Bird is the Word!
Introducing the Aves (Birdfolk)
In the Eastern Continent, across the Hudonic Ocean, there is a saying: Leave the North to the Aves (singular Avis). Known for its massive wars and battles throughout history, numerous empires have attempted to conquer the North, where the Aves live. Once, they were scattered tribes and clans of warriors who fought for narrow pieces of farmland and resources. These nations eventually were unified under a single banner, establishing the nation that is simply known as "The Four Kingdoms", or to many simply known as "the Empire". This nation was once the terror of the world with their aggressive imperialistic ways and powerful navy, though a series of revolutions in their colonies have left them a shell of their former glory.
Aves Freelancers will have many natural advantages, but the two that make them truly stand out are their eyesight and their ability to glide. This naturally keen eyesight will allow an Avis to detect even the smallest of objects with ease, and their ability to focus on distant objects will increase the effective range of all ranged weapons. Their ability to glide will allow them to reach places that are inaccessible to others and perform daring maneuvers in airship battles that others could not even dream of – so long as they avoid carrying heavy weapons and armor. Regrettably, physical strength and endurance are not their strong suit, so Aves tend to rely on never getting hit in the first place rather than taking a hit head on.
Players will be able to take to the skies as any of 3 unique variants: Avis This small species is the most common variant of Avis and simply bears the name of their species. They are quick on their feet and able to move swiftly, but they lack the physical strength and endurance of many of the other mortal species. They make for skilled investigators, marksman, and scouts due to their natural abilities. Freelancer High Command highly valued Aves recruits, as while they often have a very difficult time in training, their familiarity with heights and seemingly instinctive ability to act aboard an airship makes them very valuable indeed. Corvus The Corvus, or Feannóg as they call themselves, are black-feathered Aves that hail from the northernmost corners of the world. For most of history, they lived separate from the rest of the Four Kingdoms, living in their own druidic circles and societies. However, over time more and more Corvus territory was lost and clans absorbed into the Empire as the Four Kingdoms consolidated power. Many chose to leave and go to the Highlands province in Tolindia, where they felt at home among the forests of the Elves. Corvus are known for their incredible willpower and their connection to the arcane. For them, Runes are their written language, and they have lived adjacent to magic all their life. Strigiforme The largest of the Aves, the Strigiforme stand tall, averaging seven and a half feet in height. Strigiforme are naturally nocturnal, and they have adapted both eyes that can pierce the gloom of night and ears that can pick up on the slightest sound. This, combined with their ability to turn their head 180 degrees, makes them the perfect sentry. Not only that, they defy the reputation the Aves have for physical weakness, and are capable of great feats of strength. We're not leaving our unlock there though! Alongside these new species options will come a new type of item for all Freelancers: Magical Charms and Amulets. These are new ways for characters to use Runes, and since these do not require finely processed Dragon Oil are a much cheaper and more accessible form of magic, (though they are not as powerful as other runic effects).
Charms can be used only once before they break, but can create a variety of effects from the straightforward, such as a charm that will create a thick cloud of smoke around the user to provide cover anywhere, to the more esoteric, like charms that allow the user to see the flow of magic itself.
Amulets are more permanent runic items, and they will provide a small benefit over a stretch of time. These are generally not as potent as military-grade runes on armor, but they can provide useful benefits to any who wear them. Of course, some Amulets may provide truly powerful effects that can grant tremendous power – but drawing that power from dragon blood can also require quite the cost. We also managed to squeeze past one last social goal, unlocking one last playable species option. More than Meets the Eye
That's right, coming in 2nd place are the Runebound Constructs! Both the treacherously dangerous and difficult creation process makes Runebound Constructs a rarity. What's more, even the best runescribe needs one critical component that makes the process highly taboo...a living soul.
Runebound are the living spirits of mortal species bound to inanimate constructs, suits or armor, or even at times their own skeletal remains through intricately weaved rune magic. Despite the inherently taboo nature, it is not uncommon for the wealthy or influential to seek it as a path to cheat death. There is no one way to make a Runebound Construct however and some attempts are more effective than others. More often than not the process simply fails resulting in the death of the subject (and even sometimes the runescribe). Other times, the effect is less encompassing and the subject awakes with little to no recollection of their former life. This can lead to an aimless existence and many to seek meaning to their new lives. Here the Freelancers welcome them with open (if a little warry) arms.
Runebound are distinctly resilient but face major prejudice in society due to the questionable nature of their creation.
That wraps things up for now. We're still working on the pledge manager right now but it should be up and ready soon! Thanks again for all your support and engagement! For Tolindia!