Corps of Discovery
The Volari are a long-lived, forest-dwelling species native to Volana. They are most easily characterized by the physical differences between their terrestrial juvenile phase, and their mature, avian phase.
The Volari have three parts to their life cycle: Egg, Juvenile, and Mature. A group of mature females lay a clutch of 12-20 eggs at a time. These clutches are tended to, hatched, and raised together as a family unit by other juveniles. From birth they are covered in fine, soft down that recedes within a year.
The juvenile phase lasts between 400-500 years. During this time they are similar to any other terrestrial humanoid. They live in concert with nature, in communities above the forest floor, their buildings crafted around study Ironwood trees. Male and female juveniles have characteristics of each sex, but are effectively infertile.
At some point, they reach the stage of “Sky Call” (“Rrosoko Jyura” in their native tongue). The juvenile is drawn to seal themselves within the shelter of a hollowed Cambia Tree, and slumber carried by dreams of flying. They emerge as mature adults. Their arms have elongated into full-fledged wings, a tuft of tail feathers emerged from their lower back, their downy hair having been replaced by a crown of colorful feathers, and their legs formed into raptor-like talons. This process can take anywhere from a few hours, to several weeks. Any attempts to enter into maturity prematurely are strictly taboo.
On very rare occasions a juvenile will emerge from their Sky Call unaltered. These individuals are called “the Motionless” (or “Kubeca”).
Juvenile Volari are identifiable by their lack of avian characteristics. They are very similar to Eladrin in appearance. they are lean and slightly shorter than most humans, typically ranging between 4’6" and 5’6", and far lighter, usually between 75-115 lbs. Their features are more angular and defined, including long, pointed ears and wide, amber eyes. Their skin tone is usually light tan, and feature distinctive red, brown, or black spots near their hairline, arms, shoulders, and at the base of their spine. Their hair is almost universally white with a whispy, downy quality softer than the finest goose down. If allowed to grow long it is typically kept in braids to prevent it from floating about freely. The Volari have exceptional eyesight and hearing, befitting their roles as skilled hunters.
Mature, Avian Volari bear a certain resemblance to the classical Harpy. They are of a similar height, and only slightly heavier than their juvenile counterparts. Their feathers are
Considering the importance of fertile females to their continued survival, a matriarchal society, with mature, egg-laying females at the top of the social order, makes sense. They probably do little of the child-raising personally, since the numbers of young would be so high.
Relations with other Races