Located close to Mount Mara, Greenland stands the ancient Homeland of the Avian race, human-like creatures with bird like adaptions. As far as the Avians remember back, they have always lived in the area of the Aerie and surrounding areas. The oldest structures’ technology level is far beyond that of the agrarian Avian society, hinting at extraterrestrial involvement. However, as the Aerie at whole, but especially these structures are guarded and generally inaccessible to almost all humans, no studies have been done on this so far.
As the Aerie is located above the Arctic Circle, a common assumption is that it is located in a cold area. However, this is not true. A variety of hot springs heats the area surrounding the Aerie, leading to a cold, yet liveable temperature. During winter, temperature rarely drops beyond -10 °C (14°F). During summer it occasionally reaches up to 20°C (68°F), while during the rest of the year, it is located somewhere in between. Due to its geographical location, the Aerie is fully affected by Polar Day and Night.
The Aerie is located atop a variety of nigh-impassable cliffs, most of the area is built into the rock, with only some traditionally constructed buildings. Inside the various caves, the temperate is, on average, higher than the outside naturally, due to the friction inside the earth’s crust, also causing the Hot Springs.
Recently, the Effects of Global Warming have become apparent in the area surrounding the Aerie. Glaciers melting has caused, amongst other things, landslides, which are threatening ancestral Avian Territory, much to the disgust of the local populace.
For as long as they have remembered, the Avians have lived in the Aerie and the surrounding territories. While there had been some settlements set up around 1300 AD, not far removed from the Aerie, none of the rare archeological finds mention anything that could be the Avians. “Bird-like Humans” are first mentioned in a variety of native fairytales assumed to be created during 16th century, and orally passed down from then onwards. When Denmark-Norway began to send missionaries during the 18th century, some of these tales were brought back to Europe, but stayed largely ignored, seen as part of the Native’s faith more than anything.
First human contact with Avians happened during the end of the 19th century, when an American Expedition tasked with exploring the northern coast of Greenland intruded into what the Avians considered their territory during the summer of 1892. When a large force of Avian Warriors appeared at the Sky to intercept the Expedition’s path, their leader decided to leave the area, never communicating with the Avians, who had made their intentions clear even without any speech.
Reports of this incident were met with amusement, the people in charge not believing the 23 expedition members. Only about a year later, a larger force was sent, this one considerably better armed. The expedition never reported back, going missing soon after a last report had been sent from where the first expedition had been intercepted.
The records of this, and the previous expedition, were unfortunately lost to a large fire only months after the disappearance of the second expedition, and while outrage at the loss and curiosity were still present, expeditionary efforts were soon focusing on other areas, with only a few reports of “Bird People” still present in the records.
The next encounter with Avian Society happened during World War 2, when an American Plane stationed at a nearby Airbase was damaged in a storm and forced to take an emergency landing. The plane touched down inside Timelost Valley, with a last radio transmission talking about “green grass”. A search party was sent out towards the last known location, soon meeting an Avian Hunting Party. This meeting would lead to a skirmish that left a total of 2 soldiers and 9 Avians dead. Both parties retreated, and the news of what the remaining soldiers had seen spread across the upper echelons of the American Military. The Avians appeared to only have primitive weapons, so they were not ruled to be a threat, but a potential ally, their bodies suited to actions a human would hardly be able to execute.
A first effort at Diplomacy was made during Autumn 1944, when a squad escorted a Meta-human with the ability to understand and speak any language. The squad was, begrudgingly, granted an audience with the at-the-time Queen, Era-Lo-Nah, Grandmother of the Aerie’s current ruler, Ta-Lo-Nah. The answer to what would be required for diplomacy to start was a simple one. The Aerie wanted to be left alone. They did not care much for what was happening outside their territory. The queen also demanded a No-Fly Zone, as the “Metal Shacks” that had been spotted were intruding into what the Avians saw as their privileged dwelling place. The first demand was granted by the American Military, as they did not feel like interacting with the Isolationist Avians would be worth the effort required to learn their language and then convince them. The No-Fly Zone never was established, yet there never was any sort of retaliation.
Further attempts at diplomacy, from governments, NGOs, and the UN, all were met with similar responses. The Aerie did not care much, they just wanted to be left alone. Occasionally, an Avian made their way to the rest of the world, most of them integrating well into society, even when faced with discrimination due to their appearance.
Ta-Lo-Nah’s Rise to Power and Reign.
The first big appearance in the public eye happened in 1988, when Ta-Lo-Nah (Shortened to Talona in most media), at the time 16 years old, Princess and Designated Heir, attacked a large Factory in Northern Maine together with a raiding Party of about 30 Avian Soldiers. The Unprotected Facility was quickly taken, and as Ta-Lo-Nah’s forces began to demolish it, the Freedom League intervened. However, they would only find an abandoned, and largely destroyed Factory. A strange man had appeared out of nowhere, and told the warriors of the incoming heroes, allowing them to escape in time. However, eye-witnesses, and a low quality photo taken by a journalist who had been visiting the area at the time led to the Attack making the news all across the US and Canada.
Talona’s next appearance was in 1990, when a squad of B-List villains commited a crime spree, managing to always get away just before any Metahuman Crime-fighters appeared on the scene. Talona was among them, quickly becoming infamous for her bestial rage and combat prowess, tearing through the Law Enforcement on the scene. The crime spree lasted for exactly two months, when, after an attack on a Credit Agency in North Dakota, the team was attacked by a group of local heroes. Three were arrested, while the remaining four managed to escape, disbanding in the process. Ta-Lo-Nah had learned that her Mother was getting weaker by the day, and would most likely not survive much longer. She returned to the Aerie, becoming Queen Ta-Lo-Nah in 1994.
In 1995, a plague struck the Aerie. Many got sick, and the Healers could not find a cure. Some believed in a curse, some in a remote attack. Ta-Lo-Nah however, had experienced something similar before. The Air was unclean, and it was what caused this Plague. Much like seven years before, Ta-Lo-Nah and a part of her army set out, attacking multiple factories across the Atlantic Border of North America, striking in both Canada and the US. Her attacks were stopped when she and her army were led into a trap by one of the Corporations they had been targeting, and Ta-Lo-Nah was shipped off to Freedom City for Interrogation and examination. Naturally, the mundane Equipment could not contain Ta-Lo-Nah for very long. Enraged, she called upon her powers, and attacked the City. Lady Liberty first fought, then calmed down, the Avian Queen, learning of her plight. With the assistance of the Freedom League, Talon was returned to her homeland, and her people’s situation to be investigated, the two parties having forged a peace deal.
Peace did not last, however. Ta-Lo-Nah’s return was not a pleasant one, as she saw the Burial Grounds expanded massively. She could not find any of her subjects, and soon returned to Freedom City, even more enraged this time. Once more, the Freedom League managed to contain her rage. They travelled together with Talona and discovered that her people, their numbers diminished nevertheless, had merely moved to a secret system of caves, unknown even to the Queen herself. The Freedom League promised medical assistance and better treatment of pollution, further bettering the relations between Ta-Lo-Nah and the League.
Ta-Lo-Nah became an occasional ally, occasional enemy of the League over the next few years. Her main motivation was, and still to this day is, the safety of her people and homeland, and she will stop at nothing to protect them. She has also been seen in the company of villains, but no evidence of her acting together with them exists. After the Incursion, relations are at an all-time high, but a recent increase in ice melting and air pollution could change this at any time.
The Aerie is an agrarian society, with both agriculture and hunting happening in the nearby Timelost Valley, where the ground is surprisingly fertile and otherwise extinct animals roam the earth. Most Avian Technology is rather primitive, hunting is mostly done with Bow and Arrow, and Tools are, for the most part, still made of rock and metal. An exception to this are a few, rare artifacts whose technology level exceeds that the modern world, left behind by whomever built the first structures in the Aerie. Recently, there has also been an increase in modern tools imported to the Aerie, with some hunters using Recurve Bows or Crossbows.
The Avian Military also has access to modern technology. Each soldier is equipped and trained with a basic rifle, whereas the Queen’s personal Guard are equipped with the best modern Military Technology has to offer.
Other than that, Avian Society largely remains the same it has always been. Those who don’t produce food or are in the Military are spread across a variety of jobs, healers, manufacturers, builders and many others.
While one would not assume it, the Aerie has access to a large amount of money, stored and invested in various places all across the globe. This, as well as the recent opening towards the outside world are mainly on account of Prince On, the second child of Ta-Lo-Nah. While some, including his mother, question this move, it is welcomed by a large part of Avian Society, who have already benefitted from the increase in Medical Knowledge.
Traditionally, the Aerie has had a martial culture. Hunting is not only the way most food is produed, it is also seen as a pastime and competition. Often when there is conflict between two Avians, they will agree to a “Solitary Hunt”, a traditional competition in which the competitors are blindfolded and left somewhere in Timelost Valley, with nothing but plain clothes. Over a previously specified time, usually two, four or ten days, they have to scavenge and hunt. The Avian who, at the end of the Hunt, returns with more prey, is deemed the winner, and the food brought home by the competitors is used for a large feast, occasionally lasting more than one day. Traditional Avian weapons are their own bodies, with multiple martial arts developed and passed down, most of them focused on agility. Spear and Bow both are traditionally used weapons, mostly for hunting, but also in duels. Other weaponry can also be seen occasionally, with a large martial school focused on the use of the net being prominent amongst Avian warriors.
More peaceful parts of Avian culture include Religion and the Arts, the two fields being fairly connected. The Avians believe in “The Star Gods”, who came from beyond the sky. According to Legend, long ago the star-gods came to Earth, and granted the gift of wings to those most worthy. Then, they led those they had favoured to their new home, where the gift of Timelost Valley waited for them. The artefacts and old buildings left behind were further gifts by the Star-Gods, and their use would become apparent once necessary. Religious practices are, for the most part, made up of various rituals, many of them corresponding to the position of the stars and the moon in the night sky. The main two celebratory events of Avian Religion are Star-Stay (the Winter Solstice), and Sun-Stay (Summer Solstice) Other practices include the creation of pieces of art, ranging from paintings to songs.
Secular artwork mainly covers the exploits of Avian legends, great rulers and hunters, passing down tales of glory, but also serving as cautionary stories. In what some scholars have referred to as “a strange twist of biology”, others simply “Irony”, many Avians love to sing. Occasionally, instruments are used, but more common are songs performed in Acapella. Subjects and tone of the songs are varied, with everything from songs of war to songs praising the beauty of nature.
[To be edited occasionally, check back!]
Scientifically speaking, Timelost Valley should not exist. It’s very existence is impossible by natural means. Whereas surrounding valleys are full of only snow and ice, the fairly big Timelost Valley is fileld with wildlife. Not ordinary wildlife, but flora and fauna from the last ice age. Mammoths and Smilodons thrive in the valley, as do a wide variety of plants. While scientists essentially beg the Aerie to allow them to research this extraordinary place, so far there has been very little science conducted on it. A single report exists, created in 2007 by a group of scientists who illegally infiltrated the Valley, and were later caught by a group of Avian Hunters. Over the days after said capture, a full-on international incident was only nearly avoided, and while the scientists had to leave behind all samples they had taken (which means that the findings are still heavily critiqued), they later released a paper on what they had seen.
According to their findings, the soil in the valley was unnaturally fertile, on levels that suggested some sort of involvement using technology outclassing what is currently available. Perhaps more strangely, the soil also seemed to produce heat somehow, which, according to the team, explained the difference in temperature in the area. Due to the lack of any samples, and the Avian insistence on not allowing any foreigners into the valley, these findings have never been confirmed, and are, at best, treated as a theory.