Day 17 of the 30 Day D&D Challenge!
17. What is your Favorite Animal or Vermin?
In a setting with so many fantastic creatures, I use mundane animals sparingly. A good wolf pack can harry a party and the the traditional swarm of rats or bats is always good, especially when there are hints of a malevolent mind directing them.
But for atmosphere and flexibility my favorite animals are birds. A gradually gathering conspiracy of ravens never bodes well and a single, omnipresent owl is the kind of omen the players will attach all kinds of significance to. Silent birds watching from nearby are unsettling, when they erupt into cacophonous screeches it’ll have the players on edge fearing that if nothing else the sound will draw more dangerous creatures. To throw a twist on it, have the party discover a huge number of birds loudly crying and squawking who all fall silent immediately when the party comes into view. For the direct approach Alfred Hitchcock showed why a flock of birds should never be taken lightly.
Birds can also be allies. From Odin’s ravens or the ravens of Lonely Mountain to the owls of Hogwarts, birds may bear important tidings or bring other forms of aid to a party in need.