What is the origin of the Pterrax? I can’t help but think that the relationship between the Pterrans and Pterrax could be the opposite of the instinctually obvious one. What if the Pterrax was actually a sort of lifeshaped creation made from the Pterrans. Like the Pterrax are actually highly modified and bred Pterrans from before the time when the Pterrans fully lost their lifeshaping abilities. Some really interesting possibilities there. It’s fun to imagine what their society could be like and how that could come about. There could have once been another life path followed by Pterrans that eventually resulted in the Pterrax as we know it today.
Given that we know Pterrans are supposed to be a rebirth race, it doesn’t really make sense for them to be descended from Pterrax or a common ascestor. The other possibility of course is that Pterrans actually bonded with and merged with the Pterrax over time becoming more like them through lifeshaping or similar processes. Like they shaped themselves to become more like the animals that they were bonding with because they admired them and wanted to be able to more effectively communicate with and collaborate with them.
Of course it’s also possible that this is something that was done to them and instead of something that they did. And that the Pterrans care for and are bonded to the Pterrax because they are their once cursed and twisted brothers who were liberated from evil life-benders who sought to use them for their own ends. The origin could even possibly relate to the Zik-chil experimenting with non-insectoid life shaping on Pterran captives.
If you wanted to get even weirder with this, it’s possible that early on after the rebirth when communities were freshly split and the transformations were new and unstable that some Aarakocra and Pterrans produced offspring and that those eventually became the Pterrax who although shunned by their Aarakocra parents were welcomed and cared for by the Pterrans.
Anyone have any thoughts about this? Have you done anything to explain the relationship between these two species in your game? Or anything to expand on how pterran view pterrax and how they fit into pterran society?
One is either the evolved or devolved version of the other. I try and steer clear of rebirth, ages, and most of the revised backstory, using it only in the vaguest of terms. But It could very well be that like in the real world we could have collateral development of creatures with similar features.
I would look at the original inception of the race in the forgotten realms for more inspiration.
Moving this here from the pterran and dray thread for easy reference:
Maybe there is a fourth life path, “path of the wind”, usually taken by those that don’t conform to the rigid pterran society.
Older pterrans sometimes lose sentience and transform into pterrax on their own over a certain period of time, but for the most part, pterrans who rebel against the confines of their society (or simply don’t fit in any of the usual life paths) are transformed via secret ritual preformed by the elder druid and psion of the tribe to agitate into action the latent genes and force the transformation to occur all at once.
This isn’t viewed as punishment by pterran society (though the transformed individual may feel differently), but as a way to allow those members the freedom they seek and still be able to serve their tribe in a meaningful way.
The newly transformed pterrax are free to roam and breed with other of their kind, until captured and bonded to a warrior.
In pterran religion, the pterrax aren’t regarded as beasts, but as servents of the sky father, just as the pterrans view themselves as children of the earth mother. Pterran warriors refer to their mounts as “sky brothers”, and treat them as such, with any mistreatment leading to quick and sever discipline.
When a tribe of pterrans move into an area with no pterrax, they may transform some of their young who are about to choose a life path (15 year old) into pterrax to create a breeding population to serve the tribe.
Now, having the original rebirth pterran possess the ability to freely shift between winged and wingless form is an interesting one, and was probably lost after a few generations, when the mutagenic energies that infused them began to set, or that the rudimentary life-shaping that was still retained by the halfling turned pterrans was mostly forgotten.