Sage owls (9 RP)

Sage owls

Table of contents

General description

Sage owls owe their sentience to ancient dryads who used their druidic magic to awaken common owls. Once the intelligent pets of these tree spirits, sage owls grew to become apprentices of the natural arts and later, devoted academics.

While many sage owls live in cities, forests, or mountainous regions, they can also be found hidden in the deep recesses of ancient libraries, studying under candlelight.

As an inquisitive people, sage owls value knowledge and wisdom above all else. They find joy in puzzles and compulsively look for patterns in the everyday. Young sage owls, known as owlets, are curious and known for their incessant chirping of “Why?” while older sage owls might be callous, hardened by their knowledge of war and evil.

Their reputation and unassuming nature means they are often taken in as advisers to lords and city leaders. They might take up work as counselmen or become heads of prestigious schools. Others become collectors or merchants of magical items.

Sage owls will join parties if opportunities exist to expand their knowledge or collections. They expect their opinion to be respected however, and oftentimes lack the patience to deal with emotional or less intelligent allies.

Sage owls have their prejudices and generally frown upon blind followers of faith. Still, they make valuable allies, thanks to their deep knowledge of the world and history and love of magic.

Physical description

Small and delicately built, sage owls shirk from battle. Sage owls stand at a maximum of three feet and weigh in at under 30 pounds. Their feathers come in an assortment of colors and patterns depending on the natural region they are born. They have piercing eyes that are often black but can come in any natural color.

Sage owls typically don heavy cloaks and a colorful collection of necklaces and anklets. Older sage owls might have braided and grayed beards, walking sticks of twisted wood, and moss growing on their feathers.

Sage owls could pass for typical owls if not for the twisted antlers on their heads. Sage owl antlers are ivory and grow until maturity. Poachers are known to hunt sage owls for their antlers as they are believed to cure many ailments if shaved down and sprinkled into a witch’s brew.

Sage owls have talons that grow under their wings, allowing them to hold objects and wear rings.

Society

Many sage owls live in the ruins of ancient civilizations or in the forests and mountains near cities, where they can trade their services. Their wisdom and vast knowledge of the world means the more-talented sage owls are often hired to train spellcasters, work on city councils or as advisers, or research ancient relics and other novelties of the past. While many take on more mundane jobs like farming, they nevertheless take pride in their work and aim to perfect their techniques.

Within their own tight-knit communities, sage owls emphasize education, hosting classes for owlets or practicing the sciences and magic.

Sage owls also commit many hours caring for the regions they dwell in. Sage owls who take an interest in the natural world, for example, might spend much of their time hunting, all the while keeping meticulous notes on the best methods for catching prey. As sage owls are not particularly strong or dexterous, those tasked with protecting the community typically turn to magic and traps to defend against enemies.

Sage owl culture doesn’t lend itself much to courting or promiscuity. Some communities use arranged marriages to ensure sage owls continue to reproduce during a designated mating period, which typically lasts one week and is marked by a festival and rest from work. Some sage owls will go so far as to use spells or love potions to enliven waning marriages.

Sage owls are often ruled by a single entity, whether a wizen sage owl, a nymph, or some outsider. Their leader represents someone who is of considerable knowledge and wisdom. However, these leaders are often advised by a council voted in by the common people.

In cities, they prefer homes high up so they can perch on their windowsills and relax. In forests, sage owls will use lumber to build whole treetop villages. In deserts, where they are a rarity, sage owls might contract others or use magic to carve caves into the sides of mountains, where they are safe from natural predators.

Owlets spend many of their early years fostering a broad knowledge of the world in search of a subject that piques their interest. As they grow older, they will specialize in a field of knowledge. During their free time, sage owls enjoy scavenger hunts and cryptology.

Relations

Despite their aptitude for puzzles and riddles, sage owls are quite literal in everyday conversation. They lack the patience for interacting with gnomes, whom they believe are generally incoherent. Garden gnomes tend to exhaust them, as well.

Sage owls are also impatient with less-intelligent individuals, especially those driven by emotion. Thus, half-orcs can be burdensome to sage owls.

Generally, they prefer the company of elves and dwarves. The former might be better spoken and the latter a source of wisdom. Sage owls also respect otterlings, who can be great strategists and masterminds.

As an intelligent and wise race, sage owls are respected as travelers. However, their love of knowledge means they tend to isolate themselves for long periods of times, sometimes causing them to be socially and romantically inept.

Alignment and religion

Sage owls come from a variety of regions and backgrounds. They often share the same alignment as the creatures and individuals that raise them. Because sage owls study all kinds of literatures, histories, magics, and sciences, their ambitions can take them down many roads.

Where one sage owl might dedicate his life to necromancy another might commit himself to protecting the natural world or studying world religions.

Adventurers

Sage owls tend to adventure in the pursuit of knowledge. Only so much can be learned from books and relics, after all. Some sage owls become avid collectors of books or magical items and see great value in one-of-kind items. Others might simply be looking to track down and study rare creatures or plants.

Sage owls who commit themselves to the natural world find serenity among common animals. They can make for particularly talented survivalists, too.

Sage owls who find religion follow with an academic mind. They might devoutly follow a god but consider the laws of their religion in a historical and cultural context. Typically, they frown on those who follow a particular god simply because they were raised to do so.

Sage owls favor the following classes: cleric, druid, and wizard

Sage owl names

Sage owls are often named after great adventurers, artists, and politicians. It is rare to find a sage owl whose name has not been inspired in this way. Surnames, however, are passed down through families. If a particular sage owl becomes a wild success in the world, their cousins, second cousins, and other family members will change their surnames to match theirs. In this way, a surname among sage owls is a mark of prestige.

Sage owl racial traits

Type: Humanoid (Sage owl)
+2 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution: Sage owls are vastly intelligent and wise, but their bodies are frail.
Small: Sage owls are Small creatures and thus gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow: Sage owls have a base speed of 20 ft.
Vestigial Wings: Sage owls have wings that do not provide the lift required for actual flight, but do have enough power to aid flight attained by some other method, and grant a +4 racial bonus on Fly checks.
Low-Light Vision: Sage owls can see twice as far as humans in dim light.
Higher Education: Sage Owls spend most of their lives in deep study. Choose two Knowledge skills. Sage Owls get a +2 racial bonus on these skills.
Eye for Magic: Sage owls grow up under the instruction of spellcasters. They receive a +2 racial bonus to Spellcraft checks made to identity spells being cast, to learn new spells, and identify magical effects.
Languages: Common and Sylvan. Sage owls with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).

Favored class options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

Cleric: Add +1 on caster level checks made to overcome the spell resistance of outsiders.
Druid: Gain energy resistance 1 against acid, cold, electricity, or fire. Each time the druid selects this reward, increase her resistance to one of these energy types by 1 (maximum 10 for any one type).
Wizard: Add one spell from the wizard spell list to the wizard’s spellbook. This spell must be at least one level below the highest spell level the wizard can cast.

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