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Axe Beak, Terror Bird (Brontornis)

Axe Beak

A shaggy-feathered, massive flightless bird with sharp talons and a powerful build.

The Brontornis is a massive flightless bird that can reach heights of up to 9 feet tall. Its body is covered in thick, shaggy feathers, with a plumage of browns and grays that helps it blend into its surroundings. Its large head is topped with a distinctive crest of feathers, and it has a sharp beak that is well-suited for cracking open hard-shelled prey. Its strong legs are equipped with large, powerful talons that are used for hunting and defense. Its eyes are small and set deep in its head, and it has a small, stubby tail. Despite its massive size, it is surprisingly nimble, able to sprint at incredible speeds and make sudden turns with ease.

It has powerful legs, sharp talons, and a thick hide that make it a formidable opponent in combat. These creatures are often used as mounts by larger races, such as giants, and are known to charge at their enemies with incredible force. Though they have little intelligence, they are tenacious in battle and will stop at nothing to defend their territory.

Terror Bird

Terror Bird

The flightless terror bird stands nearly ten feet tall atop two immensely powerful legs. Its plumage ranges from dark russet or brown to bright green.

Large beast, unaligned

Armor ClassĀ 12 (natural armor)
Hit PointsĀ 65 (10d8 + 20)
SpeedĀ 50 ft.

18 (+4)12 (+1)14 (+2)3 (-4)12 (+1)10 (+0)

SkillsĀ AthleticsĀ +6,Ā PerceptionĀ +3
SensesĀ darkvisionĀ 60 ft., passiveĀ PerceptionĀ 13
LanguagesĀ ā€“
ChallengeĀ 2 (450 XP)

Special Traits

  • Pack Tactics. The terror bird has advantage onĀ attackĀ rolls against a creature if at least one of the birdā€™s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and the ally isnā€™t incapacitated.
  • Passing Bite. Terror birds who move at least 20 feet straight toward a target have advantage on the nextĀ attackĀ roll against that target.


  • Serrated Beak.Ā Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.Ā Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) slashing damage. The target must succeed on a DC 12Ā ConstitutionĀ saving throw or take 7 (2d6) slashing damage at the beginning of its next turn.


Pack Hunters. The terror birds live and hunt in packs of ten to twelve individuals. They are clever hunters, drawing their prey into positions that allow the birds to flank. Their attacks are done with blazing speed and ferocity, removing limbs in a flurry of lacerating bites.

Fortress Nests. Terror birds live in woods or copses of trees, where they assemble walls made of branches around large nests. The nests have several ways in and out, and creatures without the terror birdā€™s long legs find navigating the nests difficult. Several adults stay behind to guard the eggs and nest while the rest go out hunting.

Mounts for Plains Tribes. Tribes of dust goblins, hobgoblins, humans, and even gnolls have been known to capture terror birds for use as mounts in battle.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Creature Codex. Ā© 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.

Axe Beak, Terror Bird (Brontornis)

Axe Beak, Terror Bird (Brontornis)

Terror birds stand a full foot taller than the average axe beak, and their powerful talons serve as additional weapons.

Terror Bird CR 4

XP 1,200
N Large animal
Init +3; Senses low-light vision; Perception +11


AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, -1 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +1


Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d8+4/19-20), 2 talons +7 (1d4+4)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks sudden charge


Str 18, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +8; CMD 21
Feats Improved Critical (bite)B, Run, Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +11


Sudden Charge (Ex)

When making a charge attack, an axe beak makes a single bite attack. If successful, it may also attempt to trip its opponent as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If the attempt fails, the axe beak cannot be tripped in return.


Environment temperate plains
Organization solitary, pair, or flock (3-6)
Treasure incidental

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3, Ā© 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.

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