Tales of Tolgard
This great owl is about the same height as a tall human, with a tremendous wingspan, making the creature an impressive sight to behold. It has a heart-shaped face, with huge golden eyes. Its glossy feathers are a deep shade of red.
The noctral is a benevolent advisor and sage to the inhabitants of Celestia. Noctrals delight in every opportunity to show off their intelligence and knowledge, but have a tendency to be a bit arrogant toward lesser creatures. Noctrals are active at dusk, and at night, and are often found lecturing near places of knowledge or power. They spend most of their time providing advice to their companions, and are right more often than not. It should be noted that, despite their wisdom and stately manner, noctrals are still predators and need to hunt for food – even if it needs to kill and eat an animal while lecturing on one topic or another.
In their capacity as “the keepers of lore and the knowers of history,” any given noctral is likely to know just about anything. This is their true power, and the reason why anyone in Celestia will seek out a noctral for information. All noctrals have a vast store of general knowledge, but each one has one or more fields of expertise, much like a sage. Even if a noctral is not intimately familiar with a fact, they know much lore and can magically discern a bit of information they did not know already. A noctral will always help a good being in need, but will never share information if it believes the individual may use it for evil.
Noctrals befriend the inhabitants of their home plane, be they archons, angels, or petitioners of note. They also serve as advisers to the gods of the Upper Planes, allowing noctrals to exist under the protection of the gods. Should a noctral ever be harmed or killed, it is likely that one or more gods will take notice and send a powerful celestial to aid or avenge the noctral, or even intervene directly themselves.
This avian race appears much like a giant owl. Noctral plumage ranges from a deep russet, to a dove gray, and even to black. In twilight, their feathers provide them with a cloak of soft shadow.
A noctral makes a hooting call much like owls, but does not speak aloud, except through magic. Noctrals use their telepathy to communicate with intelligent creatures.
A noctral is about as tall as a human, with a 20-foot wingspan, and weighs about 100 pounds, due to its hollow bones.
Though normally peaceful, noctrals are powerful, dangerous predators, capable of swift, deadly attacks. They attack with their large, razor-sharp talons and hooked beaks, making their diving swoop attack when possible.
These kind, peaceful creatures prefer to find a non-violent way to resolve conflict. They typically hide from foes invisibly, hiding in total darkness and listening. When they must fight, noctrals prefer to attack from a position of surprise. When accosted by a powerful fiend, groups of skilled adversaries, or other dangerous foes, a noctral will retreat to muster help from its celestial friends.
A noctral has the ability to know legends or information regarding various topics, just as a bard can with bardic knowledge. They can turn invisible at will and have superior low light vision, allowing them to see five times farther than a human can in dim light.