Cochotl

(co-cot-al)

Nickname: the Stormbringers
Ancestral Affinity: Air
Ancestral Land: Tecuanitzl
Average Lifespan 300 - 350 years

Make Up Requirements:

Feathers of any color or style appropriate to your native culture are required. They may be attached to the skin, worn on a mask or as jewelry, woven into your hair, etc, but the feathers must be obvious at a glance or from a distance. You must have something to represent a beak, be it a prosthetic, a mask, or yellow-orange makeup along the bridge of the nose. Cloth or non-wired feather wings and/or tail pieces are optional, at player‘s discretion/desire. Wired or foam-supported wings will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but will be subjected to a full safety inspection and light play-testing prior to play to ensure that they will not break or endanger anyone in combat.

Racial Advantages:

Gains the Enhanced Hearing advantage for free.

Racial Disadvantages:

Enhanced Hearing is always active, but because they are born with it, they have learned to tune out background noise unless they focus on it. Mechanically speaking, Enhanced Hearing acts as the normal advantage for gathering information, etc. This is a roleplay effect only, not a damaging effect. Cochotl should act skittish or frightened by any sudden loud noise and will likely try to hide or act nervous during a storm, battle, loud party, etc. Total time for any Deafness effect is doubled.

Callings:

Deathstalker (Vulture, Crow, Raven, Condor) - Reduced cost buy-in for membership in the Physicians’ Guild.
Forager (any song bird or domesticated/farm bird) - Reduced cost buy-in for membership in the Homecrafters’ Guild.
Hunter (Eagle, Falcon, Hawk, Osprey) - Gains the Enhanced Sight advantage for free.
Watcher (Parrot, Macaw, Owl) - Reduced cost buy-in for membership in the Explorers’ Guild.

History:

Cochotl are a noble and proud race, steeped in ritualistic tradition and a rich racial heritage. When a Cochotl is born, pieces of its shell are collected, similar to the Syrene practice, but the Cochotl place their eggshells in a sacred bag, which is ritualistically created by the mother throughout her pregnancy, using the same materials as the nest she builds. The Shell Bag is placed in the care of the chick’s parent or guardian for safe keeping. When the chick comes of age, as part of the Fledgling Ritual, the parent or guardian presents the Fledgling with his or her Shell Bag. It is up to the Fledgling to either accept his or her bag or to reject and destroy it. If the Fledgling chooses to accept the bag, they are awarded the status as a full adult and welcomed into the village or community. If the Fledgling feels his parent or guardian did not satisfactorily fulfill their obligations as such, they may choose to shun their family and community, and they must strike out on their own.

By destroying their Shell Bag in front of their Elders, it is believed that they are, in fact, destroying a piece of themselves with it, for whenever you turn your back on your flock, you turn your back on yourself as well. Once destroyed, their eggshell can never be replaced, even if they later reconcile with their flock. It is simply a mark upon their soul and a burden they must bear forever. If they choose that path, they are cast out of the flock ritualistically, but it is generally done with no hard feelings aside from those that led to the initial bitterness. Should they return to the flock later in an attempt to reconcile, tradition says they must be welcomed back with open wings and open hearts. In similar tradition, the trading of feathers is the most common form of courtship ritual. Primary feathers are given for engagement, head or tail feathers are exchanged with wedding vows, and secondary plumage or down is reserved as tokens of affection during the early stages of courtship.