Hailing from the highest regions of Arcadia, the Avians are naturally at home in the air. Alongside airborne races such as the Avariel, these intelligent beasts comb the skies in search of new lands and new adventures. Despite certain forms being common, there are many types of Avian in this realm. However, only a certain amount of sub-types are common in other Material planes. Typically the sturdiest and sneakiest stock slip their way through dimensional gateways.
Birds of a Feather
As the name would imply, Avians look like upright/semi-bipedal bird creatures. Despite their beastly appearance, they are none the less capable of intelligent thought and insightful wisdom. Some are very confident speakers as well! While not using their wings for flight, they’re capable of operating complex objects or utilizing weaponry with the hand-like ends of arms. In some instances, an Avian is capable of utilizing its talon feet to manipulate objects while in flight. Some have been able to covet large amounts of (typically shiny) objects with their talons before taking to the skies, as their witnesses are more than likely unable to catch them. Some are capable of incredible talents much like the birds they descended from; agile feats of combat, the ability to seek out death, inspiring aid through bird song.
Feuding Societies and Free Outsiders
Avians in their home realm are divided based on the variety of bird that inspired them. Some avians, such as Corvid based ones, tend to lay within realms that touch the Ethereal, the Demiplane of Shadow or lands of the Unseelie. Some avians, like Songbird based, are likely to dwell close to realms that touch the Astral, the Demiplane of Radiance and the lands of the Seelie. More neutral, such as the Hawk-based avians, tend to stay within the most wild of Arcadia’s endless worlds. Politics and extreme bias play quite the roll among natives to Arcadia, especially their sky dwelling residence. However, neither side is geared towards good or evil, just because there’s a favoritism towards certain parts of Arcadian life. They tend to be ambivalent towards viewpoints outside of their own. However, stereotypes tend to breed and spread throughout the various avian societies. More adventurous avians are quick to dispel these notions and are likely to cross into other planes entirely. Some caravans and colonies have even started from an avian desire to see the multiverse as a whole. Many avian who have left Arcadia have also left their allegiances to factions behind as well, aiming to start anew in realms of countless possibility.
Author’s Note: The Aarakocra have been rather divisive for a long time. Their appearance in 5th edition has been no less controversial. I’ll admit, my version isn’t an attempted fix on what’s dubbed broken. Rather, it’s my own take on the concept from the ground up, using various species for inspiration.
“No, I can’t stop my hand from glowing like that. Yes, the fey can be jerks sometimes.”
You’re not only knowledgeable about the Fey, you are part of their world as well. It’s more than likely you are the descendant of a fey-based creature or someone who served an archfey patron. Whether a gift or a curse, the powers of the fair folk have been passed down to you. You’re able to weave your magic in fantastic and creative ways, including using your faerie-based charms to turn the tides of a fight in a pinch. Because of this charm,it’s not uncommon for many onlookers to see your unnatural power as a bewitching beauty or something horribly uncanny.
Some of these fey sorcerers decide to hone their craft however they can. Some will travel to the Fey realms of Arcadia in order to master their talents to the best of their ability. Others will seek faerie-creatures on the Material Plane, in hopes of locating willing teachers. Either path is a life filled with adventure and very fitting of their magical origins. Some of these sorcerers take up a life of whimsy and free mindedness in tribute to the beings that blessed them with their gift. As a result, it is possible that your personality may be capricious, secretive, chaotic, cheery or something else entirely; perhaps a reflection of a certain Court or being in particular. For creatures already descended from fey, such as gnomes and elves, their use of sorcery is a means of bolstering power they already have.
“Tell me your words of wisdom, Fey Owl!”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Greetings and well met! Since we already have a patron for the warlock, I figured bringing back the fey bloodline was the next step. With that, here’s my take on what I think a fey-sorcerer would look like. I focus on enhancing enchantment and illusion magic, both popularly associated with faerie trickery. I also look at allusiveness and the sneaky nature of the fey as well as the festive and charismatic aspects too. And to top it off, defenses against charms and sleep effects. Hopefully I hit all the touchstones I was looking at! No matter, here’s a sorcerous character who’s home in the lands of faerie.
UPDATE 2019: The math on this is a little wonky. I might try to update things in due time, alongside some other ideas. I’m thinking of a sampler of Slavic folkloric monsters.
Looks friendly enough.
The all powerful queen of Hags is a force to be reckoned with. She can traverse reality, utilize powerful magick and is said to be immortal herself! To many, she resembles the archetypal hag like any other, but this is far from the case. She’s the most powerful of all hags. Some say she’s even the progenitor of hags as a whole. Her dark spawn fill countless planes and spread her dread curse upon many realities. Her motivations are shrouded in eons of mystery. Perhaps she fancies herself as a Queen of Magic itself, seeking to one day control the powers she has long since mastered. Perhaps she wants to make all realms her home, unleashing horrible spirit creatures and dark energies to terraform the planes. No one for certain knows, nor do they want to find out.
To those who encounter her, the best course of action is to avoid at all costs. For if she doesn’t attack directly, her magical hut will. To those who can manage to defeat her hut, facing her within her own domain is a far more challenging task. It is said that she rests deep with the Spirit World of Arcadia, as a means of recuperating from epic conflicts on the Material realm. It is also said she has connections to lands of the dead and the Otherworld. In fact, part of her existence is stuck between the Grey Wastes and Gehenna. It is rumored many magical secrets of the yugoloth come from the Hag Queen herself! However, it seems as though she is more than capable of appearing in multiple places at once, all while her hut contains several worlds in one. Her motivations for collecting pieces of worlds are just as vague as her reasons for committing vile deeds. Few mad scholars assume she has a sentimental attachment to the places she visits, collecting bits of them as a visitor would take a souvenir as a means of making memories.
However, Baba Yaga has a strange side as well. While associated with absolute wickedness, she can show signs of kindness… when it benefits her. Those who show her respect will usually be shown some level of respect in return, even her acting grandmotherly towards adventurers who follow her rules. Sometimes, she observes the world around her through her various alternate forms of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Perhaps she desires love, perhaps she wants to learn about a world she’s visiting, perhaps she’s seeking out a weakness so it’s all the more easy to take what is rightfully her’s!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: As per request, here’s my take on Baba Yaga! For inspiration, I sampled various tales on the fair folk as well as traditional Slavic folklore of the hag queen herself! Of course, the classic adventure for AD&D as well as the Reign of Winter adventure path played their parts too.
The next post will be a little late, part as I took longer than I had hoped figuring this one out… And also because work sucks and has sufficiently drained me this week.