Creatures native to the Plane of Air: Air Elementals [small – elder, invisible stalkers, belker (true neutral)]; Cloud Dragons; Air Djinni; Air Janni; Giant Cloud Eagle (True Neutral).
The elemental plane of air is freezing; endure elements or immunity/resistance to cold will allow a creature to remain in the elemental plane of air. There is no fixed light source in the plane of air; life itself is the light source and elementals and other creatures of the plane radiate light from their essences (bodies). The Great Air Spirit is like a cold blue-white sun within the plane. The plane of air has no up or down, wind constantly blows and swirls. Lesser air elementals will amuse themselves by spinning visitors around in the emptiness and wind. There is no gravity, and so to travel in the plane of air one must be able to fly, levitate, walk on clouds, air walk, or teleport to move. Speed is cumulative, since there is virtually no atmosphere, so as one moves forward, they speed up to extremely fast. Casting gust of wind on oneself can propel one through the atmosphere, although control is difficult. There are no solid things in the plane of air, except some creatures. There is no “food” in the plane of air. Creatures living in the plane of air exist on the energy emanating from the Great Air Spirit. When these creatures enter the Prime Material Plane, those which normally eat begin to feel hungry (not elementals). Visitors do not receive nourishment from the Great Air Spirit, and must bring their own comestibles. All the celestial beings in the plane of air can be seen as stars from the world. Their positions are fixed although swirling in the sky, but in the elemental plane they have no fixed location. The stars seen from the world are the metaphysical symbols of the celestial deities. The sign of the Plane of Air, the Great Air Cult or the Great Air Spirit is a single large star with eight stars encircling it and trailing off. Most of the celestial beings are elementals, but a few other types of creatures exist.
The Great Air Spirit is calculating. It does not like chaos, but understands the necessity for chaos to a certain extent (neutral with lawful leanings). Anything in excess is bad. It does not like crude and dirty things; it appreciates a clever wit and a clean appearance. The Great Air Spirit is very active in the Plane of Air, but it does not like to personally meddle in the affairs of the Prime Material Plane. It therefore prefers to wait and react in great power at a precise moment. It keeps messengers moving to and from the material planes, and keeping information coming in, but will only react if the natural balance of the prime material plane is threatened, or if its worshippers make pleas for assistance. His primary servants in the Prime Material Plane are the Four Winds, Air Janni of cumulative power.
The portal to the plane of air exists surrounding the world up in the highest reaches of the atmosphere, where the air becomes too thin to breath. Entering the elemental plane of air can be accomplished by ascending into the heavens, a process that can take many hours and perhaps days depending on one’s method of travel. The Great Air Spirit requires obedience, but not much ritual. It does not care for many worshippers, but will show considerable aid to his few worshippers. Humanoid messengers of the Great Air Spirit are usually female, except the Four Winds, that are always male Janni. Air worshippers use piercing and slashing weapons, they do not use swinging weapons (axes, maces, flails . . . etc.). Air worshippers prefer the use of shafted ranged weapons (arrows, bolts, javelins, darts), daggers and occasionally nets. They do not use throwing axes or slings. Pets of those who worship the Air Spirit almost always are birds. Air worshippers tend to use lighter armors. They may use shields of any size, but tend not to. The attributes most praised by air worshippers are dexterity, intelligence and wisdom. The majority of Air Priests and Priestesses (70% are female) are druidic in nature. Air priestesses must remain virgins until the age of 24. After which they are allowed to marry. Air priests practice ascetism and harden themselves against starvation and dehydration. Air mages prefer magic centered on movement, wind, sound and electricity. Air worshippers have the following taboo: Purposeful killing of flying feathered animals (except in self defense); Purposeful killing of flying insects (except in self defense); Caging of any flying creature; Purposefully eating any flying creature (gliding creatures are not included); Leaving entrails at Air Spirit offering sites; They are usually ichtho-ovo-vegitarians, although it is not taboo to eat meat. Priests are ovo-ictho-vegetarians and tabooed to eat insect, mammal or bird meat (fish, mollusks and crustaceans are not tabooed). Due to the Air Spirit’s respect for insects, Air Worshippers tend not to suffer from insect pests. Also, Hummingbirds are special to Air worshippers. A hummingbird that defecates or lands on an Air Worshipper is said to bestow great resistance on the person. Albatross are special ambassadors of the Air Spirit. Killing an Albatross brings certain punishment to anyone. High leveled Divine Air Worshipper spell casters can sacrifice themselves for the grant of a Wish. The priest or priestess is struck by a massive bolt of lightning and killed, his/her spirit then is reformed as an invisible stalker in the plane of air after 3d6 months. Most magic items associated with the Air Spirit are items that bestow flight or levitation, horns, electrical weapons and ranged weapons. The most notable are Swords of Frost, Spears of Shock, Bows of Distance and Seeking, and Javelins of Returning. The Air Cult also has craftsmen who fabricate rings, rods, various bracers, cloth items and jewelry. They have individuals who produce staffs and wands, but these are not common. Good Omens: Eagles, Griffons – war; Hawks, Hippogriffs, Rocs – hunt; Sea raptors – fishing; Cranes, Doves, Pegasi – harvests, birth; Storks, Swallows – surviving siege; Songbirds – good weather; Water fowl – foraging; Hummingbirds, Hummingbird Moths, Butterflies – good luck . Neutral Omens: Cloud Lightning – battle; Thunderclouds – danger; Owls –ambush; Corvids (crow, magpie, raven, jays) – change, news; Loons and Whippoorwills – harbinger of death; Whirlwind – wrong direction. Bad Omens: Vultures, buzzards – defeat; Blackbirds – bad luck; Cuckoo, Cormorants – lies, theft.
The Great Air Monastery is the depository for all of the accumulated knowledge of the Air Cult and is the center of the Air Cult. It is a steel citadel that floats on the clouds and wanders the earth. Only the inhabitants of the monastery know where it is at any time, although it will often send messengers to lesser temples and monasteries that it is passing. The highest level Air Cult instructors are found at the Great Air Monastery along with many powerful Air Element Creatures. The highest levels of administration of the Great Air Cult are conducted through the Great Air Monastery and its primary leaders are a group of nine creatures who discuss the issues concerning the Great Air Temple.
Giant Birds (Eagles, Owls, Rocs) are always associated with the Air Spirit.
The Great Air Spirit likes quality over quantity. It would prefer a small number of devout followers than a huge number of careless followers. It generally rewards its devout followers very well although not as often.
When offering, the Great Air Spirit prefers distilled alcohol or wine, fruit and head organs. Gut organs placed in Air Offering sites is considered sacrilegious Air Temples are sparse and lonely. They are built on high cliffs and mountaintops. Air shrines can occasionally be found on high points on hills overlooking a steppe, but this is rare. Temples/Monasteries are small, consisting of 40 priests maximum, with generally only 3-9 permanent priests. Monk training monasteries can have up to 400 monks, although 60 is more common. Monasteries are the only place to learn Air Book Magic. Temples are smaller with a maximum of 30ish residence and minimums of 3 or 4 residence.
Their is little diet regulation except for not being allowed to eat flying creatures (on purpose), (gliding creatures are not flying creatures so flying fish are fair game). Fruits and vegetables are preferred, but not required. High level priests and monks will usually become Ictho-ovo vegetarians Eggs and fish (including crustaceans) are the preferred animal protein Milk products are not tabooed but are generally not eaten.
The Air Spirit does not like crude and dirty things. It appreciates a clever wit and clean appearance.
Above the clouds is important, therefore any mountain top that reaches above the clouds regularly is important.
Messengers are generally invisible stalkers.
Four winds are greater (or larger) air elementals, which will sometimes be given a human male form.
Arrows are the weapon of choice. Light armor is accepted, but heavy armor (with some magical exceptions) is not allowed. Dexterity and intelligence is valued most by adherents, although Wisdom and Charisma are looked well upon. Strength and constitution (these are D&D terms) are considered of little interest, basically, average should be enough.
Magic and Air is of particular interest, mostly movement magic and sound magic. Earth magic is frowned upon.
Omens consist of birds. Bats are not disliked, but are not "true" followers of the winds, hence they are wings are not aerodynamic and require more work and they live in earth (caves).
Eagles are good omens for war.
Hawks are good omens for hunts.
Sea Eagles are good omens for fishing trips.
Crows and ravens are messengers, often bringing "bad news" to humans, but not necessarily.
Cranes are good omens for life (harvests, births . . .)
Storks are omens for good luck in surviving a siege.
Vultures are bad omens.
Songbirds are harbingers of spring.
Geese and Ducks (Grebes) are good omens for foraging food.
Loons, Whippoorwills are harbingers of natural death
Owls are considered to have knowledge of the future concerning one's death and so are feared, although are not thought of as "evil".
Flightless birds are pathetic and should be eaten (except penguins, which are special messengers for communicating with water spirits).
Sea Gulls are of no particular worth.
Albatross are messengers to the Air spirits.
Besides the four winds, messengers and so forth are usually female. The highest priests are priestesses and always female, and must be virgin until they reach the age of 24. Avatars are male Janni born from a coupling of the Air Spirit and a female priestess (often a high priestess). The Avatar is trained from birth to be Monk Mages.
In D&D terms: the preferred classes are Wizard, Monk, Rogue then Bards, Sorcerer, Ranger, Cleric. Although not forbidden, Barbarians, Fighters and Paladins. Multi classes characters always have one of the first three classes mentioned as their first class. Air Monks can multi class in one other class and return to the Monk class back and forth.
Air is Neutral with Lawful leanings. Pure destruction is bad, but overabundance is bad. Chaos is annoying and wasteful. Order keeps a balance of all things. Air Avatars are rare and secretive. Their births are decided upon by the Air Spirit. The signs that point to his birth are Virgin Birth by a High Priestess who was struck by lightning. The High priestess does not survive the birth, and so the child is always an orphan. The child has an Owl and a Raven (night and day guards) who watch over it. When young, the child will ride a crane or albatross. Being a Janni, the avatar is clearly not human and is trained as a Monk and Wizard.
Hummingbirds are good luck. It is forbidden to catch them, which always brings bad luck. Having a Hummingbird land on you (or poop on you) is equal to having a Bless spell.
Doves and Pigeons are symbols of Peace.
Swallows are good omens for prosperity (generally harvest, but also for Peace in the future).
Arrows made with the feathers of a Hawk or Eagle have a +1 magical to hit bonus when shot by a worshiper of the Great Air Spirit, but only if the feather was found. Plucked feathers receive no bonus. This magical bonus cannot be seen through any magic detection since it is not imbued in the item but is guided by the hand of the Air Spirits, but does count towards hitting objects with damage reduction/magic. Due to this known bonus, rangers who worship the Air Spirit almost always have a Hawk or Eagle companion.
Cloud lightning (I forgot the term, but the lightning that goes from cloud to cloud and not to the ground) is a sign of trouble brewing, generally an omen of an enemy army approaching.
The Great Air Spirit does not have complete control of storms, but has partial control. The Great Air Spirit is on good terms with the Great Water Spirit, although it finds the Water Spirit a little flaky and mysterious (high wisdom-low intelligence). The Great Air Spirit has respect for Earth, but does not get along with it spectacularly. The Great Air Spirit is on neutral terms with the Great Fire Spirit, Life and Death.
Air offensive abilities include Wind, Cold, Sound and Electricity. Air practitioners are not good at manipulating wood or stone and are only average at using fire. Sorcerers who follow the way of the Wind will not learn any wood, stone or fire magic. Air mages also have problems with forcing transformations on others, although they are particularly good at transforming the self.
Air practitioners can be Druids. Druids would be middle ranked classes with Bard, Ranger, Cleric and Sorcerer.
Third ranked classes (Barbarian, Fighter and Paladin) are NEVER single classes, and MUST be multi classed with Rogue, Wizard or Monk. This basically makes it nigh impossible to be an Air Paladin. Of the primary 3 classes, Rogue is almost always multi classed.
Air Clerics are ascetics and receive large bonuses when saving verses starvation or dehydration. Most Air Clerics are female (70%), most air monks are male (70%).
The Great Air Spirit is not considered mysterious, but is known to have a bad temper and is fairly strict. Air Worshipers who perform rituals are regularly shown benefit, but those who forget are usually punished. Worship/rituals are not specific as much as they are timely. This means that if a ritual is purely in thought it is acceptable, but if it is done on the wrong day it is bad.
Caged birds are a big no-no (except flightless birds).
The Great Air Spirit has no problem with insects. Flying insects, especially Dragonflies, Damselflies and Butterflies are considered representatives of air spirits and are not allowed to be killed; having one land on one is considered a good omen (although no bonuses are conferred as in hummingbirds). Flies and mosquitoes generally leave air worshipers alone.
Eyes of Hurricanes are places where Air Worshipers have greater access to contacting the Great Air Spirit. A High Priestess who makes a request in the eye of the storm has a great chance of having it granted (kind of like a wish spell). Great requests will usually require self sacrifice, usually death by lightning strike. High priestesses who are killed in this way become Air Elementals or Invisible Stalkers. High priestesses and high leveled monks of the Great Air Spirit usually return as cranes in their next life. Air Monks are allowed to marry Air Priestesses after attaining a significant level. Air Priestesses are allowed to marry (anyone) after the age of 24.
The Great Air Spirit helps in directing reincarnations. If successful reincarnation of a follower of the Great Air Spirit has an increased chance of being reincarnated into a creature of choice.
Air Rogues are generally dancers and jugglers (sleight of hand) and not singers.
For ranged weapons, Air Worshipers prefer bows and crossbows, then spears, javelins, darts and daggers (throwing knives). They do not use slings or throwing axes.
For melee weapons, Air Worshipers prefer spears, staffs, swords (rapiers, daggers), piercing pole arms, and unarmed. They do not like swinging weapons (except swords and staffs), such as axes, maces, halberds, flails, morning stars, mauls, picks and so forth.