Aven (5e Race)

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Aven[edit]

We stepped down the stairs into Jandobar’s stronghold and were basked in the light of a yawning portal. Beyond its stony arch, blue sky was laced with fluffy clouds.After some deliberation, I led the party through. Immediately, a wind began to assault the eardrums, and my hair stood on end as I realized we were plummeting through space. Suddenly, strong claws firmly grasped my shoulders, and I was plucked from my doom. I looked up to see broad wings and feathered arms clutching a long staff. We passed through a cloud and a majestic city, rising from a mote of earth suspended in the air appeared before my very eyes.
—Erefor Cloudfoot, recounting his first journey to the realm of Aaqa

Known as Aarakocra on the elemental plane of air, the Aven are birdlike humanoids with powerful wings. They are most often generous, keen, and wise - putting the needs of others before themselves. They are somewhat awkward on the ground but can soar through the air for long periods.

Description[edit]

Aven are regal humanoids with impeccable posture, a stern expression and moral code, beautiful feathered bodies, and impressive wings. They are slim and toned to assist in their flight, and most stand over 6 feet. Their wingspan, stretching almost one and a half times their height, easily holds aloft their light bodies even when they are clad in armor. Their arms end in clawed versions of the dextrous hands of humans, but their heads are very akin to those of raptors - eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls.

Silken, mottled plumage ranging from white to black and across various reds and browns adorn all but their taloned feet and sharp beaks. Their eyes are generally dark and large, trained on whatever they feel the need to be wary of or find of interest. Males and females are nearly indistinguishable to other races, the only way one can tell before the individual speaks being the slightly more pronounced chest of the female.

History[edit]

The Aven are members of a race which has long been in service to the Vaati whom govern the Elemental Plane of Air. They first arose on the Plane of Air ages ago, and have since persisted in their loyalty to the Vaati through thousands of campaigns and quests against elemental evil. The oldest among them surpass 400 years of age, and themselves have served in a multitude of campaigns and undertaken many quests for their rulers. Today Aven seek to reassemble the Rod of Law, which helped to end one of their greatest enemies of yore, at the Vaati's bidding. Their understanding of the world is greatly bolstered by their extensive lives, and they grow to be wise in old age, hardened by these ventures.

Aven are extremely stoic, and steadfast in their devotion to a capacity that many races hardly comprehend. These characteristics are a product of the length of the friendships they hold, and the great number of memories they can recall. Aven are foremost followers of the Vaati, but besides are protectors of whomever they find in need. They are a powerful and enduring force against the evils of the world, constantly searching for vile beings and places, and aiding whomever they are able along the way. The Aven exist today still as sentries against villainy, for over their long history there was little an occasion where they were not being sculpted as such under the Vaati's command.

Society[edit]

The Aven still call the Elemental Plane of Air their home, and specifically the realm of Aaqa. There, under the rule of the Wind Dukes, the two subraces of Aven divide the duties - Aquilen patrol the skies in search of intruders they might fend off and passerby in need of assistance, while the Nocten serve as judges, instructors, and otherwise. They all share a degree of elemental command, and many Nocten even command some innate magical prowess. Groups of Aven are able to summon air elementals at will in their home realm, and they also speak the language of those primordial beings. This is accomplished and made more powerful by the unanimity of the Aven, for those who remain in Aaqa serve in cohorts of similar birth so that they bond over time into something of a tight-knit family.
Aven society is otherwise based primarily on their services as stewards of good. They work harmoniously to become the as efficient as they are able in their primordial contest. Therefore, each Aven finds its place in Aaqa by the time it has grown. If not, then most depart to far off places where they believe they can better serve their goal. Even those who seek an escape from the eternal struggle are not disdained by their brethren, as it is mutually understood that their absence is of greater assistance to the cause. Not even the Vaati despair these deserters, holding the same to be true. And so all share a mutual sense of purpose that drives them to hold other Aven closely and well regarded and to defend those whom they are familiar with by endless allegiance.

Adventuring to Other Worlds[edit]

While most Aven live in Aaqa, some inhabit other places across the planes of existence. Most of those who serve the Vaati live in aeries on mountain peaks near the entrances to the elemental plane of air. Others, similar to those few who have abandoned the Vaati altogether, traverse the various worlds in quests to find artifacts of yore. Of these, most seek the Seven Shards: the pieces of the famed Rod of Law. They tirelessly traverse the worlds in their quest to locate the pieces and someday rebuild the staff.

Many join adventuring parties for the same reasons, taking their companions as powerful allies in their pursuits. Most Aven initially see their fellow adventurers as assets, but over prolonged exposure will develop very strong ties to them. They often cooperate (sometimes meshing with) those exploratory companies who take on great quests for treasure. Not because they seek it, however. Rather, the Aven indulge in the thrill of smiting the evil creatures that lurk along their paths and the satisfaction in helping those in peril during the journey. Many too hold out hope that they will encounter signs of one of the Seven Shards or perhaps uncover some knowledge of where they might find one. Thus Avens take on adventures with other races on their own terms.

Aven Names[edit]

The first names of Aven are taken from the great scrolls which rest in the chambers of the floating city in Aaqa. They are bestowed upon the Aven when they reach maturity. Before this time they are known arbitrarily as “Fledgling” or “Youngling”. Their surnames are taken from their family within their subrace. Example first names and the surnames of the largest Aquilen and Nocten families are listed below.

Male Names: Akiat, Anwen, Baraka, Cree, Daedus, Egen, Elod, Icaro, Intesar, Jazeel, Kimineek, Onan, Otheus, Ramik, Rosh, Scirrow, Shimran, Skreit, Tegus, Torqueo, Venti, Wakeen, Zephon

Female Names: Andika, Arya, Aura, Belry, Cirra, Coeli, Eren, Haliae, Ishvi, Jeelin, Lefine, Kikoo, Malkia, Nimbi, Notua, Pri, Rehin, Strata, Twee, Ululiana, Volucrena, Zaris, Ziserra

Aquilen Surnames: Dawnfeather, Goldplume, Longtalon, Razorbeak, Windshifter

Nocten Surnames: Duskflier, Muteloft, Nightsinger, Silvereye, Whiteclaw

Aven Traits[edit]

Aven live as a unique tandem of bird and man. Thanks to their strong wings, beaks, and talons, each has an expected set of attributes.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Aven reach maturity around age 30 and live to be over 400 years old. They do not begin to express signs of old age until well into their third century.
Alignment. Due to their historic campaigns, almost all Aven align as some kind of good, and most are lawful.
Size. Aven stand tall and slim. They stand 6 feet high and weigh around 135 pounds. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet. You have a flying speed of 50ft.
Keen Eyes. You are proficient in the Perception skill.
Roost. You can gain all the benefits of a long rest after spending 4 hours meditating semi-consciously in an elevated place outdoors such as a tall tree.
Flight. You have a fly speed of 50 feet. You cannot fly while wearing medium or heavy armor. In addition, where you fly must be at least 10 feet wide to accommodate your wingspan.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Auran.
Subrace. There are two major varieties of Aven across the various planes of D&D: Aquilen and Nocten. Choose one of these subraces.

Aquilen[edit]

The Aquilen are the race of Aven resembling eagles, hawks, and falcons. They are the larger of the two subraces, with powerful legs and wings. They exert their strength to fiercely protect their homes and to aid weaker beings.

Talons. You are proficient with your unarmed strikes, which deal 1d6 slashing damage on a hit.

Nocten[edit]

Nocten then, are those Aven who are reminiscent of owls. They are more contemplative, smaller, and thinner than their Aquilen cousins. They usually prefer to utilize their minds and magic rather than brute force.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Innate Spellcasting. You know the Feather Fall spell and can use it on only yourself once without expending a spell slot. You regain the ability to use this trait once you complete a long rest.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
6′ 0″ +2d4 125 lb. × (1d6) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
5′ 8″ +2d4 110 lb. × (1d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

Optional Subrace: Volturen[edit]

Some campaigns may wish to include the option for players to exist as a Volturen or Fallen Aven. These Aven never have white feathers, and their heads resemble vultures and occasionally ravens. They were cast out from traditional Aven society long ago as a consequence of the Volturen general Krigeek Blackbeak's actions during an important battle when he consumed one of his fallen kin to survive his own injuries. The Wind Dukes dubbed all Volturen to be enemies in their eternal contest for this action. Despite this they are not inherently evil - in fact, some still strive to serve the same purpose as their accepted counterparts, hoping that finding a piece of the Rod of Law might earn them entrance back to society. Otherwise, though, Volturen do tend to be understandably bitter. They live in secluded colonies in the most distant scrub and deserts of the material world, brooding in spite and subsisting off whatever creatures perish in their territory. They do not hold that hatred for the other races of the world, and usually only attack living creatures out of desperation. They have even been known to return to their Aven ways to aid sick travelers with their potent disease dispersing abilities when there is an abundance of food. Still, the most wicked of the Aven are found among them, and this, alongside their preferred diet, gives the Volturen a particularly undeserving image.

Volturen Surnames: Blackbeak, Darkcrest, Shadowdrifter

Volturen have the following traits in addition to the traits characteristic of all Aven.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Scavenger. You cannot be poisoned by something you've ingested. You also have advantage on saving throws against poison and are resistant to poison damage.

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
5′ 6″ +2d6 115 lb. × (1d6) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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