Tall, avian humanoids, these creatures stand 6½ to 8 feet tall, with a wingspan of about 20 feet. They have black eyes and grey beaks, resembling lanky, dishevelled vultures from a distance. Their plumage ranges from silver–white to brown to even pale blue.
Aarakocra are the most common birdpeople of the Tablelands. These freedom-loving creatures rarely leave their homes high in the mountains, but they sometimes, either as young wanderers or cautious adventurers, venture into the inhabited regions of the Tablelands. These bird–people can spend hours riding the wind currents of the mountains, soaring in the olive-tinged Athasian sky.
While travelling, aarakocra prefer to fly high above to get a good view all around of their location and detect any threats well in advance. When they stop to rest, they tend to perch on high peaks or tall buildings. Enclosed spaces threaten the aarakocra, who have a racial fear of being anywhere they cannot stretch their wings. This claustrophobia affects their behaviour. Unless it is absolutely necessary, no aarakocra will enter a cave or enclosed building, or even a narrow canyon.
Aarakocra zealously defend their homeland. They are distrustful of strangers that venture onto their lands. Many of the southern tribes exact tolls on all caravans passing through their lands, sometimes kidnapping scouts or lone riders until tribute is paid. Tribute can take the form of livestock or shiny objects, which aarakocra covet. Some evil tribes may attack caravans without provocation. Aarakocra have great confidence and pride in their ability to fly, but have little empathy for land–bound races. Most aarakocran communities are small nomadic tribes. Some prey on caravans, while others or build isolated aeries high in the mountains. Human communities tolerate aarakocran characters but do not welcome them. Merchants will do business with aarakocra as long as they remain on foot. Most land–bound creatures are suspicious of strange creatures that fly over their herds or lands unannounced.
Aarakocran shamans are usually air clerics, sometimes sun clerics, and occasionally druids. Most rituals of aarakocran society involve the summoning of an air elemental or Hraak’thunn. Summoned air elementals are often used in an important ritual, the Hunt. The aarakocran coming of age ceremony involves hunting the great beasts found in the Silt Sea.
Athasian aarakocra speak their own language. They have no written language of their own, though some of the more sophisticated tribes have borrowed alphabets from their land-bound neighbours. Regardless of the language spoken, aarakocra do not possess lips, and therefore cannot even approximate the ‘m’, ‘b’ or ‘p’ sounds. They have difficulty also with their ‘f’s and ‘v’s, and tend to pronounce these as ‘th’ sounds.
See the game statistics for playing an aarakocra.