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Flayt are a sentient species of anthropomorphic animal, similar to harpies or tengu. Their intelligence is equal and like unto that of a human.

General Physiology:

Flayt are covered in white feathers and are the only humanoid species known to have a wyvern body plan, with two razor-edged wings and two strong legs. Their heads are round and come to a point, like a bullet, and have a dorsal crest like a pterodactyl that tapers into a spike. As for the rest of them, they demonstrate a large chest, their legs are like that of a harpy eagle's, right down to the plume of feathers around their ankles, and they have a thick tail they use for steering and whacking opponents. (I am unsure how Flayt will manipulate objects, as feet are just not very effective for that, and while Flayt heads are like porpoise heads, I'm not what works for porpoises is feasible for an intelligent avian species.)

General Abilities:

Flayt spend most of their time in the air; like condors, they seek out thermals and glide whenever possible, but they can also stay aloft through sheer endurance, much like swifts do. Despite this frequent flying, their legs are still very much present and very strong, likely because Flayt have no arms to fight, carry objects, or use tools with instead.

Flayt are also known for their destructive shrieks; when riled, they can expel air with enough force to break a man's nose from across a typical room, and the sound generated can and will shatter glass or delicate crystal, as well as break nearby eardrums.

Like most birds, Flayt are tetrachromats and have impeccable eyesight, even over long distances, much like an eagle. Like a harpy eagle, they are also incredibly strong, capable of flying while carrying a lightly armored soldier. Flayt are also capable of speeds akin to a hunting falcon, and can kick like an ostrich. Because of this, Flayt are not commonly messed with.

General Nature:

Flayt are a fierce, proud species, but also somewhat detached. They're often observers, amateur philosophers, and intellectuals-it's not that they don't act, but living up in the sky, with almost nothing to worry about and plenty to watch, with plenty of distance between them and the other Scorayt, leaves one with A) lots of time to think and B) plenty to think about.

Flayt may also struggle with a habit of mimicking other's speech (or sounds they hear around them), repeating themselves, vanity (which tends to go wing-and-wing with frequent preening or plucking), magpie syndrome, singing instead of talking, along with constant pecking and/or eating (the latter of which may go wing-and-wing with Demanding and Devouring Crackers Constantly Disorder, or DDCCD).

The question: How will Flayt fit into a typical medieval fantasy society?

Specifications for Best Answer:

  1. The best answer will account for how involved in society Flayt are likely to be, because that will help determine their role and their level of importance. Given that Flayt spend most of their time in the air, and they'll likely spread out to avoid collisions and conserve resources, I don't see them being especially social....which makes it hard to see how they'd end up interacting with a medieval society. Perhaps they just can't avoid humanity?

  2. The best answer should also account for Flayt abilities when determining what role they will play in a medieval fantasy society, as that tends to be a rather important factor in what jobs a person fulfills IRL.

Clarification-Or, Why Flayt will likely end up in human society:

Flayt are Revelians, one race among many anthropomorphic denizens that lived on Reaville. For quite some time, Flayt only interacted with Viji (another Revelian species), as both species lived on mountains, with the two eventually coming to an uneasy peace. However, then the humans arrived on Reaville, desperate refugees from an oppressive empire, who ended up not only joining the natives but uniting them under one banner and one leader.

Even after the 'Scourge Apocalypse' that destroyed the kingdom and reduced the Revelians to little more than animals, and resulted in the loss of the human population, they still remembered what they once were. Because of this, the second the Flayt end up in Alendyias and realize there are people, they're going to get involved.

Why? Because after they lost the humans, after they were no longer led by a human, everything went wrong. This would strongly imply that for things to get better, they need the humans! And, not sure how important this is, but Flayt and Viji are still allies today.

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  • $\begingroup$ Should Flayts be integrated with human society, or should they live separately in their own communities? $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Nov 10 '21 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ WTF is a rito?? $\endgroup$ Nov 10 '21 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ Rito are from Zelda, not any established mythos. Tengu or Harpy would probably be better examples. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Nov 10 '21 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw: rito are bird-people from the Legend of Zelda, much like tengu and harpy. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 10 '21 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki: thanks! I edited to put those in as examples. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 10 '21 at 19:27
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As in any medieval society, most of them will be farmers and herdsmen. This works just fine for being a not to social being since these are not particularly sociable jobs. Their lack of proper hands will not be a big deal since bird talons are already a s good sort of all in one plow/pitchfork/rake sort of thing; so, despite being less manually dexterous than humanoids, they should not be at a huge competitive disadvantage.

Where their professions start to diverge will be more once you get into more specialized jobs. Not having great manual dexterity is a huge disadvantage in a medieval setting since pretty much everything is artisan crafted. They could not easily compete with a humanoid potter, carpenter, blacksmith, etc. which means most of the medieval middle-class blue collar jobs are out, and their socially awkward behaviors (being similar to OCD or Tourette's Syndrome) would make them poor candidates for white collar middle-class jobs. This means that your Flayt will generally be pigeonholed into lower class jobs. Because of this, there will probably negative stereotypes about them within the society. Other Scorayt will see that they are always poor and make assumptions about them being lazy, stupid, or criminal no matter how hard working, intelligent, and honest the average Flayt is.

However, there are a couple of jobs they could excel at where they would be highly sought after:

  • Couriers: The time it takes to send a message or package is often critical, and the faster you can make it happen, the better. By the medieval period, the most efficient way to send a message was by horse relay. Along roads of important communication, this would mean building stable and courier houses every 10-15 miles, and making a letter have to change through many horses and riders to get from point A to point B for a maximum speed of about 240 miles in day. However, Flayts don't need stables or roads to travel. More over, if they are based on migratory bird physiology, it is likely they can travel 600+ miles in a day, well out pacing any horse relay system, plus allowing them to travel between places not connected by roads.
  • Thatchers: While it is true they are not the tool users that the more humanoid Scorayts are, the process of building and patching medieval roofs is not complicated enough to need precise tooling. However, being able to fly up to a roof without a ladder while carrying a significant load is a huge deal. This means they could do roofing much faster and more safely than their competition.
  • Highwaymen: Having fewer options to be successful in a society simply makes one more prone to a life of crime. With most legal jobs being hard to compete in, they would actually be exceptional robbers. Flying high above the landscape they can see all the foot traffic and guard movements and caravans moving about below. So it would be quite easy to pick a vulnerable target with no one near by to help to ambush. Also, once they are done robbing you, they can just fly away with whatever they have stolen and no one would be able to catch up to them.
  • Scouts, skirmishers, and law enforcement: Basically all the same things that make them good Highwaymen also make them good in these roles.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your thorough, thoughtful answer! This is just what I needed! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 16 '21 at 18:40
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Humans would make a large effort to get them involved.

Flight, excellent sight, and human level intelligence are massive assets in warfare, trade, and scouting. As such, regardless of how solitary they are, humans will attempt to get them involved in society.

If they are stronger than humans, or similar in strength, humans will use bribes and gifts and diplomatic methods to try and sway them. If they can be swayed, they will give any warlord a massive advantage in exploiting their land and their rival's land.

The humans will happily use their desire for humanity to get them to help. Flight is such a massive boost that unless there are so many of them that they vastly outnumber humans, most will have little need of food or supplies, given all the tribute they'll get.

If they are weaker than humans humans will shoot them down, invade their nests, and steal their children to raise as loyal slaves.

Notably, they'll inevitably come into conflict. The sky is a barren, food low place. Closer to ground there's much more food and supplies. What happens depends on who is stronger.

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  • $\begingroup$ Alright, thanks for your thoughtful and thorough answer! Would it help if I added some clarification on the Flayt situation? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 10 '21 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ Sure, it would. $\endgroup$
    – Nepene Nep
    Nov 10 '21 at 23:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, I found it very helpful! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 16 '21 at 18:41
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They are the perfect messengers and are the white doves that keep the peace, so to speak.

@Nosajimiki already included this part in his answer but I have something to add. Being a flying race capable of speech they would make ideal messengers, which is for humans a very hard profession. Their loud and sometimes musical voice is perfect to inform large groups of people. Although they may not be strong enough to carry heavy packages and stay airborne they are much faster than humans, making an alliance with them would make any human country flourish because of the value of information. To the Flayt this arrangement isn't bad either. They get to do what they would normally: fly, sing and think about things all day long. If they don't like their jobs with the humans than they might think about what would happen to them if the humans take what's theirs by force.

There's another more philosophical reason as well.

Why messaging specifically? Why not scouts, spies or explorers? Some of them will probably enjoy these other options and there will be variety in Flayt employment. But messaging is perfect for keeping the peace. Having a lot to think about leaves you stressed about the state of the world. Flayt are not exempt from it, they must land at some point and they too have to rest (this should be a Flayt proverb). By spreading news across countries and nations they will unite them making the world better than if they didn't. Without the Flayt, humans would quickly fall back into chaos and savagery as is their nature if they are disconnected for too long.

Flayt are free spirits, they were never meant to partake in war. Injuring a wing would mean they would never fly again. This would shape their way of thinking to be more cautious. They are bird brains but not fools.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting answer, very creative and thoughtful! Thank you! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 11 '21 at 23:11
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They do not integrate into society. They INTERACT with society.

These bird people do not integrate into society because they do not have much of society of their own to begin with. The real question is how they interact with society.

Like albatrosses they spend most of their time alone, soaring above the world, only landing to sleep in high inaccessible mountain ranges, and only coming together either to fight off rivals or to breed.

They are mentally adapted for this lifestyle and so have no desire to socialize or spend time around other people, either of the same or different species.

Their territories are in the wilder parts of the world, near the mountains, where the land is either too rough for farming. It is not safe for them to hunt in places where the land is farms.

On the borders of the wild places, where new farms are being created, and hunting territories destroyed, there is some interaction between the birds and the humans. With no hunting grounds left they take jobs as messengers, carriers, military scouts et cetera, any job where flying comes in handy.

Even these working birds do not interact much with the society. They barely speak at all and this leads to them being mistrusted in human society.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting perspective, thanks! It's very well thought out, I must think about this... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Nov 11 '21 at 23:16

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