My first entry for this challenge will start with a bang (a little longer than recommended). My theme was inspired by some notes I had about the Aarakocra in the latest Monster Manual.
Adjoa is an oracle whose predictions are always grim and foreboding, but accurate. She is respected but feared because of the awful payment that she asks for her services. She rarely speaks louder than a whisper; when she raises her voice, it is a horrifying cacophony of all the voices she has taken as payment for her prophecies.
Adjoa was an outsider; she was born barren and prone to prophetic nightmares. Ostracised by her community, she wandered the world searching for a meaning for her life and a better way to control her visions. She eventually met an ancient Swamp Hag who offered her even greater divinatory power if she sacrificed her wings. Adjoa accepted.
Using this NPC
If you wish to use Adjoa in your campaign, make sure that her reputation is known early on. She should be considered a last resort because of the dire nature of her visions.
She can be found in a remote and dangerous location, such as a mountain top, a deep crevasse or near a volcano.
In exchange for a suitable payment (see below), Adjoa can reveal a hidden truth about something in your campaign or answer any single question. But there’s a catch: the answer will be tainted by a grim portent. The player characters should never leave her dwelling in a good mood.
Before answering, Adjoa chooses the form of payment and explains it to the questioner. This individual must agree to the cost.
Here are some examples of personal sacrifices that Adjoa may request from an individual:
- Their voice, which she stores in one of the shells in her necklace. The character cannot speak louder than a hoarse, painful whisper.
- The removal of their ‘good’ hand (she always knows if someone is left- or right-handed). The hand must be preserved and kept hidden.
- The removal of an eye. Either eye, but it is gone forever because Adjoa pecks it out and devours it.
- Their most valuable magic item or piece of equipment. The item becomes cursed and it must be given to someone else.
- Seven years of their life (the PC ages 7 years when they leave Adjoa’s hut).
Adjoa is a mid-level spellcaster with a focus on Divination spells. She favors the staff.
Bonus Aarakocra Tribes
If you’re creating a character using the new Elemental Evil Player’s Companion for Princes of the Apocalypse, ask your GM if you can use these house rules. The base Aarakocra race assumes an eagle or vaguely parrot-like appearance. Here are more!
- Marabou Stork
- Advantage on Wisdom-based checks in filthy or decaying environments, due to a lifetime of sifting through refuse and carcasses to survive.
- Disadvantage on Charisma-based checks for initial reaction or first impressions with other races, on account of their profound ugliness.
- Advantage on Charisma-based checks when socializing with scholars and wizards, because of the supernatural reverence that these groups have for them.
- Disadvantage on fear-related tests with the Undead; for some reason, their race is one step too close to the Underworld for comfort.
- Night vision; they are notoriously expert nocturnal hunters.
- Disadvantage on Intelligence-based checks during the day, on account of their diurnal nature. They are fine at dawn, dusk and at night.
- Your size is Small.
- Your flight speed is double.
- Disadvantage on Strength or Constitution checks to break free of a grapple or similar melee combat maneuvers.
- Advantage on melee combat checks against aquatic-based monsters; they are expert hunters of marine life.
- Disadvantage on Charisma-based checks with aquatic races for obvious reasons.
- You cannot fly.
- Your base speed is 30, because you’re quick on your feet compared with other bird-folk.
- Because of your gizzard stones, you get Advantage on Survival checks because you can eat just about anything.