By Jeff Quick
some people believe that two distinct colonies of aarakocra exist in the
Storm Horns in Cormyr and the Cloven Mountains in the Vilhon Reach, this
is only partially true. These two aarakocra colonies were separate at
one point. But nearly ten years ago, in exchange for some timely aerial
reconnaissance service, a powerful sorcerer created a portal between
the two colonies. If that sorcerer's name were known today, thousands
of residents in and around these mountain ranges would have a new curse
the portal's construction, the aarakocra of the two colonies have
begun to mingle. The colonies do not get along perfectly, but they have
a strong mutual pact of protection and community. Colony leaders handle
disagreements between aarakocras quickly and decisively, and violence
between colony members is punished on the spot by groups of nearby aarakocras
pressing in on offenders, creating a claustrophobic sensation that quells
violence almost instantly. This sort of community vigilantism works extremely
well. A large group of aarakocran bystanders solve many problems before
any officials ever get involved.
Mountain aarakocras have strong ties to the Emerald Enclave. While few
are Emerald Enclave members, all feel a strong allegiance to the druids.
Their fighters have been known to travel in V-shaped flocks, and they
attack anyone even carrying an axe near a healthy grove. When they find
someone abusing an animal, they pay back every stripe laid down with two
of their own. These aarakocras once burned a wizard's tower for polluting
10 square miles of wetlands with an experiment. Though not irrational,
these aarakocras are zealots for natural concerns.
the Storm Horns aarakocras have lived communally for hundreds of years.
When they need something, they simply take it, not out of malice or greed,
but because they have a use for it. When done with an item, the Storm
Horns aarakocra either puts it down where she is and leaves it there,
or returns it to a communal object pool in the Storm Horns colony. When
anything turns up missing in the Storm Horns region, the usual refrain
is, 'Lost it to the birdfolk.' Some traders make their living simply traveling
up and down the mountains, retrieving items for people.
who live near the Cloven Mountain aarakocras have learned to treat nature
with respect. Those who live near the Storm Horns aarakocras have learned
to lock up things they want to keep. Neither group has learned the other's
aarakocra attacks on animal-driven caravans through the Storm Horns are
an increasing problem. Though no one condones cruelty to animals, Cormyr
and Dalelands residents are shocked by the sudden rise of vicious beatings
delivered to caravan drivers in the mountains. Some loggers have been
found nearly dead, their skin torn to ribbons, and left babbling about
'knives from the sky.' Meanwhile, the Vilhon Reach has suffered a veritable
crime wave of everyday objects. Rakes, hammers, baskets, bags of grain,
stools, and more disappear when no one is looking, and sometimes when
someone is looking.
each colony is aware of the other colony's activities, they do not police
each other's actions outside of the nests. At the same time, they emphatically
do not allow outsiders to come into the nests to seek revenge or justice.
The nests are neutral ground, and both colonies defend each other. As
tensions rise on the ground, the aarakocras appear unconcerned.
are skilled mountain fighters, and they are fully capable of defending
their nests against physical or magical threats. They would be open to
negotiation, but first, they must be convinced why their behavior is a
problem. Humans and other ground-based creatures have learned to adapt
in one place. Why can't they simply learn to adapt in another?
to Incorporate the Internest Portal Into Your Campaign
- The rulers on both
sides of the internest portal don't see this as enough of a problem
to devote serious attention to it. However, they do want it dealt with,
and they're willing to pay in gold if some freelance negotiators would
go convince the aarakocra to stop thrashing loggers or stealing household
goods from the peasants.
- A group of angry
loggers decided to take revenge into their own hands. Unfortunately,
before they even got up the first real rise of the mountains, ogres
attacked them. Now, they've come back with stories that the aarakocras
have allied with ogres. The loggers have the attention of more powerful
people now, and they've got more resources to attack the aarakocras.
Can the PCs stop a mob from getting themselves killed?
to Main Article
to the Forgotten Realms
main news page for more articles and news about the Forgotten
Realms game setting or check out the Forgotten
boards for a lively discussion of all aspects of the Forgotten