Dungeons & Dragons creature
Alignment Neutral Good
Type Monstrous Humanoid
Source books Monsters of Faerun, Monstrous Compendium Volume 2, 1E Fiend Folio, Terrors Beyond Tyr, Monstrous Manual, Races of Faerun
First appearance
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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the aarakocra are a race of bird-like monstrous humanoids dwelling in high mountains. First appearing in the Fiend Folio in 1981, they have since appeared in and been adapted to numerous campaign settings including Greyhawk, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, and the Forgotten Realms.


Typical physical characteristics[]

Aarakocra resemble humanoid birds. The average specimen stands about five feet tall and has a wingspan of twenty feet. Halfway along the edge of each wing is a hand with three human-sized fingers and an opposable thumb. An elongated fourth finger extends the length of the wing and locks in place during flight. The hands cannot grasp while flying, but are nearly as useful as human hands when an aarakocra is perched and its wings folded back. Their powerful legs end in four sharp talons that can unlock and fold back to reveal another pair of functional hands. These humanoids have hollow, fragile bones. Their faces combine the features of both parrots and eagles. They have gray-black beaks and black eyes. Plumage color varies, but males generally have red ,orange, and yellow coloration, while females tend towards brown and gray.


Aarakocra inhabit high mountains.


The standard alignment of aarakocra is neutral good.


Aarakocra live among the highest mountain peaks in small tribes which control hunting territories and share a communal nest. The eldest male serves as leader, the second oldest as shaman.


Aarakocra worship the goddess Syranita.

Aarakocra in various campaign settings[]

Aarakocra appear in several campaign settings.

Aarakocra in Dark Sun[]

In the Dark Sun setting, aarakocra are one of several player character races.

Aarakocra in Dragonlance[]

Living amongst the mountains of Krynn, aarakocra are rivals of the kyrie and often fight over living space, especially those tribes on the island of Karthay where aarakocra have been known to work with barbaric minotaur tribes to hunt kyrie. Aarakocra that live in the Abanasinia region often trade with the phaethons that live among the Sentinel peaks.

Aarakocra in the Forgotten Realms[]

Aaracokra feature statistically only in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons. In this setting, they are thought to be an immigrant race to Faerûn from Maztica. In Faerûn this rare people have just four established colonies: in the Star Mounts in the High Forest, in the Storm Horns in Cormyr, in the Cloven Mountains on the Vilhon Reach, and in the Mistcliffs in Chult. However the Star Mounts colony has been almost wholly destroyed by a green dragon called Elaacrimalicros.

Aarakocra in Greyhawk[]

In the World of Greyhawk setting, aarakocra are known to inhabit the Lortmil and Yatil Mountains.

Creative origins[]

Aarakocra first appeared in the Fiend Folio (1981) and were credited to Lawrence Schick.


  • Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989).
  • Keeping, J.E. "The Wings of Eagles." Dragon #124 (TSR, 1987).
  • Noonan, David. "Dark Sun Player's Handbook." Dragon #319 (Paizo Publishing, 2004).
  • Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids (TSR, 1993).
  • Slavicsek, Bill. Dark Sun Campaign Setting Expanded and Revised (TSR, 1995).
  • Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994).
  • Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio (TSR, 1981).
  • Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerun (Wizards of the Coast, 2001).