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  • Claire Redfield
    started a topic Arindhal: The Wind-Lords

    Arindhal: The Wind-Lords

    Lara wiped sweat from her brow as she crested the ridge. The climb had been arduous but she was nearly to the top. It was important to her to do it in Hishu form. To shift would have been too easy. No predator grew strong without challenge. Her boot slipped as she crawled over a moss-covered rock and she slashed her knee on a sharp stone. Grunting, Lara continued on as the torn flesh knit itself in seconds, a strange, tugging sensation, both itchy and painful. It was over quick and Lara made it to the top of the bluff. She looked down over a forested sea of green and brown, jagged snow-capped peaks in the distance. The Cascades were a thing of beauty. Lara took in a deep breath, her piercing gaze sweeping over the forest. She saw squirrels darting amid tree branches even from so high up. Birds of countless varieties flitted about and sang their songs, heedless of the watcher high above. Butterflies of bright colors flew their strange, jagged routes. She'd always found them strange, their way of flying. So different from the true lords of the sky, propelled with muscle and wind currents, each wing-stroke a macrocosm of life itself. No matter now. Lara had seen what she came to see. Now it was time to finish it.

    She leaped from the cliff and plunged toward the forest below.

    Moments later a great bird swooped out over the treetops. An eagle of tremendous size, its feathers of gold and brown. Faster it flew, faster than any but the swiftest of swifts, more powerful than the butterflies. Up it went, circling high above the forest, toward the one bare tree that stuck out higher than the others. There the air seemed to ripple, at least to her impossibly keen eyes, watching the ants crawl over it from hundreds of feet up. The Zathu was thin there, as always it was, for generations before Lara. But now she flew toward it, past it, plunging into the Gauntlet and emerging from the other side into a darker and wilder forest.

    Prey-spirits fled the shadow of the eagle. The hunt was on.
    _________________________

    Long have they hunted the wilds of flesh and spirit. They are the Arindhal, the children of Sun and Earth, lords of the sky. Some call them wereeagles, but they simply refer to themselves as the People. Where werewolves hunt the paths of the earth with matchless killing efficiency, the Arindhal hunt the lofty realms where wolves cannot go. They are proud, fierce, and determined hunters, men and women who revel in their freedom. For the eagle's gift is to fly, to rule the winds as no other creature can, and the Arindhal value nothing more than the ability to soar.

    Arindhal tell many myths of their creation. The most popular is that a great bird of fire descended from the sky, an avatar of Helios himself, in pursuit of a truly wicked thing of darkness. Helios pursued the creature through the sky, but it fled to the cracks in the earth, hid in the places where he could not go. Instead, Helios cast his gaze upon the strange little creatures that built their eyries with tools and painted pictures of the Sun. These humans, suckled upon Gaia's bosom and spread far throughout Pangaea, held untold potential in their adaptability. Helios came to Gaia and asked that She bless some of these children to carry his lineage. Gaia and Helios sowed the seed, and though Helios soon returned to his place in the firmament, the first of his children was born. She was Gwaihiri, the first of the Arindhal, the keenest-eyed hunter to ever live. Possessed of Gaia's beauty and infinite adaptability, Helios' ferocity, they are born to hunt. Proud and powerful, the Arindhal have ruled the skies since their saurian brethren disappeared.

    In the modern nights, the Arindhal hunt as they ever have in the realms of flesh and spirit. They are not so numerous as the Uratha but cast just as long a shadow in their territories. They come from many walks of life, but even before the First Change, they're fiercer than their peers, more driven, more focused. Many thrive in the business world with a keen eye for opportunity, and ruthless attention to detail. Some flock to more outdoors-oriented professions, like park rangers, forest firefighters, law enforcement, roles that challenge them but also let them pursue their goals with raptorial tenacity.

    The First Change is less of a bloody, traumatic experience shattering the nascent wereeagle's worldview, but more things long misunderstood finally coming into stark clarity. It is like the Arindhal has spent her entire life with blurred vision, as though wearing glasses not meant for her, and then she takes off the lenses and finds that she can see more clearly than she ever thought possible. The process can be trying as she struggles against the bonds of gravity and the one-sided life she has led. Something within her yearns to be free in a way only the birds can understand, to know purity as only a raptor on the hunt can know. The sky that once called to her, drew her wistful gaze in its cloudless summers and overcast winters, now reaches out to embrace her, lift her upon wings she can only now spread. When she comes through the First Change, and undergoes her transformation, soars through the sky for the first time under her own power, only then does the Arindhal know herself.

    Arindhal gather together in eyries, small groups who "nest" together in the sense that they hunt the same territory, and band together against the threats of both spirit and flesh. Their equivalent of a protectorate is called a Convocation. A meeting of all the local eyries is a rather mystic and subdued affair compared to a gathering of werewolves, owing to the more stoic nature of the Arindhal. Most choose to meet in the early morning, just before sunrise, their most sacred of times, but some are more unconventional.

    Quick Info
    Placeholder information until I can more fully flesh this out. The Arindhal have five auspices, like Uratha, though theirs are based on the sun (and startlingly similar to Exalted Solar castes, I know, but think more "Mokolé," less "Exalted"):

    Dawn (Dhursa); warriors, tacticians, equivalent to Rahu. Auspice Renown: Purity.

    Zenith (Endalla); ritualists, judges, emissaries, equivalent to Elodoth. Auspice Renown: Honor.

    Dusk (Kazedhu); shamans, mystics, occultists, equivalent to Ithaeur. Auspice Renown: Wisdom.

    Night (Bharanu); night-hunters, scouts, watch-eagles, equivalent to Irraka. Auspice Renown: Cunning.

    Eclipse (Ankasam); visionaries, lorekeepers, storytellers, equivalent to Cahalith. Auspice Renown: Glory.

    The Arindhal have their tribes, though they have no Firstborn to serve. Rather, each tribe venerates a spirit related to the Sun or Earth. Each tribe also tends to favor different breeds of eagles, though this is only a general trend and by no means a hard limit to character concepts.

    Wind Sages (Abhkal Dumu) seek the secrets lost to lesser eyes, in both the Shadow and the mortal world. Often they take the form of golden eagles. More than most other tribes they are willing to travel outside their territories, into the darkest places seeking knowledge. Their tribal totem is Gaia's Breath, an avatar of the winds that carry all flying creatures aloft. Tribal Renown: Wisdom.

    Sun Bearers (Udhakur) must burn hotter and shine brighter than all other of Sun's creatures, for they alone truly bear his mark. They lead the Arindhal, whether they will or no, and consider themselves the "apex" in "apex predator"—often many take positions of command in the human world. Many are white-tailed eagles, but many possess unusually golden or yellow streaks in their tail feathers, and most often they adorn themselves with artifacts that glint in the sun. Their tribal totem is Firebird, an avatar of Helios' eternal glory. Tribal Renown: Honor.

    Red Talons (Bhazu Dhara) lead the hunt and fight the greatest battles among the Arindhal. They are the warriors-poets and tacticians that see eyries through the most trying times. A common eagle breed among them is harpy eagle. Their tribal totem is the Black Wind, a spirit of death from above. Tribal Renown: Glory.

    Glass Wings (Anzak Dhal) hunt the cities with a fervor their kindred rarely share. They are clever and adaptable hunters. Alone among the tribes the Glass Wings will favor human methods of travel when it fits them—such as hunting without avoiding the attention a raptor in the sky often does. Their tribal totem is Raven, for which they have caught an endless amount of trouble from the other tribes, renowned for his cleverness, adaptability, and guile. Tribal Renown: Cunning.

    Serpent Gazers (Kaz Dhakal) are the monsters that carry away other monsters, or children if superstitions have any truth to them. They protect territories from the serpents hidden within; the Serpent Gazers look beyond facades to spy out the corruption beneath, whether in the People or in the human elements that fill their territory. Their tribal totem is, strangely enough, an owl: Night's Ivory, a spirit known for its keen insight into things that lurk in the dark. Tribal Renown: Purity.

    Rites and Gifts
    The Arindhal possess rites and Gifts much like the Uratha do. They possess similar Shadow Gifts, with changes here and there (mostly based on their different forms) or their own unique Shadow Gifts. They also have Raptor Gifts (equivalent to Wolf Gifts) and Sun Gifts, powers bestowed by Father Sun. I'll write up some sample Gifts when I can.

    Forms and Regeneration
    Arindhal regenerate as do Uratha. They do not take aggravated damage from silver but from gold, following all the same rules (and generally the same taboos) as silver for werewolves. Assume that Arindhal can reach into the Hisil, use loci, see into the Shadow, etc., all as werewolves do. They share many of the same basic functions, even if their outlooks, chosen prey, and hunting grounds differ.

    Hishu: Same as Uratha, but gain +2 to sight-based perception rolls instead of +1. All wereeagles have notably piercing eyes as a feature in human form.
    Irien: The wereeagle becomes taller, leaner, and feathers appear in her hair. She can attack with teeth and claws for lethal damage, functioning as does Dalu with the following changes. Dexterity +1, Stamina +1, Size +1 (Health +2, Speed +1). "Badass Motherfucker" becomes "Piercing Gaze."
    Sakan: This form burns with the Sun's fury untempered. The Arindhal becomes a large bipedal bird with wings possessing clawed hands, fully capable of flight or rather ungainly ground movement. As Gauru, with the following changes. Strength +2, Dexterity +2, Stamina +2, Size +1 (Health +3, Initiative +2, Speed +4). Beak does +1 damage and doesn't need a grapple; talons do +2 damage and can establish grapples. Increase Initiative by +3 when using either. +3 to perception rolls, or +4 if sight-based. Sakan-form wereeagles can fly at their normal Speed, but suffer a -1 to any aerial acrobatics rolls.
    Gwaihiru: The form of a giant eagle, with a wingspan roughly twice Hishu form's height. This form is far more powerfully built than even the legendary extinct Haast's eagle, unchallenged in the skies. Strength +1, Dexterity +1, Stamina +2 (Health +2, Initiative +1, Speed +2). May fly at normal Speed. +3 to perception rolls or +4 if sight-based.
    Dhalsar: The form of a large modern eagle. Strength -1, Dexterity +2, Stamina +1, Size -1 (Initiative +2, Speed +7 [species factor 6]). May fly at normal Speed. +3 to perception rolls, or +5 if sight-based.
    Last edited by Claire Redfield; 10-04-2015, 06:13 PM.

  • Korogra
    replied
    Originally posted by Almarck View Post


    What kind of rebirth would you be thinking of? There's lots of different ways to handle it.
    The boring answer would be that they just pop out of their ashes as they were before they were killed.

    The fun, and super awkward answer is they come back as a baby birdy

    Leave a comment:


  • Almarck
    replied
    Originally posted by Claire Redfield View Post

    Nope! I love phoenixes (favorite mythical creature) and it'd be pretty dope if a high-level Gift for these guys let them take on phoenix form briefly, or be reborn when killed.

    What kind of rebirth would you be thinking of? There's lots of different ways to handle it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Seidmadr
    replied
    Originally posted by Claire Redfield View Post

    Nope! I love phoenixes (favorite mythical creature) and it'd be pretty dope if a high-level Gift for these guys let them take on phoenix form briefly, or be reborn when killed.
    Well, there is the Ressurection inborn aspect from War Against the Pure to ad-hoc in...

    Leave a comment:


  • Claire Redfield
    replied
    Originally posted by nofather View Post
    Would it be too detracting to tie in Helios to make them a bit like phoenixes?
    Nope! I love phoenixes (favorite mythical creature) and it'd be pretty dope if a high-level Gift for these guys let them take on phoenix form briefly, or be reborn when killed.

    Leave a comment:


  • nofather
    replied
    Would it be too detracting to tie in Helios to make them a bit like phoenixes?

    Leave a comment:


  • wyrdhamster
    replied
    To make things different than Kuruth, maybe Zeal makes character to strive to engage in making Tilts with every thier attack. With classical "Not in the eyes!" plead of their enemies?

    Kuruth makes you attack - Zeal makes you go with the grace. Other ideas - Kun-shulor
    ( Weresquides )
    have Hunger Rage to eat brains.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 10-22-2015, 01:15 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • YeOfLittleFaith
    replied
    I understand the concept, I just think it has potential to be more meaningful if it was taken in a somewhat distinct direction. I still think it does well as is mind, and Zeal is nice fluff for it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sikla Alkis
    replied
    Originally posted by YeOfLittleFaith View Post
    That works! Though I personally still feel like that differs from the Rage enough in spirit(snerk) that adjusted mechanics for triggering kuruth might be justified. Which... isn't all that helpful as feedback when I have no discrete suggestions on how to do it, I realize.
    It's still a form of Rage. The Arindhal operate on Tranquil Fury vs. Roaring Rampage of Revenge-style beatdown. Both are forms of anger, and both manifest with some sort of killing instinct.

    Leave a comment:


  • YeOfLittleFaith
    replied
    That works! Though I personally still feel like that differs from the Rage enough in spirit(snerk) that adjusted mechanics for triggering kuruth might be justified. Which... isn't all that helpful as feedback when I have no discrete suggestions on how to do it, I realize.

    Leave a comment:


  • Claire Redfield
    replied
    Consider it the Zeal of Helios. You could even change it to "Zeal" if that fits better. The Arindhal in their war-form are not slavering, roaring beasts. They're like the cold light of dawn. They act with such singular focus—the act of killing—that all else ceases to matter. It's like the vision of an eagle but with complete tunnel-vision. Kill. Purge. Prey. Focused as a ray of sunlight, searing like the surface of the sun, bearer of Helios' manifest wrath.

    Leave a comment:


  • YeOfLittleFaith
    replied
    Was it? I don't remember anything in the Second Edition core or any of the first edition material I read (which was admittedly sparse) suggesting that.

    (But that doesn't particularly make the Rage seem fitting for the Arindhal either.)

    Leave a comment:


  • Thorbes
    replied
    Wasn't the Rage part of the curse from Luna?

    Leave a comment:


  • YeOfLittleFaith
    replied
    This is pretty awesome Claire.

    Though, hopefully pertinent question: would the Arindhal even carry the risk of Kuruth? The Uratha supposedly inherited the Rage and its power from Urfarah. The terror and indomitable healing of their Killing Form comes from it, among other things, and I don't see a link to a close equivalent in the ancestry of the Wind-Lords.

    Perhaps they would be better served by having something different of comparable significance? I don't think the theme of rage as written for Werewolves lends itself to their image based on what you wrote so far or the symbolism and qualities commonly associated with eagles. Granted, it depends on your vision for their themes, so maybe the thought comes prematurely.
    Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 10-21-2015, 06:01 PM.

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  • nofather
    replied
    The Pure book has an Ivory Claws lodge that dates back to Roman days, if not before, called the Council of Eagles. They were sort of like a self-appointed secret police, punishing werewolves for bad behavior. Perhaps they were originally allies with the Arindhal.

    Leave a comment:

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