Feathered pests and false omens
Bloody trash birds. I swear you could spend 17 days traveling to the most remote, inhospitable region of Artazia, and you'd still find one of these creepy buggers hopping about, staring at you.Scaetthens are winged creatures found commonly across all regions of Cathedris. They are small; no bigger than a loaf of bread, with a wingspan about double that. The defining feature of the birds is their flat, recessed face, hooded by a ring of feathers protruding from their head. Scaetthens are often viewed with disdain; seen as pests, vermin, and omens of bad luck.
Physical CharacteristicsScaetthens come in a wide and varied amount of browns and dark grays. Their coloring is usually mottled, with darker feathers on their back, and lighter feathers found on their stomach. A Scaetthen's face is covered in pure black feathers, and wrinkly, dark gray skin. The skin on their legs is similarly dark, almost pure black.
Beak and Claws
The bastards are like gods damned feathered leeches -- they got them stupid little mouths with their damn flat faces. Means they gotta shove their face right up against whatever it is they want to bite with those tiny serrated beaks. Oh, and avoid the claws.
A Scaetthens egg is small enough for a human to close their hand around it. It requires 21-24 nights devoid of sunlight to properly incubate; after which a chick will emerge from the egg. Newly hatched Scaetthens rapidly shed their down, growing their first feathers mere hours after hatching. Growth from this point is similarly rapid -- 2 weeks later, and the young Scaetthen will be fully grown.
Habits and HabitatsScaetthen are feathered bottom feeders, scroungers and scavengers. They will eat anything and everything, so long as they can reach it -- seeds, plants, and corpses all find their way into a Scaetthens diet. Pollution in recent years has increased the amount of garbage these birds consume, which has started to have an effect on their population numbers.
Thanks to our booming industry, the Scaetthen population is dying off at an increasing rate! Why, within a few years, we might not see a single Scaetthen in Varzen City! This, of course, is wonderful news. Nothing bad can possibly come from the loss of Scaetthens.
Due to their simple, scavenging based diet, Scaetthens can be found in almost any part of the world. The only places they seem to avoid are the regions of extreme cold, like northern mountains of Degrunda, the southern Keyazcallen wastes, or the continent of Enqua. When not feeding, Scaetthen mostly found to be standing nearly perfectly still, observing. This combined with their generally unsettling appearance is believed to be the reason these birds are so often mentioned in folk-lore regarding bad luck, or ill omens.
Myths and SuperstitionsDespite their relative harmlessness to humans, a handful of superstitions exist regarding Scaetthens. Most in the form of avoiding bad luck, like the warning to "never eat raw meat within view of a Scaetthen", are seemingly good advice draped in superstition. Some lullabies and children's songs have content relating to Scaetthens as well, though their origins are long lost in the chain of oral history.
Don't you come this way'hen Scaetthen, Scaetthen
We have naught for you Little bird, little bird
Look into it's eyes Scaetthen, hungry bird
Falling from the skies