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A hawk wearing a hood and a set of jesses resting on an upscale perch.

The Skill of Falconry is much more than the keeping of birds of prey. Falconry can encompass a wide range of Birdkeeping, training, and hunting including such simple species as say hunting pigeons to massive Mizaharian Eagles that are large enough to ride. While the denizens of Wind Reach have taken the art of falconry to all new levels, it originated from pre-Valterrian times when nobles in the Suvan and Alahea Empire participated in the sport, raising exotic raptors, pigeons and scavenger birds, keeping them exclusively for hunting purposes. The professional falconer its a skilled hard-working leader that must be part healer, part psychologist, and part nutritionist to completely do his job and do it well.

Prerequisites and Related Skills

Falconry has no prerequisites. Falconers must love birds of prey and understand their very special needs. And although Falconry is considered predominantly a sport and skill used with raptors - it can include a wide range of species, anything that can hunt in fact. Related Skills are as follows:

Skill progression

Novice (1-25)
At this level, the basic falconer learns the name of his equipment - hood, jesses, leash, perches and a smattering of basic birdkeeping. He must know how to properly equip and outfit his mews for the safest possible environment for the raptors he keeps. He will learn care, feeding and the identification of different types of raptors and other hunting birds or scavengers. He will also learn how to work with the more friendly tame birds sometimes considered 'beginner birds' so that he can learn how to move them about, hood them, pace jesses on and off, and take them outside for exercise on leashes or in enclosed flights. At this stage, beginners can easily work with kestrels, ravens, crows, magpies, hunting pigeons, some red-tailed hawks, and smaller falcons. Falconers here can deal with bird health problems that involve such things like pest infestations and feather problems.
Competent (26-50)
This is the exciting point where a falconer first learns how to hunt his bird using mice, squirrels, and songbirds as targets. They can exercise birds on leashes, getting them to fetch and retrieve objects. The Falconer then learns how to hand raise chicks after acquiring them from the wild or their own mews themselves. Falconers at this stage can work with falcons, harriers, osprey, and Goshawks. At this level, they learn basic raptor healing, to identify problems with their health, and to treat such things as minor damaged muscles or skin problems.
Expert (51-75)
Falconers at this level, having learned a great deal about falconry, are allowed to hunt bigger game and tame full grown wild-caught birds. They can work with some older hand-raised eagles and introduce some of the larger vultures that might be considered hard to handle otherwise. Falconers here can hunt large game, basically anything their birds are comfortable taking down and have seemed to form a bond with their birds, meaning their able to sense what they are thinking, feeling, and requiring for maintaining their happiness. Falconers are better healers at this stage, able to take on complex problems like bird pox, broken limbs, and disease. Falconers use all sorts of birds at this level, mainly larger and fiercer beasts, but they are introduced to some of the more unusual... the owls, darkeagles, and the sunhawks.
Master (76-100)
At this level, Master Falconers bond with their birds in a significant way. They can even see through the eyes of their birds, overhear things their birds hear, and that sort of close intense connection. The birds they handle can be enormous, aggressive, or troublesome. They can utilize giant owls and even the biggest birds like Mizaharan Eagles. They can even work with djed enhanced creatures that are abnormal and can't be found in the wild pre-cataclysm. Master Falconers can tame the wildest bird, and have often attracted a bird-of-prey Kelvic or two (they find master falconers irresistibly attractive) into their following. Masters train other falconers, especially those in the upper levels, and often run large businesses catering to the more wealthy. Master falconers can hunt almost anything with their birds of prey, including people. They are expert at raptor health and almost legendary in their abilities to heal their birds (or the Kelvic who follow them).