|Official Name||Ciel'lapanna Crane|
|Common Nicknames||Sky Crane|
|Habitat||Various water sources of Teled Methen and southern Daendroc|
Ciel'lapanna Cranes are elegant birds best known for consuming the neon-blue Skymoss that infests the many spires of Altalar civilization. Their appetite for the moss made them a useful creature for the Altalar for centuries, as even with Magic, effectively cleaning their tall, sleek, and angled surfaces was a dangerous task. Though their presence did drop in populous cities around drop as the Allorn Empire began its decline, its population and presence surged following the Wildering, and they are once again a major and welcomed site on top of many Altalar spires.
The Ciel'lapanna Crane has had a long history in Daen, stretching back to the early years of the Altalar. At the beginning of their civilization, the Altalar connected the bird to Ellea thanks to their white feathers and graceful beauty alongside its tendency to lie in ponds. As the years went on and the Altalar continued to expand across Aloria, a unique relationship of mutual dependency arose in the urban centers of the Altalar. The bird, while omnivorous and commonly seen plying the swamps and rivers of Teled Methen and Daendroc, seemed to find a great treat in the form of Skymoss. This bright cyan moss grew in high treetops back in the days when Altalar settlements barely, if ever, pierced the treetops, but when their grand and illustrious towers did, the moss followed them. Cleaning off the moss proved quite dangerous, and once slaves got involved, quite costly in their lives. However, the bird’s fondness for the moss meant that over time as they came to realize the location of the plant, they would fly up and eat away at it, effectively cleaning the roofs of Altalar towers. The Altalar appreciated this, and for many years it was the normal way of the world. Unfortunately, as the Allorn Empire aged and the world changed, the riverbeds and natural temples to Estel that protected vast tracts of wildland were consumed, which led to the creature’s population sharply dropping in the major cities. By the Cataclysm, the bird was almost unseen in the urban regions of the Allorn Empire. However, the Wildering restored their role in Altalar life. With such vast new tracts of land opened in and around Altalar settlements, and with many also consumed as a result, the Crane returned in force. Ever since then, the bird has remained a feature of Altalar cities in Teled Methen, eating and keeping clean the tops of ancient Altalar towers before fluttering down to rest in rivers, swamps, and more within or beyond the walls of the city.
The Ciel'lapanna Crane is a large, elegant bird, with a height of four to five feet, a wingspan of six to seven and a half feet, and a weight of anywhere between ten and fifteen pounds. Their heads are round, with small dark green or blue eyes and a long, narrow grey pointed beak useful for thrusting down into the water and to peck apart Skymoss. Their heads are attached to their bodies by a long, sleek neck, with their bodies graceful and similarly sleek. Their bodies end in a cluster of tail feathers best described as graduated, while the real end to their body is their long, black legs. Jointed so as to bend backwards rather than forwards, these narrow limbs ended by a pair of thin four-toed feet are well suited for plodding through water and for balancing elegantly on the high roofs of Altalar towers. The bird’s feathers are various colors, but generally, their base coloration is white. They have accents of grey along the top of their wings and in areas of their back while their fronts, areas around their eyes, and parts of their neck are covered in black feathers. Additionally, areas of their head around the eyes and on the top of the head are marked by red bare areas of the bird, which are capable of deep flushes and light expansion during the mating season or when the animal is under stress.
Ciel'lapanna Cranes have limited physical diversity, with only the way their black feathers are positioned on their underside and face differing. They appear to deviate randomly on individuals, and these deviations rarely carry on to offspring. Genders between Cranes is also not obvious, and their gender ratio is equal.
Life Span and Development
Ciel'lapanna Cranes emerge from pale green/olive shade ovular eggs with white splotches that are laid alone or with one other egg. When they hatch, they are covered in light fluffy feathers that lack protection from the elements. Luckily, both parents tend to the hatchlings and seek to make sure they survive through these opening weeks of vulnerability. The chick eventually develops more water-resistant feathers and is then capable of leaving the nest with their parents, though only for short distances at first. Over the course of a year, the bird gradually matures mentally and physically, learning from their parents. Eventually, once a year has passed, it is considered an adult, though it will take another year to fully grow into its mature size. It is capable of reproduction after a year, but this is rare as females tend to favor more developed males as mates due to the security they offer. The Crane is capable of living thirty years in the wild.
The Ciel'lapanna Crane is a generally simple creature, existing in a life of constant flight, hunting, and resting, all in a cycle that repeats until they die. However, they are noticeably kind to other members of their species, and most couples mate for life. They both help to care for a hatchling, though the male most often is the party to leave and spend time away from the nest collecting food and the like while the female stays close to her offspring. The bird also has the unique mentality of seeking out and consuming Skymoss, which most have assumed is perhaps a pleasurable luxury to the species of bird.
Territory and Groupings
Ciel'lapanna Cranes live in nests formed in and around swamps, riverbeds, and lakesides, often with their mate in a large flock of several other couples who all live nearby. They are not territorial, though the area around their nests is an intensely guarded one which they will harshly defend from all who come near. They commonly travel into Altalar cities from lands around these urban centers to feast on Skymoss, but those cities with grand parks or natural river spaces are also sites where the Crane sets up shop.
- Ciel'lapanna Cranes were said to be some of the only creatures that escaped the Wildering unscathed. Their supposed flight from Altalar cities as the Wildering consumed the urban lands of the Allorn Empire below them is sometimes used in Altalar literature as a symbol of Altalar grace, dignity, and power leaving them.
- Ciel'lapanna Cranes in Daendroc are routinely hunted and killed for their meat and feathers by the Daendroque Ailor.