The avian is a winged humanoid with wide, flight-capable wings. Their hair color generally matches the color of their wings, and many live in sky-cities found throughout the Realms. They are related to the kaveri and roc'a very distantly, and the xeriin much more closely.
Species info credited to Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance The avian, or 'skywing', is classified as a human with flight-capable feathered wings. These wings can be any type of bird, natural or supernatural; this includes, but does not limit to, eagle, falcon, magpie, hawk, raven, robin; phoenix, roc, gryphon or subtypes of any of these breeds. In general, the avian is tall and fairly well proportioned, with wings big enough to fly. The color of the feathers is usually the same as the avian's hair color; however, in rare cases they may be very different. Colors, markings and type of feathered wing is completely unlimited. Hybrid wings and leathery wings are not found in the avian species. Their bones are also hollow like a bird's.
Clothing varies between each individual, suited most to their tastes and the occupations in which they hold. Primarily, as the sky-continent where they live was once part of the lands beneath, they share much of the same dress as their Vystrian cousins far below.
Culture Avian culture is structured around multiple occupations, with two ruling families who govern the entirety of Stroen'na, using delegates from each who preside over each city. This is passed down by blood, and all decisions are made via the royal family - the common avian rarely has a say. Nonetheless, no leader has ever ruled Stroen'na unjustly, and so the common folk are contented with their lot.
They excel at artistic abilities, such as crafting, painting and building; as thus, they trade liberally with their gryphon allies, and sometimes the other land-based countries themselves. Miners and blacksmiths are as renowned as they are rare, metal-weavers considered some of the richest underneath the royal court. When trained into the warrior-class, those soldiers who vow to protect their brethren from any threat, most choose to learn the way of the spear or pike. Some take to projectiles and others are partial to either broadswords or the quick-hitting speed of the thin rapier. Others may leave for other cultures and learn their ways. Avians are very able to learn, and the young are inquisitive to a fault. Many young unable to fly may venture too close to the sky-continent's edge and fall to the unforgiving earth below.
Abilities Though weak in elemental ability - save for dark and light - the avian is able to learn more non-elemental magicks that many other races can't. They are very able healers and are quite capable in the enchanting of items. They are also gifted with unique stamina, as well as incredible intuition. They also, of course, have the ability to fly. How far one may fly and the speed of flight is dictated by the avian itself, the shape of their wings and their specialties as a person.
Long ago, in the wilds of Evylon, a small clan of humans had settled atop a mountain range to be out of easy reach for the numerous beasts that stalked through the forests and plains of the untamed Realm. Now, a small number of them were gifted with the Anima, bearing strong bird wings upon their backs. One of these soon became a mother, and the clan set about doing everything they could to make their mountaintop sanctuary safe for flightless children.
For a time, all was well, and the children, a boy and girl, were kept safe under the watchful eyes of the clan, and often slept huddled beneath their mother’s wings. But danger can strike swiftly and without warning, and one day a sudden howling gust of wind tore across the clan’s abode. With a startled cry, the children were swept over the mountain’s edge, and plummeted towards the ground. Their mother, the only Anima-gifted one present, dove over the edge after them, frantically reaching out as she folded her wings tightly to her sides. But, fast as she dove, the rest of the clan, watching from above, knew she wouldn’t catch them in time.
But then, before her very eyes, a seeming miracle occurred. Feathery wings sprouted from her children’s backs, and slowed their descent enough that she could catch them, and carry them back up to the mountaintop. It was the beginning of a change in the very nature of these people of the mountains. Time passed, and the children grew, and in time took pairbonds of their own. Not long after, they too had children. But, unlike themselves, their children were born with small wings covered in soft, downy feathers.
With each new generation, more and more winged children were born, until the small clan became in truth a large tribe, as much of the air as they were of the mountain. In time, there were only winged ones among them, no longer Anima-blessed humans, but avians, the skywings.
As the mountaintops grew too crowded for them, many decided to head to other Realms in search of new dwellings, and new experiences. With the gift of flight at their command, they rapidly spread across the Realms, often mixing in with local cultures quite readily, with their intuitive creativeness making them valuable additions to any civilization.
This species did not have an Ancient First.
Classification: Halgian, avian descendants. Location: Evylon, though rarely abroad.
Feather-winged, beautiful descendants of avian/Halgian hybrids, light in hair and feather color, considered important members of the Halgian Empire. Skin color and eye color vary, while wings and hair are generally of a light color, most often white or off-white with slight, subtle markings.
Gifted with avian wings and Halgian magic, angels are exceptionally gifted in the element of light, though rarely may harness other elements in addition to their primary. The second most common elements are those related to light, such as fire or lightning, whereas dark abilities are rarer, and a mastery of dark magic is completely unheard of. They are most skilled in the art of disenchanting and purification, and are natural enemies of dark-aligned creatures of all shapes and sizes.
As most angels live in the city of Avis, all have access to the nearby, subterranean River of Light. As a trial of final training for the angels' warriors, in order for an individual to rise in rank, they must travel to the River and drink some of the aural energy that flows within, and infuse their souls with its light. If they survive - if their spirit is strong enough to resist the lightfire's burn through their being - then their wings will turn a pure, sheer white, and their feathers will gain a glowing, ethereal quality. Their powers and physical prowess will increase, and are thus known as Awakened angels. Should they drink a second time, and they are able to survive a more powerful and ruthless dose, they are transformed into seraphim.
Classification: storm-shepherd avian. Location: storm-bound sky continent.
The keravnos is an offshoot of avian bound to the power of the storms. Taller and more muscular than their peaceable brethren, they have large, feathered wings that sprout from their shoulders, hue ranging from purest white through a spectrum of relatively-pastel coloration. When they come of age, entering adulthood, each is given unique tattoos on the upper portions of their body. Separated into three distinct classes, the keravnos' control over their primary element of lightning is strengthened or weakened by what class they are a part of from birth. Royals, the leading members of this warlike race, are able to create electricity from nothing. They are granted a special weapon that may channel this energy, as well as a secondary tool to show their rank and placement. Warriors are given two weapons as well, but are unable to channel their lightning abilities through them, making them vulnerable to breaking or shattering when stricken. They may control lightning from existing storms, and no other. Citizens, those of normal keravnos blood, are able to control lightning to a very limited degree.
Found high in the clouds, the storm shepherds base themselves in a sky-continent shrouded in an eternal thunderstorm. They are weak against water, and have secluded themselves away from the other races for many long years. Bound to the Vystrian dragon royalty long ago, they await their chance to return to the peoples of the earth, offering what few numbers they have to aid the threat of war.
Seen as the link between an avian and a kaveri, the harpy appears to have a mixture of human and bird qualities. They are seen to have the chests, necks and faces of humans, and the wings, bodies and tails of birds. Seen as an abomination, they were nearly hunted to extinction by the avians and, much later, the xeriin, and thus live in secluded places far from civilization. They are vicious and cunning, and hold a years-long grudge against their avian cousins; they also dislike those they may have ancestral ties to, namely the roc'a, humans, kaveri and even the xeriin who hunted them out of Xaeri.
They are skilled in metalworking and jewelry making, and adorn themselves with precious metals and stones. The females barter for clothing, hiding their birdlike bodies beneath thick woolen cloaks, with whatever craft they have mastered. It is a custom, however, that if a trader finds out their true nature, they must kill the trader; often taking his wares in the process.
Classification: Divine, multi-winged angels. Location: Evylon.
Divine, light-infused angels with anywhere between four and eight wings, and an average of six. Seraphim wings are a brilliant white, and they are physically beautiful, leanly built and finely muscular. Their feathers are always white, while hair color is most often of a light shade - though many different skin and eye colors have been reported. These feathers glow with a soft light, and those shed are gathered and made into small trinkets, bits of jewelry, and components in both alchemical brews and light-based wards.
Having drank from the River of Light not once, but twice, these Awakened angels have changed into something completely different, and their powers over light magic is comparable to a lightbeast's. Closely allied with the Halgians, they are natural enemies to dark-aligned creatures, and can battle toe-to-toe against n'vaen-class demons with ease. They shed their status as an angel, and take the name of a seraph, a term given to them by their Halgian ancestors.
As becoming a seraph is a permanent change, seraphim may join together with either another seraph or another race to procreate, and have children. However, any seraph born of a seraphim union will only have the power of a normal angel, or rarely one of the Awakened, and not to the extent of one who has consumed the River's light. These bred seraphim have white wings, and often a glowing quality of feather, though they may also have pale markings or other subtle colors within.
Classification: Elementally-shifted seraphim. Location: abroad.
A seraph that has lost their light, through a loss of the River's gift or otherwise, will lose their white and glowing coloration, though they retain their multiple wings. These wings can be any color of the visible spectrum, with any sort of markings, though white is absent from all of the Darkened. A Darkened seraph has nowhere near the light elemental ability of a normal seraph, though their magical affinities in other elements can be quite strong.