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Avariel

Regions: Most avariel choose the Avariel region, but other valid regions include Damara, the High Forest, Narfell, the North, Silverymoon, the Vast, and the Western Heartlands.

Racial Feats: Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Flight, Rapid Flight

Racial Prestige Class: Bladesinger

Level Adjustment: +3

The avariels, or winged elves, are without a doubt the most reclusive and least numerous of the elven subraces subraces on Faerun. Many scholars have long dismissed them as creatures of myth. In truth, small numbers of avariels still dwell in Faerun, concealed in hidden enclaves and remote regions.

The most striking feature of the avariels is their soft, feathered wings. These wings have spans of anywhere from twelve to sixteen feet and are usually white, but may also be gray, brown, black, or speckled. Avariels take great pride in their wings and spend long hours grooming them. Their skin is pale, often porcelain white, with tinges of blue or faint silver. They have silver-white or black hair, whith other shades being rare but not unheard of. The avariels' eyes are rather large and more expressive than those of other elves, and tend to be brilliant shades of blue or green. A few avariel have scintillating violet eyes as pure as amethysts. Avariels stand 5'9" tall on average, with thin, graceful limbs and angular facial features. They are the most beautiful and striking of the elven races, although too often this beauty is marred by haughtiness and condescension toward their land-bound kin, whom they often pity.

Avarials are even more delicate than other elves, and their movements are quick, calculated and graceful. They prefer to wear loose fitting diaphanous clothing that catches the wind in flight and ripples and weaves in the air. Armor is almost never worn, because it tends to weigh the avariels down and hinder their graceful motion. Avariels cannot fly while wearing heavy armor.

Avariels age more quickly than most elves, having the starting age and life expectancy defined for gnomes. Avariels use the following random height and weight characteristics.

Avariel, male 5'0" +2d8 70lb. x(1d6) lb.

Avariel, female 4'8" +2d8 65lb. x(1d6)lb.

History Edit

Along with the green elves and lythari, the avariels are one of the three oldest elven races. Today, though, they are all but extinct, forced into the far corners of the world ages ago by ancient dragons and hunted mercilessly by evil folk.

The avariels, upon first migrating to Faerun millennia ago, found the world to be a vast, beautiful place. Unfortunately vicious dragons ruled the skies above ancient Faerun. The newly arrived avariels were nearly wiped out by the dragons before the First Flowering. The last of their race flew eastward long before the first Crown War, wandering the skies only when they had to, hiding on the ground like vermin and living terrible, dirty lives as nomads and scavengers.

The last redoubt of the avariels today is known as the Aerie of the Snow Eagles, a crystal citadel hidden atop one of the most remote peaks in the Icerim mountains of distant Sossal. The exact location of the Aerie of the Snow Eagles is one of the Avariels' most closely guarded secrets.

The aerie itself resembles a tremendous castle or tower of glass, built on a sheared-off mountaintop. A flight of avariel nomads discovered it abandoned ages ago. The avariels believe that the original mountaintop was taken by a Netherese archmage who wished to use it to build a floating city. The present day aerie is a wonder to behold. The walls of the glass aerie are magically hardened to the strength of steel. Inside, the Aerie of the Snow Eagles supports a tropical climate, complete with jungles of plants and trees long extinct elsewhere in Faerun.

For two centuries, this last lair of the avariels has been led by Winged Father Aquilan Greatspan. The Avariels fly there still, fishing in the freezing waters of the Great Ice Sea and hunting the icy reaches of the Great Glacier.

Outlook Edit

Avariels came dangerously close to extinction long ago, and it has taken them thousands of years to recover to the point where they don't have to worry about the fate of their race. Only recently have they begun to expand back into the world, sending explorers, diplomats, and merchants south into Faerun proper. Small, scattered bands of avariels still exist in the heartlands of Faerun, but these groups rarely number more than a dozen and usually avoid civilized areas.

Avarials are free spirits who would like nothing better than to simply soar on the currents high above the ground, taking in the views Faerun has to offer. They possess an irrepressible zest for life. Even in the darkest, most desperate situation, an avariel remains cheerful. Unfortunately, while friendly to those they consider their equals, avariels also tend to be condescending and even downright rude to landbound races. The avariels are usually unaware of this; it's just their natural reaction to treat landbound races as lesser creatures. Given time and enough exposure to other cultures, avariels can overcome their natural bias.

Avariel Characters Edit

Winged elves combine a tradition of vigilance and skill at arms with a joyous reverence for the sheer peaks and open skies of their homelands. Many become fighters, rangers, or clerics. Avariel civilization is old and established, so avariel barbarians are unheard of. Winged elves lean toward the divine rather than the arcane, but a small number of take up the study of wizardry and generally excel at it. Common multiclass combinations include fighter/cleric, cleric/ranger, and cleric/wizard

Favored Class Edit

The favored class of the Avariel is the cleric. While many Avariel are drawn to the study of combat and skill at arms, the hearts of winged elves favor a more contemplative and philosophical existence. Even those who spend their lives studying the martial path often set aside these pursuits in order to return to a holier calling.

Prestige Classes Edit

Some avariels practice the art of the bladesong and use it to protect their communities. Like other kinds of elves, winged elves greatly respect the skill needed to become a bladesinger. Avariel wizards often aspire to become arcane devotees or loremasters, while avariels of all other classes are drawn to the divine champion or divine disciple prestige classes

Avariel Society Edit

The avariels have a unique model for their societies, separating into two groups when they congregate in large numbers: a war-like society of fighters and soldiers, and a peaceful society of thinkers and religious scholars. These two subcultures, as diametrically opposed as their separate philosophies may be, work together to forge a powerful symbiotic relationship.

Warlike avariels have a complex code of honor that they use to guide and temper their militaristic activities and training. These avariels spend their lives defending their kin. Their lives are geared toward war and power, and they answer to their war chiefs, who share responsibility for ruling the society with the religious leaders of the peaceful avariels. The martial avariels are proud and hearty, and they form eternal friendships with those who earn their respect and trust.

In combat, warlike avariels have little pity or remorse about cutting down their enemies. The concept of surrendering themselves and for their enemies. Once lethal combat begins, few avariels break off until they or their enemies are dead. Drawing blood from an enemy is nothing less than a promise to honor the enemy with one's skills in combat and not humiliate him by leaving him alive to dwell on an embarrassing defeat. The act of slaying an enemy is viewed simply as delivering on that promise.

Warlike avariels prefer to use ranged weapons, and they aren't above using wings to gain an advantage over land-bound enemies. This is supported by their code, which allows them to cut down an enemy from an unassailable distance in the skies above. Those who cannot defend themselves against an attack from the skies should know better than to make an enemy of a clearly superior foe.

The peaceful avariels, unlike their warlike kin, focus mainly on arts and the intellectual aspects of life. When faced with conflict, a peaceful avariel relies on her brains and diplomatic abilities--and often on her magic power. Peaceful avariels are artists, philosophies, and researchers who spend their lives studying the world and its history and creating works of art simply for the sheer joy of creation. The peaceful avariels are also responsible for providing their society with food, entertainment, and education. Many peaceful avariels are also very religious and spend much of their time contemplating the ways of their deity, Aerdrie Faenya.

Despite their divergent personalities, these two subcultures interact surprisingly well. Young avariels typically spend time immersed in each subculture, learning from both warriors and priests. These exchanges, which often last for a decade or longer, allow avariels raised in one subculture to learn how the other subculture lives.

Language and Literacy Edit

All avariels can speak Elven and Common, and each learns an additional language based on his or her native region. Most winged elves are intelligent enough to pick up at least one additional language. This additional language is usualy Auran, so the avariels can speak with allied creatures of the air such as the giant eagles they adore. Additional languages often learned by avariels include Goblin, Orc, Sylvan, and the predominant human language(s) of their home region. Avariels also often learn the Draconic and Giant languages so that they can converse with their hated enemies if the need arises.

All avariels are literate, except for avariel barbarians (assuming they exist).

Abilities and Racial Features Edit

Avariels have all the elven racial traits, except as follows:

  • +4 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom. Avariels have hollow bones and, as a result, are more fragile than humans. At the same time, they are fited with a keen intuition an intellect, and an almost otherworldly grace.
  • Keen Sight (Ex): Avariels gain a +4 racial bonus on all Spot checks; this replaces the standard +2 racial bonus that most elves gain.
  • Avariels gain a +4 racial bonus on Jump checks. They are strong for their weight.
  • Proficient with either rapier or longsword; proficient with lasso and bolas. This replaces the standard elven weapon proficiency with longswords or rapiers and proficiency with shortbow, longbow, composite longbow, and composite shortbows.
  • Flight (Ex): Avariels have a flying speed of 50 feet with average maneuverability, as long as they do not carry more than a Medium load, are not wearing Heavy armor, and are not fatigued or exhausted. Avariel wings have a span of 12 feet on average; they cannot fly in an area that does not allow them to fully extend their wings. An avariel may make a dive attack. A dive attack works just like a charge, but the avariel must descend a minimum of 30 feet and attack with a piercing weapon; if she hits, she deals double damage. An avariel can use the run action while flying, provided she flies in a straight line.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, home region.
  • Bonus Languages: by region.
  • Favored Class: Cleric
  • Level Adjustment: +3. Avariels are more powerful and gain levels more slowly than most of the other common races of Faerun.

Avariel Magic and Lore Edit

Although the warlike subculture of avariel society appreciates magic and respects its power, members of the peaceful subculture are the true masters of divine and arcane magic. The avariels, like most other elven races, have wholly and completely embraced the art of both divine and arcane magic. Unlike most other races, though, the avariels have only recently (in elven terms) become re-established on Faerun. For most of their history, the avariels simply haven't had the luxury of experimenting and toying with magic; they were too focused on simply surviving. But with their discovering and colonization of the Aerie of the Snow Eagles they have, for the past 500 years, felt safe enough to begin researching magic once again.

Spells and Spellcasting Edit

Avariels favor conjuration and transmutation magic for their versatility, and the miniature jungle world within the Aerie of the Snow Eagles is the culmination of their most potent conjurings and transmutations. Avariels have also been focusing more on divination spells of late, as they seek out their lost--and well-hidden--brethren.

Avariel Magic Items Edit

The avariels are commonly thought to be the originators of wings of flying. Ancient rumors hold that powerful and compassionate avariel spellcasting infinted the first wings of flying as gifts for landbound friends so that they too could know the bliss and rapture of soaring the skies above Faerun. It stands to reason that winged boots may have also been introduced into the world by generous avariels as well.

Avariel Deities Edit

Like Aquatic elves, the avariels acknowledge the Seldarine as a whole and pay lip service to most of these elven deities, but they hold a special reverance for a single member of that pantheon--in their case Aedrie Faenya , the elven goddess of the skies, weather, and avians of all sorts. Although they do not elevate their religions beliefs to the level of fanaticism, the avariels as a whole are deeply religions, and thought of not venerating a deity is alien and unwholesome to most of them.

Avariels believe that it is due to Aerdrie Faenya's intervention that they are able to survive at all. Ages ago, Aerdrie Faenya gifted the avariels with their wings because she knew that they would face great trials and danger in the future and would need the advantage of flight if they were to have any hope of survival. Avariels also believe that she takes more of a direct hand in their lives that do the gods of the other elves. Avariels often attribute to Aedrie Faenya's intervention events that most other races would view as simply fortuitous coincidences.

Relations with Other Races Edit

The avariels are on good terms with other sentient, good-aligned avian races. They admire and respect giant eagles, a bond that survived the dark centuries of draconic persecution. The avariels are also fond of the aarakocras, but since the winged elves were driven from the Star Mounts, their interaction with these bird-men has dropped off significantly. They get along well with air genasi as well, although they are often frustrated with the genasi's ambivalence and disinterest in good and evil.

Avariel relations with landbound races are not nearly as productive. The avariels have traditionally viewed those who can't fly as objects of pity (at best) or derision (more commonly). Recently, the avariels have begun to realize the error of their ways--the landlocked races, despite their lack of wings, can be powerful and helpful allies. Avariels from the Aerie of the Snow Eagles have recently sent diplomats to neighboring kingdoms (Narfell, Rashemen, Damara, and the Great Dale in particular) and have been doing their best to treat the ground races as equals.

The avariels are still hunted to this day by evil dragons, who view the winged elves and the magical aptitude as the greatest threat to their dominion over the skies of Faerun. Dragons have nowhere near the presence in the skies as they did in the ancient past, but their memories are long. In particular, the white dragons of Hoarfaern are particularly dedicated to the final destruction of the avariels and the Aerie of the Snow Eagles.

Avariel Equipment Edit

The avariels have taken the craft of glassblowing and elevated it to an art form. When most races turn to metal, wood, or stone to craft gear, the avariels have turned to the fragile and delicate medium of glass. In a way, their affinity for glass as a medium reflects their very nature, for the avariels themselves are fragile and beautiful people.

While much avarial class is delicate and decorative, the winged elves have also mastered glassteel, a form of glass as strong as metal. Many avariel outposts are made of glassteel, as are some armor, weapons, and tools.

Arms and Armor Edit

The avariels prefer to fight with ranged weapons and usually carry bows of some sort when they are away from the Aerie. The avariels sometimes prefer ranged weapons that incapacitate their victims. As a result the winged elves train with Lassos, and bolas extensively. When forced into melee combat, avariels use swords almost exclusively, with a marked preference for longswords (for stronger avariels) or rapiers (for more dexterous avariels). Avariels prefer lighter armors that do not restrict their ability to fly, so mithral armor is especially valued.

Animals and Pets Edit

The avariels have long had a close bond with the giant eagles of Faerun, and they settle in the same areas. Giant eagles are intelligent creatures and are considered allies, not pets. Avariels are naturally fond of any nonevil avian creature, particularly birds; most avariels keep a few birds as companions or pets. Pet birds are never caged, though, and can come and co as they please. Cages don't sit well with avariels.

Avariels sometimes employ arrowhawks, griffons, and hippogriffs as guards for their aeries. They adore rocks and think of them as magnificent beasts touched by Aerdie Faenya. Rocs are admired from afar, however, as such massive creatures don't easily fit in avariel cities.

Avariel Region Edit

Small numbers of avariels live with their elven kin in various refuges across the northern portions of Faerun, but this region describes a character native to the Aerie of the Snow Eagles, north of Rashemen.

Preferred Classes: Cleric, fighter, ranger, wizard. A character of one of these classes may choose a regional feat and gain her choice of bonus equipment below as a 1st level character. An avariel of any other class may not select one of the regional feats here and does not gain the bonus equipment at 1st level.

Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, and Auran

Bonus Languages: Daraman, Draconic, Giant, Reshemi, Sylvan, Tuigan

Regional Feats: Artist, Education, Mind Over Body, Rapid Flight, Strong Soul

Bonus Equipment: (A) rapier or longsword, or (B) wand of cure light wounds (1st level, 20 charges), or (C) scroll with 6 1st-level and 1 2nd-level cleric spells.