The Spirit-sense Birdfolk

This article is one of a series providing basic information for someone choosing to role-play a Birdfolk of the Spirit-sense Culture in a TTRPG based in the World of Cartyrion. The series is designed to encourage preparation of a Player Character by focusing on the nature of the character without focusing on the game statistics.
As a member of the Spirit-sense Culture of the Awkwana, you have a special link to the world of the dead, and a very strong respect for the belief that the dead deserve their rest. You find strong disfavor with anyone or anything that would disturb the honored dead.

Spirit Sense Birdfolk Standing Guard

Cultural History

The Spirit-sense Culture sprung up among the earliest Birdfolk of Kaal Ruk not long after their Awakening. The sages among the Awkwana believe that it was exposure to the Tombkeeper Dwarves of the Sea's Edge Delve that gave rise to the culture which stresses respect for the dead and their resting places. In fact, the two cultures are remarkably similar in practice and temperament, and it is not unusual for the priests and scholars of both to consider themselves colleagues. The tendency for the link to the dead breeds strongly within this culture; the vast majority of Spirit-sense Birdfolk are the offspring of others within the culture.

Geographic Distribution

Many of the Spirit-sense Birdfolk make their home in Kaal Ruk - the resting place of the earliest of the Birdfolk and by far the site of most Awkwana burials. But as settlements are founded elsewhere - not only in mountains, but among the Waveriders along the shores and even the Hunters in the forests, there will be found at least a small handful of Spirit-sense Birdfolk who have resettled there to ensure that the dead of those new places are remembered, honored, and protected as well.

Role-Playing a Spirit-sense Birdfolk

Interacting with Other Birdfolk

If there is any Awkwana culture that the other cultures may look upon with any sort of reaction at all, it would be the Spirit-sense culture. Spirit-sense Birdfolk are not feared, and are certainly not avoided or shunned, but most other Birdfolk wonder (to themselves) why they seem determined so to spend so much time focused on the dead when there is so much to do in the world of the living. They do not understand that the dead still have stories to tell, and deserve respect, dignity, and the opportunity to rest in peace. Other Awkwana will often seek out a Spirit-sense Awkwana for historical information, especially information involving Birdfolk that have passed to the Afterlife and are now resting in nearby crypts.

Interacting with Folk of Other Races

To other Folk, you're just another Birdfolk, and are treated as such. You have a special affinity, though, for Dwarves of the Tombkeeper culture, and the sense is mutual. Your two cultures understand each other quite well. And, most importantly, both cultures understand the special threats that dark powers can wield to disturb the sleep of those who have passed to the Afterlife.

Interacting with Your Adventuring Party

As with all Birdfolk joining an adventuring party that consists of other Folk, you may have initial misunderstandings due to your lack of facial expression and body language to cue others into your moods or emotions, and your own inability to read these things in others. But as with all other Birdfolk, this will fade as you and your party-mates get to know one another better. As you adventure through the world, though, your culture will require that proper respect be paid to the dead you may encounter (or cause).
Traditions and Taboos
You will always insist that the dead be properly and respectfully disposed of - following the traditions appropriate for the deceased where possible, but always ensuring proper rest for the bodies of those who have journeyed to the Afterlife.

Your culture compels you to eliminate undeath wherever you encounter it. Should you encounter an undead, you cannot wilfully permit it to continue to exist.

Likely Professions
Most in your culture take on professions somehow associated with honoring and preserving the dead. Architects and artisans craft memorial items. Priests and acolytes ensure the dead are properly cared for, and guards ensure their rest is undisturbed. Other, more mundane professions are possible as well, and in every culture, there are always those who are impatient or bored with fully traditional lives.

Preferred Dress / Gear
You will likely prefer calming, dark, drab colors. When adventuring, your gear preferences will be impacted by your earlier profession. Most birdfolk prefer lighter armors (leather, for example) that do not hinder their movement, but those who have guarded the dead or fought the undead will be more comfortable in bulkier armor.

As with all Awkwana, smaller, lighter blades are preferred, but among those who have guarded the dead, polearms are not uncommon.

Naming Conventions

As is the custom among the Birdfolk, your parents will have given you a name shortly after your hatching. But where other cultures select short phrase of a name that suggests some hopeful ideal or goal, your Spirit-sense parents will likely have chosen a name that will constantly remind you of your duty to the honored ancestors. This name will be yours for life.

When introduced to non-Awkwana, you will give the common language translation of your name, as the Awkwana version will be difficult, if not impossible, for non-Birdfolk to pronounce properly.

Banner background by TC Perch from Pixabay
Banner portrait and other character images by RPGDinosaurBob on Heroforge


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27 Dec, 2020 21:25

I like the slightly different naming tradition for these guys from the other birdfolk. Really interesting.

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