Avern (4e Race)
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Agile and pensive creatures that dwell on isolated peaks, keeping a watchful eye on the world.
|Average Height: 3'2"-4'0"|
|Average Weight: 40-60lbs|
|Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom or Intelligence|
|Speed: 5 squares|
|Languages: Common, Giant|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Acrobatics, +2 Perception|
|Fey Origin: You were native to the Feywild, so you are considered a fey creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.|
|Keen Eye: If you would become blinded, you can make an immediate saving throw to avoid becoming blinded.|
|Windless Breeze: You can use spirited updraft as an encounter power.|
In history, there have only been three avian species who fell out of favor with the wind spirits: ostriches, chickens and Averns. But Averns are the only ones pulling out of their predicament. You see, once upon a time, they were known as feathered spirits, Averns were a proud race that flaunted their power to reign over the sky. Their braggadocio didn't go without notice; the Shadow saw an opportunity to increase its own flock and tempted the feathered spirits to become more than they were... And they accepted. They began to stand taller and to talk and to grasp with hands, all-the-while unwittingly losing their ability to soar. One feather spirit realized the price that they were paying and screeched at the top of his lungs a desperate cry for all to abandon their nests and current course of action. The first to come to his call sided with the Shadow and, therefore, silenced their little brother. The word spread quickly as to the rift in the feathered spirits. They slipped away from the roost under the cover of daylight, when most feathers spirits now slept. Their towering kindred began a hunt for the betrayers the following night.
The Avern discovered that they had trapped themselves in an inescapable box canyon. In their desperation, they began to scratch, claw and pray for a way up and out. A Traveller napping nearby was awoken by the commotion and sat up and yawned "What is all this squawking about?!" One spirit cawed "We will forever be in darkness if we cannot rise above these cliff walls." The traveller clucked "Damn bird brains! You can't get past that which is impassable. Bluffs and breezes are all you've got left to work with. Just give up."
It was as if candles had relit in their eyes. They did as was (or wasn't) suggested. Over and over practiced, and eventually the feathered spirits began to regain their lost respect for the aid of the updrafts. The last Avern up left a note saying, "you'll never make it over the top. We will be long gone before you do. Just give up." And then she too scaled up and hid in the caves. When sunset came, their dark brethren arrived and attempted to scale up to the treacherous bluff. Many, now too heavy to be lifted by the wind, either were plucked off its walls by the gusting winds or wandered off in a different direction, hoping that they would never be discovered empty-handed by their master.
When dawn came, the Avern wanted to coo their gratitude to the Traveller, but he was already gone.
To this day the cliff-dwelling feathered spirits are known as the Avern while the taller lurkers of the Shadow are known as the Kenku.
Play an avern if you want...
- To look like a little bird person.
- To learn to fly.
- To be more resistant to blinding effects.
- To be a member of a race that favours the druid, monk, ranger, avenger and wizard classes.
Each of these diminutive anthropomorphic fey have features resembling some form of natural bird. The coloration of a male avern's feathers are predominately black or brown. Females are more grey and tan in coloring, while babies of either gender are covered in white down. More interestingly, their are some colored feathers on the tips of their vestigial wings, and in their armpits that are either red, green, blue, or white. Their fingernails are same color as their colored feathers.
There is no rhyme or reason on how a hatchling will look: An owl-faced father and a crane-faced mother could have children that looked like themselves or, just as likely as ravens or hummingbirds. Even less reliable is that the outer appearance of the Avern will be a good representation on its inner nature. A chicken-hearted Avern might have the physique like a hawk. There have even been rare occasions when an Avern has experienced a life-changing event that altered its perspective on life. In response, its body molted and morphed, taking on a new semblance of a different bird.
Playing an Avern
"This cliffside sure is high up, huh? But don't worry. It's not a problem... for me, I mean ."
Avern were originally from the Feywild, but most there have been hunted to extinction and most that are here in Eberron, have forgotten how to even speak fey. Most now live in unscalably high trees. Some compete with gargoyles to set up nests on top of towers. Avern thrive in cliff-based warrens high above the troubles of the world below. Well populated warens can be found in the Infinite cliffs south of Stormreach, in the Endworld Mountains, the skyway of Sharn.
Their enigmatic nature makes them seek out what shouldn't be. But once they find it, there's no saying what they'll do. All to often they hire on as intermediaries with giants; yet another point that raises more questions than answers.
In Avern society, names usually resemble bird calls. It is often a sing-song in its delivery. Also, they almost always have ironic titles like "the happy" or "the insufferable". These titles are more honest than their appearances. Avern's don't discriminate names by gender. Its not what its name is, its how you say it: Male names drop down on the last syllable while female names go up. consequently, some Averns are offended when their name is the last word in a sentence.
Averns divide into to camps; those who fool around and those who sit and watch:
Female and Male Names: Curoo, Kaahw, Sce'eetch, Kurah, Chrpchrp, Worble
Three sample avern adventurers are described below.
Gust Frolicker found life among the high cliffs warrens need not be boring. He has grown accustomed to spiraling in the chaotic gusts that frequent his native bluffs. And when he's reached the bottom, then upward he enthusiastically climbs for the experience of another glide. Associated Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics
Vigilant Perch living at the elevation of a giant's eyes, is far from perilous. Keeping eyes peeled for threats is a task assigned from dusk 'til dusk. Its an assignment during which it is all-too-easy to fall asleep. She have proven exceptionally reliable when it comes to keeping alert on her watch. Associated Skills: Endurance, Perception
The following feats are exclusive to the avern race.
- Heroic Tier: Airborne Retreat, Avern Stunter, Jetting Charge, Windborne Weapon, Avern Soul
- Paragon Tier: Avern Alertness, Ariel Migration, Extended Airtime, Fog-Piercing Eye, Soaring Form
- Epic Tier: Skyrider