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Stormwing

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A Stormwing is an immortal being in the Tortallan Universe.

History

Like most of the Immortals, Stormwings were conceived through the dreams and nightmares of humans. A human woman was credited for their creation, and did so after she witnessed the horrors of war. She hoped that by creating a species that desecrated corpses and fed on fear and death, kings of nations would think twice before warring with another country. According to Nawat Crow, the first Stormwings were born from volcanoes.

Like all immortals, Stormwings were exiled from the Mortal Realms by humans for over 400 years. Their exile began a new time period called Human Era. At their exile, it was 0 HE. When they returned it was 449 HE. The era didn't change then, as the humans continued to use the HE timeline for dates and events.

After the Immortals War, the gods had speech with Veralidaine Sarrasri, a demigoddess. She petitioned the great gods to allow the Stormwings, or at least those who were there before Midwinter, to remain in the Mortal Realms, instead of being forced to return to the Divine Realms. Gainel, the god of dreams, agreed with Daine, and said that as the maker of dreams and nightmares, it was difficult to find things that humans were afraid of without the immortals. Gainel said that having immortals there were excellent for nightmares. The rest of the gods allowed the immortals to stay.

Society

At the time of the Immortals War, Rikash Moonsword states that there are three hundred and twelve Stormwings total between those loyal to Queen Barzah and those who follow Ozorne. It is unknown if this is the entire population of Stormwings. However, Ozorne's army includes several nations worth of Stormwings. After the battle at Port Legann, at least twenty-one of those Stormwings have been killed, and several more were likely killed as well.

The eyries of the Stormwings in the Divine Realms border the Dragonlands, meaning that they have an understanding with the dragons, if not a good relationship.

Rulership

Stormwings are ruled by a king or a queen on flocks called nations.The are recognizable by their black glass crowns. As they are immortals, the king or queen could potentially rule a flock for eternity. However, the Stormwing who kills a king or queen takes their place and rules the flock themselves. Stormwings also seem to have some sort of aristocracy, and it is assumed that they garner this merit through success in battle.

Values

They love war, especially war made by humans. They feast on fear, hatred, and all emotions that war creates. They like to desecrate the corpses of those who died in war, by pissing on them and rolling them in the dirt. Stormwings are surprisingly patriotic, even though they war with each other, and value other Stormwing life over mortal lives.

They also love human children, although not to scare nor to eat. As it is difficult for them to have their own children, they have parental feelings towards human children who are isolated or abandoned. This may have something to do with their nature in an overarching sense, as many children are left orphaned or abandoned due to human wars. Children are also not the cause of war, but are people who are hit hard by it whenever it happens. As children do not truly think of going to war, they were not the target of the Stormwing creator's intentions.

Maura of Dunlath raises a question in response to Daine's hatred of Stormwings, and asks whether or not Stormwings should be considered personally responsible for their habit of feeding off of fear and death, as it is their nature and not their will that pushes them to do it. Ironically, this way of thinking came from what Daine told Maura about ogres, and Maura simply turned the tables on Daine.

Abilities

Stormwings are capable of using magic, like a few other types of Immortals. Their magic is very powerful if it is used correctly. Stormwings can even create lightning blasts[1]. Ozorne Tasikhe was able to create creatures known as Darkings with his magic and blood[2], although that was partly due to the fact that in the Divine Realms, the rules of magic are what its user makes them. These creatures had the ability to communicate with each other across realms, and over incredibly long distances. They are also able to pass through many barriers that would impede mortals, such as the one between the Realms and magical shields (even powerful ones boosted by black opals). One Stormwing speaks to the spirit of Daine after she accidentally stops her heart with meditation, suggesting that they can see the recently dead.

Stormwings project a war terror in front of them when in battle. While this affects everyone to some extent, veterans of battle or those who have encountered it before can usually counteract its effects.

Because of their wings, Stormwings are capable of flight like any bird, and do this naturally. Stormwing magic also allows them to hover in one place, something most natural fliers cannot do. Three Stormwings are strong enough to carry a large man and a good deal of baggage in flight for several hours.

Being able to move freely through the Divine and Mortal Realms, Stormwings were able to pick up more gossip than other beings. They learned that Kyprioth planned to retake the Copper Isles by use of the raka conspiracy. They taunted the Rittevon rulers and said that they had become to complacent and sure of themselves in their power, and that they should beware the Trickster's Choice.

Amusingly, despite their own offensive smell, they hate onions with a passion. Numair Salmalín developed a bomb that could drive them off with an explosive blast of onions, able to force a large group of Stormwings to retreat in just a few seconds.

A feather from Rikash Moonsword was able to transform a mortal mage into a Stormwing. It is unknown if all Stormwing feathers have this ability. When cut and used as fletching for an arrow, Stormwing feathers will make mage-killer arrows that cut through illusions and magic regardless of a mage's power.

Physiology

Stormwings are half human and half bird. Their bird parts, such as their feathers, are made entirely of metal, and are razor sharp. There teeth are also made of steel, and their blood is silver. They are quite deft with their wings, slicing things with great accuracy. They are also very smelly. While they are relatively skilled fliers, they are incredibly clumsy on the ground and do not have hands, making it difficult for them to manipulate objects.

Having originally been born from volcanoes, Stormwing steel can be cut with a blade knapped from obsidian (a volcanic stone).

As they are immortals, they do not die of old age or mortal ailments, but they can be slain. If they are not harmed, they can live for eternities, and as long as the gods do. New Stormwings are born from steel eggs. However, carry such an egg (possibly more than one) often kills the mother before they are laid, meaning that Stormwing children are rare.

Notable Stormwings

  • Zhaneh Bitterclaws—A Stormwing queen who allied herself with Carthaki pirates in order to exact revenge on Veralidaine Sarrasri. She was slain by the girl.
  • Rikash Moonsword—A Stormwing aristocrat who was in the service of Ozorne Tasikhe. He turned coat when he heard that Ozorne had imprisoned two Stormwings. He died during the Immortals War and is the namesake for Daine's second child Rikash Salmalín.
  • Jokhun Foulreek—A Stormwing king in alliance with Ozorne Tasikhe. Defying Stormwing tradition, he did not kill the former queen of the flock, but made a deal with Ozorne to keep her trapped in his menagerie.
  • Barzha Razorwing—The Stormwing queen of the Stone Tree Nation trapped in Ozorne's menagerie. She is alter freed and takes her rightful place again.
  • Hebakh Razorwing—Barzha's consort.
  • Ozorne Tasikhe—The former Emperor Mage of Carthak. Turned himself into a Stormwing with a feather of Rikash's. He kills Jokhun Foulreek in a sneak attack to become a Stormwing king, dividing the Stone Tree Nation and leading many other nations into battle with humans.
  • Quirev - A Stormwing king of an unnamed nation. He was unhappy with the loses the Stormwings sustained during the Immortals War, despite siding with Ozorne.
  • Mogrul - The Stormwing king of the Razor Scream Nation. At least eleven of his subjects were killed in the Immortals War.
  • Yechakk - An ancient Stormwing king of an unnamed nation. He does not believe that Stowmwings should be actively involved in mortal wars.
  • Jachull - The Stormwing queen of the Mortal Fear Nation. At the time of the battle at Port Legann, she has sustained few losses and leads the largest nation that follows Ozorne. She is killed in a duel with Barzha.

Appearances

Stormwings appear or are mentioned in the following books. Books are listed by order of publication date.

Notes and references

  1. Emperor Mage, last few chapters
  2. The Realms of the Gods and Trickster's Queen both mention this.

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