Kyrie

Flying high, flying free...

The Kyrie are one of the many lesser races of the Dragonlance setting of Dungeons & Dragons. Similar in many ways to raptorans, they are humanoid birds who favor the "human" portion of their physiology more so than, say, the aarakocra. First debuting in the Dragonlance Appendix for the Monstrous Compendium in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Kyrie were also updated to Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition in the Revised Bestiary of Krynn, and then to a PC race in Races of Ansalon.

Contents

HistoryEdit

The kyrie are believed to descend from a race of bird-loving humans who were exposed to the mutative energies of the Graygem, which transformed them to resemble the birds they so admired. Chislev adopted them as one of her people, and they dedicated their lives to her. Originally, they pursued a nomadic existence across the islands and coastlines of northeast Ansalon, aided by the magical direction-granting powers of an artifact called the Northstone; that all changed when they entered the territory of Krynn's minotaurs on the isles of Mithas & Kothas; the bull-men stole the Northstone, and stranded the kyrie on those islands. Ever since then, they have fought a guerrilla war against the minotaurs, considering them their bitterest enemies.

PhysiologyEdit

The bird-man of Ansalon.

Like raptorans or aarakocra, kyrie resemble an amalgamation of human and hawk. Their basic body-structure is humanoid; an upright biped with a visibly mammalian torso, two arm-appendages (which combine the functions of wings and hands, with claw-like nails on otherwise human hands), two digitigrade legs resembling those of a scaled-up hawk, and a human's head. Feathers cover their scalp, torso, thighs and arms - especially the arms, which double as wings after all. They are a tall and slender people, with a wiry frame to aid them in flying. Their features consist of a small nose, thin lips, and tiny eyes, usually light blue or yellow. The plumage of a kyrie ranges from dark brown with golden highlights to stark white with black tips. Their usual life expectancy is 120 years, reaching maturity at the age of 16.

Kyrie act and move very much like birds do, with quick yet jerky movements, their heads turning toward the direction of sounds, and cocked to the side when they are confused. Their human traits surface just enough to dispel any thought that they are merely large, ungainly birds, and when they are encountered at close range the expressions and subtle nuances of their faces make this clear. In flight, kyrie are graceful and almost poetic. When on land, they are awkward and ungainly.

PsychologyEdit

When left to their own devices, kyrie are a peaceful race, with a deeply philosophical nature that manifests itself in a love of both artwork and a deep spirituality. Much of their leisure time is spent composing poetry, performing music, or otherwise communing with their patron gods in the splendor of the deep wilderness. To friends and allies, they are gentle, patient, and kindly creatures.

However, they also have a hawk-like territoriality, an aggressive streak that has been honed by centuries of bitter warfare against the minotaurs. This makes them not only prone to being dour and serious-minded, especially when away from the rest of their aerie, but also xenophobic, suspicious, and aggressive. It doesn't take much to bring the territorial warrior out of the gentle poet. They are steadfast and loyal allies - and bitter foes to those who earn their ire.

HoldingsEdit

Kyrie inhabit "aeries", hidden settlements comprised of caves or artificially constructed nests located in isolated mountain regions. The entrances are always camouflaged, mostly through the use of patterned hide covers; visitors aren't welcome, which is understandable given their ongoing war with the minotaurs. Inside, a thick layer of straw provides insulation and comfort against the stony or hard wooden floors. Each settlement adopts the same pattern; children and unhatched eggs at the center, single adults close to the entrance.

Aeries are scattered across the Blood Sea, though a few have migrated else; the most notable is the Aara-Kocra aerie in Southern Ergoth.

CultureEdit

By preference, the kyrie exist in a semi-nomadic lifestyle, but conflicts or other threats often force them into long periods of settlement agaisnt their will.

The foundation of kyrie civilization is the tribal unit, with each aerie consisting of one or more extended family units - clans. They are a patriarchal people, with males holding the authority roles within the aerie, and the largest clan's patriarch reigns over the whole aerie. When he dies, his eldest son inherits the position.

Kyrie spend much of their time fighting a guerrilla war against the minotaurs. Not just because they stole the Northstone, but also because the minotaurs decided that a noxious thick soup-like concoction made of kyrie egg yolks mixed with mutton fat was a delicacy. Needless to say, the kyrie harass the minotaurs as often as they can, usually attacking them on sight, and direct a similar hostility towards any known allies of the bull-men. Every aerie does whatever it can to disrupt and disorientate the fringe communities of the minotaur empire, and ending the threat permanently is the political imperative of all patriarchs.

Encounters with other races are rare, and because of their ongoing war, the kyrie usually don't know what to make of anyone else. They are naturally mistrustful, at least until honor or value can be proven, but are slightly more reserved with humans - and with elves, in the wake of their diaspora in the Age of Mortals.

Between their wandering nature and their ongoing struggles, kyrie adventurers are actually quite common. By kyrie standards, anyway. In the Age of Mortals, younger kyrie are trying to figure out if it's worth reaching out to the other races of Krynn for aid in their war against the minotaurs.

When not fighting or performing the basic day-to-day tasks that keep their people alive, kyrie spend much of their time performing religious rites; their spirituality is an integral part of tribal life. Their patron goddess is, of course, Chislev, whom they know as Askyren ("Winged Mother" in Auran), but they also revere other gods associated with the sky and air, including Habbakuk and Shinare. Naturally, they absolute despise Sargonnas, the patron god of the minotaurs.

One known kyrie ritual is the Ceremony of the Warrior, which involves the communal drinking by the tribe of blood taken from a sea dragon.

3e PC StatsEdit

Due to their "Monstrous Humanoid" status, the basic Kyrie profile suffers heavily from the scourge of Level Adjustment. As a result, a cut-down version with a racial class is also presented in the same book.

Full-Fledged Kyrie:

-2 Strength, +6 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom.
Medium: Kyrie are lightweight but taller than humans.
A kyrie’s base land speed is 20 feet. A kyrie also has a fly speed of 50 feet (good).
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Racial Hit Dice: A kyrie begins with four levels of monstrous humanoid, which provide 4d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +4, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +1, Ref +4, and Will +4.
Racial Skills: A kyrie’s monstrous humanoid

levels give it skill points equal to 7 x (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Listen, Spot, and Survival.

Racial Feats: A kyrie’s monstrous humanoid levels give it two feats.
+2 natural armor bonus.
Spellcasting: Spells and domain as a 3rd-level mystic.
Automatic Languages: Auran, Kothian. Bonus Languages: Common, Kalinese, Nordmaarian.
Favored Class: Mystic.
Level Adjustment: A Kyrie has an effective character level (ECL) of 7 + class levels.

Fledgeling Kyrie & Racial Class:

-2 Strength, +2 Dexterity.
Automatic Languages: Auran, Kothian. Bonus Languages: Common, Kalinese, Nordmaarian.
Favored Class: Kyrie. A kyrie may not take levels in any other class except kyrie until he has gained all seven kyrie racial class levels. Kyrie usually take levels in fighter or mystic after this point.

All the following are class features of the kyrie racial class.

Hit Dice: 1d8 at 1st, 2d8 at 2nd, 3d8 at 4th, 4d8 at 6th.

Base Attackk Bonus: +1 at 1st, +2 at 2nd, +3 at 4th, +4 at 6th.

Fort Save: +0 at 1st, +1 at 5th.

Ref Save: +2 at 1st, +3 at 2nd, +4 at 6th.

Will Save: +2 at 1st, +3 at 2nd, +4 at 6th.

Skill Points: 2 + Int mod X 4 at 1st, then 2 + Int mod at 2nd, 4th and 6th.

Class Skills: Handle Animal, Knowledge (nature), Listen, Spot, and Survival.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: Kyrie are proficient with all simple weapons and with light armor, but not shields.

Feats: A kyrie gains a feat at 1st level, and another at 4th level. Typical choices include Hover, Flyby Attack, Weapon Finesse, and Wingover. After 7th level, he gains feats normally according to his Hit Dice, level adjustment, and class levels.

Gliding: A 1st level kyrie is not capable of flight, but may use his feathered arms to glide. A gliding kyrie negates any damage from falling and may travel a distance of 20 feet forward for every 5 feet of decent. A kyrie’s gliding speed is 40 feet (average maneuverability). A kyrie cannot glide while carrying medium or heavier loads, and even if he gains the Hover feat he is incapable of hovering in place until he acquires true flight at 3rd level. A kyrie who falls and is rendered unconscious either before or after his descent will only take 1d6 points of falling damage, regardless of how far he falls, as his feathers stiffen and bring him into a tight corkscrew-like drop.

Mystic Domain: At 1st level, a kyrie gains access to a single mystic domain of his choice. Although he gains the domain’s granted power, he does not gain the ability to cast spells until 2nd level, at which point his domain spells are added to his mystic spells known. A kyrie typically selects Air, Animal, or Travel as his domain, although exact choices may vary.

Spells: At 2nd level, a kyrie acquires the ability to cast spells like a 1st-level mystic, including spells known, spells per day, and caster level. The kyrie’s mystic level increases to 2nd at 4th level, and 3rd at 6th level.

Flight: At 3rd level, a kyrie learns to use his feathered arms to fly instead of just glide. His base flight speed is 20 feet, and his maneuverability is clumsy. This increases to 30 feet (average) at 5th level and 50 feet (good) at 7th level.

Natural Armor: A kyrie begins with no natural armor. At 3rd level, he gains a +1 natural armor bonus, which increases to +2 at 7th level.