Describes a malevolent, colorful two-legged dragon-like creature with a rooster's head, dwelling in obscure, dense hinterlands ranging from temperate to tropical climates. They are expressly dangerous in that the tail of the beast (which may consist of a flourish of feathers or a line of spikes as shown) has the power to transform enemies into stone.
In combat, the cockatrice will take short leaps of 3-4 hexes, jumping up and over its enemies, striking downwards with the tail while it passes. These leaps require only 2 action points to achieve. The tail causes little damage, but those struck by it must make a saving throw or be transformed. Once the creature has landed, it will attack with its beak. If in trouble, it will bound away and seek a better opportunity for attacking again.
Cockatrices are uncommonly malevolent and, if challenged, will fight until dead.
The cockatrice owes its existence to a dweomercraft practice of allowing a toad to incubate an egg which is produced from the male chicken, a circumstance that is induced through dark means unknown to most persons. Once managed, the single egg will usually produce three infants, which will seek a hidden place to dwell, remaining there for years before chancing upon a village or other habitation. Often, their presence becomes known when such a village is discovered with all the occupants turned to stone. Over time, one or two might die, leaving only one, thus accounting for the number appearing.
Myths that weasels are immune to the touch of a cockatrice have not been supported by a single, credible witness.