Aarakocra (pronounced: /ærɑːˈkoʊkrɑː/ æ-ra-KO-kra listen or: /ɑːrɑːˈkoʊkrɑː/ a-rah-KO-krah; pl: aarakocra or: aarakocras), also called bird-men, were a race of avian humanoids.
Aarakocra resembled humanoid birds. The average specimen stood about 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall and had a wingspan of 20 feet (6.1 meters). Halfway along the edge of each wing was a hand with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. An elongated fourth finger extended the length of the wing and locked in place during flight. The hands could not grasp while flying, but they were nearly as useful as human hands when an aarakocra was perched and its wings were folded back.[note 1]
Their powerful legs ended in four sharp talons that could unlock and fold back to reveal another pair of functional hands. These humanoids had hollow, fragile bones. Their faces combined the features of both parrots and eagles. They had gray-black beaks and black eyes. Plumage color varied, but males generally had red, orange, and yellow coloration, while females tended towards brown and gray.
Male aarakocra tended to have very short tempers and had been known to fly into fits of rage when a perceived wrong occurred. They also were notorious romantic flirts, regardless of whether or not they were married.
Since aarakocra avoided melee combat when possible, their combat tactics revolved around attacking opponents from above. Javelins were the weapon of choice for many aarakocra, so much so that they developed their own unique type of javelin called a flight lance. A single aarakocra could comfortably carry up to six javelins at a time, stored in a special sheathe that was strapped to its body. Other weapons used by aarakocra included darts and daggers. Their sharp talons and beaks were effective weapons as well. Occasionally they wore studded leather, but they never used shields.
On Toril, aarakocra lived atop the highest mountain peaks in small tribes that shared a communal nest and controlled hunting territories of about 100 square miles (260 square kilometers). Any animals in this territory were considered fair game, including the domesticated livestock of other races, and most male aarakocra spent their days hunting. The eldest male served as leader, assisted by the tribe's shaman. Meanwhile, female aarakocra crafted the tribe's tools and weapons.
Aarakocra were also one of the major races on the inner planet Coliar. On that planet, it was the females who were always chosen as leaders, as society deemed them far more controlled emotionally. These aarakocra females were chosen by democratic elections, and each ruled over one of over 100 extended families. Males were not forbidden from running for office, but society was strongly against their election, and as of the late 14th century DR, no male had ruled for over 1,000 years. Male aarakocra from other worlds sometimes took offense at this societal trend.
The small number of aarakocra living in the North mainly worshiped Syranita as their goddess but also paid homage to Akadi, Remnis of the giant eagles, and Stronmaus of the giants, in addition to Aerdrie Faenya.
Many aarakocra tribes avoided contact with other species, and many individuals rarely, if ever, left their home territory. The aarakocra had strong ties with the avariels as they shared the same patron deity and had the same respect for nature.
Aarakocra understood and spoke common, but when they spoke it, they punctuated their speech with caws, whistles, and other bird-like sounds.
- Known Settlements
Their settlements often took the form of large nests woven from vines which were open to the sky. Aarakocra were an immigrant race to Faerûn from Maztica. Known aarakocra settlements in Faerûn were:
- The Star Mounts in the High Forest. This tribe was almost totally slain by the green dragon Elaacrimalicros.
- The Storm Horns in Cormyr.
- The Cloven Mountains in the Vilhon Reach.
- The Mistcliffs in Chult.
- The Adder Hills in Chessenta.
- The monastery Kir Sabal in Chult. 
As of the Year of the Scarlet Witch, 1491 DR, the last settlement of aarakocra in the High Forest was the Last Aerie, on the slopes of the southernmost Star Mounts, near the headwaters of the Unicorn Run.
Following the fall of their empires to the first Flight of Dragons around −30,000 DR, the surviving members of the avian creator race known as the aearee (primarily the subgroup known as the Aearee-Krocaa) fled to Anchorome, where their further exploits went largely undocumented by Faerûnian historians. The only thing known was that at some point after their arrival there, the aearee either created or devolved into the aarakocra, who then move south into Maztica.
In the 1360s DR, there were five aarakocra settlements on the Star Mounts when the green dragon Elaacrimalicros attacked, killing over 120 aarakokra and leaving their homes completely uninhabitable. The survivors scattered across the North, many swearing revenge—such as the Nest of Retribution in the Lost Peaks. Forty-seven survivors came together for shelter at the source of the Unicorn Run in a new settlememt known as Khle'cayre.
- Asharra, a druid who led the community of Kir Sabal in the late 15th century DR.[note 3]
- Kazra, an aarakocra taken prisoner by the Feathergale Knights in the late 15th century DR.
- Alekra Donakkis, leader of the largest family of aarakocra on Coliar.
- Wuorlah, an old shaman and leader of Khle'cayre in the mid-to-late 14th century DR.
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- Jeff Quick (2002-01-02). “Aarakocran Portals”. Perilous Gateways. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2004-02-23. Retrieved on 2020-04-19.
- J. F. Keeping (August 1987). “The Wings of Eagles”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #124 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 34–37.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the following links do not necessarily represent the views of the editors of this wiki, nor does any lore presented necessarily adhere to established canon.
Aarakocra article at the Dark Sun Wiki, a wiki for the Dark Sun campaign setting.
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