Climate/Terrain: Temperate forest
Frequency: Very Rare
Organization: Flock
Activity Cycle: Nocturnal
Diet: Carnivore
Intelligence: Supra-Genius (17 - 19)
Treasure: Nil
Alignment: Lawful Good
No. Appearing: 1 or 4-24
Armour Class: 6
Movement: 3, Fl 18 (B)
Hit Dice: 3
THAC0: 18
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attacks: 2-6
Special Attack: Strafe, Magic
Special Defences: Magic
Magic Resistance: 95%
Size: T (1' high, 3' wingspan)
Morale: Champion (16)
XP Value: ???

The Ououw are the forefathers of the owl race and the root of the belief in the wisdom of their species.  They are not exceptional in appearance when roosting and only those familiar with owls could tell them from Snowy Owls; their coats are mottled white and their eyes are large and dark.  In flight the Ououw is very beautiful and obviously a magical creature, the underside of their wings is brilliant white shot through with metallic reflective feathers.  They are also known as Ghost Owls, Elders Owls, Silver Owls and many other names, but Ououw is their own word, and the Elven word, for their race.

Combat: Ououw hunt like normal owls, sometimes taking prey as large as rabbits but usually no larger than mice and suchlike.  When feeding the Ououw are solitary, but at all other times can be found in a family group, known as a roost.

If threatened the Ououw may attack normally or may perform a strafe attack. In the latter case the owls will fly away, seemingly retreating, before flying back in a line to attack a single target.  Each Ououw will be able to attack in the same segment with a +1 to hit and +2 to damage while the defender will only be allowed to strike back a maximum of once (regardless of his or her normal attacks that round) against a random owl.  The owls do not tire of this and can attack in this way for hours if need be, decimating numerically superior foes and slaying seemingly much more powerful aggressors.

But the Ououw prefer not to attack anything, and rarely kill anything they cannot eat.  A roost of Ououw is capable of using magic depending on how large it is.  4 - 10 Ououw can cast any wizard spell up to level seven, 11 - 16 can use any wizard spell up to level eight and any spell available to rangers, 17 - 22 can use ninth level wizard spells while 23 - 24 can use tenth level magic. Regardless of the number of Ououw, their spells always take effect as if cast by a level 20 wizard.  Individual Ououw do not have any spell casting ability.  A roost of Ououw is extremely moral and just, they will never use their magic to harm the innocent, but only to defend themselves or their territory from aggressors such as orcs and the undead.

Habitat/Society:  Ououw are the only owls known to live in a community, the roost will claim a territory of forest as large as a hundred square miles around the roost tree. An Ououw roost tree is typically very large and hollow with all of the owls living inside.  The tree itself will be protected by considerable magic typical defences include immunity to fire and lightning, increased resistance to magic and an offensive non-fire based spell in a contingency.

Ououw are often venerated as guardians of the woods and nature in the same way as Treants, but actually the owls are only looking after their own interests.  Some communities of rustic humans and druids bring disputes to the owls to solve and ask them for advice in times of trouble.  The Ououw never turn away someone in need, but the help they offer is variable and only a longstanding friend could ever expect to be granted a boon.

Ououw speak their own language, but can communicate with all creatures of animal intelligence and above by means of telepathy.

Ououw do not have a hierarchy, adults and chicks older than a few weeks are virtually indistinguishable.  Roosts are roughly half male and half female with all members helping to raise the chicks.  A mother will lay only one egg in any ten year span, but due to the care of the roost almost all chicks survive to maturity.  Ououw live to a very old age and some secluded roosts which have avoided monstrous assault may contain Ououw over 300 years old. Their statistics do not change, but each one has a distinct personality and older ones will naturally be much wiser.

Ecology:  Ououw are predators feeding on rodents.  They occur naturally in the world and have resisted all attempts to control them by even the most powerful of wizards.  There have been rare occurrences of Ououw leaving their roosts to become familiars or serve some higher purpose, but this is always a choice made by the individual.  These Ououw sometimes form roosts of their own when their mortal companions die - unlike other familiars, Ououw do not die when their bonded friends die.  A wizard who is chosen by an Ououw receives a +1 boost to INT and WIS after six months of close contact with the owl and while the Ououw is within 6ft he receives +10%MR.

(This creature was designed for the custom world of Saas)

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