Fire-tail Paradise Bird
|Fire-tail Paradise Bird|
|Official Name||Fire-tail Paradise Bird|
|Common Nicknames||Firebird, Fuegaraon-syselle|
Fire-tail Paradise Birds are native to a single area, the Fyror Mountains of Hyarroc, and have remained there ever since. Left in relatively few numbers for years, and now existing at peace high in the clouds, the bird has a very close link to the regional Thunderbird, another unique bird species from the area. Whereas the Thunderbird is blue and brings with it myths of rain and snow, the Paradise Bird is colored like a flame and is said to bring mist, rain, and more through the heating of the air around it. Besides that, they are omnivorous, which is odd for such a large bird, and are also highly adept at tracking prey.
The Fire-tail Paradise Birds have been native to the Fyror Mountains for millennia and was one of the first animals encountered by the Altalar when they left Teled Methen. For several centuries early into the spread of the Allorn Empire, the bird was tied with imagery of the sun, given its fiery exterior. However, over time, the dualist imagery of the Paradise Bird and the Thunderbird developed and became popular instead. It came to represent that together, even those with opposing features or roles in the world, the Altalar subraces could accomplish much and spread the Empire. However, when the Consolidation came to an end, and the cities of what is now Ol Lavei Fyror had risen into the clouds, the bird lost such significance as the Altalar grew more and more divided. Instead, it came to exemplify a simply beautiful sight, and one commonly enjoyed by the inhabitants of the vaulted cities of the Fyror Mountains. This has remained true for centuries and is still the case today, given the region’s enormous stability. Unlike the Thunderbird, however, the Fire-tail Paradise Bird is native to only the Fyror Mountains, hence its modern Common name denoting Ol Lavei Fyror as a true paradise given its isolation and peace.
Fire-tail Paradise Birds are very similar in shape to Thunderbirds, capable of reaching a length of four and a half to five and a half feet, a wingspan of up to twelve feet, and a weight of around 40 to 60 pounds. Paradise Birds have deep red or orange eyes, with a black sclera around the iris. Their face has a narrow appearance, with a sharp black beak pointed forward and two yellow markings around their nostrils. Their heads have a gradient of orange areas around the eyes melding back into sleek red feathering, which then covers the majority of their body. These feathers are sleek and sharp appearing, unlike the softer down that layers the Thunderbird’s body. The Paradise Bird’s underside is covered in pale-orange feathers that are essentially peach in tone, with a similar coloration appearing on areas of the underside of the wings. However, the trail of feathers they have at the rear of their bodies is the most prominent feature and gives them their name. This is a layered, waving mix of reds, oranges, and yellows that appears almost flame-like, especially in how they are arranged in a singular, layered tuft. The bird has black talons.
Unlike its strange partner, the Thunderbird, the Fire-tail Paradise Bird has little variation between members of its species and has no populations beyond the Fyror Mountains. The bird has an equal number of both genders as well and lacks sexual dimorphism.
Life Span and Development
Fire-tail Paradise Birds emerge from medium, hard-shelled, pale yellow eggs in clutches as many as four. After they hatch, their parents will trade off minding duties, though the mother says more times than the male. After hatching, within a week, the animal’s small, pink-tinged, fluffy feathers and screaming mouth will be silent, and it will rapidly begin to mature. Within two weeks, they have already become used to hopping around and flapping, and within a month, they will be making short flights out and back into the nest. They then reach their adult size after four months and are capable of reproduction, though they take a full year to mature mentally as well. Most leave the nest voluntarily at the six-month mark, but those stragglers who remain are finally actively forced away by their parents at the seven-month mark. They then go and form their own nested pairs within the bird colony, and begin the process over again. Paradise Birds can live for 35 years, but similar to the Thunderbird, the animal supposedly has seen special members who reached as old as 50.
Fire-tail Paradise Birds are omnivorous and eat a broader range of foods, resulting in them often not being called predator birds. Still, they will hunt small animals to consume. The most common foods they supplement this with are mountain-based berries and certain grasses native to Fyror. The Paradise Bird has been noted to possess an advanced intellect, and sometimes uses rocks as Thunderbirds do. However, they also seem to identify, track, and locate dens or habitats for their favored prey, allowing them much easier access to food in the future. Fire-tail Paradise Birds are innately connected to Thunderbirds, as suddenly, when flying, two members of the species will converge and engage in the Dance of Nature. This symmetrical, complex pattern of flying and interweaving of the two animals sees them pop in and out of cloud cover and has only been half-observed. How or why it happens is unknown, and points to some ancient concept of deference or mutual respect between the two species. Some claim that with this action, the birds seed the clouds with rain and wind, the heat of the Paradise bird mixing with the “cold” of the Thunderbird. When encountering Aloria’s Races, the Fire-tail Paradise Bird is highly skittish and rarely lets humanoids close.
Territory and Groupings
Fire-tail Paradise Birds live in spread-out colonies of up to ten family units. Their exact nesting locations are varied but generally exist at or just below or above the cloud layer in the Fyror Mountains. They shape the air with the Thunderbird, and the two species seem to get along well, lacking a territorial drive against one-another.
- It is said that there was a third bird species of the Fyror Mountains, a multicolored, one-of-a-kind creature that flew off into the western sky, spreading out a rainbow behind it as it flew. Most believe this is a fanciful Altalar myth.
- Ailor superstition foolishly claims these birds can combust into flame and then rise into the sky above the clouds where they are reborn with the rising of the sun.