Avians Ethnicity in Totania | World Anvil
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Avians are birdfolk of Totania, said to be an offshoot of Korvians, though biologically speaking it is instead a more broad term for all sapient bird people, of which Korvians are an offshoot.  

Avian and Korvian Differences

For the most part, when discussing Avians and Korvians in the modern age, since the construction of the Korvian City, the difference has come down to where someone is born.   In modern definitions, Korvians are born in the Korvian City, while Avians are born in the lands that Korvians have designated for them.
Don the Forsaken by Jarhed
  This was not always the case.   Long ago, Korvians and Avians lived together in small clusters, villages in the plains of Udai. They were all considered Ornithurae, with little difference between the two.   Back then, the word Avian simply made the distinction of who was able to "aviate" or fly. Therefore, Avians had wings while Korvians were simply those who did not have wings.   There is contention between scholars and historians on the effects of this. There are those who say that the chiding between Avians and Korvians about this was in good fun, while others say it is far more serious in its harm on the Korvian population than that, which therefore led to Avians being oppressed by Korvians in the long term.   The consensus that many have come to with these ancient classifications was that Korvians were treated differently for having no wings. Avians had the ability to rise up and therefore used that to push those that didn't down.   Then, when Korvians had the same opportunity with the Korvian Abilities, which could have been shared to create an equal society, they instead used it to push down Avians, taking their place instead of intending to make a better society.   A Draconian scholar gave a pessimistic take on the situation, saying:
"The Korvians and Avians are the same. When it all began, they could have stayed that way, but Avians took it upon themselves to use what they had to get ahead. Why should the Korvians not have done the same? What benefit would they have to make themselves equal if Avians had refused to do so when in the same position?"
Other scholars will say that it should not be about benefit, but instead about caring for ones fellow man. Few can agree, and it is a touchy subject in academia and politics, for many fear upsetting the Korvians, a powerful nation.  

Outdated Classifications

The reason this classification, while still used by some, is outdated is due to the embracing of Korvian Abilities and Magic. Both of these allow Korvians to achieve flight or even, in some cases, gain wings.   What it is used for instead is to create false lines of division between the two groups that are, for all intents and purposes, biologically the same.


Avians do not have a government like most other people in the world, for they do not have an independent nation.   Instead, they have officials whom they elect, often elders with experience who are willing to at least attempt to stand up to the Korvians for rights and land. But this elder does not get to decide, only advocate.   They are subservient to the Korvian King. They are subjects of the Korvians, and are not allowed to self-govern.

Korvian Abilities

The Korvians, as with most things, have taken the abilities that they share with Avians for their own. This is due to the history of the abilities, which were first used by First Korvian King Warbler to free the Korvians from Avian oppression.   What it also did was bring Korvians to power because they knew the secret to the ability and believed that made some difference between themselves and the Avians, when the truth was both could use it.   Avians were simply denied the right to even understand them, let alone use them.


Avians have diverse faiths. For much of history, they worshipped the Goddess of Death, Morrigan, the same as the Korvians did.   However, upon his ascension to Heaven, Amukk promised Avians mercy and a new beginning where they could have the justice they were often denied. For this, after the year 0, many Avians switched to worship Amukk.   The United Holy Front that Amukk led as a mortal was a group that took many Avians into their protection. One Avian was a close confidant and trusted ally of the God himself that would go on to be one of his Angels.
Since the founding of the Korvian City, those that call themselves Korvians are only different because of their location and any small mutations or herd immunities that came from living among only "Korvians" while the same goes for Avians in their settlements. The differences are social rather than biological, and some Avians advocate for throwing the labels away to gain equal rights in their society once more.   This is unlikely to happen, as Korvian society as it exists now is already unequal with Korvians, and to bring an extremely marginalized group into such a society would only further increase the disparity between how wealthier and poorer people in the city live.  


The Avians have been known to, on occasion, form new settlements, but Korvians rarely let the stay up for long. However, there are two settlements that Korvians have built for the Avians which have stood the test of time because of Korvian support.   Both of these settlements are west of the Korvian City, and follow the naming scheme of KNW and KNE, the Korvian settlements north of it which stand for Korvian North West and Korvian North East. This is due to the Korvian culture of not naming things, and instead calling them by descriptors.  


Avian Southern Territory is the smaller population-wise of the two because a portion of its land is used, instead, for a large farm that the Avians run for themselves, which can also be taken from in the case that the Korvians are suffering from a food shortage.   There are nasty rumors that the Korvians may allow these farms to keep running to fund their "chicken" businesses, which have been accused of using Avian meat for hundreds of years. No investigation has shown conclusive evidence, but Korvians know how to cover their tracks, and Avians particularly from AST go missing fairly often.  


Avian Northern Territory is a larger settlement than AST, and is much more independent due to its distance from the Korvian City. This does not mean they are free, but most successful Avian movements happen here, spreading further out and then being quashed by the Korvians. Often, Korvians do not like traveling all the way to ANT, allowing them to be more autonomous.   If they get too autonomous, that is when the Korvians step in.   However, ANT has the major problem of having no way of producing their own food, so they must rely on AST and the Korvians for food, as well as protection from the Orcs that lie beyond the mountains to their west.  

Biological Traits


Avians can live to be around 20 years old, with elders living even into their mid-20s. There are inconsistent reports, with some even saying there have been Avians that lived to be 30, but most believe that a natural Avian lifespan ends there at 30, and would not go far beyond that unless magically extended.   Avian childhoods are only their first year of life, and from the age of 2 onwards they are considered mature adults.  


Avians, like Korvians, are a short species that average about 5 feet tall, though some are taller and some even shorter than that. Anything that deviates too far from 5 feet is often consdiered a genetic anomaly.  


Avians do not have mouths, but instead beaks. These give them a new tactic in battle: pecking. Their sharp beaks can pierce through many surfaces, helping them kill and eat prey.   They also use their beaks to preen other Avians, cleaning their feathers.  


Avians have hollow bones, which allow them to move faster in all situations, but are more fragile and brittle. Ossification of their bones allows them more easeful flight  


All Avians are born with wings sprouting from their backs, which grow as they do. It is said that before they learn to walk, most Avians have (consciously or unconsciously) lifted themselves into the air by their wings.   Some avians, of course, struggle to do these things. Perhaps they are born with twisted or broken wings, or something happens to injure their wings during their lifetime. It is not the ability to use their wings that makes them an Avian, but simply the fact that they once had them that many people say is enough.  


Their wings, as well as their entire bodies, are covered in feathers. These feathers regulate their body temperatures, protect their bodies, and allow Avians to withstand water and rain. They can be any color, and even have patterns on them.

Cover image: by Ogio


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