by A.J. Antony

Phoenix

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The Phoenix is a magical bird of varying size and dense plumage; the symbol of immortality.
Most of the phoenixes are colored in deep scarlet with a golden beak and bronze talons. Their eyes are the darkest shade of ebony and their exceptionally long tail is iridescent with a flaming sheen.
Most of the domesticated breeds have a length close to one meter and a wingspan of about one and a half meter. The average mass of an adult phoenix is about three and a half kilos, which is about seven pounds.

About Phoenix birds

Nesting Habits

These birds are highly selective in their habitat, mostly restricting their nests to the high hills and mountains. The Albino phoenix only nests in the mountain peaks of the Alephan Ranges.

Food Habits

Almost exclusively herbivore. Not being an active predator, their fighting skills are restricted to magic and stays put mainly on the defensive side.

Reproduction

Exclusively females with an ovo-viviparous habit. Ovo-vivipary is the mechanism of reproduction seen in an assorted variety of birds, reptiles and ancient mammals. Here, the egg forms and hatches inside the mother, thereby mimicking ‘birth’ rather than ‘egg-laying’ habit.

“The Phoenix is famous for a special type of ovo-vivipary that is mythically termed as “The Rebirth” or “The Rise from Ashes”. This lead to the false concept of immortality, and even with the inferior magical abilities compared to the dragons, these birds enjoy a high position in the list of magical creatures. Amongst these creatures, their position is on par with, or sometimes more than, the dragons from whom they descended from.”
—Finnigan Cruz, The Radicles of Life

The Rebirth

As the bird ages, the heat from the core rises and causes the feathers to fall. Once the Critical Temperature strikes, the bird bereft of its plumage burns and falls into ashes. This Critical Temperature is responsible for the hatching of the highly heat resilient egg within the body of the mother phoenix, thereby creating an illusion of ‘Rebirth.’

Evolutionary Note on Phoenix birds

According to Magister Finnigan, the phoenix bird is dubbed as the hallmark of ‘Reptilian Flight Era.’ This era denoted the period in which the reptiles, facing the threat of extinction, evolved into birds. However, unlike the usual reptiles, the phoenix represents the Reptilian Flight from drakes to birds.

Heraldic Significance

The insignia of Phoenix has been used in the blazon of the following Houses:

  • House of Arden [Humans]: A yellow phoenix with spread out wings and an arrow in each leg; against a blue background.
  • House of Dalvadell [Half-elf race]: A red phoenix in flight with a snake clutched in its talons; against a lime background.
  • Phoenix Tribe [Draconian race]: A red phoenix with spread out wings and a crown of fire; against a black background.
  • House of Blackburn [Human race]: A black three-headed phoenix; against a red background.

Economical Significance

  • Phoenix feathers are used in a variety of commercial and magical products.
  • The soup made of its flesh and plumage has tremendous regenerative capabilities- if combined with the correct magic. However, there is no sufficient proof to differentiate its authenticity as a certain phenomenon from random. (Researching for this purpose is banned since 1239 AE)
  • Various guilds of bird trafficking are involved in unethical hunting, capturing and distribution of Phoenix birds. One such guild is the ‘Feathermen,’ a secret society that maintains an extremely low profile.
  • ‘Protectors of the Fire Bird’ is a scandalous non-profit organization which ended up raking 1.2 million Scullettes in profits.
  • It is officially listed as Class One in the endangered creatures list by the High Magister of Wildlife Management. This prevents the use of the species in any profitable venture, except tourism.

Religious Significance

Worshipped by many occultists as well as some commonfolk with the Old Tradition. Some major cults related to the bird are:

  • Firebird Disciples (Half-elven race)
  • Divine Resurrection (Human race)
  • Glory of Drah’Ken (Draconian race, notably The Phoenix Tribe and the Hill tribes of Lau’reque)

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by A.J. Antony

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