The regal white beauty of the swan cannot be matched. These charming white-feathered birds have been seen for ages as instruments of wisdom, creativity, divine inspiration, and love. Some places, such as Finland, once considered the swan to be a holy bird. In others, it’s a form taken by supernatural beings. It’s quite likely that characters could encounter a bird endowed with supernatural abilities, such as providing a protective aura, transferring extraordinary gifts, and serving as divine messengers. The swan also has its own constellation, Cygnus (which means “swan”).

Up to five meters from tip to tail and weighing between about 12 to 75 kilograms (depending on the gender and species), these gentle waterfowl are best known for the sweeping S curve of their necks. They can have wingspans of over two meters. Though strong fliers, their large size often makes it difficult for them to get airborne.

Nearly all swans in the northern hemisphere share the customary white plumage, though they start out dingy gray. A few species native to the south of the equator are known for their unique black feathers. Swans are found in nearly every part of the world.

Mute swans actually communicate with grunts and snorts, while other swans, including trumpeter, tundra, whooper, and black, are much more vocal, though their voices vary from deep and sonorous (trumpeter) to high pitched and quavering (tundra) Swans eat aquatic vegetation, grass worms, insects, small fish, and shellfish, depending on the region in which they live. They often feed in groups, one of whom remains on guard while the others eat.

Unlike ocher species of waterfowl, swans mate for life. A male swan, known as a cob, dedicates himself to the protection of his mate, especially while she nests. The female, known as a pen, lays around one egg every few days until she has a nest of up to nine or 10. The nest takes about a month to incubate, and during chis incubation period, the male will never leave her side. This dedication to the female’s protection has helped to promote the swan as a symbol of everlasting love.

In combat swans fly in fear unless they are protecting their nest. Vicious and fearless do not begin to describe a swan that’s defending its unborn young. Initially the male will engage the enemy but should he falter, the female will come to his aid. If beaten, the swans will retreat, bur not before they have exhausted all options to protect their unborn eggs.

Typical Swan

Reflexes 3D: contortion 3D+1, flying 3D+2
Coordination 1D
Physique 1D+1: stamina 3D, swimming 3D+1
Knowledge 1D
Perception 2D+1: search 3D+1, survival 3D+2
Presence 20: willpower 40
Strength Damage: 10
Move: 35 (flying}/ 15 (gliding}
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 0
Body Points: 14
Wound levels: 3

Natural Abilities: beak (damage +1); wings (can fly for days without rest if necessary); small size (scale value 3)

D6 Adventure Creatures (WEG 51021), © 2005 Purgatory Publishing Inc.
This page is Open Game Content.