Feathered Cognivores Species in Ethnis | World Anvil

Feathered Cognivores

Eaters of thought and woe

Written by Etoilebane

I'm not even going to sugar-coat this one; these little guys scare the willies out of me.
— Archivist Ghirran

Only distinguished from common birds by the slight traces of meta coming from them, Feathered Cognivores are separated from the average wren by their ability to consume and digest the thoughts and memories of sentient creatures.

Thought to be just a nuisance created by the unusual features of the planet, scientists and researchers have found another use for the peculiar birds. By encouraging patients to push traumatic memories to the surface using suggestion and hypnosis, researchers have found that the bird's thought consuming qualities can be used to allieviate these thoughts in subjects.

Who would've thought that these terrifying little birds would be useful in therapy?
— Archist Ghirran

Studies are being conducted to examine the long term effects of the bird's cognivorous properties, and current data indicates a positive response.

Basic Information


Compared to individuals of their parent species, the mutated birds has a thinner, almost gaunt appearance. During dissection, an offshoot of the subject's Hypoglossal nerve was discovered to connect more heavily to the larynx of the bird. Analysis indicates that this addition of nerve tissue helps facilitate the bird's cognivorous ability.

Genetics and Reproduction

I saw a pair of them tending some eggs in a hollowed out skull. I have questions, but I'm not really sure if I and/or my heart can take the answers.

— Archist Ghirran

In line with the average House Wren, Feathered Cognivores are cavity nesters; instead choosing the abundant carrion of Tumult in lieu of building a nest or seeking a man-made one.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Due to their unusual anatomy, while their bodies are adapted for some nuts, seeds, and insects like typical birds; Feathered Cognivores land on or near the cranium of a potential target and begin to extract and consume surface thoughts and memories through an as of yet unknown means.

"Saying they eat memories is a bit of a misnomer. It would be more appropriate to say they eat pieces of memories. Bits of thoughts. A number or two; the color of your father's lucky shirt. Small things. One bird, and you'll maybe forget a class or two after an hour. A flock of 'em, and you'll forget something bigger. Your favourite uncle. Why you even came to Tumult. Scary things, them.

— Barnok, Syndicate Excavator

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Scattered over Tumult, with a large population centered around Progress' Reach.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Average for a wren; in addition, their peculiar taste for thoughts has given them a mnemonosensor capability, as evidenced by their avoidance of victims of amnesia or mindcracking.

Scientific Name
Cantorchilus Tumultuous
Birds imported to Artian-01-04
Unknown, currently undergoing observation
Conservation Status
Least Concern, with populations monitored for excessive members.
Average Height
10 - 14 cm
Average Weight
9 - 13g
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Most examples of the species have mottled brown, grey or blackish feathers. Several individuals have light-grey plumage.
Beak coloration is frequently dark brown, grey or black, with in-between colors being less common.

Cover image: Faecha and Feathered Cognivore by Ademal


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Jul 19, 2018 07:19

Ooh yes.   That's very imaginative! What happens to the thoughts? Are they permanently destroyed? If you think of 4rd grade math class, will you become permanently worse at math?   Did you invent the term cognivorous? Because if so, that's the best word of this month!

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 19, 2018 07:23 by Daniel Jackson

I need to add a bit about that, thanks. I saw cognivore on a magic the gathering card a long time ago, and massaged the Latin to make it a dietary preference.

Jul 19, 2018 07:35 by Daniel Jackson

There, added a nice little quote about them to the Dietary needs and habits section.

Jul 19, 2018 07:35

Second thought: how do they make sure their prey don't swat them away? Do they exude some calming influence or just rely on us dumb humans going "aw adowwable" and the thought-eating effecting being subtle?

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 19, 2018 07:38 by Daniel Jackson

I think they just see sentient beings as a prey of convenience, but you've def given me some stuff to think about.

Jul 19, 2018 09:18 by Andrew

This is a neat little creature. I have to imagine them as those tiny dinosaurs from Jurassic Park that almost ate that girl except feathered and not carnivores. Good work!

Jul 19, 2018 11:03

Ooohh, very creative! I like it. The artwork is awesome, did you make it yourself? There are some mistakes that make the reading experience a little rough though, sadly:

the mutated birds a thinner, almost gaunt appearance
a "has" is missing.
a offshoot
should be "an offshoot".

Jul 19, 2018 17:03 by Daniel Jackson

Fixed, thanks!
I can't art worth a damn, Ademal did it up for me

Sep 8, 2018 17:36 by Dragon

Oh! Neat! What's meta...and wren? What are their eggs like? Do they mate and stuff like regular birds?

Sep 9, 2018 17:10

Ooooo, this is a cool species! I also find the part about them being used in therapy interesting.

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