Hobgoblin Heron
As tall as a tree, this dark gray bird stands on long legs. Its curved neck supports a sleek head with a slim but wicked beak.

Hobgoblin Hero (CR 6; XP 2,400)
N Huge animal
Init +6; Senses low-light vision; Perception +5
Defense
AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 16
(+2 Dex, +8 natural, –2 size)
hp 68 (8d8+32)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +3
Offense
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (average)
Melee bite +10 (2d6+9)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks sneak attack +2d6
Statistics
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 9
Base Atk +6; CMB +14; CMD 26
Feats Hover, Improved Initiative, Skill Focus (Stealth), Snatch
Skills Fly –2, Perception +5, Stealth +7
SQ still predator
Ecology
Environment aquatic, marsh
Organization solitary, pair, or stand (3–8)
Treasure none
Special Abilities
Still Predator (Ex) A hobgoblin heron has the ability to stand perfectly still for hours at a time while awaiting prey, making it easy to mistake the bird’s legs for slim tree trunks. A hobgoblin heron can use the freeze ability while adjacent to trees or any vegetation that could conceal its upper body. While standing in water, it can use the freeze ability against submerged creatures. Other creatures with low Intelligence scores or poor senses might be tricked by this ability as well.

Named so because they inhabit the banks of the rivers near hobgoblin encampments, these enormous herons hunt in similar ways as their smaller cousins, black herons. These birds can stand still at the edge of the river for hours, curling their wings in such a way as to create shaded areas that their prey unwittingly enter seeking shelter, thinking that they have found a tree or other source of respite from the heat of the day. Many hobgoblin herons stand in water long enough that they grow algae on their legs, deepening the illusion of a tree growing along the riverbank. Some travelers have reported hobgoblin herons stitching fallen foliage into their feathers to complete their attempt at camouflage.

Once their prey comes nearby, the herons then lash out, snatching up the unwary prey. These birds typically stand upward of 20 feet tall—their legs make up almost half of this height. They weigh 600 pounds and have a wingspan of over 35 feet.

Hobgoblin Heron Companions

  • Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (average); AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (1d8); Ability Scores Str 13, Dex 15, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 9; Special Qualities low-light vision.
  • 7th-level Advancement: Size Large; AC +2 natural armor; Attack bite (2d6); Ability Scores Str +8, Dex –2, Con +2; Special Attacks still predator.