|Common Nicknames||Fan-tailed Hawk|
|Habitat||Daen, Regalian Archipelago|
With strong wings and an easily broken will, the Nimbinoldor has been praised far and wide by the Altalar and Avanthar of Daen for its cunning skills and scouting abilities. This hawk originates from the eastern side of Daen, and is sold all across Aloria for its obedience, often recommended to those interested in taming birds who don’t yet have the necessary experience.
The Nimbinoldor’s history is long and draws back to years before the Cataclysm, often thought of by the Altalar as a symbol of Aish-Eia, one of the gods in the Pantheon of the Faith of Estel. This hawk’s story first starts in Daen, where they were commonly used by all classes of Altalar as hunting companions in the Allorn Empire during its prime. Some would even keep them as pets, as rare as this is for Altalar, thanks to their elegant appearance and low maintenance standards, making them easy for slaves to tend to. As far back as is recorded, they were spread all across Daen, thus also widely used by Asha, though this fact was largely brushed aside in favor of the bird being used by more regal classes. Due to the Cataclysm, masses of these birds were released from their owners, left to fend for themselves in the wilderness after the Wildering. They thrived this way for many years thereafter, and went largely untouched and unrecorded, thought of by the Altalar as a long-lost practice, not expected to be regained. Though their days free in the wilderness were numbered; aside from hunting, freed Asha returning to the Ashal Isles made particular efforts to kill every Nimbinoldor they laid eyes on, as a symbolic gesture against their Nelfin oppressors.
This view on the species changed come the turning of the first century. Around 150 AC, rumors and mystery began to spread in small areas of Daen, telling tales of a nearby Cielothar Village that was able to capture and tame a dozen or so. These reports went largely unconfirmed, and the elitist Altalar scoffed at the idea that their old art could be re-used by such barbaric people. However, as questions cropped where answers could not be found, the evidence became undeniable that the species found use again; in 225 AC Avanthar near Caslin had started to utilize them in several demonstrations to trade representatives. Once denial had proven to be unsuccessful, the Altalar turned their attention to a new direction, sending out expeditions to find and capture as many as they could. These efforts were successful for the Altalar, but had dire complications for the wild populations; it was predicted that Altalar captures in response to high demand would severely reduce the overall population, and perhaps even reduce the species to a purely domesticated one. These predictions were ultimately proven correct; during the Long Elven War, wild Nimbinoldor utterly disappeared, whether killed by Regalians, the Dread Empire or captured by Altalar. Today, undomesticated specimens are regarded as almost mythical, and almost all Nimbinoldor are found not in the forests or fields, but in cages and breeding programs intended for personal profit.
The Nimbinoldor stands at one-and-a-half to two feet and has a total wingspan of one to one and a half feet with a weight of only a handful of pounds. They have a sleek feathered head that curves down to the end of their beak, with brown eyes on either side that can gaze over yonder far distances. The beak is a pale white-grey color with a strong downward bend. The Nimbinoldor have distinctive feather patterns, with three slender white stripes starting from their head and ending at their fan-like tails. In addition to this, despite most commonly being brown or grey, they can appear in the highly exotic colors of yellow or green in some isolated areas in eastern Daen. These more colorful varieties are always male, used to attract the attention of potential mates, whereas the females consistently are born with browns and greys. Their legs are a similar color, featherless, and slender, leading to sharp talons at the end of their feet.
Lifespan and Development
Nimbinoldor are hatched from eggs, which are laid by the mother in clutches of three; these eggs are no bigger than the palm of a hand, round and white with grey and blue specks. After the mother lays an egg, they require a gestation period of around six months, alongside a warm environment. Once they hatch, they are not the prettiest sight to see, often having very short, undefined grey feathers that are rather messy and uneven. After about two years of grooming, they will grow their natural feathers and reach full maturity at five. Their distinctive stripes start off rather large, and slim down as they get older, making this the perfect reference to identify at what stage of growth the bird is at. Physical deterioration and rough aging start at around fourteen years, often shown by their behavior which becomes much more docile and lackluster. During this stage, they will mostly laze about, avoiding physical activity when possible. The average lifespan for this bird is fifteen years.
Nimbinoldor’s are docile and obedient. They take quite a liking to humanoids, finding them interesting and worth following around. Keen and aware, their reaction times and finesse are impressive. They get attached quite easily, so if someone tames and owns one, they will most likely be the bird’s only owner until its death. On the opposite side, they are incredibly territorial and aggressive towards other species of bird, and cannot be held within the same space. They similarly don’t get along with cats either, though instead of aggression they show great fear of the felines. If one grows bored, claustrophobic, or depressed, despite having previously latched onto its owner it will attempt to escape. In terms of diet, Nimbinoldor commonly enjoy Fairfin Fish as their main appetite, though most fish will do. They will also eat some grain and seed, such as Dorinn Rye and the salty Ullaline seeds.
Territory and Groupings
In times where this was the case, the hawks would often travel in small families when untamed, traveling through different regions of Daen. They rarely ever nested, unless caring for their young and would often hunt in groups of three. In more recent times, come their globalized domestication, they are simply bred by owners and sold to others, sometimes in families of three or four.
- It is said that Nimbinoldor do not like felines due to earlier interactions in Daen, suspected to be especially hunted by the Black Pathor or Great Jungle Cat.
- Despite the beauty of their feathers, they are not sought after for fashion statements and you will rarely, if ever, see Nimbinoldor feathers being used on clothing; they are worth much more alive than they are on a cap.
- Since Altalar never have pets, Nimbinoldor are seen not as pets but as tools, which are exclusively cleaned and taken care of by servants and not the Altalar owner themself. Naturally, the birds have come to love the servants that care for them more than their Altalar owners.