Encounters by Locale: Stonelands - Caves (Night)
Peryton (CR 5)
Medium Magical Beast
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Initiative: +3 (Dex); Senses: scent, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, Listen +3, and Spot +5
Languages: understands Common and one other language per point of Intelligence bonus, but cannot speak
AC: 16 (+3 Dex, +3 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 13
Hit Dice: 5d10+5 (32 hp); DR: DR 10/magic
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +2
Speed: 20 ft., fly 60 ft. (poor)
Space: 5 ft./5 ft.
Base Attack +5; Grapple +8
Attack: 2 claws +8 melee, 2 slams +6 melee, bite +6 melee
Full Attack: 2 claws +8 melee, 2 slams +6 melee, bite +6 melee
Damage: Claw 1d4+3, slam 1d3+1, bite 1d6+1
Special Attacks: Heart-rip
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 16, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 10
Feats: Flyby Attack; Multiattack
Skills: Intimidate +2, Listen +3, Move Silently +5, Spot +5, and Survival +7
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Medium-size); 11 15 HD (Large)
Climate/Terrain: Temperate forest, hills, and mountains
Organization: Solitary, pair, or nest (4)
Perytons attempt to pop over the crest of a hill or from behind a bank of trees to use their flyby attack on the most vulnerable-looking foe. Against feeble or non-magically proficient foes, they escape this initial contact in order to circle around for another flyby attack. Against magic-capable prey, or when they are certain they have lost surprise, perytons drop into melee and use their wings to hop and hover around head height, swinging their heavy antlers, scratching with their claws, and biting softer-looking targets.
Heart-Rip (Ex): Perytons usually save their claw and bite attacks for last because of their overwhelming desire to consume their victims' hearts. Perytons always take the opportunity to deliver a coup de grace on a helpless opponent - one who is bound, held, sleeping, paralyzed, or unconscious. As a full-round action, the peryton delivers an automatic critical hit. If the defender survives the damage, he must still make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt) or die. If the coup dc grace kills the defender, the peryton has eaten his heart. A character who has had his heart ripped out in this fashion can still be returned to life with a resurrection spell, but not with raise dead.