Guardinal, Ardeidal
Guardinal, Ardeidal

Guardinal, Ardeidal

Ardeidal Guardinal

CLIMATE/TERRAIN:Elysium, River Oceanus
ALIGNMENT:Neutral Good
MOVEMENT:15, Fly 8 (D), Swim 6
HIT DICE:6 + 5
DAMAGE/ATTACK:1d4 / 1d4 / (talons) or by weapon
SIZE:L (7′ tall)
MORALE:Champion (15-16)
XP VALUE:2,000
AD&D 2e statistics

“Aye there friend, I take you be going down the river ‘day? Step aboard, step aboard! Ol’ Devin at your service! I say, you never do be travelling on a ‘De dal raft before. Now woo wee, have you been missin out, I dare say you have! Not a better means of ‘portation you can be taking down the ‘ighty river Oceanus, no their ain’t. Now don’t be shy of the edge hear? Can’t take in the wonders of her if ya don’t get down and close with the delphons! Just shy over to the edge and take a listen.”

— Ol’ Devin, a talkative ardeidal

Ardeidal guardinals, sometimes called the Fisher Kings, plough the waters of the river Oceanus on rafts. Some drift down its waters just for the sake of it, while others use barges to move cargo from Arborea to the Beastlands. Any ardeidal will be willing to give someone a lift, as it gives them a chance tell all their tales. While not pushing the poles to drift down the Oceanus, they are either fishing or talking, and they enjoy both equally.

A common site on the river is a ardeidal hunched down on the side of their raft, feet dangling in the water, and a long pole in their hands with a line leading down into the depths. Often they will pull down their straw hat over their eyes and actually take a small nap while fishing in this pose. River carp are the usual catch of the day, though they sometimes catch salmon or trout, and the very rare lantern fish from deep within the rivers depths.

Resembling herons, ardeidal have a long thin bill as part of there human face, a soft feathered plumage on arms and legs, and long bird like legs ending in slight talons. Their plumage is often a soft white with a touch of red or blue, but dark or even black ardeidal are known to exist. They dress usually in long trousers held up by suspenders, with no shirt covering their feathered chest, and wide-brimmed straw hats to keep the sun off as they push their rafts.

COMBAT: The ardeidal will only fight if they are cornered on their rafts, otherwise if encountered rarely on land, they try and fly, though quite awkwardly, back to their rafts as soon as possible. On their boats they use poles or rods to try and push a sod off into the water by tripping them (on a roll of 2 above the number needed to hit, the target’s legs were knocked out and they are pushed overboard), though they are ready to kill an evil berk if he is resisting being pushed off. Overall though, the ardeidal would rather throw a sod overboard to take a chance with the song sharks then actually kill him themselves; they’re gentle folk.

Ardeidal are experts when fighting with there long steering poles (which are sharpened at one end to catch fish), or the shorter fishing rod (the barbed hook on the end slashes for 1d4 points of damage). They can attack with both ends of their steering poles at once, swinging it quickly and effectively to pummel with both ends in a blink of an eyelash (3 attacks per round, each hit deals 1d6 points of damage, or they can stab once for 1d8+1 points of damage, leaving a wound that bleeds for one point of damage each turn until bandaged). Swinging the pole at a persons feet, with their height advantage, they can easily trip a person up, and dump him in the waters. They are also effective in using the long poles to defend, blocking blows with the thin beam of wood.

If encountered with out a pole or unable to escape, the ardeidal can use their long clawed feet to scratch at an attacker. This is a last resort however as their feet are not well suited for fighting and can be broken if not careful.

HABITAT/SOCIETY: The ardeidal are considered the guardians of the Oceanus, usually having no affairs in the doings of other guardinals or Elysium, and thus no representation in the Five Companions. The only guardinal they can commonly be seen with are the arvoral, who view the ardeidal as distant kin, even they will never know the pure freedom of the skies.

Although they can be called loners, the ardeidal are still drawn to their own kind for good spirits and conversation. If a raft trip will take longer then a day, a ardeidal will usually have some of his comrades come along to help, so the trip does not get lonely.

ECOLOGY: Though mainly encountered on the river, even at night drifting along the waters, they sometimes camp aboard shore or go to a tavern of a small town boarding the river. Here they’re usually jovial, telling of their adventures, or yet another tall tale they have concocted while sailing that day.

Source: Jeremiah Golden. See also Tales from the River for a story about an ardeidal.

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