20 Things to Find in an Owlbear’s Lair

Staples of low-level adventures, owlbears are bloodthirsty, vicious killers that slaughter any living creature crossing their paths.

By Dave Allsop (Ironed Arts)

By Dave Allsop (Ironed Arts)

 

Sometimes—instead of immediately consuming their prey—they drag its slashed and torn body back to their lair (perhaps for their young to eat) and thus many odds and ends can end up in their filthy lairs. Use the table below, to generate such items of minor interest for PCs looting an owlbear’s nest:

  1. This horribly mutilated, decomposing body was once (probably) a human female. Now, little is left but gore, bones and ripped, blood-soaked equipment. The woman’s boots are still relatively intact. Hidden in one is a silver dagger of exceptional quality.
  2. Many claw marks mar the wall here. The scratches are deep and wide.
  3. The partially eaten body of a wolf lies stretched out against the wall. Maggots swarm over the wolf’s corpse. The smell of rotting flesh hangs heavily over the immediate area.
  4. Hidden (or discarded) in the depths of the owlbear’s bed is the shattered skull of one of its victims. Rotting flesh yet clings to the skull and a silver earring (worth 25 gp) precariously hangs from one ear.
  5. A mixture of black and brown feathers—some of prodigious size—lie scattered about the den.
  6. The broken body of a juvenile owlbear lies near the entrance to the den. Several arrows—fletched with crow’s feathers—jut from its back.
  7. A large tree branch yet bearing leaves partially blocks movement through this area. (Count the squares containing the tree branch as difficult terrain).
  8. A backpack—one strap torn off—lies on its side. Within can be found an oil flask, a coil of silk rope, two empty sacks and a spare set of traveller’s clothes.
  9. This torn and shredded backpack once held trail rations judging by the stains and remains of packaging. A similarly shredded wineskin lies among the wreckage.
  10. Hidden in the owlbear’s bed lies a beautifully wrought spear. Elven runes glorifying the hunt decorate the spear’s tip but the haft is broken; only about two-foot remains.
  11. Clumps of bloody fur hang from the cavern wall—evidently the owlbear had an itch it needed to scratch!
  12. Dried blood spray on the ceiling and nearby wall marks the place where an old battle was fought. Judging by the amount of blood spilt whatever bled here probably died here.
  13. Three shattered eggs lies among the vegetation and scraps of cloth comprising the owlbear’s nest. Several bones—pitted and scratched—lie among the fragments of scattered shell.
  14. A wide smeared blood trail leads away from the owlbear’s nest. The blood trail ends at the slashed and torn corpse of a dwarves warrior lying on his front. His scale mail armour is shredded, but two fine handaxes of dwarves make and a coin pouch (containing 23 gp and 4 sp) still hang from his (blood soaked) belt.
  15. The remains of a large brown bear—mainly its decomposing head which is relatively intact and much of its coat—lies draped over the owlbear’s nest.
  16. Soot marks on the ceiling and some scorched stones betray the fact this cave was once used as a campsite.
  17. Long scrape marks—from the owlbear’s claws—cover the floor. Perceptive PCs discover a snapped off talon in one of the longer scrapes.
  18. This owlbear has been busy. Scattered about the chamber, the PCs can easily spot the decaying remains of three wolf carcasses, a partially eaten boar and even the antlers from a large deer. The smell is indescribable.
  19. The dismembered carcass of a juvenile owlbear lies against one wall. Investigation of the size and type of its wounds reveals the beast was probably slain by its fellows.
  20. The owlbear has made its nest above a hollow in the floor. Searching through the nest reveals a stone trapdoor set in the bottom of the hollow. Draconic runes telling of death and slumber decorate the stone around the trapdoor.

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