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 Anima much more closely.
Born-Wingless Uncommonly, avians are born with vestigial or missing wings; these children rarely live to adulthood, and if they make it to their tenth year, they are given to human settlements to raise and take care of. Avians do not shun these individuals, but know of the dangers that living together may bring in cities that are geared towards flying as a primary means of travel.
Fallen Angels Angels that have abandoned the way of Halgia do not undergo any appearance changes, or abilities; however, most of these 'fallen' angels flee to Umbra, where the Fallen Halgians dwell. Otherwise, they are virtually indistinguishable from normal angels.
However, Fallen Awakened angels may suffer the loss of their light entirely, and have a noticeable darkening of their wings. Their feathers either return to the color they were before they obtained the River's gift, or will gain a darker hue, should they have been born with white.
River of Light The River of Light in the Empire of Halgia is the only known way for an angel to become Awakened, and an Awakened angel to become a seraph. However, it is unlike other sources of great power - it seems to resonate with the current beliefs of the Halgians at any given time, and the River's gift can be lost should an Awakened angel or seraph go against these beliefs. None are quite sure why, though it is a hotly debated topic amongst the Empire's scholars.
Diet This is what this species, and any variants, may eat at any given time.
fruit, nuts, grain.
fruit, white meat, nuts.
red meat, fruit, nuts.
white meat, fish.
white meat, grain.
red meat, tubers.
red meat, tubers.
Most avians will avoid eating anything too heavy, though some of the larger, stronger ones, such as the macera, will indulge in it both for energy, and to display their strength. The lesser families are too varied in appearance and stature to have a clearly defined dietary structure. All avians enjoy prepared meals, though those that travel will often dry foodstuffs for easy snacking, when they can't settle down to cook. Due to their need to eat lightly, avians often eat two very small breakfasts, a small lunch, and an afternoon snack; dinner is the only meal that they allow themselves to indulge in, though those that work at night or are otherwise expected to be awake after the sun sets will flip their eating schedules.
Angels of all types typically follow the same diet as their Halgian or Fallen allies. Karavnos and harpies tend towards a more carnivorous diet, though harpies tend to be scavengers. Nerakans tend to eat whatever they can hunt or scavenge for themselves in the wastes of Hell, and have adapted to going long periods of time without food. Teryxeans tend towards more carnivorous diet, preferring to actively hunt their prey.
Species info credited to Verridith, Fyfergrund, Darkeh, JPG, and SherniKaur.
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; all wing types may be found in any Family, though some tend to favor some over others. The color of the feathers is usually the same as the avian's hair color; however, in rare cases they may be very different. Their bones are also hollow like a bird's. Avians are split between three different Families, depending on their appearance and heritage, though hybrids between the three are quite common. Any that do not fall within these three Families are considered part of 'lesser' Families, and don't hold as much import as others in Felnovian avian society. An avian from any Family, greater or lesser, may be born with tail feathers in a variety of shapes. These can range from broad fans to accompany soaring wings to long forks, decorative wedges, and trailing plumes.
Ceis: Though much less common than the Macera and Lundair, Ceis avians are one of the most unique, coming from an ancient Family steeped in Noctisian religion. Avians of the Ceis Family range darker in skin tones from caramel to shades nearing onyx; their feather and hair color ranges widely, and bright, unnatural colors are not uncommon. Small in stature, Ceis avians may nevertheless have any wing shape, but are the only Family where sharp hovering wings are common. They enjoy painting themselves - skin, feathers, hair and clothes - in bright colors and designs for many purposes, and may wear long robes and baggy clothing somewhat similar to Ristellan garb in design.
Lundair: Short, lean, and fast, avians that call their heritage back to the Lundair Family are smaller and more refined than their fellows. Skin tone varies widely, and darker hair and feathers are common. Their wings are often elliptical or high-speed in shape, narrow, built for bursts of speed and sharp turns. Lundair avians primarily wear light and airy clothing, and bare as much skin as is decent in summer months or hot weather.
Macera: Tall and fair of skin, the Maceran-line avians are more robust and stronger in build than their brethren; they are a rugged and solid Family, due to their long residency inside the mountain. Hair and wing color vary widely, as do markings and accent colors. Their wings are usually larger than the other two Families, and are often found with the passive soaring shape. These avians are often found to be more comfortable wearing heavier clothing, dense armor, and thicker clothes than their brethren.
Lesser Families: Avians from any lesser family - such as Belial, Olgrym, Egyn and Zaelna from the War of Roses - may have mixed traits, or average appearances not tied to any Family. Some of these avians may have the odd trend of having hair color different than their wing color, unlike members of the greater Families.
Culture As a race, avians are proud and resourceful, welcoming and kind. Artistic abilities are very common, such as painting, crafting, and building; some grow to be blacksmiths and miners working the mines of the sky-continents in both Felnova and Noctis, well respected and skilled. Avians are often inquisitive and curious, sometimes to a fault, and others may be gripped by insatiable wanderlust. Many are very loyal, and protective of what they hold dear.
In Felnova, avians are concentrated primarily on the sky-continent of Stroen'na, which is led by one greater Family and one lesser Family. These royal Families are that of the Macera and the Olgrym; the Lundair Family exists underneath their joint rule, in control of much of the trade from various skyports to the lands below. The Ceis exists in a scattered fashion, and only the descendants from their remnants exist today. Macera rules the province around Firhos, and controls Stroen'na's eastern half. The Olgrym controls the western half, a province that includes the city of Skye. Though Midgar - in Macera territory - is considered to be Stroen'na's capital, the two Families rule jointly, and have for many thousands of years.
In Noctis, avians dwell in the country of Gilzelfa, located in the sky-continents floating high above the Noctisian seas. These avians are a conglomerate of the old greater and lesser Families collectively called the Saelani Family, overseen by the Ceis, who do not interfere in political matters. The Ceis have survived in greater number here than in Felnova, staying because of their great devotion to Seiten and serving as the autonomous religious overseers for the Sky Peoples. The Saelani Family has no ties anywhere other than the country of Gilzelfa, and does not keep in great contact with their brethren in Felnova for any purpose. They are highly critical of their neighboring countries of Yordan and Trinakk, and seek to absorb them into their empire - though they hold a grudging trade with both, along with the peoples of the sea.
Abilities Avians vary on their abilities and skills depending on what Family they hail from; while most cannot harness elemental magic well, many find skills in non-elemental abilities, and the greater majority of avians may fly. Gifted with great stamina, creativity, and intuition, avians may find themselves in a variety of jobs and occupations.
Ceis: Those rare avians hailing from Ceis linage are often gifted in the arts of healing and disenchanting, and a good portion have been known to have the Sight. Seers, shamans and monks are common in those with Ceis blood, but they are rarely physically strong or very fast.
Lundair: Lundair avians are the swiftest of the Families, and those that share this bloodline have an uncanny sense of direction and travel. They are least likely to harness elemental magics, but are very strong in reiatsu usage, fortification abilities, and evasive magics. The Lundair are also one of the most creative Families of all.
Macera: Strongest of avians, those that have Macera blood are gifted in many forms of magic, but are strongest in enchanting, strength enhancement, and metalweaving. Often, a Maceran avian will choose an occupation that involves earthly qualities and great strength - many become blacksmiths, miners, and warriors of many sorts.
Lesser Families: Avians of lesser Families are most apt to have elemental abilities; many become strong mages, though others share aptitudes with the greater Families or a mix of unrelated qualities.
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 into the Realm of Noctis, and established civilization that continues on today. Now, various Families of avians exist across multiple Realms, though the original Evylonian mountaintop clans have since vanished. They embrace Seitan and Linath as their primary gods, though the lore of their creation has been all but lost.
This species did not have an Ancient First.
Classification: Halgian, avian descendants. Location: Evylon, though rarely abroad.
Humanoid, winged descendants of avian/Halgian hybrids. Long since detached from their crossed ancestry, the angels have become their own subrace, and have a unique appearance; they are light in hair and feather color, most often white or off-white with slight, subtle markings. An angel's skin and eye color vary greatly, though are commonly pale. Their wings are almost always flightworthy, with wingspans commonly stretching two to three times their height. Like avians, angels may or may not sport tail feathers - though this is much rarer within their race.
Angels are exceptionally gifted in the element of light, though rarely may harness other elements; mostly, these are 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. Like Halgians, an angel is able to sense the presence of a commonly dark-aligned race. This is not as strong a sense as their Halgian ancestors, and they cannot often tell whether a 'dark' species has ill favor or malicious intent.
All angels are considered important members of the Halgian Empire. They are healers and warriors both, and excel in many areas within the Empire's civilization. As the majority of 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' most elite 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 are a branching subspecies of avian once a part of the Family of Macera, known to common folks as the 'storm shepherds'. They are taller by a head than any of their cousins, and much broader in the shoulder and chest, sporting large soaring wings and broad fan-tails. Their facial features also appear more bestial than any of the Families, with dark, animalistic eyes, pointed ears, and flattened - similar to a feline - noses. These ears are expressive, and can be moved at will. Their skin color is commonly tawny, but can be of virtually any shade, often marked with stripes or spots. Feather and hair color is likewise very versatile, though hair is always close in shade to the hues in their wings.
Male keravnos commonly wear little in the way of clothing on their upper torso, save for sparse armor when going into battle. They are fond of tattoos and jewelry that accent any natural markings they have, and bear their scars proudly. Keravnos women wear practical clothes, but are partial to jewelry just as much as their menfolk. Kervanos sport ear piercings on either one or both ears as a symbol of rank; the more piercings one has, the greater their prestige, and the higher they are in their cultural hierarchy. To pierce ones' ears without earning it is a great offense to the keravnos, and such piercings will be painfully ripped out, though the lobes will be allowed to heal. Thus, members of the race with such ear scars are often avoided and shunned.
As a race, the keravnos have greater senses of sight and hearing, though weaker sense of smell. They are gifted with control over the elements of lightning and wind, as well as the unique ability to fly through storms with ease. Most are virtually immune to being struck by lightning, able to redirect natural shocks through their bodies without harm - though they can still be injured should they be unable to channel it, and they cannot absorb the electricity directly. They are also stronger physically than the common avian, though none are as fast or agile either in the sky or on the ground. All share a weakness to ice and darkness, and most have little to no protection against poison or magical corruption.
The average harpy appears to have a mixture of human and bird qualities, often considered to be descended from avian or sky-Kin xeriin and kaveri offspring. They have the chests, necks and faces of humans, and the wings, bodies and tails of birds. Some may appear to be more humanoid than others, sporting less birdlike legs, faces, and arms, though these may trend towards less than flightworthy wings. Their skin is commonly the same shade as their plumage, though this varies from individual to individual; should their skin be a different hue than their feathers, it may range the same way a human's might. Eye and hair color, if they have hair, can be anything.
Seen as an abomination, they were nearly hunted to extinction by the avians and xeriin depending on where they had settled, and thus only dwell in large numbers in secluded places far from common civilization. Most are taught from early childhood to hate and despise avians and xeriin, though they are accepting of kaveri as the kaveri do not shy from them. Otherwise, they form strong family units and care for one another as a community, though their villages and towns may seem altogether primitive to an outside onlooker. Rarely will a harpy settle and live among those not of their kind.;p>
Most are taught to hide what they are when traveling to places where non-harpies live, especially when one has items to trade. They are skilled in metalworking and jewelry making, and adorn themselves with precious metals and stones. 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.
Many harpies are somewhat ungainly physically, and are not as strong or fast as similar races. However, with practice, those harpies able to fly become graceful and swift on the wing, and enjoy hit-and-away tactics when they find themselves in battle. Those that appear more humanoid may become capable with human weapons, though many cannot fly as well. Though most harpies do not have strong magical affinities, some are skilled with the elements of fire and water, as well as some limited light and lightning magics. They are very weak to cold and ice, and will either avoid arctic areas or don thick furs and cloaks when forced to travel through inhospitably cold terrain.
Classification: hellfire-changed, demonic avians. Location: almost specifically Hell.
The neraken were once avians who broke away from the religious attention their race gave to deities of the sky, instead turning their worship to Hell and its promise of arcane, corruptive power. As they crafted a faith around Hell, they gained the attention of its Lord, who watched with some interest though their numbers remained relatively low. Over time, Lord Kairn grew irritated with the ineptitude of the undead over whom he ruled; his cerberi and souleaters could not command his legions as readily as he wanted them to be. So he turned his gaze to creatures called the 'furies' - demonic, female entities who resembled primitive, ferocious avians - and attempted to train them and bend them to his will. However, they were found to be incapable of learning even simple commands, and the effort was abandoned. So, Kairn instead took what furies were left and ripped away their life forces, effectively destroying their species as a whole.
He remembered the faith of the avians who he had seen some years previously, and offered them a place to dwell on Hell's surface. Unknowing of what he planned, they accepted readily, and the Lord transported each of them to his fiery domain. At last, Kairn bestowed the furies' essences upon his avian cultists, thereby creating the nerakan. The beautiful bird's wings they proudly wore warped; long, batlike fingers spread underneath the thick feathers, sprouting spikes all down their length, hidden affixed to movable joints so that they may lay flat and concealed at will. Their ears became ribbed and long like elves, and spikes protruded from above them. The nerakans' fingers became tipped in long, serrated talons, and their feet grew sharp, curved claws. Horns sprouted from their heads, evenly spaced apart atop their crown and temples.
Any magic they possessed before either evaporated completely or grew immensely. While the former survived, the latter died - the power was no longer compatible with their new bodies. The neraken’s magic had not been completely ripped away, however - they were gifted with hellfire, a silver fire edged in scarlet and hotter than any true fire. They could permanently scar their enemies, burn away corruption and diseases, and touch the soul. Nerakens are some of the few who may traverse through both living and dead worlds at will, passing through the Veil - though this can be immensely draining.
Now, the nerakans can be found in great numbers within Hell, primarily restricted to the topmost level. However, they have also been released upon the Realms, and may even integrate into other societies at will. However, their loyalty remains to Hell and its current Lord, though they no longer revere the royals as deities, and instead worship Linath over all. Their cities are hard and governed with iron claws, and crimes are often punished by fiery whips that leave lash-scars on the skin of those accused. They are fine warriors with a reputation for honor, often showing up to aid in battle with their Lord's blessing. Otherwise, they craft and trade items, weapons, and jewelry from Hell's rocks and minerals, formed in unique and twisted shapes.
Classification: divine, multi-winged angels. Location: Evylon.
Seraphim are a subspecies of light-infused angels with anywhere between four and eight wings, on average six who have partaken from the River of Light not once, but twice. 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 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.
As seraphim live amongst Halgians, they adhere to Halgian culture and serve their Emperor or Empress over all. Many become strong warriors or mages, and some find themselves in leadership positions within the Empire's military. They are apt to becoming Inquisitors or even Valkyries, ruling the class that hunts down and persecutes non-believers.
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. Most often, their wing color will be of a similar hue to the plumage that they had before the granting of the River's gift, but ranging darker, as pale hues are very rare.
How and why they lose their light is a matter that is still debated heavily among scholars. However, the River's gift is usually lost when the seraph commits an 'unspeakable' crime, becomes corrupted, or otherwise turns against the ideals of Halgia's Light. This can range in severity from murder to accepting a dark creature, and - unusually - seems to change depending on the overall views of the Empire at any given time. Thus, some Darkened seraphim are accepted into the ranks of the Fallen, should their crimes be seen as less severe.
Whether in their own, small communities or within the civilization of the Fallen, Darkened seraphim are somewhat more withdrawn and wary than their angelic counterparts. Many hold scars from being exiled and chased from the Empire, and many are continually hunted by Halgia's Valkyries. Those that are comfortable with who and what they have become may settle down and have families with other Darkened seraphim, Fallen angels, or outside avians, though they never produce children who inherit any trace of the power of an Awakened angel or a true seraph. Hybrids between Darkened seraphim and other species are much rarer, though not unheard of.
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. They have lost entirely the ability to sense malicious intent and/or dark species around them, and only retain a fraction of the magical energies and reserves a true seraph may hold. However, though their affinity with light can never be attained to the level that it was, magical reserves may be rebuilt over time and with great effort, practice, and determination.
Classification: web-winged avians Location: mainly Khanikrae, abroad.
Avians with more dragon-like leathery webbed wings. Descended from Stroen'nan exiles who came to the land of Khanikrae and proceeded to reproduce with local weredragons, teryxeans are hardier and taller than their avian brethren, though they lack the same aerial maneuverability as their more fragile feathered cousins. In addition, they lack their weredragon ancestors' ability to shift, though some have developed significant magical capability to compensate.
Most teryxeans loathe feathered avians, having harbored an enduring grudge over their exile, holding it against Stroen'nans in particular. As a tendency, teryxeans tend to be individualistic loners, having learned not to depend on the whims of society at large. While teryxeans may be slow to anger, their culture does not forgive grudges easily, though they notably have more sympathy for other winged outcasts and exiles in general.
Teryxeans live in small towns and villages primarily, and bar outsiders entry save for merchants and traders. They will often rally to chase off any avian or feather-winged humanoid, such as sky-Kin xeriin or kaveri, on sight and refuse to deal with them at all. However, this hatred is not inborn - a teryxean who is raised outside of these small civilizations may never realize their race's hatred, and these rare individuals have been known to integrate with other cultures with ease.