White trumpeter swans are the most majestic of waterfowl, but the Dark Pollen has corrupted these now inky-black birds. In water, these befouled fowl rise up to three feet in height and their clawed, webbed feet stretch nearly a foot underwater. Their eyes sometimes glow red when using their night vision.
Mating occurs once per year, when a female Gloomswan forces herself on a male, killing the creature when successful. The female then builds a floating nest, lays 1d6 black eggs and abandons them to the currents. A brood of 1d4+1 gloom cygnets (Charisma 2) are hatched 1d4 days later and immediately combat each other for dominance. The one surviving cygnet flies into the wild to fend for itself, and the others are left for dead. A Gloomswan cygnet reaches maturity in 1 week, and before this it has no special attacks or special qualities.
Gloom Birds: Other species of gloom birds have been encountered and are too numerous to detail here. They generally have the same statistics as Gloom Swans, but with varying special attacks/qualities. Refer to the Concordance of Swamp Fauna & Flora appendix, under “Birds” for a list of local avians. The most common are the gloom egret, spoonbill, pelican, ibis, heron, gull, kingfisher, vulture and hummingbird. Eagles, owls and ducks appear to be immune to the Dark Pollen, although the reasons for this are unclear.
COMBAT Gloomswans confront any creature that enters their perceived territory, attacking only if a satisfactory resolution is not forthcoming. Lacking teeth in their bills, Gloom Swans use a pinching bite to invoke an infernal bruise. Their webbed feet have sharpened points that act as claws and are often used to fight amongst themselves.
Chill Aura (Su): Gloomswans radiate a 10-ft. radius sphere of bitter cold. While this aura does not typically damage living things, it ruins drink, food, holy water, potions, oils, and ointments unless the items succeed a Fortitude save (DC 11 + Gloom Swan’s HD). Items that successfully save cannot be affected again by the same Gloom Swan’s chill aura.
Infernal Bruise (Su): Once a successful hit is made from the bill (1d2-1 damage) of a Gloomswan, the opponent must make a successful save (DC 14) or become permanently bruised at that location, causing 1 point of permanent Dexterity damage. This painful and hideously blackened patch of skin radiates cold and penalizes Concentration checks —4. Such bruises can only be removed if a heal spell is cast on the afflicted creature.
Night Vision (Su): A Gloomswan can use night vision at will, to see in darkness as well as it sees in daylight. Night vision causes the eyes of a Gloom Swan to glow red, although it is able to darken its eyes if it discontinues using the ability.