Blood & Ink: Harpies

September 27, 2009

Warrior-philosophers, halfway between classic Harpies and Tengu. Mystically inclined- daughters of the ashes of the Phoenix, both aligned to air and fire.


With the death and rebirth of the Phoenix, burning hot embers the size of giant melons are left behind. Collected, cared for, and carefully sung over, they hatch to produce the proud race of the Hakorrah, in common parlance known as the Harpies, whom Summoners have called upon for the knowledge of the skies, stars, and faraway lands.

They hear the first cries of the Phoenix as ember-eggs, and it is the Words of Creation they part-remember, and it is this, that makes up their “Terrifying Screech” ability- a fragmented spark of divine language that stuns their prey, and is what they consider to be a piece of the Great Poem of Creation.

Hakorrah are corporeal spirits, taking the form of half-bird half-women. They have an intense knowledge of natural cycles of the sky and earth, usually keeping an eye out for signs of when the Phoenix will pass and leave more ember-eggs to be harvested – the Hakorrah whose flights are the first to gather upon the scorched area usually procure the most each generation.

They are often summoned for tasks which require intelligence, persistence and patience- they are careful planners. Hakorrah are also well versed in many lores including martial arts, and have been summoned to teach/train others as well. They very often demand either human flesh or specific knowledge (maps, both land and sky) for their efforts.

The Hakorrah refuse to acknowledge the words of men, or women who’ve taken the ink to take the role of men. Any of the priesthood is considered above gender and treated normally. They respect intelligence and strong will. Poetry is the one art form they appreciate above all else.

Wi 5 Pe 5, Ag 5 Sp 5 Po 5 Fo 5 Hea 5 Ref 5 MW 11 Ste 5 Hes 5 Res 1 Cir 2

Su 3 Li 6 Mi 8 Se 9 Tr 10 MW 11

Winged, Feathered, Talons, Named, Stillness, Night-Eyed, Terrifying Screech

Hunting 4, Astrology 4, Stealthy 4, Martial Arts 4,  Tactics 4, Herbalism 3, Star-wise 3, Obscure History 3, Poetry 3, Skirmish Tactics

Talons +2 Power, I4 M7 S10, Fast, VA 2

I will seek all signs of the Phoenix, for its death place is the birthplace of my future sisters.
Good poetry is an echo of the Great Poem – respect and revel in it.
A few humans are worth respect, most are lesser beings.

Never acknowledge the words of a male
Always with patience and always with a plan
Never miss an opportunity to hear good poetry


  1. (Skirmish tactics is a training skill, at least in standard BW.)

    • Thanks! I’ll fix that. For some reason I thought it was a subset of Tactics.

  2. So, to clarify, there is exactly one character that the Harpies won’t tear to shreds?


    • They actually don’t care about shredding people- but there is exactly one character they’ll listen to amongst the PCs. Which is kinda interesting of itself.

  3. What’s their attitude towards men who have taken the ink to become women? Do the Hakorrah treat them as men or women?

    More generally, how widely is the ritual of taking the ink recognized, through this and other worlds?

    • They treat them as women. The ritual is in theory given by the Mystery Goddess herself, and so, all of her children (spirts, gods, etc.) recognize it as well. Since all summoners are considered non-gendered/between gender as far as magic is concerned, all summoners are ok w/ the Hakkorah.

      I figured it would also lend to some interesting game situations- for example, the fact that as spies, they wouldn’t acknowledge anything men had said that they were spying on…

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