.
Reputation[edit | edit source]
Spelljamming sailors and crewmembers hated gullions, because these stowaways consumed the precious air in an air envelope and were constantly trying to steal food. Some sailors did not waste the effort trying to kill the birds and instead tossed scraps overboard to keep the gullions from coming on deck to sneak away food.
On the surface of planets or smaller worlds, they held a better reputation. Some tavern or restaurant owners liked having the birds around to remove their leftover food waste, and tourists loved them for their beautiful colors. In fact, some barkeepers had gotten in fights with each other over who "owned" which flocks, because the colorful birds were attracting customers.
History[edit | edit source]
Sages speculated that exposure to such a wide variety of climates and magics from wildspace travel led to the gullion's exotic colorations.
Early in the Second Unhuman War, when Teldin Moore visited the Rock of Bral in the Tears of Selûne around Toril,[note 1] he observed a flock of about a hundred white-feathered gullions flying overhead.
Appendix[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
- The Rock of Bral was originally designed to be placeable in any crystal sphere of the DMs choice, as stated on p. 94 of the Concordance of Arcane Space and p. 2 of Rock of Bral. However, it was then claimed to be one of the Tears of Selûne in both Faiths & Avatars and the Lands of Intrigue boxed set. On the other hand, the Spelljammer novel The Maelstrom's Eye depicts the Rock of Bral as being in the same crystal sphere as two other "worldlets", Spiral and Ironpiece. Fans of the Spelljammer campaign setting have given this sphere the unofficial names "Spiralspace" and "Bralspace", but author Roger E. Moore seems to have gone out of his way to never name the Rock's sphere, consistent with the original publications. Since Spiral and Ironpiece are only worldlets, it is within the realm of possibility for them to also be part of Realmspace, as is the Rock of Bral, leading to no conflict between The Maelstrom's Eye and the two FR sourcebooks.
Further indirect support for Spiral and Ironpiece being in Realmspace with the Rock of Bral comes from Moore's own article on the scro in Dragon Annual 1. On p. 46, Moore claims that the Second Unhuman War came to Realmspace in 1360 DR. The Maelstrom's Eye is set in 1361—or at the very latest early 1362 DR—and the former book describes the scro Tarantuala Fleet having already been in the sphere of Spiral for a whole year (p. 19). A second fleet returns to Realmspace's Garden in the sequel, The Radiant Dragon, too late for a date of 1360 DR, so Moore's dating of the Second Unhuman War may refer to the earlier fleet in The Maelstrom's Eye, if that fleet were indeed in Realmspace.
Later Spelljammer sourcebooks also add support to Realmspace being the canonical location of the Rock of Bral even for the "pure" Spelljammer setting. The adventure module Under the Dark Fist involves the PCs being picked up by an elven Armada named Arrow of Justice and taken to the Rock of Bral. Notably, the War Captain's Companion boxset states that Arrow of Justice is captained by Icarus, and he is said to work "strictly in the Realmspace crystal sphere."