Image by Neel Bose.
Owlbears are nocturnal creatures who resemble bears in the back end and owls in the front end.
Owlbears and their origins are a source of debate for many people. They are known to lay eggs, and have scaly paws with sharp, bird like talons. Thus Borderlanders assume them to be a highly developed species of giant bird.
Owlbears are notoriously ferocious and ravenous creatures that aggressively and stubbornly pursue their prey. They are known to make loud, frightening roars, often when demarcating or defending their territory and when in pursuit of their prey. Alternatively, they make softer hooting noises, usually when around their mates or offspring.
Owlbears often bring their kills to their territory, which is strewn with the bones and rotting carcasses of other creatures. These partially devoured carcasses might be eaten later within the den, but they also attract scavengers, which supplement the owlbear’s diet.
The owlbear mating season is in early to mid-autumn, corresponding with the Borderlander month of Davair.
Owlbears have an important role in the history of the Miklagardian outlander tribes known as Borderlanders. The Borderlanders believe that their people were created from a giant, mythical owlbear that was slain by the Life God Arawn.
Furthermore, adolescent Borderlanders hunt and kill an owlbear by themselves as a rite of passage. Members of the ranger tribes make helmets from the skull of the animal, while members of the barbarian tribes make a cloak from the pelt. This ritual symbolically recreates the “First Hunt” that resulted in the Borderlanders’ origin.