A Nest of Harpys: The Race I’d like to Play

The Community Blog Topic this week posed a question near to my heart, Which Race would you like to see playable?

Harpies, naturally.

harpy01

Now, it’s not just bias on my part. I went and did some research on Wowwiki and what I discovered would suggest that Harpies could fit in perfectly as a player race.

Harpy legends claim that they are descend from a group of female night elves who betrayed Queen Azshara, and were cursed as punishment.

Given that Queen Azshara isn’t dead yet, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility that a tribe of Harpies, less savage than those currently found inhabiting Kalimdor and Northrend could be discovered. A tribe willing to put aside their differences long enough to attempt to thwart Azshara and seek revenge. Possibly more plausible than a bunch of worgen keeping their curse in check and deciding to play with the Night Elves. Given that Harpies are also 100 percent female it would present an interesting challenge to Blizzard. Add the first race which only has female models or attempt to find a way to present male harpies. Personally I would prefer the former but it would be an interesting decision if they went either way.

Back Story:

A small sisterhood of Night Elves who worshiped Aviana did something which Queen Azshara classed as a betrayal. Perhaps it was as small a crime as not seeing their Queen as a deity. In return she caused them all to take on the form that they all adored or perhaps Aviana allowed them to take on that shape temporarily but Azshara found a way of forcing them to stay like that for eternity.

Language:

Similar to that which the Night Elves speak with perhaps a few different words and inter-spaced with bird like noises.

/Flirts:

“If you’re really good, maybe I won’t eat you in the morning”.

Capital City:

If their ancestral home is the Mountains of Stonetalon, I would locate their capital up in the mountains towards the north. An area currently unreachable due to heavy storms.  In terms of visuals, it would be something a bit like the ruins of Ravenwind in Feralas. Night Elf architecture, slightly overgrown and decayed with nests hanging from the trees. It wouldn’t be the most beautiful city in Kalimdor but functional, if not slightly dirty. Harpies appear to be a bit like magpies so there would be lots of wind chimes, beads and bones hanging from the foliage.

Mounts:

Even though Harpies have wings and can flutter off the ground, they would still use mounts to cross long distances. For ground mounts, they ride feathery horses, their bright colours match their riders plumage. Flying mounts would be mutated Hippogriphs, possibly including those pretty pink and blue ones you find in Feralas but can’t ride at the moment.

Classes:

Given the variety of Harpies already in-game, casters seem the most likely candidates. Mage, Warlock (being turned into a flesh eating bird could potentially interest you in all sorts of dodgy stuff), Priest, Shaman. In addition to that, I’d go for rogues.

Racials:

As the mythological Harpies were spirits of sudden gusts of wind, their racials should reflect that.

  • Storm-winds: 2.5 min cooldown – The Harpy swoops upwards out of range of attacks for 10 seconds
  • Fleet-footed: 4 min cooldown which is shared with Storm-winds. The Harpy picks up a party member within 30 yards range, swooping upwards with them, protecting them from harm for 10 seconds.
  • Flickering Memory: Turn into the Night Elf you once were. Breaks in combat. Drains energy/mana the longer you keep it up.

They would also get a small bonus to haste being known for their speed and all.

Mini pets:

Tiny feathery foals with little wings which they flutter into the air with every so often. (Yes I was a My Little Pony girl once upon a time).

Visuals:

Now to get armour to fit, there would have to be a few changes. I imagine that their wings would be capable of folding up but that their tail feathers would just stick out through their clothing like all the other tailed races. Feather colour, hair and face features would all be customizable. I imagine they would be a bit like Female Night Elves only with lots of feathers. I would hope the hair styles would be fairly diverse, with decorations made from feathers and/or bones.

Quest chains:

As much as I dislike phased starting quests, that’s what I think I’d go for here. Given that Night Elves and thus probably Harpies do live a very long time, I’d begin at the beginning with a flashback to Queen Aszhara damning your character for daring to turn against her, quite possibly around the time she thought that getting into bed with demons was a good idea. You would begin as a Night Elf standing against the Queen and her madness and then a bit like the Worgen, you would wake up as a Harpy. Time would then shift forwards until your clan’s spies bring word of the chaos breaking beyond your stormy borders. There is dissent amongst the Harpies, some wish to keep out of the affairs of the Night Elves pointing out that they are no longer your  people. That no one else spoke up when Azshara unleashed her rage on you and your sisters but others feel enough is enough. You being both brave and quite possibly foolish decide to take matters into your own hands and explore the upheaval in the world below. You discover a world changed beyond all recognition, Azshara itself ruined by the Goblin incursion, Ashenvale scarred and burnt, Stonetalon twisted. Where you knew towns and temples, you find ruins and broken statues. It’s at that point you find a party of Night Elves struggling against unknown force and against your better judgement and with the words of your Elders ringing in your ears, you join the fight, helping turn the tide in the Sentinels favour. Naturally they aren’t best pleased to see you but give you the benefit of the doubt, binding you and taking you to Darnassus in chains rather than slaughtering you where you stand. It’s on being dragged into the Temple of the Moon, you discover your first ally. A Priestess who recognizes something in you, a reminder of the Night Elf you once were  and who speaks on your behalf, saving your life.

Tyrande and the Alliance are desperate for allies. You find yourself having to accompany a party of Night Elves led by Tyrande herself to your own hidden citadel. During the journey, you learn a bit more about the circumstances leading to both your transformation in the first place but also about some of those once Night Elves now Harpies your clan call Elders. A few assassinations, a couple of quests involving stealing artifacts and a small punch-up later, everyone who is still alive is now at least talking and the Harpies can start running around doing whatever quests/battlegrounds and dungeons they want.

The main purpose of the quest chain would be to fill in some of the in-game lore gaps and would be useful to both Night Elves and of course to the Harpies themselves.

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14 Responses

  1. Love this idea! I think flickering memories would be awesome too, maybe working like the worgen toggle somehow. Great ideas, I’d love this race.

  2. Not only do I love this idea, but the level of detail and thought you put into this – you inspired me once again! Of course I will write about Vykrul women, but now I will step up my game…

    • The Vykruls would definitely be my second choice but given the blog title, I couldn’t go for anything but Harpies. I look forward to reading your post.

  3. Okay Erinys, you’ve really sold me on Harpies. I’m ready to play one but I confess it might be to get the little winged foal, lol.

  4. I have to say that harpies would never have been a race I was interested in playing. Then I read your post and now I really want to roll one. Well done. I loved it!

  5. I’d never really considered harpies, but you did a great job showing how they’d fit. It would work really well.

  6. I want Harpies!

    Blizzard…come read this post and you will want your next race to be Harpies too!

    Awesome :)

  7. Great job! I had never considered this before.
    I mentioned your post and linked to it in my own post — I hope that’s OK, I’m quite new to blogging.

    • Thanks I must admit I’m slightly harpy obsessed. Also linking is fine, that’s how the community works, we all spark off each other in one big happy circle! :)

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