Webbirds were a very rare species of creatures that resembled birds, but were biologically closer to arachnids or insects. There was no known evidence of these creatures living in the Realms.[note 1]
Webbirds resembled a beakless bird with long feathered wings, roughly the size of a raven. Their bodies were 5 inches (0.13 meters) in length, with whip-like tails that were 5 feet (1.5 meters), and wings that measured a distance of 1 ft (0.3 m). Their were large, bulbous, and lacking in pupils. They had two sets of legs. One was more like a bird and used for perching. The other pair were smaller, hooked appendages used for grasping. Where a beak would be, there instead was slitted mouth full of hard, sharp bony ridges that served a similar purpose to teeth. These ridges were perfectly adapted for rending flesh.
The feathers on the body of a webbird were tough and hair-like. They were typically of either a black or metallic grey hue that turned greenish at their tail and wingtips. Their underbelly was light gray, shading into light green near their tails. The underside of their wings had a pattern of three bright green ovaloids that gave an appearance of eyes. This served as a protective measure against larger creatures. Some webbirds were known to display for more vibrant and colorful plumage on their wings, though their bodies were still largely black and displayed the same eye pattern.
These creatures were capable of emitting long strands of sticky, inflammable webbing that typically measured 7 to 12 feet (2.1 to 3.7 meters) in length. These strands were extremely strong, but could be dissolved by application of alcohol, such as wine.
The average lifespan of a webbird was one year.
These creatures were a hermaphroditic species who reproduced asexually. Once a webbird immobilized an injured creature, they would insert their chest appendage into the open wound and implant two to eight eggs. The grubs that hatched from these eggs slowly ate away at their hosts, causing excruciating pain, though they could be eradicated by use of the spell cure disease. A skilled physician could potentially remove the eggs by cutting them out.
Rumors & Legends
Though they could be solitarily or in a pair, webbirds were communal creatures. They typically traveled and nested in large flocks of around twelve to forty eight members. This was because they believed that there was safety in numbers.
Webbirds were a carnivorous species of insect. They primarily preyed upon carrion and other small flying creatures, though sometimes they would hunt in a flock and attempt to prey upon larger warm-blooded creatures.
These creatures constructed small, spherical nests out of whatever debris they could find and from their webbing. They typically constructed these nests inside of caves, in the branches of trees, or in the high on cliff walls. Bodies of past prey could often be found strewn about in old webs near their nests.
These creatures were often found to lair alongside stirges or bats. Due to having opposite active cycles, they had a sort of symbiotic relationship. In that whenever one was resting, the other would be awake and protecting their shared lair.
- B. Matt Conklin III (July 2007). “Campaign Workbook: Wandering Monster”. In James Jacobs ed. Dungeon #148 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 94–95.
- Jon Pickens ed. (1995). Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two. (TSR, Inc.), p. 113. ISBN 0-7869-0199-3.
- Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), pp. 125–126. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
- Eric L. Boyd (1998). Demihuman Deities. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
Magical spiders: Bloodsilk • Electric • Glass • Gaze • Goblin • Pet of Kalistes • Spellgaunt • Steeder
Planar spiders: Demonweb terror • Fire • Myrlochar • Phase • Tomb • Vortex
Constructs: Arachnar • Bone spider • Jade spider • Retriever • Spiderwalker • Stone spider
Outsiders: Bebilith • Darkweaver • Greelox • Inferno spider • Red widow • Yochlol
Creations of Lolth: Abyssal widow • Chwidencha • Drider (Vampire) • Shunned
Humanoids: Aranea • Chitine • Choldrith • Ettercap • Werespider
Miscellaneous: Kitthix • Neogi • Rhylfang • Susurrus
Undead spiders: Wraith spider