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Harpies are winged humanoids with the lower bodies of birds of prey, large wings, and the upper torsos and heads of humanoid females of various races (although their mouths are filled with sharp teeth). They are capable of emitting both melodious songs capable of hypnotizing victims and luring them closer (typically to their doom, as they prefer to live either near steep cliffs, lakes and oceans, or other dangerous terrain where not paying attention to your steps can be fatal) or a loud painful screeching which will impel most listeners to cover their ears. They are not very intelligent, but have a low, vicious cunning which serves them well, which has led some of the more socially conservative caricaturists to portray the stereotypical nagging housewife as a harpy in their drawings, and the term has entered common (if not polite) usage in everyday parlance within this context.

Contrary to rumors and stories, this all-female species does not forcibly mate with abducted males, but instead reproduces via parthenogenesis, laying eggs without requiring to mate. However, recent studies suggest that they somehow absorb parts of the life pattern of the victims they devour, as future generations will often show some facial resemblance to those victims (which is likely how the rumors about their mating practice started). This has led to intense interest among scholars studying how to manipulate life patterns and heredity via magic, and they have started to pay bounties for live harpies.

Harpies are most common near the Lake of Dreams, the Eternal Storm, and rocky coasts as well as most mountain ranges.

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Designer's Notes & Resources


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