Recent arrivals from the Elemental Plane of Air, the Owlin are a race of birdfolk associated most closely with nocturnal predatory birds. The are very often confused for Aarakocra or Kenku especially by those who are unfamiliar with birdfolk and as a result are often treated as somewhat untrustworthy or aloof, and are frequent targets for slavers looking to capture birdfolk. Owlin generally live among others of their own kind, and among birdfolk communities and have a tendency to stay away from outsiders. There is however, no overwhelming tendency towards isolation and there are more than a few that take up the call of adventure and these sorts tend to live more happily among members of other races. Owlin, when living among other birdfolk have tend to be treated according to pre-existing social castes with their potential similar to Aarakocra in that regard. In some more regressive communites of Aarakocra, Owlin are treated as second class citizens. This has resulted, in some cases, in some Owlin starting their own, independent communities particularly in the eastern lands where societies more poorly organized, and local communities more able to assert their independence. To outsiders more familiar with the owlfolk, they are well known for their natural capabilities as nocturnal scouts and hunters, as their natural flight, knack for stealth and very excellent night vision capabilities make them stealthy and effective at the task, and indeed many Owlin adventurers take advantage of these abilities.
Like Aarakocra, the Owlin possess a relatively unique body plan, unlike most other sentient species in the known world. They have an upright posture, but maintain six limbs. These consist of two wings, two arms, and two legs. Owlin do possess talons, but these are relatively nonfunctional as weapons, being better adapted as manipulators and for walking. Owlin have birdlike faces, and have two eyes, a beak, and two earholes. Their skin is protected by feathers which can be a variety of colors, but favor subdued browns, greys, and blacks, and serve to enable Owlin flight and protect them from water. They are often likened to nocturnal avian predators, such as owls.
Owlin tend to live longer than their distant diurnal cousins, but not by much. Most Owlin tend to live between forty and fifty years, with only the rare few living as long as sixty. Owlin tend to rely on ancestral memory, with many Owlin cultures having some method of magical memory preservation. Those with access to certain powerful and secret magics can live significantly longer, nearly matching elves in lifespan, but such examples are exceptionally rare. Exact lifespans vary depending on physical health, access to healthcare, and access to healing magic. Owling generally possess a light, unimposing body type tending to be roughly one and a half meters in height or slightly taller. Their slight frame and hollow bones mean that they tend to weigh between forty five and fifty kilograms. They are generally slightly shorter than the average human, roughly analogous to elves, and are much taller than most of the smallfolk. Owlin are somewhat bulkier than most other birdfolk but are much thinner than other non-avian peoples, and have reputations as being exceptionally graceful in the air. Owling possess a relatively restricted level of ethnic diversity, and almost always looking something like strigiforme birds. They generally have relatively plain feather coloration, and eyes that are well adapted to seeing at night. Exact coloration and facial features vary by region, with the Aarui ethnic group, the largest in the known world possessing features akin to Sooty Owls, but other groups having other features including a small group of tribes living in the Shield of Pohjohon having the appearance of Snowy Owls.
Owlin favor small, tight nit communities over major settlements with extended families of four or even five consecutive generations forming the main building block of most Owlin communities in the known world. These extended family groupings typically serve as building blocks of larger communities with family units providing membership to some sort of societal council, though Owlin are more likely than Aarakocra to favor more autocratic systems of governance. Owlin tend not to live in major cities however, with the noise of such areas being overwhelming to their ears.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Owlin are predominantly encountered on the Galisean continent, as a result of arriving from the Elemental Plane of Air in Central Galisea. The single largest group of Owlin is located in the Nabari Plateau in the Aerie of Nabiu. Owlin have been scattered further afield than their diurnal cousins and even the wingless members of the birdfolk, with smaller communities living throughout most of Galisea and smaller communities living in Leandris. Adventurers are even wider spread and can be found, in at least small numbers throughout the known world.
Owlin are fairly average in comparison to most other sentient beings in terms of general intelligence, with examples of Owlin who are brilliant, and examples who are not. Owlin do typically exihibit greater powers of observation and spatial intelligence than is the norm, and are more capable of functioning at night than in the day. This is far from universal however. Due to the short lifespans of the Owlin people they tend to try and pass down ancestral knowledge as quickly as possible, and most societies have developed advanced means of educating young as quickly as possible.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Owlin have extremely strong senses, and in particular have extremely good vision and hearing. Their sight is very sharp, out to an extreme distance and is nearly perfectly adapted to doing so at night. Their hearing is quite sharp and can focus on small movements at extreme distance, though Owlin struggle extremely hard in noisy environments and have a difficult differentiating between sources of sound when confronted with many, loud noises. In general Owlin senses tend to be stronger at night than in the day.
Civilization and Culture
The only major organization that the Owlin can claim some control over is the Aerie of Nabiu, a state located on the Nabari Plateau. Outside of Nabiu, there are a number of fairly sizable tribes and tribal confederacies that exist scattered throughout Gelisea, though none of these even closely approach the size and development of Nabiu. Owlin also have disproportionate membership in certain druidic circles, particularly those attached to the sky, and the night, and many Owlin seeking to become long serving elders of their communities choose the path of the druid.
Average Technological Level
Owlin technology is relatively average for the known world. Outside of the Aerie of Nabiu the Owlin tend to prefer unorganized, small societies, that live relatively simply and close with nature. This has resulted in limited use of metallurgy, and limited agricultural technologies (with the exception of the Aerie of Nabiu). One area where Owlin do tend to have relatively high technology is in certain kinds of magic, particularly those which pertain to the recording and relaying of information, where Owlin societies are nearly world class practitioners of the art.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Owlin tend to learn a number of languages, especially those who travel frequently. They do possess a native tongue, Aarui which is named after a group that migrated to the Nabari Plateau but has maintained a remarkable resilience against regional changes, and it is believed that heavy use of recording magics, and some sort of spiritual significance. Most Owlin, particularly those that deign to deal with outsiders pick up at least one or two other, foreign tongues, with Hadar, Cyrenic, Aeillan, and other major languages being particularly favored.
DnD (5e) Traits
- Medium size
- Base walking speed of 30 feet, flying speed of 30 feet when not wearing medium or heavy armor
- Proficiency with Aarui, Auran, and one other language
- Proficiency with the Stealth skill
- 120ft Darkvision
- +2 to Dexterity Score, +1 to one other ability score