Avians are a race of Bird People, created by the Fae during the War with the Gods. Fae volunteered (usually) to become these Avian creatures, their souls melded with that of the birds. As such they come in all colors and patterns.
Avians were created during the War by the Fae as a means to combat the armies of the Gods from the air. Their creation was difficult, and there were many failed attempts before a true merging of Bird and Fae was achieved. Not all the Fae that underwent the process did so voluntarily, but the benefits could not be denied. No one Fae can claim the honor of their creation as it took the power and knowledge of many to get it right. However, much like the birds they were created from, many of the Avians were difficult to control, and often turned on the hand that made them. After the war, they were sealed away in Allutheria with the rest of the Fae, though they were not counted amongst them as many of the Fae no longer saw them as equals but tools. Many an Avian was enslaved in the early days though it is difficult to control such a wild and untamed spirit as an Avian. Eventually the Avians left the Fae courts behind and formed a Coterie of their own out on the nearly uninhabitable cliffs by the Allutherian sea.
Avians are a social group, much the same as the birds they were merged with. They tend to run in family units, with the Birds of Prey leading the largest groups. As they were originally created as weapons, the Avians have not given up their warrior roots. Most are Archers or dual wielders, using their flight and speed to their advantage. They tend to wear lighter armor, so they are not bogged down by the extra weight. Their main source of food is fish as the largest number of them make their home on the cliffs along the coastline of Allutheria. Rather then houses, Avians create nests lined with feathers and trinkets in small alcoves open to the air. The more elaborate a nest, the better a chance of attracting a mate. They can be very protective of their homes and families, though they spend much of their time away from the other races.
Many of the Fae see the Avians as savage beings, more tribal in nature then the Fae would like. In truth it is simply that the Avians live more as their animal kin then the Fae do, refusing such grand things as courts and kings and gods. Instead it is might and ingenuity that lead them, with the Birds of Prey being the larger and stronger they often take the leadership roles though there is room for the smaller, faster, even smarter birds to gain a foothold. Avians tend not to walk on the ground very often, preferring the tree tops and the sky for their travel. Befriending an Avian might not be as difficult as one might think, all it takes is some patience, a thick skin, and a good shiny to lure one away from the Coterie.
An Avian in Heat is another thing altogether, these primal creatures can rarely be reasoned with and there is little that can truly stop them. A connection with the Avian outside the Heat Cycle might help but lacking that all you can do is hope not to get in it's way or anger it as it searches for a suitable mate. Avians value strength in their mates and both males and females will often battle each other for the right to the mate they believe is the strongest or the fastest. As they don't often socialize with the other races, stories of Avians in Heat praying on a lone Fae are rare, though not unheard of.
Avians typically appear as adult Fae with large bird wings. These wings take the colorings of any bird species, though they do tend to run in bloodlines. Birds of Prey are the most notable, though smaller species are not unheard of. Their bodies tend to be slightly smaller then their Fae cousins, more delicate in appearance, though the muscles of their upper body are more pronounced due to the constant usage of their large wings. Wingspans can vary depending on species, average is six feet with the larger species reaching 12 or 14 feet. As they were created from the Fae themselves, their colorings and markings vary greatly. Their blood is a deep purple, often smelling of rancid fish due to their preferred diet though this can lessen with the amount of other meat they consume. Their bodies are designed for flight and to survive in the thin, cold air at great heights. They eat meat mostly, though they can digest other foods just as well, and the smaller species prefer it.
They reproduce much the same as their Fae cousins, except instead of a live baby they produce an egg (up to four eggs in one clutch) two months or so after mating. These eggs must be cared for and kept warm until they hatch three months later. Avians only reproduce once every couple of years during a Heat Cycle, which varies from Avian to Avian. They also stop being able to reproduce around 400. They can mate with other species such as Fae and Humans, or species with a human form though they often think themselves above mating with anyone but another Avian. During their Heat Cycles, it is difficult for them to think about anything except mating and only mating can turn down the Heat (so to speak) and it is possible for an Avian to go mad if their lust is not sated. These Cycles last anywhere from a couple of days, to weeks depending on the Avian. If the female is Avian, the child will also be Avian, though they will share traits of the father. If the father is Avian, the child may share some of his traits though it is very rare they will retain the Avian wings as the child often takes after the mother.
New hatchlings are born in complete bird form, there is little difference between them and their bird counterparts, cept for their larger size. Many an Avian has snuck their offspring into a bird's nest instead of caring for the egg themselves. The first 2-3 years are spent this way, though after that they begin to shed their feathers and transform into a Fae with Bird wings. Their Fae life span was severely shortened by their transformation but they are still long lived creatures. They reach maturity around 25-30 years of age, able to reproduce at this time. The longest living Avian died at 1095 years of age after the War. Due to their long lifespans and short reproduction cycle the Avians have become numerous, but their constant inter-species fighting lessens their numbers, making it so reaching old age is rare. Average age of death by natural causes is around 800, though most rarely see 500.
While the Avians were created from the Fae, what magic they had was used in their transformation. They still have use of their Fae glamour however, though it is limited only to hiding their massive wings to make them appear like other Fae when needed. While not magic necessarily, they carry the same sense of direction and navigation that their animal counterparts do. They also share senses more on par with their Bird cousins, keen sense of vision and hearing, as well as smell for hunting. Avians have two sets of vocal chords, allowing them not only normal speech but also the ability for bird speech as well.
Avians can be killed much like other creatures, they have no magical ability to protect them. Their bones can break rather easily due to their lighter construction, though their skin is a bit thicker to protect them from the cold at the higher altitudes. They have an innate fear of being underground or trapped in enclosed spaces. Many Avians suffer from a touch of Magpie Syndrome, making them easily distracted by shinies which they use to decorate their nests.