Difference between revisions of "Phoenix"

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An allegorical bird as well as a real bird. The phoenix live in the Ramtops, in Überwald, and near Cori Celesti. The phoenix is one of the few Discworld animal species that have learned to live on magic. A phoenix is capable of charring things (wooden slats on windows, leather hoods on their heads...) without setting them on fire. Like all other birds, the phoenix reproduce by laying eggs. A male phoenix and a female phoenix are required prior to laying eggs. Note also the plural on the eggs. The phoenix use magic to produce high temperature that can incubate their eggs very fast. The phoenix hatchlings do not get to see their parents, as a result a phoenix chick takes the form of whatever other bird it sees. So, if a female phoenix left her eggs near a goose's nest, then the resultant phoenix chicks will look like geese. Down the ages, falconers in Lancre have made volumes of notes on the phoenix that they had seen, and shapes ranged from goose-like to pigeon-like. The latest phoenix hatched in Lancre took the form of a Lancre Wowhawk.

Like other bird males, male phoenix go in for big display; a male phoenix can produce a large area of magical fire around its body, in the shape of a giant bird. The magical fire is very bright, but only moderately warm. It is said that phoenix do not tolerate evil, and their magical fire will burn an evil person horribly, whilst those who try to be good even against their better judgement and those who try to be good because of a vague feeling of divinely-ordained duty will remain whole. The magical fire left on a shed feather of a phoenix can remain lit for a long time and be moved onto a fingertip, into a saucer, and so on.

Annotation

There is a version of the Phoenix on Roundworld, a mythical sacred firebird which originated in the ancient mythologies mentioned in the Phoenician Mythology (Sanchuniathon) and the Egyptian and later the Greek Mythology. This phoenix is a mythical bird with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1,000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self. In some stories, the new phoenix embalms the ashes of its old self in an egg made of myrrh and deposits it in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis (sun city in Greek). It is said that the bird's tears contain healing abilities of pureness, and their cry is that of a beautiful song.