Alapico

Playable Sophont

Colorful Avians

The Alapico or Winged Beaks were the fourth Beastfolk encountered by the First Men, making them one of the oldest recorded sophonts on Haven. They can be found abundantly from the Verdant Expanse's lush forests to frosted peaks of the Throat of the World and can even roosting within the depths of The Wyld. They are easily one of the most well-traveled sophonts on Solith, having many encounters with the Udirkith and Elvenkyne long before their arrival into Haven. Alapicos come in many variations with subtle changes in size, shape, and hue that mark their home territories. Nothing illustrates these differences more than when comparing the broad-winged, eagle-like Alapicos of the Stygian Throat with the elegant, brightly-colored parrot-like Alapicos found in the Verdant Expanse.

Alapico History

The Alapico believe themselves to be the wind's children and claim that its very spirit gave them life. They arose as one of Haven's three dominant Beastfolk in the age before the Human occupation, standing alongside the likes of the mighty Saheel and the terrifying Pangara. The First Men initially encounters them as they soared high above the Verdant Expanse, mingling with the clouds in great Flocks of dozens or even hundreds of Alapicos. They became trophy animals to many First Men hunters who slaughtered countless of the Featherfolk in the early years of the War of Blade & Claw, not as enemy combatants but as prized prey sought after for their vibrant plumage. Even today, black market hunters still slaughter Alapicos for their vivid feathers and make elaborate decorations and premium quills from their illicit plunder.
 
The few Alapicos that survived the War of Blade & Claw that ravaged so many of Haven's native inhabitants found salvation far outside of Humanity's newly conquered home. Their people, forced from their home by Humans and Dwarves alike, fled on the loft roadways provided by Solith's thermal winds to settle anew in the far-off lands of Los'Mozakas and the Moorwald. Here they would remain for generations, exiled from their homeland until the call of the First Roost was too strong to ignore. Their people, summoned by the ever-present pull of their ancestral birthplace, journeyed back to Haven and found a land utterly changed. Their homeland had been rendered unrecognizable by brutal wars, the ceaseless march of civilization, and centuries of interference by the . In place of the First Roost, the Featherfolk found the vast Glass Sea that had become home to an even more massive forest and serves as a stronghold and sanctuary for the Beastfolk.
 
In the Gorgewald Forest's shady canopy, the Alapico settled beside their Beastfolk kin within the First Roost's shadowed remnants. Many of the Featherfolk find it ironic that the Beastfolk's center of society and culture would arise from the ashes of their former home. They lament over their former homeland's desecration and thus are the only Beastfolk to despise the Udirkith more than the First Men. As Humanity hunted their people to extinction, the terrible Udrithi Empire ripped them from their ancestral home and tore down the black mountain to its very roots in their quest for Blackstone. Alapicos across Solith harbor a deep resentment for all Dwarves and blame the homeland's desolation solely on the loathsome ambition prevalent among the Udirkith. Since The Rebirth and its subsequent years of peace, Alapicos from across Solith embark on the Great Migration to coalesce within the highest eaves of the First Roost's remains. Here they intermingle with one another, trade stories, find new mates, and establish treaties between the Flocks.

General Information

Lifespan
30 years old, reaching maturity at the age of 3.
Average Height
Under 5 feet tall.
Average Weight
80 to 100 pounds.
Related Ethnicities
Alapico Names
Aera, Aial, Aur, Deekek, Errk, Heehk, Ikki, Kleeck, Oorr, Ouss, Quaf, Quierk, Salleek, Urreek, Zeed.
Nicknames
Air, Wings, Beaky, Feathers, Squak, Peck, Screech, Swoop, Talon, Eagle-Eyes, Polly, Peacock, Parrotman.
Alapico Flocks
Bright-feather, Tree-dweller, Stiff-winged, Mountain-dweller, Salt-feather, Desert-dweller, Sea-winged, Ocean-dweller.

Naming Schemes

Typically, Alapico names have no more than two to four syllables, with each sound seamlessly flowing from one to the next. Civilized Alapicos tend to take on simple nicknames to better assimilate into civilized societies by either shortening their names or taking on more straightforward Verd names, which frequently turn out to just be the most common slur or insult thrown their way. Meanwhile, the wild Alapicos that roam the blue skies at the fringes of civilization look down upon their city-dwelling kin for enduring such embarrassments and their general lack of pride. These separate groups of Featherfolk are united only by their Flock names; they derive these simple Flock titles from their shared appearances or by the territories shared by the Alapico who dwell and hunt within the same environments.

Whistle and Aera

Whistle is the Alapico's native tongue and is made up entirely of clicks, trills, and soft warbles that non-avians will always struggle to replicate. It is the only tongue spoken across all of Solith and is derived from their ancestral tongue: Aera.

Description

While flying, Alapicos can be easily mistaken for an unusually large bird, while their humanoid nature only reveals itself upon much closer examination. Their feathery forms stand upright at just under 5 feet tall, with a set of wings sprouting from their shoulder blades and extending out far beyond their fingertips. Their spindly, digitigrade legs taper into scaled feet tipped with razor-sharp talons designed to cling to surfaces while their thin arms end in similarly taloned but far weaker hands. Their beaked skulls complete their avian appearance, often resembling parrots or eagles with a few distinct regional variations. Since The Rebirth, these various flocks convene in the Great Migration to breed, trade, and bind their people as one.
 
The feathers that cover an Alapico are one of the reliable methods for identifying their home range. The Alapicos of the Throat have broad, stiff feathers in shades of dark grey or brown. Their above-average wingspans, paired with these stiff feathers, allows them to glide in comfort for hours or even days on Solith's thermal winds. Conversely, the Verdant Expanse's Alapicos exhibit voluminous plumes in vibrant hues of red, green, blue, orange, and even yellow. Though their bright feathers give them a disarming appearance, they have learned to use their talons and beaks as deadly weapons and are more than capable of slicing through flesh and cracking bone. Finally, the sparsely populated vulture-like Alapicos of the Parched Expanse are perhaps the oddest of their kind with motley feathers growing in rough patches over their sun-cracked skin. Their jerky and graceless flight only further serves to differentiate these Featherfolk from others of their ilk.

Wings and Talons

When creating an Alapico, remember that they spend most of their lives in the air; while other sophonts learn to walk, an Alapico learns to soar the skies. They are free-spirited individuals that eagerly seek out secrets and adventure in their ceaseless exploration of the world. Their expeditionary spirits are only further aided by their supernatural sense of direction, which eternally guides them home to the First Roost. Where were you born? Who is your Flock? Why do you seek adventure?

Society

Alapico Flocks encompass territories dozens of square miles across and are made of many isolated families in Roosts safely nestled high up and away from harm. These twig and thatch Roosts are often primitive dwellings by most civilized standards, but they offer their winged denizens much-needed shelter from the elements. The Alapico's unique communication method allows these vastly separated Roosts to work in harmony with one another, as they share information and establish boundaries from miles apart. They once nested in a single vast commune nestled within cliffside caves found on the Blackstone mountain that once occupied the region now known as the Glass Sea. Their ancestral home's call drives the Alapico, guiding them and pushing them onward on their eternal quest for discovery and wonder.
 
The Alapicos' short lifespan leads many of their species to live fast-paced, highly independent lifestyles. Reaching adulthood at only three years old, adult Alapicos leave their family homes to forge their own paths before many other species have learned to walk or talk properly. They are natural adventurers and regularly find themselves in strange and even dangerous situations. Many of their most adventurous souls found their way into the Gravehunters as long-range scouts and messengers during The Fall. Their service's brutal conditions all but halted the population's slow recovery in Haven after their near-total extinction centuries before during the War of Blade & Claw. Only The Rebirth of Lady Death and the end of the Unfallen menace have allowed the Alapicos to return to relative stability and rebuild their scattered oral history, cultural traditions, and severely diminished populations. Alapicos from across Solith have returned to their people, bringing stories of foreign lands, grand tales of adventure, and mystic legend from far-off peoples.


Alapico Roosts

The Roosts of the Alapico are simple structures made from natural materials and home to families of up to a half dozen Featherfolk. Most of those that live within Roosts are merely caretakers for newborn chicks and are predominantly composed of the old, sick, or infirm. When the next generation grows old enough to leave these Roosts, many families cast their able-bodied adults from their makeshift homes to patrolling their claimed hunting grounds and seek adventure in the world.


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