Postfest XVIII (Richfest 2016): Amethyst Songbird
Date: Fri, July 08, 2016
Topic: Arcana of Oerth

Naturally beautiful music sometimes has help.... and sometimes nature sings a duet.

Presenting the Amethyst Songbird, by  Tony M. (a.k.a. Krug Krugsheir)

Amethyst Songbird

These figurines, roughly 2-3 inches tall, are always carved from the finest amethyst (at least 120gp value upwards to 500gp for an exceptional one) and are favored by any who rely on elegant vocalization. The “Songbird” has come to be relied on from diplomats to paladins, however in the hands of a bard these figurines truly reach their potential.

Presumed Historical basis

It is commonly accepted that the basis for this object is the Wyndchymer, a bird which is indigenous to several regions throughout the Flanaess. Research of the area supports not only the affinity for such other magical items utilizing birds as effigy (See Queen Ehlissa’s Marvelous Nightingale ), Elspeth Eva, a renown Sage Bard of that region, made a comparative study of the hypnotic, soothing effect of songbirds and their role in music titled Sung Birds: Bards of Nature 

Investigation has it that the first of these figures began appearing in oddity shops in the Walled city of Sennerae. Merchants, if pressed would convey gaining them from gnomish traders that frequented the eastern Abor Alz. 

Still others have claimed to have traded with Rhennee at Sennerae , Hardby, and along the NyrDyv which would explain the migration of the item along various water trade routes. Tales and whispers from Rhennee Bargemen claim it was commissioned by a Gypsy woman for her daughter's coming of age after she was inspired by a local breed of songbirds known as the Pevec Chochol Fialový , or Violet Backed Wyndchymer.

The Gypsy’s daughter was rumored to have had an incredible career as a bard and adventurer with her “lucky” figurine in her possession before retiring to work as a chronicler and advisor to a Duchess under the King. This figure started seeing more widespread use after the bard’s visit to the elven lands, where the figurine was widely well received due not only to its artistry, but also to its captivatingly beautiful songs. See The Chronicles of the Lightning Brigade: Journal #4:The Elven Court of Celene by Brandylyn Windchymer, for more details.

Picture 1

Creation and Use

Carved from an amethyst (120gp value), this amethyst figurine turns into a Wyndchymer (Diminutive Animal) on command (but it retains its consistency, which gives it the hardness of stone).

The Songbird is able to mimic Common and one other language determined at creation (usually one of the creators own). Once in this form, the user may choose one from the following effects:

Duet: The Songbird will sing along with the user, granting a +5 Circumstance bonus to one of the following skills: Diplomacy, Perform: Oratory, Perform: Singing

Stand In: The Songbird may sing in place of the user, and make a skill check with the users bonuses in place of the user for the following skills;

               Perform: Singing, Perform: Oratory

Messenger: The Songbird can be sent off into the air, bearing a message just like a creature affected by an animal messenger spell. If not commanded to carry a message, the bird obeys the commands of its owner, although it has no special powers or telepathic Abilities.

Faint enchantment and transmutation; CL 6th Wiz 4th; Craft Wondrous Item, animal messenger, animate objects, eagle's splendor, Mimicry; Price 13,000 gp.

Picture 2

Picture 3

Greater Amethyst Songbird

An even rarer form of the Amethyst Songbird is rumored to exist. The Greater is often a more stylized version created as a broach, earrings, or hairpin. As the lesser marvelous Item, the greater is carved from a flawless amethyst(s)(500gp total value), this amethyst figurine turns into a Wyndchymer, retaining the abilities defined by the lesser with these modifications and additions:

On creation, the tongues spell is utilized in place of the mimicry spell giving the Wyndchymer the ability to sing in any language its owner possesses. If the ownership should change, the Wyndchymer adapts to the new languages of its new owner.

All effects are created, though only one may be activated at a time and each use of any effect counts toward the total non-figurine status of the item, including travel effect of the animal messenger.

Faint enchantment and transmutation; CL 7th & Wizard 4th; Craft Wondrous Item, animal messenger, animate objects, eagle's splendor; Tongues: Price 16,800 gp.

All Amethyst Songbirds can maintain its non-figurine status for only 24 hours per week, but the duration need not be continuous.

World of Greyhawk References

1 Queen Ehlissa’s Marvelous Nightingale - Originally Referenced in DMGe1 p 160

2 “Sung Birds-by Elspeth Eva” Loosely based on the actual medieval study of birds by Elizabeth Leach

3 The Chronicles of the Lightning Brigade: Journal #4: The Elven Court of Celene by Brandylyn Windchymer, A collection of tomes, and within them Journals, of the chronicles of the ½ Elven Bard Brandylyn Windchymer as she traveled the central flanaess. The collection consists of 143 volumes, containing a multitude of personal and official journals, decree, observations, sonnets, poems, songs and innumerable maps and frivolous data of many genres. Various derivative copies by other authors have also been discovered giving alternative accounts of various exploits. It is the opinion of the bards at School of Music (City of Greyhawk) that not all records have been proven as factual as some tomes recovered from the razed ruins of Redlee Manor in the Barony of Shelspring refute some of the telling of this author.

4 See 2e Wizard’s Spell Compendium Volume 2 page 565

5 Rhennee Language in Our campaign based loosely on Czech / Polish

6 Elvish in our campaign based on Tolkien’s Quenya (

7 Based on regional Maps of 1983 box Set WOG & Anna Meyers Revised maps

Picture 4

Wyndchymer (Songbird)

Size/Type:                          Diminutive Animal

Hit Dice:                              1/4 d8 (1 hp)

Initiative:                            +2

Speed:                                 5 ft (1 square), fly 40 ft. (good)

Armor Class:                      20 (+4 size, +2 Dex,+4 for stone), touch 18, flat-footed 18

Base Attack/Grapple:      +0/–17

Attack:                                —

Full Attack:                         —

Space/Reach:                    1 ft./0 ft.

Special Attacks:  —

Special Qualities:              low-light vision

Saves:                                  Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +2

Abilities:                              Str 1, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 7

Skills:                                   Listen +5, Spot +5

Feats:                                  Alertness, Lightning Reflexes

Environment:                     woodlands and savannah forest edges along more arid climates

Organization:                    Family (10-40) Colony (100–400) or Crowd (1000–5000)

Challenge Rating:             1/10

Treasure:                            None

Alignment:                         Always neutral

Unless its nest is threatened, a songbird will flee instead of fight in all circumstances. If its nest is threatened, it will attack with its mate and any others of its species in the vicinity. Treat these encounters as a Flock, without the immunity to weapon damage, -2 to HP, and a -3 penalty to attack rolls.





Range: 60yds +10yds/lvl

Components: VS

Casting time: Standard

Area of Effect: Special

Save Throw: Special

When a wizard casts this spell. He gains the ability to perfectly mimic the sounds made by any animal or monster he know, or the special vocal inflection and accent of any person known to him. He cannot duplicate special sound based attack forms such as a harp’s song, etc.

The area of effect includes all characters within hearing range. Characters who actively disbelieve the sound are allowed a save throw vs. Will DC16+ Owner level.

General Background on the Wyndchymer (if you wish to add it as a migratory songbird)

Wyndchymer are found over a vast area in the flanaess. Known also as Pevec Chochol Fialový  (Songbird of the Violet plume) to the Rhennee, and the Elendil Lindo Helin Vaima  (Royal Songbird of Violet Robes) by the elves. This small bird travels in small families through its territory until the time of the gathering breeding season. The males feature bright colors while the females are subtler and these birds are monogamous.

A Wyndchymer will measure up to 7 inches in length and can weigh up to 45 grams. The males boast bright purple upper bodies and white lower areas and the females are brown with pale, streaked feathers underneath. The stark difference between the sexes shows that these birds are dimorphic.

These birds travel in small families, uniting with colonies all year long, but the composition of the group changes with the season. The breeding season causes a gathering of Crowds with the Crowds to break off into family groups at the midpoint of the spring, while throughout the rest of the year these birds’ colonies are generally separated by gender. When nesting, they can usually be found in tree holes anywhere from 6.5 feet to 20 feet above ground. They can also be found in fence posts.

Monogamy is a feature of this bird, as well. The female incubates the eggs for approximately two weeks. Once the eggs have hatched, feeding is taken on by both the male and female until the young leave the nest.

Habitat & Frequented Range

Species is found widely in the woodlands and savannah forest edges along more arid climates throughout the spring and summer months with migrations to the sheltered treetop areas of forests. It is rarely seen on the ground, but instead commonly found in trees and other sources away from the ground. Several large crowds are common along the northern edge of the Abbor Alz extending eastward in abundance to the Celadon Forest edges that border the Bright Desert. There have also been confirmed sightings of colonies along the Southern edge of The Tangles near the Rift Canyon Region. As well as 2 crowds with several colonies that seemed to splintered off and made a home within the rocky shoals along the Dunhead Bay side of the Northern Headlands in Onnwal and Irongate. There are unsubstantiated rumors a small colony exists along the south region of the Suss Forest bordering the Drachensgrab hills.   Migratory Range  is roughly 4600 square miles 


The Wyndchymer’s diet consists of a balance between Fresh Fruit, Insects.

Fruit: fig, dates, grapes or plums, slices of apple, orange, pears, bananas; also blackberries, eugenia, elderberries, hawthorn and pyracantha depending on the region. Insects: grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms or beetle pupae depending on the region.

Real World References

 Violet-backed Starling - Cinnyricinclus leucogaster (

  Geography of Africa

This article comes from Canonfire!

The URL for this story is: