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Kestrels
Children born of harpy and halfling unions produce rarer creatures than the harpidite, known as kestrels. Harpies kill most of these strange hybrid creatures, but occasionally one or two will escape their mothers’ wrath, or a harpidite with a tender heart and a sense of kinship will rescue kestrels from their fate. Additionally, halflings of the Vaden Underhold watch a nearby harpy aerie of harpies laden with captured halflings. While the Underhold halflings are aware these halflings face a likely fate in a stewpot, they also know that the harpies’ insatiable lusts will result in at least one new kestrel. The Underhold halflings allow for a proper gestation period before stalking the aerie, and every so often come away with a kestrel child. Whether halflings or harpidite—or extremely rare harpies—rescue a kestrel, she ends up in a halfling enclave where they take care of the child.

Fortunately for the adoptive halfling parents, and for the kestrel’s survival, the child adapts quickly to halfling life, with the only challenge coming from her ability to fly. Kestrels grow to hate their mothers who threatened to destroy them and who pose a threat to their halfling families. Halflings are cautious about revealing the kestrels’ existence to the other races of the Birdman Mountains, but have recently allowed the kestrels to perform scouting missions and travel beyond the mountains to find allies in the halflings’ eventual plan to overthrow the harpies.

Kestrel Racial Characteristics
Kestrel player characters are defined by class levels—they do not possess racial hit dice. All kestrel player characters possess the following racial characteristics.

  • +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Kestrels are nimble, cheerful, empathic, and graceful. However their grace comes at a price, with their bodies built to focus most muscular strength into their wings. As a result they lack the great physical power of that seen in their larger harpy forebears.
  • Small: Kestrels are Small creatures, and they gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus to attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
  • Slow Ground Speed: As a result of their slight stature and awkward gait on their talons, Kestrels have a base ground speed of 15 feet. When calculating their speed in armor, they move 5 feet slower than a creature with a 20-foot base speed.
  • Flight: Kestrels have a 30-foot flight rate (average maneuverability), and Fly is always a class skill for a kestrel. A kestrel cannot fly when in medium or heavier armor, when carrying a medium or heavier load, or when carrying a shield (other than a talonshield). A kestrel cannot fly in any space that would squeeze a Medium creature. If a kestrel enters such an area, she falls.
  • Mixed Blood: A kestrel counts as both a harpy and a halfling for any effect related to race.
  • Darkvision: Like their harpy forebears, kestrels can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
  • Lilting Voice: Kestrels gain a +2 racial bonus to Diplomacy and Perform (oratory and singing) checks. A kestrel bard gains a +1 bonus to the DC of her fascinate bardic ability.
  • Unassuming Flyer: Observers have a difficult time telling kestrels and the large avians apart. Kestrels gain a +4 racial bonus to Disguise checks to appear as harpies or large raptors while flying.
  • Wind Warriors: Due to training and natural maneuverability, a kestrel gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC while flying.
  • Claws: Kestrel’s foot talons are natural weapons, dealing 1d3 damage + one-half the kestrel’s Strength modifier. A kestrel who is not flying suffers a –2 circumstance penalty to attacks made with her talons. A kestrel cannot use any other weapon in the same round she uses her talons. Any Disguise check made to mask a kestrel as a creature that does not have taloned feet suffers a –4 circumstance penalty.
  • Languages: Kestrels begin play speaking Common. Kestrels with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Abyssal, Auran, Giant, and Halfling.

See Also