CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Forests, Battlefields
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
ACTIVITY CYCLE: Any
INTELLIGENCE: Low (5-7) [lesser] or Genius (17-18) [greater]
ALIGNMENT: Any evil (usually chaotic)
NO. APPEARING: 1-12 (lesser) or 1 (lesser)
ARMOR CLASS: 4 raven, any (often plate or mail armor) for polymorphed form
MOVEMENT: Fl 36 (B), 1 [raven] or 12 polymorphed
HIT DICE: 3 or 8
THAC0: 18 or 13
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1 or polymorphed by weapon +1
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: See below
MAGIC RESISTANCE: --
SIZE: S or M
MORALE: Steady (11-12)
XP VALUE: 420 or 3,000
Ravens that eat the flesh of men, elves, or other battle-slain sometimes acquire dark knowledge. Those who eat the heart of a sorcerer or a king may transform into the valravne, beings of immense malicious power. These creatures appear in the dwarven eddas were they are called by that name, but they are also known amongst the other races as well—in elvish, they are the roceylin and in Varan malcornix.
Flesh ravens (as they are sometimes called) come in two varieties: the greater and the lesser. Dwarves believe that they are sacred to Erith, and it may be so since there are records of valravne guarding the sanctums of Erithian temples. Lesser valravne are dangerous, but greater valravne are downright terrifying.
Sometimes these creatures are known as ravnwere by the Alurans.
Combat: Lesser valravne share a number of common powers with their greater kin. However, greater flesh ravens can transform into a knightly or wizardly form of any race which they have devoured. Lesser valravne cast use their spell-like abilities as though they were level 4, greater valravne as though they were level 9. All valravne may use the following powers once per day: animate dead and domination. They may use the following powers three times per day: darkness 60' radius, silence 15' radius, and gust of wind. They may use the following powers any number of times: dancing lights, audible glamor, and improved phantasmal force. They constantly have a low level passive ESP which allows them to pick up on fears and desires of targets.
Greater valravne may polymorph into the form of any of the races they have slain three times per day. When they do this, they instantly regain 2d12 hp (if they are injured). This ability is nothing like the actual wizard spell of the same name—the valravn transforms completely into the form of another, much as a therianthrope might. This transformation comes complete with arms and armor of the slain.
These greater valravne may masquerade as other races for centuries, though they mostly have a favorite form that they fall back to; this is almost without variance a hulking warrior wearing plate or mail armor and wielding a weapon of a devoured foe. The valravn fights as a specialized warrior with 2 attacks every round and the ability to draw upon his (or her) normal valravn powers.
There are legends that valravn of the greater variety who have devoured a wizard can read magic at will and myth suggests that some of these creatures have gone on to masquerade as sorcerers, picking up whatever magic they can and amassing mighty powers.
All valravne will use their powers to confuse and separate their prey, lure them to their deaths, and then feast upon them. Darkness, dancing lights, and phantasmal force are often shape to make the best use of their target's mental state. They will often prefer to terrify a foe first, in order to render them more helpless.