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Aarakocra (pronounced: /ærɑːˈkkrɑːæ-ra-KO-kra[9] about this audio file listen or: /ɑːrɑːˈkkrɑːa-rah-KO-krah[10]; plaarakocra[1][4][5] oraarakocras[3]), also called bird-men,[11] were a race of avian humanoids.[3]


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.[3][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.[3]


Aarakocra were generally peaceful creatures who cherished their solitude.[12] They were known to be extremely claustrophobic.[3]

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.[7]


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.[12]


On Toril, aarakocra lived atop the highest mountain peaks in small tribes that controlled hunting territories and shared a communal nest. The eldest male served as leader, assisted by the tribe's shaman.[3]

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.[7]


Aarakocra of Toril almost all worshiped Aerdrie Faenya. She appeared to them as a giant white bird.[13]

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.[14]


Many aarakocra tribes avoided contact with other species, and many individuals rarely, if ever, left their home territory.[15] The aarakocra had strong ties with the avariels as they shared the same patron deity and had the same respect for nature.[16][13]

Aarakocra understood and spoke common, but when they spoke it, they punctuated their speech with caws, whistles, and other bird-like sounds.[12]

Known Settlements

They were an immigrant race to Faerûn from Maztica.[17] Known aarakocra settlements in Faerûn were:

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.[18]


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.[21]

In 418 DR, following generations of travel between Maztica and the islands of the Trackless Sea, the first aarakocra colonists successfully crossed to northern Faerûn.[22]

In 1267 DR, the last aarakocra living in the Riders to the Sky Mountains were killed by Chessentan mercenaries, who hunted them to extinction for sport.[23]


A Netherese archwizard discovered that the feathers and other body parts of an aarakocra could be used as components in the brewing of a potion of extra-healing.[24]

Notable Aarakocra


See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Art from 5th edition portrays aarakocra as having separate arms. This conflicts with all descriptions and art in earlier editions.
  2. Aarakocra first appeared in the Fiend Folio (1981) and were credited to Lawrence Schick.
  3. In later appearances, Asharra is described as a wizard.


Princes of the ApocalypseTomb of Annihilation
Son of Thunder
A Darkened Wish (#1, #2, #3)
Video Games
Gateway to the Savage FrontierSpelljammer: Pirates of RealmspaceNeverwinterIdle Champions of the Forgotten RealmsTales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation
Board Games
Tomb of Annihilation
Card Games
AD&D Trading CardsDragonfire (Moonshae Storms)
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
The Howling Void


Further Reading

External Links

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. Dark sun.png Aarakocra article at the Dark Sun Wiki, a wiki for the Dark Sun campaign setting.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Richard Baker, Ari Marmell, Chris Sims (August 2010). Dark Sun Creature Catalog. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-0-7869-5494-0.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 11. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 8. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  6. Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Dale "slade" Henson (April 1991). Realmspace. Edited by Gary L. Thomas, Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc), pp. 12–17. ISBN 1-56076-052-4.
  8. Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb, Stephen Schubert (April 2015). Elemental Evil Player's Companion , link:[1]. In David Noonan, Stacy Janssen eds. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 5.
  9. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 25.
  10. Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
  11. J. F. Keeping (August 1987). “The Wings of Eagles”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #124 (TSR, Inc.), p. 34.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 131. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  14. slade, et al. (April 1996). “The Wilderness”. In James Butler ed. The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (TSR, Inc.), p. 25. ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  15. David "Zeb" Cook, et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume Two. (TSR, Inc), p. 14. ISBN 0-8803-8753-X.
  16. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 31–34. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  17. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 130. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Richard Baker, Robert J. Schwalb, Stephen Schubert (April 2015). Elemental Evil Player's Companion , link:[2]. In David Noonan, Stacy Janssen eds. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4.
  19. Brian R. James (May 2010). “Backdrop: Chessenta”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #178 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 72.
  20. Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 1–256. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
  21. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  22. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 73. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  23. Scott Bennie (February 1990). Old Empires. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 52. ISBN 978-0880388214.
  24. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 86. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  25. Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 69. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
  26. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 978-0786965786.