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The pyrolisk was a magical beast that was very similar in appearance and physical strength to the cockatrice. Their differences lay in the pyrolisk's red tail feathers and special abilities.
While the cockatrice was often cited as having a stoning touch or gaze, a pyrolisk relied on its own special gaze that caused any who met it to burst into flame, along with any nearby source of fire. Pyrolisks themselves were immune to all sources of fire. Unlike the cockatrice, which had an animal intelligence and behavior, the pyrolisk had a somewhat increased intelligence, and was an evil creature. While it normally detested all creatures, its mortal enemy was the phoenix.
The starwood area of the Cormanthor forest contained a number of pyrolisks. If these encountered an owlbear termite pit, they would use it to hatch their young. The owlbears did not put up a fight since they knew the threat posed by the pyrolisk. To make herself at home, the pyrolisk would eat all the adult termites and then scatter some gems and shiny objects in the pit. Once the eggs were laid, the mother would abandon them, leaving the hatchlings to eat the termite larvae.
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (1994). Elminster's Ecologies (Cormanthor). (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.