The History of the Aarakocra
The First Aarakocra
Aarakocra are a primitive race in many ways, and they keep few records of their earliest times. They have many legends, most of which vary widely between tribes. One thread remains constant however, and is assumed to be more or less true. All of the Aarakocra legends of their creation speak of the Great Nest, and the eggs or the Egg from which the first Aarakocra hatched. The descriptions and characteristics of this nest also vary, but all agree
that the nest belonged to the phoenix Nataraja. Most of the legends place his nest high in the Mountains of Mystery, far in the south. Whether this massive magical bird created the Aarakocra or merely warmed the eggs with his fiery heat for some other creator the legends do not agree upon. Some say that the Aarakocra left the nest of their own will, some say they were thrown from the nest when their wings were strong enough to support them. All agree that when they left they drifted on the powerful currents of air that blow high above the world, and were scattered across the realm. They settled where they came down, finding cliffs and mountains in which to build their homes. This scattering of the Aarakocra appears to have been around 1100 YBH, and the Aarakocra have kept mostly to themselves in the many centuries since then, isolated in their aeries and strongholds.
The Aarakocran City
Aarakocran City is built on the cliffsides of a large canyon. Arranged in a hierarchy of sorts, the more powerful and more prominent citizens live higher on the walls of the canyon, and the lower regions are filled with the shanties and shacks of those lower in the pecking order. They turned away all visitors for many centuries, barring the Elven explorers from their canyon and defending themselves from the Humans of Thalos, who eventually gave up on them, deciding they posed no threat. They were long forgotten then, as they desired. It was around 1190 YH that they broke this isolation, quite by accident. A group of Aarakocra were flying above the forest, and happened to see a small group of Humans traveling along the dirt track that connected Midgaard and Seaside. As the Aarakocra were flying over, a band of Orcs attacked the Human travelers. Angered by the slaughter that they were
witnessing, the Aarakocra flew down and attacked the Orcs, driving them back into the forest. The Humans were very grateful, and with the help of a spell of tongues asked the Aarakocra to help them carry their wounded and dead to Seaside, where they could properly repay them. The Aarakocra shrugged off the offer of repayment but agreed to assist them, to allow them to properly honor their dead. Upon reaching Seaside the Aarakocra were nervous and edgy, but their hosts insisted upon at least providing them with dinner, if they would accept no payment. The
Aarakocra accepted, and much to their surprise found the feast of fresh seafood to be the most delicious food they had ever eaten. Full and happy, the Aarakocra promised to return. In time, the two races began to trade, with the Aarakocra bringing finely woven sailcloth and other items they could produce with their great manual dexterity to Seaside, in return for the delicacies of the sea. Seaside grew in the decades following the founding of Safehaven in 1221 YH, and their trade with the Aarakocra became more important, as the demand for ships grew. Aarakocra merchants are a frequent sight in Seaside now, though only a few Human merchants have been welcomed in Aarakocran City in all the centuries of trade.
Aran is built inside an extinct volcano, now almost a fortress. Sitting on top of the Cliffs of Aran, no path exists from the base of the volcano to the homes and shops circling the interior levels of the city. In order to attack one would need to fly, and the Aarakocra know that in matters of flight none can surpass them. On top of the volcano are lookouts to the south and east, on constant guard for the enemy...the vile Ogres of Skull Top. The Aarakocra of Aran have been at war with the Ogres for as long as can be remembered, and they have defenses scattered everywhere to protect their city. This constant need for defense has encouraged a military government,
and the Captain Commander's word is law. His trusted advisor, the Seer of Aran, is a powerful shaman. Together, they defend and run Aran. This preoccupation with war has not entirely precluded peaceful relations with other races though. They have traded for diamonds from the Gnomes of Gla-Shorn's Realm, far to the west of Aran, for some
900 years. They love the shining gems, and the Gnomes often get the better of the deals. In more recent times, they have also traded with the Half-Elves of Safehaven. However, the war with the Ogres continues, and no end appears to be in sight.
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