|Common Nicknames||Ynguiïn, Warrose, Doorstop Bird|
The Fargalka is a recently discovered species of bird native to the Northern Expanse, a harsh landscape that has somehow allowed these fowl to survive. They have a stark gender dichotomy, with fat, slothful males sitting in cliff holes who serve as the door stoppers for active females feeding both them and any nests of chicks located behind the unmoving male. Further voyages to the Northern Expanse may reveal more information about the species, but it will undoubtedly take years for this information to unravel itself.
The Fargalka was discovered in January of 310 AC when a group led by Noble House Viduggla traveled to the Northern Expanse with the intent to confirm the region was still barren of life or notable features years after the emergence of the Ohnark from the same domain. The group found nothing of interest at first, but soon encountered the Fargalka while observing the coastline. While minor, it ultimately served as the highlight of the trip, and the discovery of this cliff-dwelling species did attract interest from a handful of Regalian scholars, especially given the bird’s traits.
Observations of the Fargalka were made from afar by the Velheim voyagers that discovered the species, but a handful of details were determined due to the birds being the only thing of interest to look at for several hours. Fargalkas stand at around two-and-a-half feet tall, with weight heavily varying between the sexes. Their head has a smooth, sharp, slightly downturned and gray beak connected to a long and wide muzzle, with a pair of small dull brown or gray eyes sitting just above the mouth on either side of the head. Their head is connected to the body by a medium-length neck, allowing them a range of motion, including reaching backward with their head and beak. This neck connects them to their body, which heavily varies between the sexes but stands on two large, black-skinned webbed feet. Their wings are not very large, reaching only half a foot in length each, and can fold up against the body as needed. The animal’s feather coloration is described in more detail down below.
Fargalkas have a stark gender dimorphism, or at least are assumed to, as none from the Viduggla party were able to get close enough to confirm the sexes of those observed. However, it was noted that what was assumedly the females were both far slimmer than their male counterparts, with more muted colors to their feathers in the range of brown, a paler underbelly, and spots around their eye and on the top of their head. Conversely, males were much larger and fatter, likely barely able to fly let alone walk too quickly, sportingg far more colorful plumage, with black around their eyes but a mix of deep blue and glimmering green feathers along the rest of their body.
Life Span and Development
Given the recent discovery of the Fargalka, no information currently exists as to their development cycle or lifespan. No Fargalka chicks were seen, and elderly members of the species were not easily identified. However, it is postulated that a male’s vibrant plumage and size are attractions during the mating period for a female looking to keep her offspring alive behind the sack of bright feathers that are the males.
The Fargalka thus far has some assumed mental characteristics due to the nature of their fresh discovery. Males are viewed as likely being lethargic and largely uninterested in engaging in relationships with their fellow birds, though demand dues given their role in the family dynamic as the seal to allow babies to mature in a heated environment. Females are thus theorized as the active, caring half of the species, looking after the hole-bound males, before squeezing around them to tend to their babies so they may return to the cold waters in search of fish to repeat the process.
Territory and Groupings
Fargalka appear to exclusively live in cliffside holes within the icy landscape of the Northern Expanse. These holes are generally small, with a male’s fat body blocking much of the entrance, yet with there still being room for a female and likely maturing chicks to squeeze in and out. It is not determined how large colonies of these birds can get, but the group that was discovered numbered at least three dozen, representing some eighteen pairings of males and females.
- Duke Ardige Viduggla, the leader of the exploration, carved a male and female Fargalka out of Royal Oak wood soon after his return to the capital.
- Yngvar Viduggla continuously insisted that scholars name the bird the Ynguiïn, a very transparent effort to have it derived from his name.
- It is assumed by most that Fargalka feathers must be excellent at insulating body heat as well as staying dry from water. Luckily, the birds are likely to be protected from large-scale poaching efforts by their harsh, far-north homeland.