Avianexi, Valshock (3.5e Race)
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Avianexi live atop of gigantic white spires and floating cities scattered throughout their kingdom. Each of the spires reaches high above the clouds, and has no stairs, ladders or any other climbing implements. The only way to get to the top is to fly, and anyone incapable of flying is considered to be undeserving to visit the top. Each spire culminates in a flat area known as the Garden. The Gardens are extremely beautiful and meticulously maintained places of leisure. The Avianexi themselves live in hollowed out chambers inside the spires, and they congregate in the Gardens. The more important members of the society live higher than the less important ones. The taller the spire, the more prestigious it is to live in. The tallest and largest spire in the center of the kingdom is reserved for the King of Kings and his court and it is off limits to everyone else. Even the members of the court are only allowed to enter or leave it by invitation and permission from the King himself. Lower ranking Avianexi have been known to been beheaded merely for gazing at the spire without proper reverence. It is customary to avoid looking directly at the King’s Spire to avoid offense. Each spire is ruled by a Lord, who lives in the Garden itself and has absolute power over the life and death of all his subjects. Slightest disobedience is typically punished by cutting off the offenders wings and tossing him or her of the edge of the garden. Failure to show proper reverence or respect to the Lord on the other hand is typically punished by blinding the offender. Avianexi have no courts and justice is delivered by the Spire Lords.
After the Spire Lords, the most powerful Avianexi are the Magi. These Avianexi look less like Eagles and more like Owls. They are few in numbers, but they make it up in power. There is typically one or two Magis per Spire, the second one typically being an apprentice. They act as advisers to the lord, and their heavy hitters during war time. They are known for spells that cause scorching, blinding liquid light to rain from the sky destroying everything below in an unstoppable fiery conflagration. They typically wear ornate armor an masks and carry staffs that denote their social status and power.
Below them live the Avianexi proper which are the warrior and aristocrat caste. Their society is very rigid, and orderly guided by tradition and ritual, but built on concepts of social Darwinism. The society pushes the strong, ruthless and unforgiving individuals to the top, and stigmatizes and punishes any sign of weakness, empathy or compassion. Those in power are encouraged to abuse their position and bully their underlings, whereas any push-back is considered a mortal offense and severely punished (typically by death or physical maiming). Any sign of physical infirmity is considered unacceptable. Those who become permanently disabled, or are too old to fly are considered parasites and usually ordered to be tossed over the edge by the Spire Lord. Temporary illness is tolerated, but usually results in getting dropped few floors on the spire and having to work your way back up after you recover. Disabled children are culled right away, unless parents manage to hide their infirmity. Children who do not have desired characteristics (blue eyes, proportional body, white wings, white feathers etc..) are typically consigned to lower castes. Sometimes parents will secretly dye the feathers of their child if it is the wrong color, but hiding an undesirable in your house is typically punished by death.
To be upper caste Avianexi one must have blue eyes, white body feathers and white wing plumage. Avianexi are mostly patriarchal, though women are expected to fight alongside men. They can be military officers, but not magi or Spire Lords. When they become pregnant, they typically retire to dedicated chambers in the middle portion of the spire, where they are cared for by the lower caste of Watchers. Unlike most avian species who lay eggs, Avianexi give live birth. A Avianexi Woman typically gives birth to a litter of between six to twelve children, though the expectation is only two or three will survive the rigors of Avianexi society into adulthood. Few days after being born the children are inspected, measured, assigned names and caste. Those with “proper” features can move in with the parents. Those with darker feathers or wrong color of the eyes are raised by the Watchers. Those with black body feathers and black wings are taken to the bottom of the Spire to be raised by the Unclean.
Watchers are the middle caste made up of the individuals who do not meet the eugenic requirements set forth by the Spire Lords. This typically includes having white body feathers, blue eyes and white wings, but taller and more prestigious spires are even more stringent and measure the proportions of the skull, the size of the nose, the distance between the eyes, and etc. Most commonly, Watchers have white, blue or even purple feathers and slightly tinted plumage on their wings. They are permitted to live in the mid-section of the tower, but cannot visit the gardens. They take care of those who fall ill, and pregnant women and act as expendable troops in battle. Most properly crafted weapons are considered noble and sophisticated weapons, the Watchers are not permitted to use these weapons and instead fight with wooden spears, self crafted bows and arrows, and other easy to craft weapons.
Because they are considered to be genetically inferior, they are not permitted to breed themselves. Some spires however will tolerate occasional breeding to bolster their Watcher population. The taller Spires however pride themselves on being “purer” and having small to non-existent Watcher population.
The lowest caste are the Unclean who live at the bottom of the spires. They typically have black body feathers and black wings. They are not permitted to enter the gardens under any circumstances. In fact, the tradition holds that if an Unclean would step a foot in the Garden it would become tainted and it would have to be re-consecrated. Many Spire Lords order the wings of the Unclean to be clipped in such a way to prevent them from flying properly to make sure this never happens.
Unclean are tasked to work with the slaves and “lesser” races. Avianexi rarely trade or have any diplomatic relations with other races, because they prefer to take things by force. But if they do, they typically bring an Unclean to do the actual talking. If the diplomats of another race desire to present a Avianexi noble with a gift, they would hand it to an Unclean, who would then take it to a Watcher standing about ten feet away. The Watcher would then take the item further away, wash it with the water from the Garden and ritually consecrate it. Only after then would it be proper for a Avianexi to gaze upon it. Most high ranking nobles and Spire Lords would never actually consider touching something made by a untamed savage.
The Unclean are the slave masters of the Avianexi society. Some of them do not enjoy this position, or even openly resent it, but many relish it. It is considered improper for Avianexi and Watchers to touch or interact with slaves, but someone has to build their spires, and work the fields which supply the spires with food. That job belongs to the vast hordes of slaves who live in the shadow of the spires. Most of the slaves are members of other races. A good number are Unclean or Watchers whose wings were cut off for some transgression. Upper caste Avianexi typically do not survive this type of punishment because they are thrown off the edge and plummet to their death. Only those who live and/or committed their transgression near the bottom of the tower tend to live long enough to become slaves.
Not all Avianexi are happy with how their society is being run. There are those who would wish to end the caste system and end the tyranny of Spire Lords. Some even object to slavery and torture. Few however dare to speak out because dissent is punished very harshly. Because they are raised to believe other races are inferior and repulsive, most dissatisfied Avianexi never leave their society unless they have to. There are a few rogue Watchers and Unclean living in other lands. Other than that, they are rarely seen outside their own territories.
There exists a secret society among the Avianexi known as the Knockers. They have developed a secret knocking/tapping language which allows them to communicate in secret simply by tapping their feet or knocking at the walls. They seek to eventually overthrow the King of Kings and end the caste system, though for now they concentrate on spreading their message throughout the Spires and recruiting as many members of the upper caste as possible.
Most of the Avianexi you will see out and about in the world look like blue eyed, white feathered eagle humanoids. These are the members of the highest social caste of the race and they call themselves as simply the Avianexi.
This section is usually reserved for short descriptions on how races act around or with other races. For Valshock purposes and the RP elements involved in it, this category will be used to divulge some more information on the Avianexi in their areas of Questions along with the other races that frequently inhabit those areas.
Relations with other Avianexi: As noted above, Avianexi are a very proud race that exhibits a strong eugenics program and a strict caste system. Most Avianexi treat others of their own race as they should, considering the caste system. Those higher in reputation and caste are catered to and often treated with the utmost respect. Those below themselves are often treated as a lower type of being. Being ordered around and such.
Relations with slaves in general: The Unclean are the slave masters of the Avianexi society. Some of them do not enjoy this position, or even openly resent it, but many relish it. It is considered improper for Avianexi and Watchers to touch or interact with slaves, but someone has to build their spires, and work the fields which supply the spires with food. That job belongs to the vast hordes of slaves who live in the shadow of the spires. Most of the slaves are members of other races. A good number are Unclean or Watchers whose wings were cut off for some transgression. Upper caste Avianexi typically do not survive this type of punishment because they are thrown off the edge and plummet to their death. Only those who live and/or committed their transgression near the bottom of the tower tend to live long enough to become slaves. As a rule, anyone without wings or ability to fly in Avianexi Kingdom is automatically considered a slave, and property of the Spire Lord who controls the territory.
Relations with Greenskins:
Ork and Ogre slaves are most sought after because of their physical strength and resilience. In fact, Avianexi are one of the few races that figured out how to enslave the ridiculously stubborn race of Ogres. Their trick involves torturing the slaves to the edge of death, then healing them with magic, over and over without a moment of respite over the course of few weeks until their will is completely broken. The bottom section of each Spire is usually reserved for torture chambers used for breaking in, or punishing the slaves.
Ork Slaves are very common, because they are strong, resilient and they live just across the border of the kingdom spires of Avianexi. The slaves are treated very poorly. Those who work in the fields are forbidden from eating the crops they grow. They are given minimal rations, and their main source of protein is waste thrown from the spires. The de-winged bodies of Avianexi who have angered the Spire Lord in some way and of fallen slaves are almost always eaten by the starving masses. In fact, the area directly under the spire tends to be a graveyard full of bones. Avianexi do not bury their dead – they simply throw them off the edge, and they leave the bodies to rot or be eaten by slaves or animals. Slaves are also not permitted to bury their dead, partly because it is considered waste of energy, but also because Avianexi enjoy watching their slaves to canibalize their own out of hunger, and they think that bones littering the ground beneath the spire sends a powerful message to those who would want to oppose the authority of the Spire Lord.
In addition to being very innovative and efficient torturers, Avianexi also like to apply their eugenics to slave breeding. Captive Orcs and Ogres are bred for size and strength. The Avianexi who live for around 300 years are especially fascinated by Goblins. While they are weak and frail, their short lifespan allows the breeders to iterate over many generations selecting specific traits and observe the results. Over the years they have transformed their captive stock of Goblins into a blind, savage and fiercely violent species known as the Houds.
Houds have no eyes, but a very acute sense of smell and taste. They possess basic animal cunning that makes them excellent hunters, but most of their higher cognitive functions are gone. They are unable to speak but can follow orders and quickly learn to recognize and fear the voices of their Avianexi masters. Their maws have multiple rows of sharp teeth, and their claws have serrated edges making them very dangerous. They are trained to track, chase and devour escaped slaves. They are typically used in large packs coordinated by an Unclean slave master.
Relations with Humans: Humans are mainly bred for obedience, but are considered to have poor genetic stock. Almost worthless in the eyes of Avianexi.
Relations with Nords: Avianexi and Nords generally hate each other. Avianexi hate the Nords because they can not be conquered as easily as other races and Nords hate Avianexi because they wish to infringe on the freedom and try to conquer all that exists around them.
Relations with Elves: Curiously, Avianexi and Elves know little about each other, as Avianexi are a relatively new race to Valshock. The Ancient Elves of old have already become close to extinct when Avianexi were created and started to ascend towards the heavens. The Ancient Elves cousins, the Primal Elves know little about Avianexi, as well. This is because the Sylvaani forest is of little interest to the Avianexi, as it usually defends itself from their clutches and the Avianexi have deemed the area too much work to capture and with little reward.
Avianexi are almost always lawful, but some chaotic members of the race do exist.
Avianexi speak their own language of Avindikaa. They also commonly learn Arcanium, Kaluuskian Trade, and Auran
Avianexi , are the most common of Avianexi. They make up most of the soldiers, guards, and some workers of the population.
Common Racial Traits
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, −2 Intelligence
- Humanoid (Monstrous)
- Medium Size
- 30ft (60ft flight)
- +4 racial bonus on spot checks. Avianexi are very perceptive creatures.
- Automatic Languages: Avindikaa Bonus Languages: Arcanium, Kaluuskian Trade, and Auran
- Favored Class: Any
- Level Adjustment: +0
|Middle Age1||Old2||Venerable3||Maximum Age|
|30 years||40 years||60 years||+2d10 years|
|Gender||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||5’ 10”||+2d8||85 lb.||× (2d6) lb.|
|Female||5’ 8”||+2d8||75 lb.||× (2d4) lb.|