Aillànté - Great Hawk Species in Qal'ath | World Anvil

Aillànté - Great Hawk (aɪ:la:nteɪ)

The Aillànté are a breed of the common Hawk, yet far larger, stronger and more intelligent. Due to their size, they are often mistaken for Eagles. They can also, under certain conditions, be ridden. Here is what we know about the Great Hawks and their relationship with the Foyii of the White Woods, the Foyblànii.  

Meaning of the Name

"Great Hawk" is Common Tongue and not translated from the Foyiitùn name Aillànté. Instead, it is the common name given to the species.   Aillànté is translated with the following terms:
  • Aillàn meaning "winged"
  • meaning "united", or "team". Occasionally "unified". (See Byantē Alliance for another use).
  So, a closer translation would be the "Winged Team" or "Winged Force", invoking a feeling of battle-birds. This imagery, we will see, applies both in flock behaviour and in how they interact with allies.  
Translation Note: Due to the translation of , this is not a usual "single, male noun form". Instead Aillànté is both the singular and plural forms. Care must be taken to note the context of the term before translating into Common Tongue.

General Appearance

Besides its obvious size, the Aillanté has often been confused with various Eagle species due to its longer beak and larger eyes. As Eagles themselves are rarely spotted within Qalathian Territory, any Hawk sightings are often misattributed in much the same way as night shadows may convince someone a large bat was, in fact, a Dragon. There is one place Hawks are seen, however, and we will come to that shortly.

Eye Colours

Great Hawks' eyes are often a piercing white with a jet-black iris. Others take on a pale blue tinge, and it is thought that those possess a greater affinity with the Element of all flying creatures: Aevyen. No known sight improvement (or degradation for that matter) due to eye colour has been noted and, while the vast majority of the population of Erdàn Savànii could ask them, they would never understand the reply (if one were even given). See Linking to discover who could communicate with them.  

Seasonal Plumage

The default feather colours depend on where they are found. For example, they are always grey or white in the Brùha Foyblànii, where a perpetual winter exists. However, elsewhere they're grey/white in Winter, deepening to dark greys and/or browns in through Spring and Summer.   The sole exception to this is their heads, which remain white all eleven months of the Ana.  
Female Variations
In the Brùha Foyblànii, females are usually off-white but retain the white head of their male counterparts. Elsewhere, as is common with many other bird species, they are varying shades of brown - yet also with a white head. It is thought that, as the males become to look more like the females during hatching season, it is a protection mechanism so a predator does not easily know whether it is about to attack a mother Hawk or the ever-watchful male ones.  
Chronicler's Notes:
  • Both male and female Aillànté were excellent fighters - but in different scenarios. The males excelled at air-to-ground attacks, and surprise, stealth flights. Females, often with stronger beaks and sharper talons, were best suited against ground-based predators.
  • While not an active line of enquiry, it is on the current schedule of research between Qal'ath and the Byantē Alliance, on the basis that they are more common within the Alliance's territory. Once our research notes are compiled, they will be added to this document, and subsequently, to the Bezélian Archives.

Foyblànii and the Hawk Riders

It is in the Brùha Foyblànii (Est of Frostplain) that Great Hawks are known to live and breed. An essential part of protecting the White Woods, these Hawks scout the borders around the Grànous Fynaìm and the Dain da Vyt as their size inhibits any non-juvenile from hunting within the Wood itself.  

Riding Rapport

Over the centuries, the Foyblànii developed such a rapport and respect between themselves and the Aillànté that a number of them were permitted to ride on their backs.   While they did not initially speak the languages of the Woodsmen, they could detect a common danger and would sometimes just swoop and catch one unawares, speeding them to see approaching threats. Sensing the initial fear created with this approach, the Hawks adapted and altered their behaviour.   Instead of treating the Woodsmen much like prey, they chose to land and spread out their wings, allowing the Foyblànii to climb on. Later, the Hawks learned to employ Sky-Speech, a language understood by many Foyblànii and this eventually led to the formation of The Hawk-Riders, organised squadrons rallied in the defence of the Wood, or patrols to check for potential threats.

Summoning a Hawk

The Hawks learned the vocal intonations of their new friends, but there were not many places within the White Woods where an adult Hawk could land. Moreover, any dangers within the Wood could not be addressed by the adult Great Hawks.   Due to these reasons, a younger Hawk - or Pekaillé ("Small Wing") would be sent instead. As the trees there were not as dense as the Forest of Doon, this was more practical. Upon hearing a sound of distress, a Pekaillé would be sent to respond.   As the Hawks learned the sounds of the White Woodsmen, they too studied the calls of the Hawks and were able - sometimes, at least - to summon them this way. Later, a form of Linking was seen to develop between some Riders and Hawks (see The Hawk-Riders for more on this).

When Riding Was Permitted?

As inferred already, the usual time when Foyblànii could ride the Aillànté was in defence of the Forest, or against aggressors that threatened one or both parties. Rarely would a Foyi be able to just call on one for general transport, but such friendships have been known to happen.  
Exceptions to the Rules
A key example of an exception to this rule is Kyaevy. She is already unusual, being a Kyadd who lives with the Foyblànii and has since being a Cub. But it is her that also developed so strong an affinity with her Hawk that they would often travel together. Having been born in Frostplain, she did not take to sleeping in the heated huts of the White Woodsmen, so usually slept at the foot of the crags to the East, where her Hawk roosted, protected by enchantments.  


A vital aspect of Hawk-Foyii relations was Nànitsé-Fàlii, meaning "always free".   Neither Hawk nor Woodsman had the right to impose their will on the other, instead, their rapport was built on trust. This was often tested during any skirmishes, or in historical wars, when Hawks would go their own way during the battle, only to return later when they deemed it was right.   But to understand Nànitsé-Fàlii meant also to know one was acting in the best interests of the other, even if it was not immediately apparent.  


Any scholar who has studied the ways of Mages, especially those of the Crystal Circle, will be aware of the Linking communication incantation. In their case, this (very tiring) process evoked a vision of another being, allowing the Mages to communicate over longer distances.   Great Hawks were capable of a variation of this, however, few within the Foyblànii had ever harnessed it. This was due to the fact that most stayed in or near the White Wood, and most were skilled in physical, rather than magical combat. Kyaevy had also learned this - the first in generations of the White Woodsmen and said that it allowed her to communicate, with words, through their minds. This made her an integral part of the Hawk-Riders, as messages could sometimes be relayed from the other side of the Wood, allowing the Woodsmen to adjust their plans.  
Chronicler's Note:
As Mage-Linking is draining, so is it with this form also, usually requiring a day or two for both the Hawk and its Rider to recover. But, as emergencies threatening the Brùha Foyblànii were rare, this was usually sufficient.


Usually, the Hawk itself did not engage directly in any battle, except where it - or other Hawks were threatened. Being in the air was both a strength and weakness for the Foyii, so the Hawks did have to perform evasive manoeuvres. Most of the airborne warfare was undertaken by archers and mages astride their Aillànté.  
Hawk's Skills
When a Hawk was forced - or chose - to fight, the following skills were put to use:  
  • Grip-Toss: (Physical) lifting an enemy off the ground and throwing them some distance away. This was usually somewhere non-lethal, to eliminate the threat without killing. This ability could also be used to throw items such as logs or rocks as projectiles.

  • Ice Blast: (Elemental) As well as Aevyen, Great Hawks are aligned with Ousii, in the form of Ice. Thus, they draw on that Element to breathe shards of ice at a threat - whether that was a living creature, or something else.

  • Wing Gust: (Elemental or Physical) The Aillànté's huge wings could create a gust of wind strong enough to blow three or four average Paràntoids down or away. This could also be used through Aevyen to repel projectiles or any incantations vulnerable to interference with Aevyen.
  After a battle, even a small-scale one, a Hawk would need rest time to recover in order not to risk Elemental Essence Degradation.  

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