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Native Name

Éanúil Lashun in their native language signifies their rule over the skies. The Avian Lashuns, like most other races in the continent have long since adopted the common tongue, but the oldest of their ancients are known to enforce the study of the ancient tongue.


Appearance

The Avians are the ones with least variety, but with the biggest split between their species. Hawks, Eagles, Crows and Owls make for the types of Avians found in Entheria, and their kingdoms suffer a large division, with the Eagles and the Hawks on one side, and the Crows and Owls on the other.

Eagles are the tallest of all the Avians, and are regarded in Hawk society as nobility. Thinner and taller than the Hawks, they can be distinguished by their silver hair, pointy ears, and large, muscular black wings. Like all the other Avians, the wings they keep in their human form is mostly for show than anything else, as the odd shape of their human like body does not favor flight, they can usually hover short distances, not enough to travel for a prolonged time. Their eyes and ears are developed to an unnatural level, allowing them to see and hear much better than the other mortal races.

Hawks are not as tall as the eagles, but tend to be a lot more muscular, serving mostly the military cast in their society. Their hair color matches the color of their feathered wings, black, brown and grey, with the very rare white. Their ears and eyes are very similar to the eagles, and overall it’s difficult to tell them apart without looking at their wings and hair.

Crows are the most numerous of all the avian races, and alongside the owls, have a rather high affinity with magic, and base their warfare almost exclusively on it. They have completely black hair and wings, with the very rare pure white. The white crows are viewed as lower than the black ones, because most of them are born quite sickly, and don’t tend to survive the first years. Matter of fact, mothers of white crows are known to kill their sickly children as they are born, either to spare them of the world, or spare the world the omens of tragedy those white wings carry. Being born white is a sign of death and disaster for the crows. They’re a bit shorter than the eagles, and sleeker than the hawks. Their eyesight and hearing are just as powerful however.

Owls are the rarest in the Avian society, and because of their high affinity to magic and rather frail bodies compared to the other Avians, they’ve taken an important spot in the Crow kingdom. They’re smaller overall, and they’re the only Avians with round ears. Their eyesight and hearing are still on par with the others however. Their wings and hair usually range from grey, to brown and even white.

As all Lashuns, the Avians are shapeshifters, and are able to change into the animals that give them their namesake. Unlike the animals they take from however, their shapeshifted forms are much larger, with wingspans ranging between 1.5 to 2 meters, and with enough strength on their talons to lift and carry a fully grown man.


History

The early history of the Avian Lashun tribes is stained in a long and drawn out conflict for power, where the young clans of hawks banded alongside the eagles, who were always larger and stronger than them, often this natural physical advantage made them powerful warlords. At first the eagles were viewed as nobles in the hawk kingdom, but soon they started fighting amongst themselves, stating that a true eagle should fly above all others.

Because of this, the split in their kingdom came slowly but surely, and the eagles soon took for themselves each a plot of land, pieces of the old hawk kingdom. Because of their natural strength and leadership, the hawks followed them almost by instinct, lingering close to the eagle warlords they thought were the most powerful, and as such slowly helping them build their clans.

They took the old hawk fortresses and keeps, turned them into castles, built them to rise ever higher, creating truly magnificent works of art. It wasn't long before each of the eagle chieftains started to call themselves Rí, or King in the common tongue. This claim angered the other chieftains, or rather, the other Rí. So started another great war between the tribes, and for hundreds of years the conflict remained, marked by times of uneasy peace that was fated to not last.

Finn, a lowborn hawk peasant grew tired of the constant conflict that the eagle warlords brewed. He started to gather like minded individuals and started a rebellion, going against the eagle warlords, against their superior numbers and killing two eagles, despite their differences in strength.

This rising hawk warlord quickly became a legend amongst his people, and the ones disgruntled with their predicament found a way to join him, and by the end of the war, half of the eagle warlords were killed, and Finn lead a fleet of ships to the north, leaving his homeland without ever looking back. Many years later the remaining eagles heard of a newfound Hawk kingdom, in the far west, home to Finn and his descendants.

Years after Finn’s rebellion the status quo of the archipelago returned to what it was before the rebellion, and the eagles soon returned to their warlike ways. Until now, the eagles and hawks were aware of the smaller, weaker kingdom formed by the physically smaller crows and owls.

Because of this they did not expect the sudden invasion of their lands, by beings that for so long they thought were weaker and pathetic. After the Rís heard that one of the eagles had already fallen to the crows, they began to take them seriously, but as they fought, one by one they were overthrown and executed.

By the end of the year, a single eagle remained, the last of her race, Ailís. With a rage worthy of legend, she let out all of the pain that she had endured for years upon years of fighting her own kin, of having to kill one of her own dwindling race, and the despair of being the last eagle.

Lugh, the bringer of disaster, was the very first white crow to have left a significant impact in history. Lugh led the crows and the owls out of obscurity, he killed eagles and wore their feathers on his shoulders as he took lead of the battlefield. He took the crow kingdom from darkness and soared above even the mightiest eagle. But one stood in his path.

Lugh was born a peasant, and died a conqueror. From the rage of seeing his race pushed into obscurity by the eagles, he took to the battlefield and killed all who stood in his way, even the cowardly crow king that pleaded him to stop his mad advance. Yet against all odds presented to him, Lugh the Conqueror gave the crows something to believe in, he taught them that they did not need to live forever in the shadows of the eagles.

But in doing so he incurred the wrath of the last eagle, and so it was fated that their wills should clash. Ailís led the final resistance against Lugh’s war, and in her last stand he ripped his heart out of his chest, ending the conqueror’s life.

Lugh’s heirs attempted to finish what their father had started, but one by one they crashed against the might of Ailís’s will. Eventually, his youngest son decided to end the war, and parley with the eagle queen. Ailís had no wish to continue the war, and so she conceded to the wishes of the young crow prince.

Oileánra would be divided, the crows and owls would give the hawks and the eagles some of the land they took, but not all. Both kingdoms would have access to shares of the archipelago’s resources, and would recognize each other as official nations. Lugh would be remembered as an bringer of tragedy, whilst his white wings as an omen of death and misery.


Homeland

Oileánra is the archipelago that serves as the home of the Éanúil. It is a harsh landscape, impossibly difficult to traverse, and serving as a nearly impenetrable bulwark against enemy raids. Most of the islands in the archipelago are mountains and plateaus, where the Avian tribes make their villages and cities. Their keeps and castles are a thing of wonder, carved into the mountainside, everything is built to accommodate their flight, making it nearly impossible for a flightless individual to traverse their cities and landscape.

The climate is harsh and reflects the landscape. The cold winds from the south break against the crags and carry the salt of the sea in the air, making fertile ground to plant on very rare and precious. The one crop they can generally grow without issue is the potato, which has saved them from crisis upon crisis of famine, time and time again. The fermentation of said crop also makes them a prime producer of Vodka. Because of that, fishing is incredibly common amongst them Avians, and seafood of all types make up most of their diet.


Religion

Both kingdoms share a primordial belief, and while the notions of such would seem primitive to a society as enlightened as that of the crows, they believe in the presence of spirits, guardians of nature and of the essence of everything. They believe that the spirits can be found inside anything that has a name, and that is what gives those things their energy and material. The Avians both believe that the concept of God is something that was created by the collective consciousness of every living being in the world, and that the thoughts of this consciousness carry enough power to shape and influence world events.


Society

The Avian society is split in two kingdoms, the western islands being home to the Hawk tribes, and the eastern islands housing the Crow monarchy. Both nations being named after their majoritary population, not to exclude the Eagles and the Owls.

The Hawks do not have a clear and formed hierarchy. They band together in clans, each led by a Uasal, which will always be an eagle. Each clan will generally have only one family of eagles, as if more are present, they will most likely vie for control and kill the other. In the family itself, there is usually only one eagle offspring, as it is rare for an eagle to mate with another, as they do not submit easily, and it is common to see both male and female eagles as clan leaders. Because of that they will usually mate with a hawk partner, and it is customary for the offspring to fight amongst themselves if more than one is born eagle, as only one will truly soar.

Even so, the hawks will usually meet in moots born out of necessity, either to repel invading forces or even to settle disputes in between the clans. For those cases, there is a Rí, the most powerful of the Uasals, who serves as a high king or queen and settler of debates. In times of crisis, the Uasals will band together under the banner of the Rí, and unleash a furious storm of beaks and talons upon the enemies of the hawks.

The hawk kingdom’s lands are closest to the continent, and between their lands and Entheria runs a corridor of sea that serves as one of the busiest trade routes of the whole continent. Because of this the clans often act like pirates, flying above the ships they seek, killing the crew and taking the ships for themselves. Other times they will strike deals with merchant vessels, offering protection from other clans or pirates in exchange for coin.

The kingdom of the crows however is much more tame in the vies for power, but only to the outsider’s eye. Unlike the hawks, the crows and owls aren't separated in clans, and the Uasals all swear loyalty to the Rí, the Rí being either a crow or an owl, which is chosen between the Uasal families when the ruling Rí dies. When such occasion occurs, the Uasal families will come together and each shall declare a challenge to themselves, a feat that after completed will prove their worth to the ones they are about to rule.

The candidates for the position of Rí are anyone born from the Uasal families, or even the descendant of the Rí himself/herself. The crow kingdom is better known for its excellent mages, and great libraries. The owls and crows have gathered books and knowledge since the early days of their society, from raiding merchant vessels to trade and diplomatic missions into the mainland, the knowledge gathering was always the top priority. Today, the universities of the crows are known throughout the land, and rival the academies of the elves in stature and content.

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