Claws of the Dragon
—Poorht the Thief, as he fled for his life after stealing the dagger of Captain Larus Baldurion, Sky Raider
Windlings are small winged creatures. Only 18 inches in height and weighing an average of 13 pounds, windlings take to the skies by two pairs of wings similar to those of a dragonf ly. While living in clans in the deepest forest, windlings regularly travel the land to gain new experiences, meet new people, and pick up styles and traditions unknown to their homes, regularly bringing them back to incorporate into clan society. While seen as pranksters, windlings often have a “live and let live” attitude, revere freedom, and abhor slavery. Their fragile natures makes windlings perceptive to dangers that larger races would not even consider as such, and their senses extend as far as the magical world, but their curiosity distracts them just as often.
If not caught unaware by too many distractions, windlings can live to their average lifespan of 170 years, but they are not considered adults before their thirties. Their appearance does not age during this time.
A windling’s skin color matches the brightest-colored elements of the environment in which it lives: icy white in a snow cap, the yellow and orange of meadow flowers, the glazed blue of the ceramic roof tiles of the city of Travar. Skin coloration only changes after a windling has lived in the same place for two or three months. Then, in the space of three nights, the windling’s skin changes to match its current surroundings. Windlings grow very little body hair, though their head hair can be luxurious. Their ears come to a sharper point even than elven ears.
Windling society can best be described as haphazard. Windlings often speak of a class of nobles who rule them. Although they will obey a direct order from a noble, the social hierarchy stops there. Windlings acting on orders from their queen cannot wield authority over other windlings by virtue of these orders, but may persuade other windlings to seek out the queen to determine for themselves that the orders are legitimate. Windlings are happiest when living outdoors, taking shelter under or inside whatever nature can provide and windling magic makes comfortable.
Starting Attribute Values:
DEX 11, STR 4, TOU 8, PER 11, WIL 10, CHA 12
Movement Rate: 3/8 (ground/flying) • Karma Modifier: 6
Windlings possess the following racial abilities:
• Astral Sight: All windlings have access to the Astral Sight Talent. Windling adepts starting play with no Ranks assigned to their Astral Sight talent know it at Rank 0. They may purchase Ranks for it during the game using Legend Points, just like other talents, treating it as a talent of First Circle.
• Flight: Windlings can fly, but it is not their primary method of movement. Flying windlings tire quickly and usually limit their flights to short periods of around twenty minutes. After twenty minutes of flying, a windling may suffer Strain. Every additional minute spent in f light requires a Toughness (5) Test. Failure means the character takes 1 Strain. Each five-minute period spent flying beyond the initial twenty minutes adds +2 to the Difficulty Number of the Toughness Test. Short interruptions do not reset the time spent flying, they only reduce it on a one-to-one basis: a windling who has spent twenty minutes in flight and then rests five minutes to avoid taking Strain can only continue flying for five more minutes before having to make Toughness Tests again. Though windling wings are durable, they become heavy and fragile when wet, severely impairing the windling’s ability to fly. When soaked with water, for example after falling into a stream or in heavy rain, the duration of Flight is reduced from twenty to five minutes, and the Difficulty Number of the Toughness Tests increases by +2 every minute, instead of every five minutes. When flying with wet wings, the windling is considered Harried. Windling wings dry within ten minutes of being in a dry place, or within five minutes of being in a warm place, such as in front of an open fire.
• Increased Physical Defense: The natural mobility of windlings, combined with their small size, adds +2 to their Physical Defense.
Special Rules and Other Considerationsh5. Alternative Talent Choices
Because of their racial abilities, most windling characters have no use for talents such as Climbing, Gliding Stride, or Great Leap.
When a windling adept receives one of these talents – or a similar one both player and gamemaster feel is redundant with the windling’s ability to fly – as a Discipline Talent or Talent Option, he may replace it with the Wind Catcher or Wind Dance talent, or learn a Talent Option of the gamemaster’s approval available at his current Circle in place of that talent if it is a Discipline Talent.
Windlings’ lighter physical make-up and the impracticality of trying to fly in heavy armor make it possible for attackers to bring down a healthy windling combatant with one solid blow. Windlings generally attempt to offset this disadvantage by using a unique series of tactics and talents in combat situations, the most prominent of which is a rapid swooping attack. A windling takes advantage of his flight capability to plunge toward an enemy, hit his opponent with a single blow in an area of vulnerability, then race into the sky out of harm’s way before his stunned opponent can react and retaliate. Use of this tactic requires the use of the Splitting Movement Combat Option.
In keeping with their preference for distance attacks, windlings usually use weapons such as bows, spears, and blowguns and often coat their weapons with poisons and other drugs to gain an additional advantage.
Windlings prefer to strike from concealed positions, waiting until they have the advantage to attack, much in the style of guerrilla warfare—adepts of the Windmaster Discipline employ this tactic to their advantage. However, most windlings find more honor in neutralizing an opponent’s fighting capability than in killing. A windling who disables an opponent gains stature as a fighter of great skill, and if he can add a humorous or embarrassing element to the disabling, so much the better.
A windling receives his Name from his parents and kinparents.
Aylaa, Buukh, Cydiilya, Daalan, Ekidii, Faylaa, Ghooru, Gesaale, Hakudaa, Ijundaa, Joorn, Kaarth, Leeth, Manataas, Nyataij, Osildaas, Poosim, Qendaar, Pooth, Syildijan, Tinsoo, Ukayaar, Vaylaa, Xastiin, Zorisanaal