A strange mixture of bear and owl, owlbears are an endangered ferocious killers whose first instinct is to attack anything they see. Adults stand eight feet tall when rearing up on their hind legs, and weigh up to 1,500 pounds. They are of animal level intelligence.
The origins of this strange race are a subject of debate amongst scholars. Some claim they are natural creatures, but certain attributes make others argue they were some type of experiment that was the result of scientific or magical crossbreeding, likely by an ancient civilization.
Owlbears mate for life, and even if one partner dies, the other may retain the body for some time afterwards. They lay eggs, and the hatchlings become adults after two years. The parents become even more ferocious in defence of their young, if such a thing is possible.
The vast majority of owlbear encounters are with solitary adults or a mated pair, although they band together in packs of up to eight. This can be due to a particularly powerful owlbear temporarily gathering together a gang of lesser followers. These packs may also form in response to being hunted; this makes the occupation of owlbear hunter even more dangerous than it otherwise would be.
Eggs and young owlbears are sought after commodities that can fetch a high price. As a result, some hunters specialise in obtaining them. It takes a great deal of courage or recklessness to train an owlbear, and not much less to employ one as a guard creature. The beasts are strong-willed, unpredictable, and ferocious, and many an "owner" has been savaged by his "tame" owlbear.