A species of mystical birds that are subject of many different Native American myths and legends. Turns out these birds are acutally real. They live on Thunderbird Mountain inside of a pocket dimension that sometimes connects to Earth. This is where their primary hunting grounds are as there is not enough prey within the pocket dimension and other connections are not stable enough.
Anatomy & Morphology
The birds have blue feathers and a wing span of up to 6m when grown up. They have to learn to use their lightning and thunder abilites from their parents. They are equipped with large talons to grab their prey. A large beak is used to pick apart the meat.
The birds mate for live. Once they have found a partner they have a kid every 5 - 8 years. Each time they always have one egg. For a thunderbird to grow to maturity it takes around 3 - 4 years. During this time the parents feed it and then teach the young to fly and hunt. One important lesson is to learn to navigate the treacherous thunderstorms and rifts to their hunting grounds. They build nests on the floating rocks that surround the Thunderbird Mountains.
Hunting tactics & Diet
Thunderbirds are carnivorous. They hunt and eat small to large sized animals from the various places the pocket dimension they come from. They use their thunder and lightning attacks to disorient and then stun the prey. So they can catch it with their large talons. Then they rise up and drop the prey from far up to kill it. Once the animal is dead they bring it back to their feeding location. They do not bring the rotting cadaver directly to their nest in order to keep it clean.
Thunderbirds are usually solitary hunters, but sometimes when they see a herd of animals they might call for other birds and then hunt together. They then use the thunder to herd them together and then use their lightning attacks to stun them one after the other. Should there be a shallow water source nearby they will try to herd the animals in there to electrocute them all together instead!
All thunderbirds have the ability to generate thunder and lightning strikes. The thunder is used to disorient prey animals or herd them into a specific direction. They can generate thunder when they use their wings. The ability has a small recharge time after they've used it. The ligthning attack is used to stun their prey and it is created by flashing their eyes. They can use this attack only a few times a day and get tired from it. It has only a short range so they already have to be fairly close to their prey in order to use it.
Pranksters & Saviors
The thunderbirds like to sometimes catch humans, jogah and other bipeds by grabbing them with their talons on their shoulders. They then fly them to the thunder mountains to see how long they can survive. Its a kind of sport for them that they do to entertain themselves.
In some cases when they realize that one of the bipeds is in trouble or in dangour of dying they might kidnap them to save them. They will help nurture them back to health and then usually return them to their home once they are back on their feet. This is how the Jogah came to found the Thunderbird Mountain Village
as many of them decided to stay on the mountain.
North American Mythology
Many peoples of North America have myths and legends about thunderbirds. For them it is a supernatural creature that signifies power and strength.
mythology, the thunderbird controls the upper world while the underworld is controlled by the underwater panther or Great Horned Serpent. The thunderbird creates not just thunder with its wing-flapping, but lightning bolts, which it casts at the underworld creatures.
version of the myth states that the thunderbirds were created by Nanabozho for the purpose of fighting the underwater spirits. They were also used to punish humans who broke moral rules. The thunderbirds lived in the four directions and arrived with the other birds in the springtime. In the fall they migrated south after the ending of the underwater spirits' most dangerous season.
of Northern Wisconsin tell of a great mountain that floats in the western sky on which dwell the thunderbirds. They control the rain and hail and delight in fighting and deeds of greatness. They are the enemies of the great horned snakes, called the Misikinubik, and have prevented these from overrunning the earth and devouring mankind. They are messengers of the Great Sun himself.
tradition states that a man who has a vision of a thunderbird during a solitary fast will become a war chief of the people.