Tammy: Numair isn’t black, but his skin is a dark brown–I based him on actor Jeff Goldblum, who I think is Sephardic (Mediterranean Spanish) Jewish.
The hawk is a spell shape, the only one he can do. It requires incredible amounts of power and the ability both to control and hang onto it. It’s not a true shapeshift. I think Daine suggested a mountain lion or wolf might be easier, but he just groaned, said he needed something that would fly for the speed and the fact that people never notice birds, and he was curst if he’d try another spell shape when the first one gives him migraines.