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.
The 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 indistinguisable from normal angels.
Species info credited to Blazeh/Verridith, 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 generally fall into three separate groupings, depending on their appearance and family history, though hybrids between the three are quite common.
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.
Feather-winged, beautiful descendants of avian/Halgian hybrids. Long since detached from their hybrid anscestry, 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. All angels are considered important members of the Halgian Empire.
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: hellfire-changed, demonic avians. Location: almost specifically Hell.
The neraken were once avians who followed Kairn religiously, worshiping him as the Lord of the Dead. 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.
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.
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.
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 avian outcasts and exiles in general.