Aearee, one of the creator races of Faerun. Said to have prospered in the Days of Thunder (circa -31000 DR). Their race appears to have originated on a massive island, the Aearee Enclaves, thousands of square miles in size. This island existed off the coast of what was Faerun, Pre-Sundering.
Of the Aearee Empires, there are three known capitals established in the following locales:
The Aearee had floating cities long before Netheril took to the skies. They used many and varied techniques to raise their cities in flight, some of which were passed on to other races, yet other such secrets were lost with the Aearee.
The rookeries of the Aearee-Quor were aggregates of individually enchanted dwellings and nests, each powered by its own means of flight, all tied together with ropes and bridges, nails and wood. The magic employed was similar to that which powered Halruuan skyships. Typically a wealthy family would build a grand, flying edifice, and over the years, cadet branches, associated clans, and merchant families would build out or attach their own dwellings to the growing cluster. Over years, such rookeries would grow outward into titanic conglomerations of houses, decks, towers, trees, ships, earthmotes, platforms and nests, all lashed together in a great web of ropes, cables, branches and vines.
The Aearee-Quor of Shara are known to have discovered a magic akin to the mythallars of the Netherese. Whether it was a true mythallar, or a different magic that achieved a similar effect, is unknown to modern sages. The rookery of Aeng-Shara was the first, and greatest, of these cities powered by such mystic works. The Sharan “mythallar” was organic in nature, “grown” from a small seed into a giant orb, about which the Sharan arcanists would entwine the roots of a specially enchanted weir tree, granting it the power of flight and a tensile strength to support the weight of a city. Among the branches of the giant weir tree were assembled the battlements of a mighty fortress. And outwards from the central tree, the buildings of the rookery accreted in the fashion of the Aeraee-Quor.
The Aeree-Krocaa of Viakoo and the Aeree-Syran in the North ascended entire forests into the sky using a method achieved by careful plaiting of branches and roots in woven rune networks and carving the glyphs of aerial empowerment into the bark of each individual tree. Such flying groves had to be carefully nurtured from saplings for many years, even decades, before they were mature enough to be born aloft. But once airborne, with the passing of centuries, these flying groves grew from small orchards into vast stretches of arboreal landscapes among the clouds, casting pale green shadows across the face of Toril wherever they passed.
Aearee arcanists had learned elemental magic from their former Batrachi masters, and developed special ties to the Djinn of the Elemental Plane of Air. From the Djinn they learned still more techniques. Aearee evokers learned to bind elemental spirits into objects to raise them in flight. Over time they discovered how to craft earth motes, balancing elemental forces to suspend soil and stone from fixed points in the sky.
The Aearee knew more mundane techniques for bearing vessels and buildings aloft. They knew how to construct balloons lifted by means of heated air and also by the trapping of special gasses that conferred buoyancy upon their vessels. Aearee artificers advanced this technique to craft colossal golems in the shape of soarwhales, cloudrays and other more fanciful creatures. Thin sheets of brass, mithral, or other light, ductile metals enveloped large volumes filled with these special alchemical gasses empowering the golems not only with flight but with enough lift to carry ships or buildings on their backs, or tethered beneath them, as the golems swam gracefully through the air. In the later years of the Aearee, legions of such golems could be seen against the horizon, their silver and gold skins glinting in the sunlight as they darted like schools of fish across the sky. Mighty Aeropolises hung beneath each multitude, supported by gossamer strands of mithral and silk.
It is unclear exactly when the Aearee made contact with spelljamming races from other spheres, but the Aearee are believed to be the first of the creator races to develop spelljamming technology. Whether the Aearee developed spelljamming helms on their own or purchased helms from the enigmatic race known as the Arcane is a matter for debate. It is clear that not only did the Aearee-Syran and Aearee-Krocaa have some number of spelljamming ships among their fleets, but that some number of their floating aeries flew under the power of spelljamming helms. For at some point following the first Flight of Dragons, after the burning of the Grand Aerie at Viakoo, five Aearee cities (Rulungwar, Donnakee, Phra’iskree, Oolatiel, and an unnamed fifth one, lost during the exodus) fled through the Sea of Night, escaping Toril and the tyranny of dragons, to establish a colony on the world of Coliar, the 2nd planet from Toril’s sun.
By means of spelljamming, the Aearee spread to many spheres, where their descendants, the aarakocra survive to this day. The development of Aearee spelljamming magic is a point of contention among sages. While some sages insist the Aearee discovered the secrets of spelljamming on their own, there is some evidence to suggest that the Aearee gained their first helms from the enigmatic race known as the Arcane.
Of those techniques that died with the Aearee, sages have only intriguing snippets of lore, scant sentences describing their wonders, and in most cases only the names of spells and artifacts that propelled their great works skyward. Names such as "sky hook", "spindizzy", "cavorite shutters", "forhungren bladders", and "valorium" only hint at lost secrets that perplex scholars to this day.
Alchemical sheening[edit | edit source]
The Aearee-quor of the Shara rookeries were skilled metallurgists and alchemists. They used alchemy to sheen the feathers of their warriors and battle-rocs in adamantine plate -- a thin metal layer that was light and highly resistant to damage yet did not impede flight. Such armored feathers could be made with razor sharp edges. Many Aearee-quor were renowned for their deadly fighting techniques that could slice an opponent to ribbons, or cripple wings and tails, sending foes plumetting from the sky.
It is thought the secret of the alchemical sheen is similar to the method for manufacturing adamantine mentioned in Volo's Guide to All Things Magical, p.57. In fact, many suspect that the dwarves may have discovered the technique from an Aearee codex or Sharan laboratory found while delving beneath the Osraun mountains.
While this particular technique for alchemical sheening is lost, examples of adamantine plated feathers survive to this day and can be found incorporated into ancient magical weapons and ornaments. Sheened roc feathers make deadly effective swords, glaives and polearms.
It is rumored that the secret of alchemical sheening is preserved among certain kenku assassins guilds and by an order of kenku monks that inhabit a hidden monastery in Kara-Tur.
Aearee Writing[edit | edit source]
The Aearee did not have an alphabet. Their written language was ideographic, with no fixed pronunciation. While the major subraces of the Aearee did not share a common tongue, they did share a common writing system and could communicate through the use of glyphs even when they did not speak each other's dialect.
Aearee glyphs were very beautiful, often painted in vivid colors using feather brushes and paints on wooden plaques or a type of paper made from pressed reed fibers or leaves, manufactured in a fashion similar to papyrus. Aearee were skilled carvers and engraved their glyphs in wood, but rarely stone or metal. Their architecture and monuments were highly ornate. But due to their choice of writing materials, very few examples of ancient Aearee writing have survived over the 30,000 years since their civilization fell. There are, however, some stunning examples preserved in caves and abandoned rookeries in the Underdark.
While Aearee glyphs are no longer used by any modern culture, stray symbols from this language have survived through their use in the mystic arts. Many magical symbols can trace their origins to Aearee glyphs. In fact, the glyph of warding began as an Aearee symbol. Aearee glyphs were preserved by the Ba'etith in the Nether Scrolls as part of certain magical formulas and diagrams. The collective magical knowledge of the creator races was thus passed down to the Netherese and so select Aearee symbols still find current use in the spells and magical practices of modern humans and demi-humans.
Notes[edit | edit source]
It's important to note that the Aearee themselves were not birds, but not humanoid either. Something inbetween. The Aearee, however, should not be thought of as humanoids with avian features, but were instead closer to birds, with certain humanoid-like adaptations.
The Aearee-Krocaa tended to have the particular features of birds from the family Accipitridae, which includes such species as hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and Old World vultures. The Aearee-Krocaa were not actually members of the Accipitridae family, mind you, but they are physically similar. The Aearee-Krocaa may have evolved from Accipitridae or been magically created using birds as a base stock, or they may have separately evolved those features through parallel evolution. The true nature of their origins is beyond the scope of this post.
Aearee-Syran share the features of psittaciformes (an order that includes parrots), falconiformes (falcons & kestrels) and passerine birds. Aearee-Quor have the features of corvids. Vulchlings share the features of condors, buzzards, and both Old World and New World vultures. Eblis are similar to ciconiiformes, Dohwar to sphenisciformes, and there were yet other branches of the Aearee that expressed features of still other bird orders.
However it should be noted that the Aearee are a single species and all the subraces can interbreed with each other. But Aearee cannot interbreed with birds (barring the use of magic). So the Aearee are a diverse species that are more closely related to each other than to the bird species whose features they share. In fact, Aearee consider themselves far above birds, who they see as animals, in the same way that humans view themselves as superior to monkeys, apes and other primates.
Aearee raised birds as pets, mounts and even food. The Aearee-Quor were known for their use of rocs in battle, equipping them with howdahs, saddles, battle-harnesses, barding and weapons. They also rode giant bats, terlen, and the occasional pterosaur. Giant eagles were commonly used as mounts by the Aearee-Syran and the Aearee-Krocaa, who also used soarwhales, the odd pegasus or two, and flying treants whose branches had been fashioned into vast wings by Aearee druids. The advantage of using flying mounts was that Aearee could fly faster, higher, farther, and carry more for longer durations when using steeds adapted for the purpose.
With respect to Krocaa, it should be noted that he was much smaller than Remnis. In some stories he flies with Remnis as a companion and friend, especially when they hunted together. Stories tell how they often chased Sneel, the Beast Lord of Rats. In other myths, Krocaa rides Remnis as a mount, especially to travel far away to other planes, or when riding into battle. In those tales, Krocaa is depicted as roughly human sized (or regular aarakocra size). Whereas Remnis is depicted much larger, about the size of a Roc, though exactly how big could vary. When they were hunting together, Remnis is often depicted smaller in scale, closer to the size of Krocaa, though always somewhat larger.
However, Remnis was not viewed as an equal peer to Krocaa, but rather as subservient. The Aearee saw Remnis as a loyal servant to his master or as a resourceful pet. Similar to other mythological pets such as Odin's ravens, Fenris, Cerberus, Al-Buraq, Garuda or even Krypto.
Come to think of it, Garuda is a good analogy with Remnis. Not in the details of his myths, but in his status with respect to the other gods of the Hindu pantheon and as the mount of Vishnu. Remnis's importance to and degree of inclusion in Aearee myth might be roughly comparable to the relative importance and frequency that Garuda features in Hindu myths. In fact, if I were going to write some flavor text regarding tales of Remnis, I might read up on Garuda for some inspiration.
Krocaa[edit | edit source]
Krocaa is the Allfather of the Aearee race, a sky and solar deity born of the cosmic egg--the two halves of which formed the ground and the starry vault of heaven. More accurately transliterated as Krrrrokáà, where the rrrr represents a prolonged retroflex trill, and the accent marks represent rising and falling tones, his name comes from the ancient Aearee root krrrráà, “to soar,” a primal cry of exultation, nominalized by the addition of the infix, -ok-, meaning "one who" or "he who." Though literally translated as "He Who Soars" or "Soarer," the name has additional connotations of "Sky Chieftain," "Lord Above All," and "Most High." Krocaa set the sun in the sky and oversaw it's journey through the day. Human sages equate Krocaa with Amaunator, with many accounting him as a prior incarnation of the human deity.
Krocaa was the special patron of the western branch of the race called Aéárìikukrrrráà, the “people who soar.” From the roots aéárìi, meaning “flock” or “host,” and krrrráà, “to soar,” marked by the prefix ku-, which forms an adjective from the verb. Krocaa was depicted as a brilliant white or golden eagle, much as the Aéárìikukrrrráà had the features of eagles, hawks and birds of prey.
Krocaa was a very ancient god, and like many other allfather gods, over the ages he grew distant from his people and his pantheon. He was largely an absentee deity by the time the Sarrukh enslaved the race. The myths say that Krocaa flew away, beyond the horizon, in shame after a great betrayal by his son. The nature of the betrayal is vague, purported in various accounts to be a theft involving the sun, or part of Krocaa's portfolio, or a magical egg; although, in one version it is said that Quorlinn sold his father into slavery in exchange for the mantle of night, an artifact of great puissance. The worship of Quorlinn largely superceded the veneration of Krocaa when the Aearee fell under the yokes of successive Sarrukh and Batrachi empires, and with time, Krocaa faded to a distant memory.
His alignment is neutral good. His favored weapon is the javelin. Krocaa's holy symbol is a red feather. His clerics are called "Elders."
Quorlinn[edit | edit source]
Quorlinn was patron of the Aearee-Quor, the Children of Dusk, the second main branch of the Aearee race, who bore the corvid features of crows, ravens, rooks, jackdaws, jays and magpies. In the Aearee tongue, Aéárìikuorrrr means the “twilight flock.” Kuorrrr or Kuorrrrlìinn, derives from the root kurrrr, meaning “to fool, trick, steal or sneak.” The name is nominalized by use of the agentive infix -ok-, “he who;” the k was lost through assimilation with the rrrrr sound. The suffix -lìinn is a diminuitive, meaning (somewhat ironically) “little” or “humble.” Thus, Kuorrrr means “trickster” or “sneaker,” and Kuorrrrlìinn “little thief.” The Aearee word kuorrrr is also synonymous with “twilight” and has the connotation of “day-thief.”
The son of Krocaa by the great Bird of Night (thought to be the Aearee conception of Shar), Quorlinn was the god of twilight and shadows. He presided over a dark time for the Aearee peoples. In addition to darkness, shadow and dusk, his portfolio included trickery, quick wits, deceit and theft. Quorlinn embodied the ideals of cunning, stealth and humor — qualities the Aearee required in order to help them survive, steal food, avoid punishment, conspire against, and sometimes escape from, their Batrachi overlords. Quorlinn stole the secrets of magic from the Ramenite thearchs and taught it to the Aearee. He is thus seen as the Aearee patron of magical knowledge. Some sages equate Quorlinn with the human god Mask, and propose that Mask is a modern, human incarnation of this ancient Aearee deity, although there are as many sages who discount this theory.
Quorlinn is depicted as having crow or raven-like features, though his feathers are not so dark, incorporating all the colors of twilight, alternating from blue to grey to black, with iridescent pinfeathers that lend his plumage a sheen that shifts from violet to turquoise. During the Sevenfold Winter, the Aearee-Quor sought refuge amid the volcanic warmth of subterranean caverns beneath the Osraun mountain range. Afterward, they spread out across the south to the Shaar and as far as Kara-Tur. The Aearee-Quor are the progenitors of such modern races as the tengu, kenku, and the dire corbies.
The worship of Quorlinn was persecuted and nearly eradicated by the Aearee-Quor after the cult of Pazrael took hold among the southern rookeries during the height of the Aearee empires. Quorlinn was displaced by the demon-lord Pazrael as patron of the Aearee-Quor in the later years of the Aearee era. Despite the power that Pazrael promised, his veneration led to their loss of flight as a race, and ultimately engendered a great deal of strife, warfare and suffering among the Aearee peoples.
When the dragons arose to supplant the Aearee, some of the Aearee-Quor escaped draconic predation by fleeing into the Underdark. There they fell into barabarism and degenerated into the terrible dire corbies. Dire corbies continue to venerate Pazrael to this day.
The race known as kenkus remained above ground. They fled east, into Kara-Tur. They have only just begun to migrate back to Faerûn in recent centuries. Surviving kenku communities turned to Quorlinn for protection, where his worship still flourishes in modern times.
During the sevenfold fimbulwinter that enveloped Toril after Tearfall — a dark period of cold and mourning that echoed the great ice age from which the world had only so recently emerged — the Aearee turned to Syranita. Born of the last egg laid by Krocaa and kept hidden for an age by Quorlinn, her hatching was a symbol of hope during the period of Aearee bondage. When the Batrachi summoned Asgorath to aid them in their war against the titans, the dragon-mother hurled a small ice-moon at the face of Toril, carving a scar into Faerûn that became the Sea of Fallen Stars. The catastrophe annihilated not only their titan nemeses, but brought low the mighty Batrachi with it. The resultant dust clouds obscured the sun for many seasons, covering Toril in a cold, grey blanket of ash and ice for seven years.
The Aearee, who had learned magic secretly during their thralldom under successive Sarrukh and Batrachi slave-masters, struggled to preserve what life remained in the world. Aearee druids preserved the forests with spells that brought warmth, clean water and light to nourish the plant-life and fauna that withered in the absence of sunlight. Aearee artificers errected giant, weather-controlling spires made of crystal in the Star Mounts (The Savage Frontier p.50-51, The North pp.7, 51, 57) that helped to moderate the storms and snow that ravaged Faerûn, and brought some measure of warmth and light to the twilit landscape.
When dawn finally rose again in Toril, the roseate light illumined the crimson feathers of the Aearee-Syran, and Aearee hearts were overjoyed. The world was in bloom again, and like the phoenix, Toril was reborn from the ashes. Syranita is, in fact, often conflated in myth with the phoenix. Veneration of Syranita took on special significance to the Aearee during the Long Night, first as a symbol of hope and promise that the sun would return; and, when the sun finally did rise again, as a symbol of renewal and a promise fulfilled.
Syranita, or Syrànítlà, is translated as “Dawn Queen,” from syràn, “dawn,” and ítlà, “brood mother” or “matriarch.” Many scholars equate her with Lathander and count her as the Aearee conception of the Morning Lord. She is depicted as a regal aarakocra, somewhat slender and elongated, with radiant feathers containing all the colors of the dawn; from rose to tangerine, sunrise orange, fiery red, magenta and scarlet. She is depicted with features that evoke the phoenix, parrots, falcons, swans, and peacocks, with a rainbow tail that flows behind her like a train. She is the special patron of the northern branch of the race called the Aéárìisyràn,the Children of the Dawn, who had the features of parrots, falcons and passerine birds. The most colorful of all the Aearee — their plumage reflected the many-hued colors of the morning sky, including scarlet, rose, orange, peach and coral, with accents of blue and purple and green. The Aearee-Syran were smaller, more delicate and lithe than their western cousins, the Aearee-Krocaa.
Syràn can also mean “east,” the cardinal direction of the rising sun, which may refer to the lands that the Aearee-Syran settled, far to the east of Mount Havraquoar, homeland of the western tribes. Their habitat spread across the north of Faerûn from as far east as the Priador to the west beyond what is currently the Sword Coast into Anchorome, now cleaved from Faerûn, but which during that age was joined together as one continuous land. The greatest of the Aearee-Syran aeries, called Phwiukree, was centered in the Star Mounts.
The modern race called “aarakocra” is a result of millennia of interbreeding between Aearee-Syran and Aearee-Krocaa strains that managed to survive the rise of dragons who hunted the avians to near extinction. Modern aarakocra blend the features of both races; and while neither the Aearee-Syran nor the Aearee-Krocaa have survived as a distinct race, there is much variation among the features of modern aarkocra, and individual specimens may be born with features that hearken back to those of their Aearee forebears.
The goddess Syranita died many centuries ago and was absorbed into the elven goddess Aerdrie Faenya, who maintained the alias of Syranita and answers prayers in her name to this day. However, in recent years there has been a resurgence in the worship of Krocaa. An aarakocran prophet named Wuoress traveled to distant lands, far to the west beyond Anchorome, and brought back portents of Krocaa’s return. Consequently, a groundswell of veneration for this forgotten deity has arisen throughout aarakocra, kenku, and avian communities across Faerûn and into Kara-Tur.
Aarkocra have, of late, been exploring the ancient ruins and sacred sites of their ancestors with unbridled zeal. There are rumors that some ancient artifact or text was found in the Star Mounts that will lead their flocks to reestablish the avians as a formidable race and elevate them to their former glory as a creator race.
Pazrael[edit | edit source]
Pazrael, Pazriel and Pazuzu are all variant spellings for the name of the demon prince who rules the skies of the Abyss. To quote Wikipedia: "Pazuzu made his first appearance in the first edition Monster Manual II. He appeared in the second edition Planescape campaign setting as the Abyssal Lord, Pazrael, in the Planes of Chaos boxed set (1995). Pazuzu appeared in third edition in the Book of Vile Darkness web enhancement, "Yet More Archfiends" (2002). He is covered in depth in Dragon magazine #329, in the "Demonomicon of Iggwilv" feature, as well as the supplement Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss (2006). Pazuzu was detailed in the 4th edition Demonomicon book (2010)." In Faerûn, the Aearee-Quor knew him as Pazrael. The Aearee-Quor turned to him as their patron. He led them in conquest but was ultimately responsible for their downfall.
Phraarkiloorm[edit | edit source]
Phraarkiloorm, was the vulture-headed god of death for the Aearee pantheon. Phraarkiloorm was patron to the vulchlings (Monster Manual II, 1st Ed. p.125), an offshoot of the Aearee-Krocaa, raptors with the features of vultures, buzzards and condors. Vulchlings in the modern era are a debased and barbaric semblance of their Aearee forebears. However, during the Days of Thunder, the vulchlings played an important role, comprising a caste of “untouchables” who were charged with, among other tasks, the disposition of the dead and ministration of funerary rites.
The Batrachi compelled their slaves to pay obeisance to Ramenos. Aearee often ended their lives as sacrifices, burning in the fiery maw of the great brass altars dedicated to the Batrachi god. Yet, the Aearee maintained their reverence for Phraarkiloorm, praying to him in secret, both for the release of a merciful death and to mete vengeful death upon their oppressors.
Of all the Aearee, the vulchlings suffered the most under servitude to Sarrukh and Batrachi overlords, relgated to the most unseemly of tasks. The Batrachi were particularly cruel to the vulchlings, and took perverse delight in feeding their vulchling slaves only carrion, and the decaying corpses of other slaves. Even after the Aearee had gained their freedom, the perception of vulchlings as untouchables persisted due to their unusual dietary and sanitation proclivities. However, in the wake of the Tearfall, the vulchlings were afforded a newfound respect by their Aearee brethren as the keepers of the rituals and sacraments surrounding death. The clergy of Phraarkiloorm were drawn almost entirely (although not exclusively) from the vulchling caste.
As a natural consequence of their biology, vulchlings are highly resistant to disease and to toxins, especially those associated with putrefaction. Phraarkiloorm counted disease, rot and poison among his portfolios and so the Aearee prayed to him for protection and healing from venom, decay and illness. Vulchling clerics were admired for their healing skills.
Conversely, vulchlings who pursued the arcane arts were drawn to necromancy, and so the most infamous necromancers of the Aearee were counted among the vulchlings.
Vulchlings were known as consummate warriors, and many found prestige as Raptor Knights, an elite holy order of paladins and avengers in service to the god Phraarkiloorm. After the Tearfall, Phraarkiloorm’s Raptor Knights harried their former Batrachi masters with terrifying zeal, hunting the surviving thearchs to near extinction — though falling short of complete success; Batrachi descendants yet thrive in the hidden places of Faerûn. Such races as the grippli, bullywugs and sivs are numbered among their progeny.
Vulchlings had the least developed vocal apparatus of all the Aearee, speaking in a raspy whisper, when they could speak at all. More than a third of vulchlings were born mute, with a deformed or absent syrinx (the avian voice box, comparable to human vocal cords). Most vulchlings were proficient in a silent language of gestures, and for this reason were particularly adept at reading the body language and facial expressions of others. This lent them a solemnity and a sensitivity appropriate to their duties and served them well in their dealings with other races. It is thought that modern day Drow sign language has its origins in a silent trade pigeon used by vulchlings in the Underdark.
Phraarkiloorm himself is a dour and silent deity. He never speaks. Although he is able to communicate telepathically, he is rarely known to do so. He is depicted as a tall, gaunt vulchling dressed in tatttered cerements that hang loosely from his body, draped over an ornate battle harness that is typical garb for Raptor Knights.
Long before Jergal held the office, Phraarkiloorm served as overseer for the orderly disposition of all of Torils dead souls. Phraarkiloorm was already an ancient god when the Aearee rose to power following Tearfall. He held this position up until the time that the draconic god of death, Null, took control from him during the Reign of Dragons. It is unclear as to when or from whom Phraarkiloorm took control of the Fugue, but it is thought to predate the Batrachi era. Even during the height of the Batrachi reign, Ramenos never gained control of the Fugue. It is thought that Phraarkiloorm may have taken over in the vacuum left when Ramenos, in a pique of monotheistic rage, harrowed the Fated Depths and devoured the gods of the Great School, the former pantheon of the aquatic predecessors to the Batrachi (Sea of Fallen Stars, p.60).
Some scholars believe that Phraarkiloorm took possession of the Fugue from Panzuriel, the Kraken god of murder, who may have held dominion over the Fugue during the tenure of the Great School pantheon. Other sages speculate that Phraarkiloorm ruled the Fugue even prior to this, throughout the time of the Sarrukh empires. As evidence, these sages note that even the Sarrukh used their vulchling slaves as untouchables and as handlers of dead things. Another theory holds that Phraarkiloorm succeeded a god from the pantheon of the fey creator race, but little is known regarding the mysterious LeShay, and nothing concerning their gods.
Note: Phraarkilloorm was introduced in White Dwarf #39 p.13 in an article entitled “Inhuman Gods, Deities for Non-Human Races: Part I” by Phil Masters. Phraarkillorm was intended as a deity for the dire corbies introduced in the original Fiend Folio. At the time, White Dwarf magazine was closely allied with TSR and was negotiating with TSR for a possible buy-out, a deal that eventually fell through. The Fiend Folio was produced by the UK “branch” of TSR by staff who also worked for White Dwarf magazine, and many of the monsters in the Fiend Folio had originally seen publication in White Dwarf magazine. Phraarkilloorm may be seen as apocryphal or semi-canonical, depending on your view of the lore, although TSR never owned the copyright for Phraarkilloorm. While I have used the name of that deity as inspiration for the vulchling patron god, the lore I have presented here is completely of my own invention, drawing from my speculations surrounding the Aearee pantheon, and the vulchlings as depicted in the Monster Manual II.
Remnis[edit | edit source]
Remnis is the Lord of Eagles. Remnis is not technically a god, but rather a Beast Lord. He is the archetypal representation of eagles, the incarnation of the spirit and essence of eagles as a species. He is revered as the patron of intelligent eagles. He is worshiped as a god by certain human beast cults, and as a totem spirit in many tribal cultures.
Remnis is not actually a member of the Aearee pantheon, but he is closely allied with it, and features in many Aearee myths. Remnis is the boon companion of Krocaa, and has served as Krocaa's mount in battle.
Remnis has an eyrie on a mountaintop in the House of Nature/Deep Wilds. His domain is called "Goldenroost." Although, Remnis is not restricted to one plane; the Lord of Eagles takes flight above the skies of all the planes. There is nowhere he cannot go. For this reason he is called upon by many powers and heroes for his aid in flying them to distant and difficult places. Remnis is known to many pantheons and features in the myths of many cultures. Remnis frequently serves as mount to various gods, especially the Seldarine.
Remnis can appear as any size, from as tiny as a hummingbird to as colossal as a roc, and even larger.
Remnis is also known for his great sight. The Lord of Eagles can spot a ladybug on a flower a continent away. Remnis can see into distant planes, even through time. His powers of divination are legendary. He has caught sight of many secrets in his travels. He is considered very wise and many myths tell of heroes scaling mountains to find him and seek his wisdom or his aid in finding lost things.
Remnis's alignment is neutral good. His holy symbol is the head of an eagle with green eyes.
Flying Treants[edit | edit source]
The Aearee-Syran were allied with the fey. Their civilization was centered in what is now the High Forest, and so they lived in close society with treants, sprites and nymphs of all kinds.
Consequently, the Aearee-Syran developed arboriculture to a high art. They took special delight in the care and tending of treants. Aearee druids cultivated treants in the manner of bonsai, cross-breeding them to produce robust yet exquisite new forms. They pruned and trained treant limbs with exacting care. They transplanted exotic grafts from other plants. They pleached branches, braiding them together to form specialized appendages. And they wove roots and branches into complex runes and carved glyphs into their bark to achieve magical effects both aesthetic and utilitarian.
By these methods, the Aearee gradually adapted treants for flight. Many had vast wings of varying shapes. Some looked like bird wings, with leaves long and feather-like. Others looked like bat or insect wings, with paper thin leaves forming translucent, diaphanous membranes stretched tight between delicate wooden veins. Other wing shapes were indescribable, looking more like a network of lily-pads, or a hodgepodge of ramshackle kites lashed together. And some treants had no wings at all, but used their myriad leaves in the manner of insects, buzzing furiously with an uncanny drone, appearing as if a swarm of bees had descended upon the treant and lifted it into the air.
It is doubtful that treant wings alone provided sufficient loft to enable flight, serving primarily to maneuver and propel the treant through the air. The power of flight was imbued mainly through the benefit of spells, glyphs and runes, and (usually) did not breed true to successive generations.
In the wars between the Aearee-Quor and the Aearee-Syran, the gargantuan, winged treants of the northern forces proved a deadly match for the Aearee-Quor's battle rocs. The roots of the treants could insinuate themselves between the armored feathers of the rocs, penetrating to the soft skin beneath and allowing the treants to rip away great chunks of feathers and flesh from the hapless birds. Their whorling limbs walloped and pummeled the birds like battering rams, shattering bones and knocking howdahs and riders from their backs. The treants would entangle the great beasts in their limbs, binding their wings and locking the pair in a death spiral, sending them plummeting to the earth below.
The advantage of the rocs, however, was that they bred much more quickly, and in greater numbers. The rocs were also less vulnerable to fire. As the wars progressed, the roc forces could be replenished, but the treant hosts dwindled and were depleted.
Treants, however, are remarkably long-lived. It is rumored that stray Aearee treants may have survived to this day, and could perhaps be found tending lofty earth motes or cloud forests. Most, though, would have long since taken root, become sedentary and grown into the colossal trees known as arakhor, the manner in which elder treants complete their life cycle.
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