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Quetzal Crescent

From cold and crisp to hot and humid; the quetzal crescent is a sickle shaped bioregion that stretches from Bad Step and Tlopetlan, over the Northern Range's leeward side and the northern lakes, to the eastern edges of the brine marshes and into Salt Side. Expect some rain and a high concentration of birds.   Quetzals, or quetzalli, are specifically the birds' feathers as being a rare and valuable standard by which merchants, cities and states fall back on when no alternative trade can be reached. More than just quetzals nestle in the crescent, yet it was named so on account of them offering the greatest profit per bird to bird catchers and thus, the most sought after.   Easy to moderate. Most birding will be from roadsides and relatively flat trails. Though there are a couple trails with moderate elevation gains and nicely graded. It becomes much harder when having to ascend higher ridges and canopies which are further compounded by hostile wargs patrolling their territory.
 

Three Sections of the Crescent

East

Bad Step's frosty high mountains and low slopes foster a healthy mix of potential war birds and regular fowls. Though these are the trickiest to catch; birds that can be trained like dogs for service tend to congregate around Tlopetlan mountain.   A boat ride on sauoomsae has the greatest potential of yielding favourable return from all the hunting raptors, fishing divers and nesting pairs that make daily pilgrimages around the warm waters.  
Mountainous
Sky Coast
  • The top of Tlopetla covered in bird feces from many years of accumulation
    • Multiple War Birds Species
Brown Band
  • Tlopetla's barren rocky base
    • Motmots
    • Flycatchers
    • Warblers
Step Slopes
  • The very base of the Step where the mountain range merges with the valley floor
    • Warblers
    • Tanagers
    • Sparrows
    • Guans
    • Flycatchers
    • Quetzals
Jumps
  • Isolated echelons that raise between the peak and mid ranges
    • War Bird Species
    • Falcons
    • Owls
Forests
Birac
  • A forest on slopes nearest Ebenezer
    • Flycatchers
    • Hummingbirds
    • Quails
    • Tanagers
    • Sparrows
Green Sleeve
  • The forest that wraps around the middle height of Tlopetla
    • Hummingbirds
    • Owls
    • Finches
    • Orioles
Wet Wilds
  • A strip of wet land in the Cold Swamp made warm from the Hot-rocks
    • Ducks
    • Turkeys
    • Motmots
Near bodies of water
Sauoomsae
  • A wide river that snakes through the Cold Swamp
    • Weaverbirds
    • Reed Grebes
    • Collectors
Lightning Lake
  • A freshwater lake at the foot of Tlopetla and feeds Sauoomsae
    • Parrots
    • Parrakeets
    • Macaws
    • Some War Birds
Whipping Pond
  • A high altitude lake that shakes its shores from one side to the other
    • Spinetails
    • Wrens
    • Chachalacas
    • Leaftossers
Dead Depths
  • A hidden lake inside the Mountain Blood
    • Bats
Mytenii Reservoir
  • The water table that stretches under Mytenii and springs near other Sinks
    • Ducks
    • Turkeys
    • Wrens
Freezing Steam
  • A misty high altitude water fall that fall the length of White Woman
    • War Bird Species
    • Falcons
    • Owls
Ice Melt Rivers
  • A series of cascading water from melting snow
    • Wrens
    • Collectors
    • Quails
    • Turkeys
    • Ducks
    • Warblers
    • Orioles

North

The many lowland rainforests are the richest source of bird feathers for the whole valley. Several enterprising camps from the valley basin make seasonal trips to either catch birds of their own or buy them from the friendlier wargs and rabbit worshipers.   A harrowing proposition in either case.
Mountainous
Shadow Cast
  • The leeward side of the Northern Range between the Brine Marshes and Claw Marks
    • Hummingbirds
    • Turkeys
    • Owls
Chills
  • The uppermost cliffs which the Taulli believe to be cursed
    • Hummingbirds
    • Sabrewings
    • Falcons
Forests
Kawara
  • The westerly woods of Shadow Cast
    • Hummingbirds
    • Sabrewings
    • Jays
Kalamasery
  • The central woods of Shadow Cast
    • Jays
    • Flycatchers
    • Sparrow
Khitan
  • The easterly woods of Shadow Cast
    • Jays
    • Flycatchers
    • Tanagers
High Forest
  • The forest that surrounds the area beneath Bai Sai
    • Orioles
    • Sabrewings
    • Falcons
    • Eagles
Near bodies of water
Pitch Way
  • A gunky river contaminated with pitch seeping from below
    • Warblers
    • Mockingbirds
    • Collectors
Forest Falls
  • A tall but skinny waterfall disrupted by the many trees on its path
    • Eagles
    • Falcons
    • Owls
Muddy Reservoir
  • A large shallow puddle or lake with dirt and debris floating atop
    • Mockingbirds
    • Weaverbirds
    • Antshrike
Teal Shallows
  • An elliptical shaped lake at the valley floor
    • Warblers
    • Parrakeets
    • Ducks
Lake Lightning
  • A subcircular lake at valley floor
    • Parrakeets
    • Turkeys

West

Despite the lack of accessible drinkable water, there is a wide range of flocks adapted to filtering subsistence through the rivers, plants and fish. Birds here tend to be more aggressive for birds, and due to the difficult living, also tend to be migratory. The only observable reason to travel to the flat and wooded lands being ideally to nest for the lack of predation.
Glades
Karwansa
  • A strip of land bordering the Marshes and Pink Creek on either side
    • Flycatchers
    • Wrens
    • Ibises
Kiniby
  • The immediate land in front of Shadow Cast and over where the runaways run
    • Flycatchers
    • Heron
Cuit
  • A large sandstone rock formation mostly buried under the earth
    • Flycatchers
    • Chachalacas
    • Wrens
    • Stocks
Forests
Sticks
  • A spindly forest of invasive grass trees
    • Jays
    • Hummingbirds
    • Chachalacas
    • Mockingbirds
Near bodies of water
Pink Creek
  • A north-south stagnant river between Cast and Hearts
    • Flycatchers
    • Weaverbirds
    • Reed Grebes
    • Collectors
    • Brushfinch
    • Ibises
Salt Rivers
  • A network of rivers that flow from the Marshes into Lake Coco
    • Storks
    • Ibises
    • Heron
    • Kingfishers
    • Pigeons
Hungry Plains
  • A piece of unstable land between Coyoacan and Salt Side formed from repeated and sustained floods raising the water table
    • Ibises
    • Heron
    • Stocks
Teal Shallows
  • An elliptical shaped lake at the valley floor
    • Warblers
    • Parrakeets
    • Ducks
Lake Coco
  • A circular lake at valley floor
    • Pigeons
    • Cobos
    • Kingfishers
Runaways
  • A series of runoff streams that trickle from the Realms to the Rattles
    • Pigeons
    • Ibises
    • Heron
Fresh Water Springs
  • The concentration of springs along the shores of the great lakes
    • Cobos
    • Pigeons
    • Ducks
    • Turkeys

Natural Resources

Quetzals
Item | May 16, 2021
 

Symbolic System of Colours

Black for weapons representative of obsidian
Yellow for food representative of corn
Red for war representative of blood
Blue for sacrifice representative of water
White for death representative of air
Green is the royal colour representative of Serpentism
Birds have been sacrificed alongside humans for high religious ceremonies for as long as there have been people. Their feathers are seen as links to various deities. Besides the common feathers of domesticated ducks and turkeys, precious feathers are especially brightly-coloured with the bright blue cotinga, dark red of the roseate spoonbill, brown feathers from the squirrel cuckoo, emerald toucanet, gold appliqués, oropendula and troupial being greatly valued.   However, the most highly sought-after feathers came from macaws, parrots, hummingbirds, and quetzals. Macaw and parrot feathers are tied in terms of artist desirability coming in red, blue, green and yellow colours. Hummingbirds offer the smallest and brightest workable feathers to amantecas   Quetzal feathers, which are bright green and blue, are the most prized. In some cultures only the king and his family were allowed to wear and use quetzal feathers. The resplendent quetzal, especially, is considered divine and associated with the “snake god” by the Step Folk. It is the same for quetzals, as it is for cocao beans, in that feathers are used as a store of value and part of permanent decorations, but it is much rarer for someone, even a rich man, to want to use quetzals in such a way (as to make themselves poorer). Yet, ennobles would collect and show off quetzal works as a sign of prestige status among their own peers.   Many lesser bird feathers are incorporated into clothing and accessories, including headdresses, capes, loincloths, armbands, backracks, shields, banners, and fans. Different levels of trade, tribute, and gift-giving lead to feathers and feather artwork to move from the crescent to the markets of the valley and beyond.

Maps

  • Quetzal Crescent

Estimated Cacao Conversion Rate

Lowest Quantity Prestigious Plumage Worth in cacao beans
1 Resplendent Quetzal Feather ~160 cacao beans
1 Golden-headed Quetzal Feather ~140 cacao beans
1 Pavonine Quetzal Feather ~100 cacao beans
1 Macaw/Parrot Feather 80 ~ 100 cacao beans
1 Crested Quetzal Feather ~80 cacao beans
5 Cotinga Feathers ~60 cacao beans
10 Appliqués Feathers ~50 cacao beans
3 Eagle Feathers ~100 cacao beans
1 Toucanet Feather ~25 cacao beans
1 White-tipped Quetzal Feather ~40 cacao beans
1 Eared Quetzal Feather ~40 cacao beans
1 Bundle of Hummingbird Feathers 20 ~ 35 cacao beans
1 Bundle of Parakeet Feathers 15 ~ 25 cacao beans
1 Oropendula Feather ~15 cacao beans
3 Spoonbill Feathers ~10 cacao beans
2 Troupial Feathers ~5 cacao beans
3 Cuckoo Feathers 1 cacao bean
5 Duck Feathers 1 cacao bean
10 Turkey Feathers 1 cacao bean
Type
Region
Related Tradition (Primary)

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Cover image: Incursion by Tomas Honz

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