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Rooster Shapechanger

Written by KoshcheiBessmertnyi

The Rooster is known far and wide as the herald of the dawn. Formed of heavenly fire by his divine progenitor Svarozhich, he is the solar warrior, the bane of the night, and those that derive their power from it. As a solar entity, he is watchful and knows what is to come, being particularly skillful at predicting the weather. He is said to be related to dragons – perhaps hatched from the same eggs, and perhaps even capable of laying eggs from which fire serpents and other nechist’ issue. His accoutrements – the comb, spurs, and beak, are reminiscent of human armor and weapons, and these affinities with humanity symbolize the Rooster’s great capacity as a shapechanger, and explain why many human spellcasters commonly take rooster form.   The rooster is thus a magically potent creature that is said to have been born twice – once in our visible world, and once in the Netherworld (this is especially true of the black roosters that derive from the dark waters of the chthonic deities). As twice born, he is a symbol of resurrection and regeneration, a power that is passed down in more muted form by all barnyard roosters, who represent male virility in their own domain. Perhaps for this reason, roosters are exclusively male – hens are governed by different forces, and inherit different powers. In human form, they tend to be tall, with long legs, and very brightly dressed.   Like several other shapechangers, the Rooster - affectionately known as Petya the Golden-combed, Butter-headed, and Silk-bearded, is an intensely social and charismatic creature who likes to be at the center of attention. His shapechanger parents place the eggs from which he will hatch into the barns of famous warriors, warlocks and sorcerers, though as a result of mistakes, roosters occasionally grow up in common peasant households. Given their propensity toward performance, some roosters also grow up in the households of entertainers. Once grown, roosters typically exhibit traits such as bravery and honor (though spellcasting roosters are obsessed with more magical concerns). More likely than most shapechangers, roosters spend their entire life in human society, considering a retreat from it a cowardly escape. Because of the dangerous lives they lead, and because they are strong believers in fate and resurrection, roosters are the shortest-lived of all shapechangers.   On the negative side, roosters often take their positive characteristics to an extreme. Thus, they may be high-minded, aggressive, and lustful. Additionally, their self-absorption translates into often inadequate attention to others, their desires and their motives. Roosters do tend to be bird-brained, and can be easy to trick if they are flattered and offered praise. Foxes in particular have victimized Roosters, though they have sometimes received retribution from them as well. The two have a long-standing enmity that probably goes back to the founders of their respective lines.   Anatoly Frolyn, who joins the party in Chapter 10, is a Rooster shapechanger.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Petya (Peter) The Golden-combed, the Butter-headed, the Silk-bearded (endearing nicknames)

Common Dress Code

Bright and garish

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Human (rarely, immortal if living apart from society)

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