Stylvix (5e Race)
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There once lived a cheerful storekeeper named Bolgar who brought happiness to his hometown through his wares. The halfling merchant was a jolly man that didn't let any misfortunes upset him, even if that misfortune meant loss of business and health. However, one summer midnight would haunt Bolgar for the rest of his life. After a successful day of business, Bolgar was making preparations to close his shop early when a group of bandits appeared to rob him. They ransacked and pillaged Bolgar's store until there was nothing left, leaving Bolgar with no choice but to run for the town guard. Moments later, the town guard quickly followed after the bandit gang in an intense pursuit. Unfortunately, the well-organized gang managed to make a clean getaway through the nearby forest. About half an hour later, one of the bandits, presumably their leader, was the only one to return from the forest. Large gashes covered his torso and he moved with a limp on one leg. He tightly clung onto a glistening brownish-green blade that was in the odd shape of a feather. Blood trickled down the man's chest and onto the cobblestone roads as he trudged through the town. He crawled right to Bolgar's doorstep and dumped everything that he and his gang stole onto the floor. The guards swiftly arrested the bandit leader and immediately performed an interrogation. Bolgar, a curious halfling, listened to the bandit's tale from behind the shop door.
|“||The glow of the moon shone on the trees, forming these really creepy midnight shadows on the forest floor. We carefully shuffled through the leaves, careful as to not bring any suspicion to you guys. As we were nearing the edge of the forest, an arrow just like this one I'm holding breezed past my face, cutting my left cheek and piercing the ground beneath my feet, almost as if it was a warning shot. Naturally, I ordered my gang to draw their weapons. After standing still for a couple seconds, I took a few steps forward as a precautionary measure, but I guess that was a serious mistake. IMMEDIATELY after I did that, this green and brown blur soared through the air, weaving through the lines of trees like some sort of flying machine. One by one, the same arrows impaled the rest of my friends in quick succession and with enough force to knock them off of their feet. After seeing all my friends lying face-first in the dirt, I turned tail to try and flee, but this bird creature dove from the sky and landed right on me, pinning me to the ground with its talons. It glared at me with its golden eyes, and naturally I was scared for my life. I guess the way that those eyes reflected off of the moon's light made them more intimidating or something...But anyway I thought I was about to be this owl thing's midnight snack, but for some strange reason it just...spared me. Moments after raining down arrows on friends it was now gently flapping its massive wings and lifting me back up on my feet. I still don't know why it showed someone like me mercy. But I didn't have time to think about it, though, because that was my chance to make my escape. So...that's why I'm here now, all beaten up and on the brink of death.||”|
After his despair-filled story, the bandit leader coughed up a frightening amount of blood and fell unconscious. The town guard were disappointed to hear the bandit's news. They were expecting to hear of a dragon attack but only got the story of a man attacked by what they presumed to be a giant owl. Nevertheless, they proceeded to whisk the bandit leader to the nearest cleric to tend to his wounds.
While this story may present evidence that stylvixi are ruthless savages out for humanoid blood, humanoids of the civilized world still have yet to see the stylvix race's true colors. Deep in the shadowy timberland, the stylvix stood still, meditating after fending off the aggressor. Once it knew it was safe, the stylvix sighed, lowering its cowl. It was relieved to find that the sleazy bandits were gone for good, unable to harm the forest any longer.
"It is safe now. Be at ease," it whistled in an exotic, almost rhythmic language. Its voice resonated through the forest, and the critters that were deep in hiding cautiously stepped out into the moonlight, celebrating the stylvix's heroism.
Stylvix are humanoid, avian creatures that resemble owls in appearance. They have large and bright eyes that have a golden hue. The feathers on their face form a bright black and orange marking around their eyes and above their beaks, giving the illusion that the creatures wear masks. They have white feathers covering their chest and legs and feathers of an earthly brown covering their back. They have brown wings with orange markings that take up their entire arm. These wings are capable of lifting the stylvix's slim body into the air with ease, granting the stylvix reliable and sustained flight. These wings also have three white appendages on the wing's ends that act as fingers. They can use these three feathered appendages to pick up and carry objects much like human hands do. At the ends of their legs, four sharp talons are present at the end of their feet. They also have three long, green tail feathers that assist in their movement and balance while flying.
Completing their appearance is a green cowl made of leaves that the stylvix make themselves and wear throughout their life. This cowl represents maturity and spiritual strength within the stylvix race, and as such a stylvix never takes off its cowl. The cowl itself is made of the strongest leaves of the forest and two durable vines, materials that are usually further strengthened though magic. The dangling vines can close the cowl to cover the stylvix's face and can also be used to fire projectiles like the string of a bow.
Stylvix are biological relatives of the more commonly-seen aarakocra. The stylvix and aarakocra once lived together in the Elemental Plane of Air and formed a strong alliance between themselves. However, both races eventually discovered a strange and frightening dimension, one that greatly differed from their airy and spacious home. Small groups of stylvixi were curious and decided to venture to this new dimension, eventually discovering the Material Plane in a state pre-dating civilization. Stylvixi, unlike their aarakocra counterparts, absolutely loved the Material Plane, especially its densely packed forests and fresh air. Over the course of several centuries, stylvixi gradually left the Elemental Plane of Air to live within the treetops of forests until only the aarakocra remained.
After thousands of years living in the Material Plane, these avian creatures became accustomed to living in the forest. Due to their time living in the Material Plane, they are a hardy and stoic race, able to survive anything that Mother Nature throws at them. They rarely leave the forests that they reside in and almost never enter any urban areas or places where multiple races mingle. Because of this, their well-being is known only by the Fey that interact with them on occasion. In the societies of other humanoid races, they are seen in the same light as the aarakocra: as incredibly rare creatures only mentioned in stories. On recent occasions, they have been known to assist the aarakocra in their conflicts with other creatures but have never lived alongside them in the Elemental Plane of Air. They much prefer the liveliness and calming aura of nature that the Material Plane provides.
The society of the stylvix is bound to its traditions that were established with their creation. They live in small, isolated communities called territories made up of about twenty to thirty individuals. A maximum of three to four territories can be found on a continent, and no two territories are within at least 50 miles of each-other. The entire territory shares a spacious nest made of the strongest branches of the forest built exclusively by their leader. These complex nests share a resemblance in structure to human inns, having multiple rooms and a large living space. When a stylvix reaches their 12th year of age, they are tasked with a job that will benefit the community as a whole, such as hunting for food, improving and maintaining the nest, or providing medical needs.
These territories provide stylvixi with a unique lifestyle that they have grown to be comfortable with. They're stuffed tightly in the deepest of forest groves, making them incredibly elusive and requiring an impossible amount of intentional searching to come across. The way that these territories are set up provides an independent, self-focused environment where the growth of the individual is the top priority. In spite of that, this philosophy is also detrimental to the social growth of stylvixi, as they never expose themselves to large groups of people or foreign societies, which usually encompass social systems that are polar opposites of stylvix tradition. Due to the staggering differences of other humanoid societies and the spacious environments of the stylvix, claustrophobia has developed within stylvix society at an alarming rate. Enochlophobia is commonly present among stylvixi as well, as stylvixi aren't used to living with more than a dozen other people at a time.
Despite their seclusion, stylvixi take pride in their prosperity in these tightly-knit communities. In order to reinforce and honor the social barriers formed by stylvix tradition, stylvixi collectively refuse to learn the Common language or understand any culture outside of their own. Machinery or foreign technology of any form is strictly forbidden in stylvix society, and because of this stylvixi quickly learn the stylvix way to live off of the land. Their hunting skills are unrivaled by other humanoids, minimizing the time needed to produce a steady stream of food. Due to the time they have spent residing in the many forests of the world, they have eventually opened up over time to Fey creatures of the forest, even learning the Sylvan language from them and exchanging goods and services from time to time. It is because of this relationship that many humanoids mistake stylvixi for strange avian Fey if they have the incredibly rare opporitunity to spot one.
The chain of social classes within stylvix society is simple. Firstly, the Silent Wing holds absolute monarchical power over all stylvix within their territory. The general population, regardless of their career, task, or social status, is next in command. Finally, those that fail the Feather Ritual are last in the social ladder. Unlike other humanoid races, stylvixi are very honorable in the way that they do not treat those of a lower social class with inequality or discrimination. Ancient stylvix teachings dictate that while some stylvixi may be in a significantly disadvantageous social status, every stylvix can improve and redeem themselves in the eyes of their Silent Wing.
The leader of stylvix society, known as the Silent Wing, acts as the presiding ruler over their territory. Their most frequent task is ensuring that every stylvix feels safe and happy under their rule and that the tasks of the public are done with efficiency and quality. They are also given the responsibility of overseeing the Feather Ritual, protecting the community, representing the territory in foreign affairs, and acting as Commander in Chief of the stylvix armed forces if any sort of conflict arises. Much like the monarchs of other humanoid societies, Silent Wings are treated with utmost respect and awe by their subordinates.
In the very extraordinary event that multiple territories must meet, the Silent Wing may travel to the meeting location accompanied by no-one else (other than exactly two heavily-armed guards). This meeting space is usually the central-most forest on the planet geographically. When multiple Silent Wings are in the presence of each-other, they share power equally, temporarily forming an oligarchy within themselves. This is also the case when the race collectively goes to war with another nation or race. Stylvix tradition also teaches that there must be political neutrality within all stylvix territories, and so all territories are almost always acquainted with each-other and rarely share hostilities.
Because of the responsibilities that must be taken up by a Silent Wing, the selection process to crown a new one is incredibly rigorous. When a group of stylvixi make the decision to create a new territory, they must search for a Silent Wing that would best fit these tasks. Once a candidate is found that could become the Silent Wing, they must create the nest all by themselves as a display of strength and determination. If the nest is created with the highest quality and beauty in two weeks time, the territory may be established with that stylvix as the Silent Wing.
Silent Wings traditionally remain in power until their death. However, corruption or other political scandals may cause a Silent Wing to lose their power prematurely. If the general population of a territory makes the decision to dethrone a Silent Wing, they must vote with a 2/3 majority in support of dethroning the Silent Wing. If the vote succeeds, the Silent Wing must step down or be forcefully exiled from that territory. The territory's population must then destroy their nest and redo the Silent Wing selection process. While this process may seem incredibly inefficient and mundane, it coincides with the ancient traditions that stylvixi hold so dearly.
The Feather Ritual
When a stylvix becomes 20 years of age, they will partake in the Feather Ritual, an event that is the singular most important part of stylvix culture. This ritual is the ultimate test, pushing a stylvix's speed, wit, and stamina to their absolute limit. Upon the first moment of a stylvix's 20th birthday, they have ten minutes to locate, defeat, and slay the strongest and most aggressive beast in the forest using only a wooden bow and arrows made of their own sharpened feathers. If a stylvix fails to complete this task, they are able to reattempt the Feather Ritual once per year for five years. Those that fail to complete the Feather Ritual all six times are looked down-upon in their community. They permanently keep their "Nestling" name and are usually given the most mundane or undesirable jobs by the Silent Wing as repentance. However, if a stylvix succeeds in their task, a grand ceremony takes place where the stylvix chooses a name. A great feast is held afterwards for the newly initiated stylvix where the slain beast is served as the main course. Once a stylvix successfully completes the Feather Ritual, they are eligible to become a Silent Wing.
When the festivities for the newly-named stylvix end, the most important and sacred part of the ritual begins. Once the stylvix candidate has returned to their living space, their parents offer them a cowl, one that either parent created for their offspring. The cowl is usually made through the work of the candidate's parents, making each cowl a personal and unique item. This coming-of-age act emphasizes the connection between all stylvixi and how they must keep their traditions close as they face an ever-changing world. The cowl is more than a clothing item; it is the physical manifestation of a stylvix's family and home. While some are able to receive a cowl through other means, the private bond that is created between the parents and their offspring is strengthened through the candidate's acceptance of their cowl.
Unfortunately, because of the rarity and uniqueness of a stylvix cowl, many stylvixi have quickly found ways to create cowls of their own. The secret market for cowls that has built up over time through the stylvix race has inflicted damage on the reputation of the Feather Ritual. While the practice of creating one's own cowl is possible, the emotional importance that the cowl inherently has on the stylvix is lost.
Stylvixi as Adventurers
When creating a stylvix, one must first establish their current (or former) role within their territory and where their territory is within the confines of the campaign's location. Your character's territory can be any distance from the main action of the campaign, from being hundreds of miles away to always being close by. Think about how this would affect your stylvix's mental state as they travel with a party. Once you've taken your stylvix's territorial ties into account, you can move on to the next step in creating your stylvix adventurer.
The next thing a player must plan to tackle when playing as a stylvix adventurer is their genetic fears. Claustrophobia and enochlophobia can be crippling to a stylvix that yearns for adventure, but these fears can also be used to enhance a stylvix's understanding of their own feelings when perceiving the world around them. How much of an impact does the societal differences of other humanoid races have on your perception of fear? When your character finally encounters their fears in their fullest form, how do they react?
Once these important questions have been answered, you're well on your way to making a stylvix adventurer! The last thing that you want to take into consideration when making a stylvix adventurer is how they got into a situation where they would meet the other player characters of your campaign. Since stylvixi are such an isolated race when compared to other humanoids, it is a top priority to answer this question to clear up confusions that your party members or DM might have. Your creation of this situation is mostly dependent on the information that your DM may or may not give you on the in-game events prior to your campaign's first session, so consulting with others for creative inspiration is not a bad idea.
The name of a stylvix is incredibly important, as it connects them with not only an identity but with the territory that they came from. Until their completion of the Feather Ritual, stylvix do not carry a name and are identified by "Nestling" and a letter in the Auran alphabet. When a stylvix chooses their name, they must reflect the place where they have been raised. As a result, their first name is chosen by themselves and followed by "of the" and the community that they came from (i.e. Gale of the Smigamau Timberland). Stylvix that do not hail from a territory and those that have been exiled from their territory use their first name followed by "of the Stylvix" (i.e. Mist of the Stylvix). In a formal setting, the Silent Wing of a territory is referred to by their title followed by their first name and the territory that they rule over (i.e. Silent Wing Gust of the Smigamau Timberland). Note that these are the Common translations of stylvix names, and as such they will be pronounced differently when spoken in Auran. Because of the complexity and length of stylvix names, creatures of other races may decide to use a nickname or only use a stylvix's first name when referring to them.
First Names: Gale, Breeze, Gust, Leaf, Branch, Moon, Sun, Sky, Mist, Dawn, Dusk, Air, Wind, Star, Flower.
Owl-like relatives of the aarakocra and masters of the arrow.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Stylvixi reach maturity at 20 years of age, the exact time they are eligible to participate in the Feather Ritual. They have a longer lifespan than humans, with the healthiest of stylvix living to be about 150-175 years old.
Alignment. Most stylvixi are good and tend to vary when it comes to law and chaos. Silent Wings are always lawful, while adventurers that leave their territory are mostly chaotic.
Size. Stylvixi are average in height but very lightweight, standing at around 5 feet tall and usually weighing 80-90 lbs. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Labored Flight. All stylvixi are born with a strong pair of wings, allowing them to travel through the skies. However, unlike their aarakocra brethren, stylvixi require more energy and effort to fly. You can use an action to gain a flying speed of 40 feet until the start of your next turn. You can continue using this flying speed after the start of your next turn by using this action consecutively. Otherwise, you must land or begin falling. To use this flying speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor.
Talons. Your talons are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Dexterity modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Arrow Quill. You have the strange but powerful ability to use your feathers as sharpened projectiles. During a short or long rest, you can create 2d4 of these quills made from your own molted feathers. The quills can either be thrown (range 20/60), dealing 1d4 piercing damage on a hit, or fired as an arrow from a bow or from your cowl, which is treated as a longbow when firing arrows. In which case, the quills are treated as normal pieces of ammunition and deal the amount of damage listed for the specified bow.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Auran and Sylvan.
Random Height and Weight
|4′ 11″||+1d6||80 lb.||× (1d4) lb.|
*Height = base height + height modifier
When creating a stylvix character, you can use the following table of traits, ideals, bonds and flaws to help flesh out your character. Use this table in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.
|1||I can hold a conversation with others but I would prefer not to speak to non-stylvix creatures. It makes me feel frighteningly uncomfortable.|
|2||I try my best to stay calm and collected, even while facing my fears.|
|3||There's nothing more rejuvenating and fun than flying through the air.|
|4||My territory's Silent Wing is my role model. I hope to make him/her proud with every action I take in life.|
|5||Others seem to enjoy my positivity and energy.|
|6||I try my best to understand and sympathize with the cultures of other races.|
|1||Life. What is most important is the preservation of life and all that is innocent. (Good)|
|2||Freedom. Independence is crucial in living up to one's potential. The old traditions of stylvixi restrict our avian instincts and prevent us from growing. (Chaotic)|
|3||Change. I feel like merging the traditions of the stylvix race with those of other races may be greatly beneficial. Our attitude towards other races must be ever-changing, like the winds we soar through each day. (Chaotic)|
|4||Tradition. Following the traditions of old will keep us stable as a territory and protect our peaceful lives as stylvixi. (Lawful)|
|5||Faith. I trust that my Silent Wing will guide me to become a better stylvix. If we work hard and follow his/her orders, we will become a thriving territory. (Lawful)|
|6||Prosperity. The stylvix race and its prosperity are all that matter. I would do anything to protect a stylvix from harm. (Any)|
|7||Conservation. Other creatures build their cities and empires while mindlessly trampling over the beauty of nature. I have to make an effort to protect the world that I love. (Any)|
|8||Friendship. I want to form strong friendships with as many creatures of other races as possible. It is time for others to understand that stylvixi are a friendly and understandable race. (Good)|
|1||I must preserve the well-being of my territory. Because of this, I venture out into the open world on the orders of my Silent Wing, leaving the safety of my home.|
|2||A mistake that I made brought the destruction of the territory that I lived in. I take my journey to find forgiveness in myself.|
|3||I must search for someone capable of removing the curse that has been placed on my territory.|
|4||I was exiled for breaking stylvix tradition. Maybe by adventuring my Silent Wing will accept me into his/her territory again.|
|5||I lived under a corrupt Silent Wing. I'm leaving my territory to find a way to bring justice to those oppressed by him/her.|
|6||I desire nothing more than to become a Silent Wing. If I am to make a name for myself, I have to prove myself to not only the stylvix race but to the entire world.|
|1||I tend to go into a panic when something doesn't go my way.|
|2||If attention is brought to me, I don't know how to act. Because of this, I cannot stand out in any way.|
|3||It takes me a long time to trust members of other races.|
|4||I tend to judge myself too harshly, causing my perfectionist attitude to bring negativity to others.|
|5||I absolutely loathe machinery, and as such do not understand how to use modern machinery and technology.|
|6||I usually let my fears get the best of me, and so I try to avoid being exposed to my fears at all.|