The Miros Underground
Although this monstrous carnivore feeds onany creature, it prefers humanoids, especially elves, half-elves, and humans. When it kills a humanoid, a peryton rips out its prey’s heart and takes it back to its nest to be devoured.
The peryton is a bizarre creature that blends the body and wings of a bird of prey with the head of a stag. Its strangest feature is its shadow, which appears humanoid rather than reflecting the creature’s physical form. Sages postulate that the first perytons were humans transformed by a hideous curse or magical experiment, but bards tell a different tale of a man whose infidelity caused his scorned wife to cut out the heart of her younger, more beautiful rival and consume it in a ritual intended to forever win her husband’s heart. The ritual succeeded until the woman’s villainy was exposed. She was hanged for her crime, but the lingering magic of her foul ritual caused the carrion birds that feasted on her corpse to transform into the first perytons.
A peryton’s reproductive cycle depends on the heart of a freshly killed humanoid. The organ must be consumed by a female peryton before she can reproduce. When a peryton consumes a heart, its shadow changes for a brief time to reflect its true monstrous form.
When attacking a humanoid, a peryton is single-minded and relentless, fighting until it or its prey dies. If a peryton is somehow driven away, it stalks lost prey from afar, attacking again when the opportunity arises.
Bane of the Mountains
Perytons roost atop mountain ridges and lair in high caves. They prey on creatures living or wandering in the vales below, and travelers on lonely mountain roads learn to keep a wary eye on the sky. Because normal weapons are less effective against perytons, the folk of the mountains know to avoid confrontations with these monsters at all costs .