Avern (4e Race)

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Agile and pensive creatures that dwell on isolated peaks, keeping a watchful eye on the world.

Racial Traits
Average Height: 3'2"-4'0"
Average Weight: 40-60lbs
Ability Scores: +2 Wisdom, +2 Dexterity or Intelligence
Size: Small
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Low-light
Languages: Common, Giant
Skill Bonuses: +2 Acrobatics, +2 Perception
Fey Origin: Avern are native to the Feywild, so you are considered a fey creature for the purpose of effects that relate to creature origin.
Controlled Descent: As long as you are conscious, when you take falling damage, you take half the amount of damage (after any other reductions).
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.

Spirited Updraft Avern Racial Power
A breeze stirs at your request, carrying you elsewhere.
Move Action Personal
Requirement: Normal load or lighter.
Effect: You fly a number of squares equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier. Unless you have a fly speed, then if you have not landed at the end of your turn you descend 3 squares. If you do not land, you fall.
Special: If you have a fly speed but end your turn above your altitude limit, you descend 3 squares. If this does not bring you within your altitude limit, you fall.

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.

Physical Qualities[edit]

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[edit]

"This cliffside sure is high up, huh? Race you to the bottom!"

Avern Characteristics: 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.

Male Names: ~curooo~, ~kaahw~, ~ske'eetch~, ~kurah~, ~chrpchrp~, ~wooooorble~

Female Names: ~curooo~, ~kaahw~, ~ske'eetch~, ~kurah~, ~chrpchrp~, ~wooooorble~

Avern Adventurers[edit]

Three sample avern adventurers are described below.

Frolicker ~weet-wiu~ has never been bored. Compared to the thrill of spiralling in the chaotic gusts of his homeland, navigating the windy rooftops and spires of the city is a cinch and gives him a unique edge in his courier work. His employers don't seem to mind that he's always trying to beat his own record times. Associated Skills: Acrobatics, Athletics

Life on the highest peaks is perilous, risking exposure or simply being blown away. Lookouts are stationed from dusk till dusk, and few prove capable of remaining vigilant during these long shifts. ~hwit~ the Still has proven herself exceptional, enduring multiple unblinking shifts at a time, writing her next poem in her head. Associated Skills: Endurance, Perception

Understanding the societal and political intrigues of the giants is like mapping out a minotaur's labyrinth. Silver-Beak ~hw-hw-hw~, serves as a giant's advisor, perched upon his patron's shoulder. He knows when to whisper plans into the giant's ear, when to offer approval to others and when to mask criticism with song. Associated Skills: Diplomacy, History

Avern Feats[edit]

The following feats are exclusive to the avern race.

Heroic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Airborne Retreat Shift immediately when you are bloodied.
Avern Soul You gain the avern racial power.
Avern Stunter Avoid opportunity attacks while flying and land safely when falling.
Jetting Charge Use spirited updraft to fly while charging.
Windborne Weapon You can wield a larger weapon while concentrating.
Paragon Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Aerial Migration You gain overland flight.
Avern Alertness Enemies can't surprise you, +2 to passive perception.
Extended Airtime Use spirited updraft twice per encounter.
Fog-Piercing Eye Reduce the benefits enemies gain from concealment.
Soaring Form Improve spirited updraft' racial power while in beast form.
Epic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Skyrider Gain permanent flight.
Tempest Hop Knock enemies prone when you use your spirited updraft power.

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