Hrafnfolk Ethnicity in Akadimía | World Anvil


The Hrafnfolk are humanoid avians. Hrafnfolk (also known as ravenfolk) can be found in the farthest northern reaches of the Myrkviðr Forest and Jotunheimen Range. Their settlements have been found as high as 5km above sea level. These areas are often uninhabitable by other animals, and food can be scarce.  


Hrafnfolk are egg layers and may lay up to five at a clutch. Hrafnfolk are excellent parents and, once hatched, infants have a low mortality rate. They develop quickly learning to communicate in caws and tones by age 2, and full speech by age 4. Hrafnfolk reach adulthood around the age of 12. Hrafnfolk generally have shorter lifespans than humans, and slightly higher reproductive rates. However, under the right conditions some Hrafnfolk have been known to live to nearly 100 years of age.  


Hrafnfolk are highly social and live in tight knit villages, coloquially known as "conspiracies". While a Hrafnfolk conspiracy may number up to 100 individuals, they are largely composed of pairs, mated for life and occupying widely spread nests/ranges.


Major language groups and dialects

Hrafnfolk are highly adept with sounds and spoken language. When young, Hrafnfolk are able to generate an incredibly diverse range of sounds, and often begin immitating many of the sounds in their natural environment. As they approach adulthood, they move from immitation to complex speech patterns. Some adult hrafnfolk retain the ability to perfectly mimic the voices of others.   The Hrafnfolk of the northern continent speak several languages including The Elder Tongue, The Human Tongue, Drákonic and Jotun. While they are able to read and write, they demonstrate more comfort with runic languages than script.

Culture and cultural heritage

Hrafnfolk are omnivors and opportunists. As food is scarce in the northern climes, they are not picky with their food choices. Whether killed or scavenged, no food is left to spoil. Instead, food is stored in caches for later retreival during harder times.

Shared customary codes and values

Food oriented competitors

They are also highly food oriented and extremely competitive within their kind. They watch where other hrafnfolk cache their food and remember the locations of each other's food caches, so they can steal from them. This type of theft occurs so regularly that some hrafnfolk will fly extra distances from a food source to find better hiding places for food. They have also been observed pretending to make a cache without actually depositing the food, presumably to confuse onlookers.  

Interspecies collaborators

Hrafnfolk have also been known to be collaborative with other species. For example, some have been observed calling wolves to the site of dead animals. The wolves open the carcass, leaving the scraps more accessible to the hrafnfolk. They may also form bonding relationships with other humanoids in the case where no other young Hrafnfolk are present during their formative years. They do not, however, interbreed with other species.  

Covetous collectors

Hrafnfolk are known to steal and cache shiny objects such as gems, precious metals, and other works of art. One theory is that they hoard shiny objects to impress other hrafnfolk. Other theories indicate that juveniles are deeply curious about all new things, and that adult hrafnfolk retain an attraction to bright, round objects based on their similarity to bird eggs. Elder hrafnfolk lose their intense interest in the unusual, and become highly neophobic.

Art & Architecture

Hrafnfolk are extremely intelligent and agile. Their art tends to combine both the matt colors of the natural world, as well as bright, reflective materials.   With their incredible vision, paintings and forms of drawing tend to emphasize wide vistas and incredibly rendered landscapes. However, their carved and crafted creations are finely crafted with tremendous attention to detail.   Hrafnfolk create a large amount of prose and poetic verse, though much of this has been dismissed as highly derivative of outsiders stories, or passed down only orally within their conspiracies.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Hrafnfolk have complex rituals surrounding death of one of their kind. During these "funerals" all competitions are set aside, and the young are forced to participate. These funerals often involve not just hrafnfolk from the local conspiracy, but may include any other hrafnfolk who are present or nearby.

Common Myths and Legends

The Hrafnfolk themselves believe to have originated as wise smallfolk messengers, scouts, and prophets amongst Dragonkind and Giants. They hold the "Raven God" as a creator-god and await his return.   The Northern Peoples view Ravens (and with them, the Hrafnfolk) as bearers of ill portents or omens of death.


Courtship Ideals

Hrafnfolk begin courtship as early as 6 years old, but only reach sexual maturity around age 12.

Relationship Ideals

Pairs mate for life and generally maintain a single nest over that duration.


Author's Notes

Inspired by our local ravens and the mythical Aarakocra and Kenku.

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