Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Chicken as Black as Your Soul

With all due apologies for having not posted a damn thing in five months...

Somehow Chickens have become a major component of my latest Pathfinder campaign (more on that in a hopfeully not-too-much later post). Never one to leave well enough alone and let something in my campaigns be mechanically boring, this obviously necessitated a new, more interesting chicken. Conveniently, the real world has provided us with This Beauty which was just begging to be a magical goth-beast.


Originally from Indonesia, this breed of chicken has quickly spread throughout the known world thanks to Dutch traders, who refer to it as the "Svarth√∂na". These chickens take ‘dark’ into an entirely different realm. Their feathers are black. Their skin is black. Cut open an Ayam Cemani and you’ll find black muscle anchored to black bones. Even their organs are black. And what do you get for all this unrelenting blackness?

 In Asia, Ayam Cemani are renowned as much for the mystical powers of their black meat as they are for their extraordinary ink-black feathers that shimmer with a metallic sheen of beetle green and purple. On the Indonesian island of Java, the Cemani has a long history. It is a chicken with exalted status, used in rituals that date back as long ago as the 12th century. The blackness of the Cemani makes it a preferred go-between, an emissary between the mortal world and the gods, who love the Cemani chicken’s meat and blood more than any other offering. In fact, it is believed that these black birds are, in fact, among the original stock of chickens, the first domesticated mortal descendants of the the fabled Cockatrices of Faerie.

 Despite their hypnotic otherworldly beauty Ayam Cemani are usually hardy, low maintenance, and by disposition easy to handle. Until they are angered that is, at which point they become terrible harbingers of the eventual heat-death of the universe...

 An Ayam Cemani encountered in the wild has a 25% chance of possessing additional Sorcerous or Clairaudient powers. These exceptional specimens are CR 1/2.

Ayam Cemani

CR 1/4

XP 100
N Tiny Animal
Init +0; Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Low-Light Vision; Perception +5
DEFENSE
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 size)
hp 5 (1d8+1)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +1
SR 5; Resistance Cold 5, Sonic 5
Immunity Petrification
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., fly 20 ft. (clumsy); drift
Melee bite -2 (1d3-4)
Space 2-½ ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks
STATISTICS
Str 3, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 15
Base Atk +0; CMB -2; CMD 4
Feats Icy End of the Earth
Skills Fly -4, Perception +5, Stealth +8
Languages Auran
SQ Drift, Shadow Blend
SPECIAL ABILITIES

Drift (Ex)

A chicken flies in short bursts, and can't use its fly speed to hover. When it flies, a chicken must end its move action by landing or perching on a solid surface.

Shadow Blend (Ex)

In any illumination other than bright light, an ayam cemani blends into the shadows, giving it concealment (20% miss chance). If it already has concealment, the miss chance gained from concealment increases to 50% (though this does not count as total concealment). An ayam cemani can suspend or resume this ability as a free action.

ECOLOGY

Environment any land
Organization solitary or flock (5–50)
Treasure none

While not particularly useful to travelers as combatants, chickens are prized for the hearty breakfast meals they provide if properly fed and cared for. Chickens are highly social creatures that raise their young communally.

 They're picky about the spots where they roost, and a hen rarely strays from a particular nest once she's laid her eggs there. A fertilized chicken egg hatches into a chick after roughly 3 weeks of incubation. 

In addition to their quick reproductive cycles, chickens have the ability to thrive on simple foods, and they are valued in both rural farming communities and metropolitan areas for their delicious and nutrient-rich eggs and meat. An ayam cemani hen can produce up to one egg every 3 to 4 days. The eggs, like the birds, are coal-black, sometimes with white or grey flecks, and are relatively small, weighing roughly 1½ ounces. 

Their beak and tongue, black comb and wattles; even their meat, bones and organs appear black. The blood of the Ayam Cemani is normally colored. The roosters weigh 4–7 lbs and the hens from 3–4 lbs.