Shadow Phoenix Species in Etharai | World Anvil

Shadow Phoenix

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The elusive shadow phoenix is a species native to the ice caps. It thrives in the cold climate, though only visible in the thin lines between day and night, dawn and dusk. Very little is known about the species, due to a lack of ability to truly observe them, and they remain a scientific mystery. However, they have had an impact on the cultures of the norrith living within the same environment, and are the source of a few myths and stories.

Basic Information


The shadow phoenix is vaguely stork-like in shape, though its form is black and misty. It has wisps of smoke-like tendrils eminating from its wings and body, and feels cold to the touch. Visually, it is incredibly related to the Phoenixes of the emberpeaks - though how these two species are so similar and yet located in near-opposite locations remains a mystery to this day. No scientest has yet to obtain a DNA sample of a shadow phoenix, and all phoenix species are known to be difficult to work with due to the hazards they pose to researchers; where the fire of the emberpeaks' phoenix is a more directly obvious danger, prolonged contact with a shadow phoenix can cause frostbite or some advanced symptoms of arcane deterioration.

Legacy of the Phonix

Shadow phoenixes, along with other phoenix variations, have an interesting way of combating death and injury; through a process of complete cellular regeneration, a phoenix can reform its entire body, repairing any injuries as well as changing its appearance. It is unclear if a phoenix can be considered the same individual after this process.

An Unchanging Population

Shadow phoenixes are incapable of typical reproduction. Though they can technically be considered immortal, they cannot expand their population; the only changes in the population come when a phoenix is killed. Because of this, the species is a rare sight, and is protected. They are considered endangered solely due to this fact, though their population level remains unknown.
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Genetic Ancestor(s)
Biologically Immortal
Conservation Status
Average Height
3-4 feet
Geographic Distribution

Dietary Needs & Habits

Little is known about the shadow phoenix's dietary habits, as they are unable to be observed. It is assumed they are Auravores, a subset of Amythomites - though there is no direct evidence of this. Some have proposed that it is somehow the shadows around them that sustain them, though this is also unsupported. Furthermore, they seem to be incredibly kind birds. This shows in their interactions with other fauna, as well as how they act around people.

Biological Cycle

Shadow phoenixes are considered a rare sight both due to their (assumedly) little population, as well as their capacity to only be visible during dawn or dusk. During the day, they seem to be completely absent, and during the night they blend into the shadows. It is during the cusp between day and night that this species is the most active, when they seem to be moving the most, and during which there are the most sightings reported.

Behaviour & Psychology

Shadow phoenixes are known to be an incredibly kind species. They have been observed protecting small animals, co-inhabiting areas with other fauna peacefully, and even sometimes finding and offering food to individuals who are kind to them in turn. Strangely, however, the shadow phoenix does not seem to have an interest in interacting with others of its species. No two members of the species have ever been observed within the same area as one another, and when forced into close quarters, tend to just ignore each other. They aren't hostile to each other, but simply do not interact. Some believe this to be evidence that the species is in fact a hive mind, though this theory has been debunked.

Cultural Impact

Shadow phoenixes are seen as a symbol of selflessness, intelligence, mystery, and magical talent. Those with an aptitude for magic among the norrith are referred to as having the "gift of the [shadow] phoenix".


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Jan 29, 2024 22:55 by Aster Blackwell

Oooooo I love this one. It's like a negative phoenix.

Jan 30, 2024 00:01 by spleen

yeah, it kinda is, isnt it!

Have a wonderful day!
Jan 31, 2024 00:45 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Ooo, so mysterious. I love that the difficulty in observing them during the day and the night means that a lot about them is still unknown.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 31, 2024 02:34 by spleen

i do love a nice and mysterious species every now and then

Have a wonderful day!