The Avari are a mystical race, the Chosen of Aetharok. Often referred to as Birdmen, the Avari are tall and powerfully built but with light weight bodies due to their hollow bones. Their civilization was once a part of the lands that would become Kharis, after the Separation and the horrible events that would take place following it their giant floating cities would vanish seemingly from time itself. Many speculate that it may have something to do with the disaster that befell Kharis, or that it was merely another tragedy of those events. Regardless of the cause, the Avari have not been seen in Gaia since.
During their peak, the Avari were technologically advanced beyond their years, rivaling the abilities of the Empire of Solomon with their advances and of the Beastmen they are one of the only races to have direct contact with the Dragon that made them, as Aetharok slumbered deep within the floating mountains of Metagalapa. When the sundering took place on Kharis, the mountain range in which Metagapala was located was decimated, thought the floating peaks vanished as with the rest of their society.
When the Avari were alive and populated the world, they appeared as tall humanoid beings that typically stood about 6’ to 7’ tall, with broad chests and shoulders and narrower lower bodies. Nearly every inch of their body was covered in feathers and their heads resembled those of birds, with keen raptorian eyes and powerful beaks capable of cracking bone or even iron. Their hands and feet resembled the talons of a bird as well, though their hands were developed for manual dexterity having three fingers and a thumb-like digit that allowed them to use tools or wield weapons. The Avari also had a unique rite of passage into adulthood that required the Avari to perform certain tasks that often varied from area to area, meant to be a test of the Avari’s skills and their connection to Aetharok. Those who passed this test were given the gift of flight, able to transform their arms into a pair of massive powerful wings at will. Those who did not succeed perished, much like a bird being kicked out of the nest and being forced to fly or fall.
The most common appearance for the Avari was that of a large eagle-like humanoid with golden brown and white feathers, though they were as varied as some appearing as cranes, owls, hawks, or other various types of noble birds. The Avari had one other unique physiological trait, they were each born with dual hearts. This was because the hearts of the Avari work twice as hard as that of a human or many other races and without the second heart the first would burn out quickly and the Avari would only live perhaps a total of 20 years before dying of old age. Even still, many Avari have to worry about heart problems as they grow older and many do not live past the age of 40 or 50.
Avari society was once perhaps one of the most advanced, not just scientifically, but militaristically and politically. They were perhaps the first to establish what we consider today a modern military with an advanced ranking system and to establish a complicated political structure. By their nature the Avari were a very militaristic species, and it was a requirement that any Avari who has gained his or her wings to serve for two years in the military where they would be trained in both warfare and etiquette. The Samurai of Varja are very much reminiscent of the ancient Avari soldiers as they blur the boundaries of Soldier and Scholar. It is also thought that the Avari developed the first written language, even before the Empire of Solomon was formed and in some places their ancient calligraphy can still be found though many scholars are baffled by its intricacies and nature.
Wings of Aetharok: When an Avari reaches adulthood they are capable of growing large wings out of their arms that allow them to soar and fly at great speeds and with remarkable maneuverability. These wings can come in many shapes and variations, typically based on the “type” of Avari, such as an eagle-headed Avari will have the wings of an eagle, while a crane-headed Avari will have the wings of a crane.
Omni-dexterity: Because the Avari lose the use of their hands when they form their wings, the Avari train all their limbs with equal affinity. Their feet resemble that of a birds talons and are just as capable of grasping and holding objects, though it lacks the true manual dexterity of their hands. This allows an Avari to at least wield simple weapons or even fire a bow with the use of their feet, and many Avari equip themselves with talon blades or other similar augmentations to use in combat.
Raptor’s Sight: The Avari have perhaps the sharpest vision of any race in Gaia, capable of seeing clearly for miles. The Avari can spot a tiny field mouse scurrying in the grass from over 1,000 feet away and supplement this vision with remarkable accuracy, able to fire an arrow and hit that mouse from just as far.
Dual Hearts: The dual hearts of the Avari make them burn hot, allowing them to work twice as hard as a human before being overcome by fatigue. An Avari can fly great distances without tiring, perform manual labor for extended periods of time, or even fight for prolonged periods without every breaking a sweat. This however means the Avari requires twice as much nutrition as a Human to feed this powerful metabolism and an Avari has twice the risk of heart problems later in life.
Unnatural Grace: The Avari are light and nimble, even on their feet and this can be seen in how well they are capable of keeping their balance. Like a crane who can stand perched perfectly on one leg even in the waves of water, the Avari are almost impossible to knock off balance and can balance perfectly on even the thinnest surface as if they weighed nothing. It requires nothing short of physically pushing an Avari to knock them off their feet.
Natural Weapons: The beak and talons of an Avari are powerful weapons, capable of dealing deadly damage to anything caught in their path. An Avari can crush a skull in the vice of their beak or shred flesh to ribbons with their huge talons.