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The aarakocra (also known as "bird-men") are humanoids with features of parrots and eagles, who live in high, mountainous regions. They are strong fliers, and capable warriors.
Aarakocra explorers are generally chaotic good, and warriors being lawful good.
Aarakocra have a humanoid body shape, though with many avian qualities, such as feathers, talons, and a beak. Perhaps most prominently, they have wings. They have three-fingered hands, about halfway along the length of the wing, and the rest of the wing is made of an elongated fourth finger, something like the wings of a pterodactyl. They use their hands normally when on the ground, but they can't make use of them while flying. Fortunately, the talons on their feet are equally as capable as their hands, and it is with these that they wield javelins when hunting and fighting.
The plumage of an aarakocra varies from tribe to tribe, but the males tend to be brightly-colored, and females are duller.
Curiously, they are known to be severely claustrophobic, refusing to enter caves and buildings.
Abilities and traitsEdit
Aarakocra fight according to their training. Keen-eyed, and capable fliers, many hurl javelins from high above the battlefield, just as they would when hunting large prey. They can fight with claws and beaks as well, but these aren't much more effective than a normal human's punches or kicks. For this reason, they usually keep at least one javelin for melee combat, if pressed into it.
Aarakocra have perfected a diving attack that hurls two javelins from their talons at great speed when they are airborne.
Aarakocra are found in temperate and tropical mountains.
In the Forgotten Realms, aarakocra colonies are thought to be native to Maztica, with some recent settlements in Faerûn. There are colonies in the Storm Horns of Cormyr, the Cloven Mountains of Vilhoon Reach, and the Mistcliffs in Chult. There is also a colony in the Star Mounts of the High Forest, but this colony has been nearly destroyed by the green dragon Elaacrimalicros.
Society and cultureEdit
Relationships and familyEdit
Aarakocra are fairly divided along gender lines, with males doing the hunting, and females incubating the eggs. While the eggs are incubating, the females weave the grasses males bring them into elaborate forms, and are capable of crafting potent, durable javelins. Aarakocra are known as brilliant weavers, in part for this reason. A tribe marks its territory with colorful flags that it weaves and places high on mountain ledges, to catch the wind, each tribe with its own set of colors.
Allies and minionsEdit
Aarakocra get along well with great eagles and air elementals. The latter, they have a summoning pact with, and a group of five aarakocra can summon an air elemental with a special ritual, to help them in combat or perform some other favor. Their relationship with most civilized races is distant, given their isolated homes. When they do encounter others, the relationship can be somewhat strained, as their hunter/gatherer lifestyle regards many domestic herd animals as prey.
The aarakocra worship the deity Syranita.
For a full list of aarakocra, see Category:Aarakocra.
AD&D 1st editionEdit
The aarakocra first appeared in the Fiend Folio (1981).
AD&D 2nd editionEdit
The Malatran aarakocra was introduced in Polyhedron #121 (1996).
D&D 3rd editionEdit
The aarakocra returned in 3rd Edition in Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (2001). They had the Monstrous humanoid creature type. The aarakocra returned as a character race in Races of Faerûn (2003).
The Athasian aarakocra appeared as a character race in Dragon Magazine #319 (2004).
D&D 4th editionEdit
Athasian aarakocra appear in the 4th Edition Dark Sun Creature Catalog (2010), where they had the natural origin and the humanoid subtype.
D&D 5th editionEdit
The aarakocra was credited in the Fiend Folio to Lawrence Schick.