Icon of the Runaway spacecraft

Avian Culture:


Family and Habitation

Skimmer avians tend to live in co-ed settlements, with a bright hegemony in control of the government and subsidized housing and essentials for duns who are raising young. Typically, skimmers live in apartments and houses alone or with children in large housing blocks, and housing blocks/buildings are frequently either majority dun or majority bright. Brights are usually entirely uninvolved in the raising of children outside of a kind of universal “alimony” tax on adult brights.

Flightless avian duns and brights tend to live in separate self-governing settlements, though some brights form small nomadic bands instead. During spring, groups of brights will come “caroling” to dun settlements to display their tails, socialize, and court partners. Outside of the courting season, brights visiting dun settlements will typically wear long garments to cover their tails as a signal that they are there for business. Children are raised in dun communities but upon becoming adults, brights are typically ousted, though some Hotsuuv dun cities allow brights to remain if they shear their tail feathers and do not court duns.

Diver avians live in co-ed communities, with multigenerational families often occupying large longhouses, though there are some bright-only houses composed of individuals who immigrated from different islands. Brights involve themselves in raising their dunparent family’s children, but not the children of their courting partners. Although individual houses tend to be governed by duns, elder brights tend to govern settlements and may also live apart from their family as a display of impartiality.

Polar avians live in large co-ed communities with entire cities frequently occupying a single building, although individual adults tend to occupy separate apartments within it. They are the only avian species where adult brights are expected to be directly involved in the rearing of their children, with duns frequently being visited by their past partners even outside of the courting season.

Pygmy avians live in co-ed settlements similar to skimmers, with separate housing blocks for adult brights and duns, though these housing blocks usually have bedrooms with shared common areas rather than apartments. Brights are expected to leave the community they were born into when they become adults, typically flying to a different island in the chain. Individual settlements are usually governed by the oldest members of the dun houses.


Many avians have strong historical makeup cultures, even though the current skimmer majority stigmatizes it as dishonest and probably Gay. Piercings and such are fairly uncommon because avian bodies are pretty delicate and bad at handling injury. Nostril and beak rings are seen instead of piercings, especially among diver avians, and are usually clamped on. Tiiliitian skimmer culture has strong emphasis on conformity and singular ideals for appearance, so countercultures tend to be really out there and aggressive in their presentation. Some of the weirder things avian punks will do is feather plucking (partial or whole body), feather splitting or decorative clipping, full body dyeing and painting; or any sort of injurious mod, like ear-notching and piercing. Avian ears are very rigid and well suited for elaborate patterns of removed chunks, even if the medical tech that allows such modification to happen safely is very recent.


Skimmer avian religion was historically very dogmatic and organized and had a huge influence on state, but they’ve entered an “age of reason” and it’s now a lot more popular to scoff at religion as tribalist nonsense (while unthinkingly adhering to the worst of its ideals). But unlike colonialist human religions, skimmers rarely occupied other nations explicitly seeking to convert. Their goals were usually more in mind to impose economic domination and skimmer decency standards (religion influenced, but not the same as conversion).

Pygmy and diver religions tend to be more localized, their territory being scattered small islands resulting in lots of different versions of the same general stories. Polar and flightless avians live on larger connected landmasses, so their religions have more of a through-line and more written religious texts. Avian religious celebrations in general tend to be pretty modest and short, ranging from church sermons to house parties with friends. In small enough island communities, the entire population may gather for the event. In space, these smaller and more location based religions tend to be overshadowing by the dwindling but still influential skimmer institutions. Most avians in space celebrate skimmer holidays and/or personal holidays and identify as atheist.


Avians, like us, mostly have visual and auditory art forms. You guys already know how detailed their clothes get. Singing is big deal for them, though avian singing sounds weird and discordant to everyone else. Their voice is similar to a yowling cat (warning: angry cat noises) but with the split pitch of a thrush or a red-winged blackbird. This is also why avian language is unpronounceable to any other race, they have words with different meanings based on pitch and chord.


Avians swallow chunks of food whole. Centaurs also tend to do this, but they at least have a few grinding teeth to savor a meal, avians just have a beak and an esophagus. Food is more of a tactile and visual presentation to them than anything else. Texture, temperature, and size of food pieces are very important to a meal, spices…. not so much. Almost never. Their diet consists of a lot of high calorie, fatty foods like meat, invertebrates, and seeds. They cook a fair amount of their meats, but eat a lot of them raw or just warmed as well. The meat is almost always dead on arrival to the table, as it needs to be cut into swallowable sizes. Some cultures will eat live bugs, but many find it distasteful to eat anything before it’s been killed.

…So sounds boring, right? Well… even though avians rarely add spices to their food, they commonly add psychoactive drugs! Avians have a huge blood filtering organ (sort of kidney, sort of liver) that refreshes the coboglobin in their blood cells about every 24 hours when the compound stops bonding to oxygen. This means that almost any drug they absorb to their blood stream will be cycled out into their urine in an hour or two. Compounds that are poisonous to other species in small doses are slathered onto avian foods for the entertainment of dinner guests. Snack foods also often contain fun “side effects,” even ones marketed to kids. Addiction is a huge problem in avian culture.