Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Wiki

In the mountains and cool valleys of the lands of Zakhara lives a race of bird maidens, related to the swanmays. Just like their sisters, they depend on a token to change forms: a colorful shawl or veil of feathers. They can assume many bird shapes, including falcons, swallows, parrots, and even (at 8th level) giant eagles.

Though they have no sorority, bird maidens are loosely united by their faith. All bird maidens are kahina, idol priestesses who believe in the divinity of all things. They live as wandering teachers, protecting the land from those who despoil it. They get along best with those who respect the land: desert riders, mystics, and fisherfolk. In the fertile river valleys, they preach the faith and maintain the fertility of the land and livestock. Some tribesmen believe bird maidens are hama, spirits of the departed, who return to help the living. Bird maidens deny this and may cut themselves to prove that they are flesh and blood.

Bird maidens' Hit Dice are equal to their priestly level, from 2-8. They have major access to the All, Animal, Divination, Elemental, Healing, Plant and Weather spheres and minor access to the Creation, Protection, and Sun spheres. They carry spears, darts, and slings, but may not wear armor or shields (even magical) heavier than hide. If they do, they cannot use spells. Bird maidens cannot turn undead.

In bird form, bird maidens can peck and claw, but most don't fight as birds. Only a bird maiden's shawl or veil changes with her when she shifts form. All other equipment is unchanged and must be hidden or cared for by others until the bird maiden again changes her form.

Bird maidens are sometimes forced to marry men who steal their shawls; if they ever recover them, they leave their husbands, killing their sons and taking the daughters with them to become bird maidens. If the feathered garment is destroyed, the bird maiden dies as well.

Rumors tell of a great wooden fortress among the clouds of the high hills, called the Crown of All Feathers, where young bird maidens are taught the rituals and duties of kahinas by the Aarakocra.