Phoenix Species in Vreathe | World Anvil


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A Phoenix is a glowing magical firebird created out of pure Aether. It is a bird that is said to be immortal, that dies and is reborn again in an endless cycle as long as Vreathe's supply of Aether never runs out. In Vreathe's myths they represent Hope, Rebirth, and Perseverance. They have very powerful fire and healing magic and no one during the entirety of the Iron Age has been able to sucessfully hunt one. Like all birds, phoenixes regularly molt and lose their old feathers. These feathers are filled with aether and a skilled healer can use one to heal any hurt or injury, even making stubborn Magic Scars disappear.

Life Cycle

Nearly every phoenix on Vreathe starts its life hatching out of an egg within the calderas of volcanoes set within the Corruption of Xiralgus, better known as the Red Towers and the Xiral Island Chain in Northern Cassel. This egg is said to be created from the ashes of previously deceased phoenix birds as the species is said to not mate like regular animals.

Within a few years of its life, it flies out of the Caldera and find a place to live. This is usually in very remote areas like the Mountains of Sil, the The Sun Valley, the Far North, Across the Sea, and anywhere else there aren't a lot of people. A Phoenix spends the next hundred years of its life growing and learning to control its fire magic. A juvenile phoenix in this stage resembles a Golden Pheasant in appearance, and there is little way to tell the two apart.
Some areas of the Xiral Islands and Red Towers have multiple volcanoes with active lava lakes in a short distance from each other. This is the birthplace and deathplace of all phoenixes on Vreathe.

Phoenixes grow slowly. They start out as small birds, less than 12 inches long including the long tail. After a few decades, it grows to the size of the pheasant it is often confused for, being 20-30 inches long. After the fifty year mark, the bird explodes in growth and by the hundred year mark, it is easily twice as large a human, not including the tail. At this point, a phoenix has usually mastered its magic.

Phoenixes do not eat, they survive entirely off of ambient Aether in the air, and can live for thousands of years this way. In the early days of Vreathe, a phoenix was said to be immortal with the amount of Aether everywhere, but in the Iron Age, they are lucky to live past a thousand.

Phoenixes are unimaginably powerful with fire and healing magic. Hunting them is pointless and there are many stories of past knights getting themselves killed for desiring the powerful healing properties of a phoenix pinion. It is easier to look around the places where a phoenix lives and hope to eventually find their flight feathers than it is to fight one directly.

Salika's Knowledge #96
So you think you found a Phoenix Feather, do you? The easiest way to tell is to charge the feather with a little bit of mana. If it sets itself on fire and permanently scars you, then you found your prize!

An easier and less intense way of finding out is to throw the feather into a fire, any fire will do. The fire will burn away any other feather, but not one of a Phoenix. If you have a feather untouched by fire, then congratulations, you are the proud owner of a Phoenix Pinion!

A phoenix grows in intelligence through its long life, easily reaching that of an adult human. Phoenixes normally do not interact with others unless it is of its species and the sounds they make are said to be a complex language, though no one has been able to translate it.

They are empathic birds, understanding human suffering, and some are willing to help. In the middle of the Red Towers there is a monastery where as many as a dozen phoenixes are roosting at any time. The elven monks there are adept with healing magics, claiming to have been taught by the birds. Elsewhere a phoenix may randomly show up and bless a sick or injured person, healing them of their ills, though the chances of this occuring are unimaginably rare.

A phoenix's life ends rather quickly. Most will attempt to migrate back to the corruption of Xiralgus to die in a lava lake, but some will just engulf themselves in flames on the spot, their glowing ashes then scatter in the wind. for the ones that die in the lava lake, their ashes mix with those of other phoenixes and eventually turns into an egg. For the ashes scattered in the wind, if one can gather enough of these ashes and heat them in an intense fire, an egg will be produced and a new phoenix will eventually hatch, starting the cycle all over again.
Adult phoenixes are constantly burning, creating an infinite variety of colors, but mostly reds and blues. Unless a phoenix feels threatened, their flames don't actually harm its surroundings.

The Order of the Phoenix

The Order of the Phoenix is one of the Thirteen sanctioned knightly orders under the most holy Saint Nora. They are based in the Elf-Kingdom of Ordland and have a presence all over Vreathe. Similar to the Phoenix itself, Phoenix Knights carry three of Nora's Virtues: Hope, Rebirth, and Perseverance.

Having a phoenix as their symbol, it would be somewhat obvious that Phoenix Knights are skilled in the use of both fire and healing magics. Compared to other organizations of knights, the Order of the Phoenix does not have Lower Orders, there is only the Phoenix. Their force is small and contains elite units of shock troops, specialists, and medics.

One odd detail with the coat of arms for this order is that the phoenix is depicted with four wings. There is not an explanation for this as the reason was lost to time.

The Coat of Arms of the Order of the Phoenix, depicting a four winged firebird. The herb on the escutcheon is a type of Bindweed or a Cressa. Alino scriptures says this plant can revive the dead.


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Grandmaster Moonlight Bard
Haly the Moonlight Bard
11 Jul, 2023 23:23

I always love a well-told classic!