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Couatl Folk

Couatl folk have an ancestry that resembles both avian and serpentine humanoids but is distinct from both, having descended from the divine Couatl, a celestial being of great power. To be sure, this heritage lends them birdlike and serpentine traits, but it also provides them with some traits unique to couatl folk. They have a humanoid form, but a serpentine look to their face, and their skin is scaly. Along their arms, legs, shoulders, and back, as well as on the back of their head, grow green and blue colorful feathers.

Ancestral Traits

Your couatl character has several distinctive traits, thanks to your unique ancestry.

Age. Couatl folk mature at the same rate as humans but live upwards to 200 years.

Size. Couatl folk are about the same size as humans, but usually a slimmer build. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base speed is 30 feet.

Divine Resistance. Couatl folk descend from the celestial couatl. You have resistance to radiant damage.

Glide. Couatl folk have a heritage in the sky, using their limited feathers to glide through the air, though they cannot truly fly. With a leap, you can take to the air, gaining a flying speed equal to your speed. While flying in this way, you cannot gain altitude and you descend 1 foot for every 10 feet of horizontal movement. With the help of an updraft, however, you can retain your altitude.

Scales. Couatl folk also have a heritage on the ground.

Beneath your colorful plumage are the hardened scales of a serpent, which grant you additional protection. When you aren’t wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Dexterity modifier. You can use this score to determine your AC if worn armor would leave you with a lower score. You may benefit from a shield as normal.

Weather Sense. Perhaps because the couatl ancestry traces back to celestial beings of wind and rain, all couatl folk have an innate sense of the weather. You know when the weather is about to change.

Cultural Traits

Characters who grow up among the couatl folk often adopt their cultural practices. Couatl folk communities tend to be sophisticated, with large urban centers and diverse, multicultural populations. Their cities feature temples to the sky set atop impressive, narrow pyramids, where priests and priestesses study mathematical astronomy and record their observations into screen-folding books. For leisure, many young people in couatl folk communities compete in ball games conducted in large ball playing courts, though others take up history, literature, or the arts. Couatl folk cultural practices include ancestor reverence and offerings of food, mostly the maize, beans, and squash that constitute the core of their diet.

Some couatl folk communities believe themselves to serve as intermediaries between the divine and the natural. Indeed, they see the traditional couatl ancestral form as evidence of this: a snake that slithers low on the ground and a bird that can soar high in the sky, allowing them to know the mortal and the divine. In many of these couatl communities, the people see themselves as divine and natural, masculine and feminine, as well, with some blessed few possessing more than one nature, including masculine, feminine, and beyond.

Still other couatl folk communities focus more on their scientific, literary, and musical advances, or their success in trading jade and art objects.

Regardless, most who grow up in a couatl folk community gain the following features.

Ability Score Increase. The couatl folk are many and varied, so you may choose to increase three abilities scores by 1. Alternatively, your Intelligence score increases by 2 and your Dexterity by 1.

Alignment. Couatl folk cultures are often theocratic, with a religious leader serving as the political head as well. The religious doctrines tend members of these cultures toward law, though of course all variety of people belong to couatl folk communities.

Dual Nature. Couatl folk are both of the divine sky and the mortal earth. As such, your education grants you proficiency in the Intelligence (Religion) and (Nature) skills.

Caretakers of Magical Tradition. Couatl folk communities revere their scribes and sages, who maintain the traditions and memories of their magical ancestors. Reflecting this, all youth are trained in special techniques from a young age that grants them some basic facility with couatl magic. You can cast the create or destroy water spell once with this trait, requiring no material components. When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the detect evil and good spell once with this trait. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the augury spell once with this trait. You regain the ability to cast these spells with this trait when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Featherworkers. Couatl folk communities often feature expert artisans who craft objects from couatl folk feathers. These artifacts include feathered objects like fans, but the featherworker can use feathers to adorn other things, such as shields, with the height of their art being the creation of headdresses and clothing. You have proficiency with a set of Artisan’s Tools unique to couatl folk culture: Feathercrafters’ Tools. Not only can you craft nonmagical objects for sale as you can with any artisan’s tool, but you may also use a featherworked object you have created as an arcane focus.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Primordial.

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