Elf, Winged

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd EditionCampaign Setting Logo

Elf, Winged
Climate/Terrain:Temperate to subtropical mountains, forests
Activity Cycle:Any
Intelligence:High to Supra- (14-20)
Treasure:N (G,S,T)
Alignment:Neutral or chaotic good
No. Appearing:5-20
Armor Class:8 (10)
Movement:9, Fl 18 (C)
Hit Dice:1+1
No. of Attacks:1
Damage/Attack:By weapon
Special Attacks:+1 with lasso, bola, or sword, wing buffet
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:M (5'+ tall)
Morale:Champion (15)
XP Value:650

The winged elves, or avariel, are a rare race of reclusive elves who dwell high in mountains or forests, away from other civilizations. They appear even more delicate than their landbound brethren; their facial features are even more chiseled and angular. Their most stunning characteristic, however, is their beautiful, soft wings. Although their wings are generally white, avariel have been seen with wings whose colors range to black. The wings are their pride and joy, and an avariel who has lost his wings is intensely pitied by the others. Since elves do not generally accept the pity of others, a wingless avariel often leaves the community to find a life elsewhere.

Avariel eyes tend to be a little larger than most elves', although they are the same colors that most grey elves and high elves possess. Their hair is most often white or black, but there have been numerous exceptions. The avariel have a tendency to adopt a far-off look in their eyes when their immediate attention is not required. They are very much at home in the outdoors, and they appear out of place indoors or underground.

Avariel clothing is most reminiscent of togas, for other types of clothing often snag on their wings. Togas and their like wrap easily around the avariel's body and wings.

Combat: To those not bred to aerial combat, the avariel are a confusing opponent. While most humanoids tend to think two-dimensionally in combat, the avariel think in a third dimension, which they utilize to devastating effect.

They have incredible eyesight. Not only do they have the standard elven infravision, when flying or outdoors they can focus their vision to notice details at over a mile away or those obscured by underlying forest. They use this perception to maximum advantage and thus are excellent scouts.

From a distance, avariel in flight appear as large birds. Thus, while opponents may notice their silhouettes, they usually disregard them. This has more than once resulted in the nearly total elimination of enemy forces. Since the avariel are efficent hunters, they ruthlessly stalk those who have escaped the battlefield, more often than not finding and destroying those who would report their presence.

In combat, avariel prefer to use light weapons, for heavier ones inhibit their flight. The lasso, bola, and sword are their weapons of choice, and they gain a +1 to hit when using these weapons. Note that the momentum generated by any sword longer than a long sword interferes with flying. For this reason, they use bastard swords and twohanded swords only in foot combat, and do not gain the +1 bonus with them. Avariel, unlike other elves, have a difficult time using ordinary bows. Their wings interfere with the smooth movement required to fire a bow, and they therefore do not gain the +1 bonus other elves have when using bows.

The strength of the avariel is also their downfall. If they lose more than 50% of their hit points in damage, they become too weak to fly and must continue their battle on the ground. Until they lose 75% of their hit points, they can glide for short distances. They can also jump to a height of 10 feet.

Their wings are susceptible to fire, and burn quickly once set ablaze. Only several weeks of recuperation will restore fire-damaged wings to flying condition. A favorite tactic of some enemies is to launch fireballs into the midst of a group of high-flying avariel and watch them plummet to their deaths. Because of this, avariel are highly suspicious of fire-using mages and will never fully trust these individuals, even if they are elves.

Another weakness of the avariel is claustrophobia. They cannot bear to be in closed places, most especially under the earth. If confined in such a space, avariel must make a Wisdom check every day they are confined. Failure spells temporary insanity; the avariel will become violent, catatonic, or panicked until he or she reaches open air. If more than four Wisdom checks are failed, the insanity is permanent until countered by a heal spell or the equivalent.

Winged elves can carry a mas equal to their own body weight before their wings will not support them. If they carry more than light encumbrance, their maneuverability becomes class D. Avariel can become fighters (not rangers or paladins), mages, and clerics, as well as the multi-class combinations available to these three. There are no recorded instances of avariel rogues. For every five avariel in a group, there will be a fighter of at least 3rd level. For every 10, there will be a mage of level equal to the fighter. Groups of 20 will be led by a multi-class 7th-level fighter/7th-level mage, as well as a fighter of 6th level, a mage of 5th level, and a cleric of 6th level, in addition to the exceptional individuals in the four groups of 5 and two groups of 10.

Habitat/Society: In some areas, avariel are known as “Al Karak Elam”, and non-elf races have built mythologies around them. Occasionally certain mischievous avariel have contacted humans, pretending to be agents of a higher power. The older avariel object because it leads humans to search for them, but this ban has not yet stopped any of the younger winged elves. However, as the avariel become more common, instances of this activity have lessened dramatically.

As among other elves, the avariel have adapted to their environments. There is no exclusion based on gender; females often hold as many, if not more, positions of power within an avariel community.

Two types of avariel society are especially common, no matter what the environment. Both draw on aspects of the elven heritage to the exclusion of others. However, the two types of society are never found far from one another, so that they may more easily communicate.

Many of the avariel have bred themselves for combat. Much of this avariel society is based on a warrior code of honor, seeking greater glory for themselves and their allies. Their lives are geared to war and battle, and they answer to their war chiefs. These avariel are the most feared by the humanoid nations, for they are a deadly foe. They have little of the respect of landbound elves for the lives of others; instead they live for the fight and for the destruction of their opponents. They are a proud, hearty group, and form eternal friendships with those who earn their trust. Though they care little for the lives of their enemies, they try to live theirs to the fullest.

The other half of avariel society knows little of war. These avariel focus mainly on the arts and the intellectual aspects of life. Where the other avariel make much of war and warrior ritual, these avariel rely on their brains and diplomatic ability. They are a population of artists and philosophers, creating for the sheer joy of creation.

The relations between the two halves of avariel community are perfectly harmonious, and they stay in constant communication. Both respect the other greatly, often trading their youths in cultural exchange programs. Since their children are often curious about the other aspect of their culture, they are given the chance to participate in that feature for a time, leading to a well-balanced elf. Strangely, after experiencing the other side of life for a few decades, most avariel are eager to return to their original homes and lead the lives to which they were born.

Of course, there are more than just these two avariel societies; these are just the most common. There are others that have a more equal footing between the aspects of their society, others that are better balanced. However, none of these seems to have flourished so well as the warrior/thinker combination. These two have somehow achieved a harmony that makes their civilizations greater than others. The creative and destructive impulses, when paired, make the avariel a formidable opponent.

The avariel are a particularly religious sect of elves, although they are not fanatical about promoting their beliefs. They worship Aerdrie Faenya, the elven goddess of air and weather, almost exclusively. They believe that it is due to her intervention that they are able to survive at all, and they make their obeisance to her accordingly. They also believe that she takes a more direct hand in their lives than the gods of other elves. Her worship keeps the warrior avariel from becoming enamored of law, thus remaming elves at heart.

The weapons carried by avariel are usually of glass or obsidian, as the open forges used by other races to shape metal can singe their wingfeathers. Avariel use closed furnaces to shape glass into workable, durable weapons. Avariel glassmiths are master crafters. Any metal weapons that the avariel have are the result of trade with other races or other elves. Glass weapons designed by avariel may occasionally break in combat. (On a natural roll of 20, roll 1d6; the weapon shatters on a roll of 1-3)

Ecology: No one knows whether the avariel are a natural offshoot of the elven race or the result of powerful magics. Some claim the avariel are the origmal elves and that the other elves have fallen from ths high state. Most, however, maintain that the avariel are the result of magic that combined elves with theu beloved giant eagles.

The avariel keep in contact with other elves, but the winged elves tend to be somewhat above the affairs of the world. Nothing concerns them overmuch, unless it impinges upon them. They usually try to avoid contact with other races, despite the fact that some avariel insist on seeing the world.

Avariel do not lay eggs, contrary to popular speculation. Like birds, they have hollow bones, making them more fragile than the typical elf. Without hollow bones, they could not fly. Even so, flying causes some discomfort because it is strenuous exercise to keep so much weight aloft. However, the pain is a minor inconvenience, for the sheer joy of flying is so intoxicating. Each hour of flight, the avariel must make a successful Constitution check. Those who fail cannot fly for at least half an hour for every two hours of flight prior to the check.

Avariel wings are sought by mages and evil giants. The mages use the wings in creating potions and wings of flying, and will often pay huge amounts for any brought to them. The giants, on the other hand, use the avariel's wings as decorations for headgear. They think it looks particularly fine to have a beautiful pair of wings on their war helmets.

Avariel do not remain in the world as long as most elves. Their typical span is only 300 years because they feel the call of the unknown so much more clearly than other elves. Thus, they tend to act more human than other elves because they know that they have less time than other elves. They take things more seriously and try to fit in as much ling as possible. They are not as frantic as humans, but they do try to accomplish many thmgs before their departure.