Appearance. The Haloen, also called Efér'veván ("Firebird") in the styrásh tongue, is a red plumed bird with a feathered crest, extending about three to four nailsbreadths in length in short thin tendrils. Traditionally, the crest is the length of the bird’s head from nape to the end of the sharp, short beak. Duller and darker feathers, extending almost to the crest and down to its chest, dominate the head. The breast of the Haloen is often darker in females and highlighted by a glow between the short, soft feathers producing a lighting effect that continues to its neck and head, though most prevalent on the breast. This glow is said to be created by its skin, but this proposition has neither been proved nor disproved. The tail feathers extend, fanned outward, anywhere from one and a half to two palmspans long. The female tail feathers are remarkably shorter, from about nine to thirteen nailsbreadths in length. At the ends it narrows to filmy, soft filaments. The wings can span anywhere from twelve to fifteen nailsbreadths, tip to tip. Each wing darkens closer at the ends, again a result of the glowing skin, or lack of it, at the thin feather tips of the wings. From the top of the head to the base of the tail is about seven to eight nailsbreadths with no noticeable difference in males and females.
|Image description: The magnificent Haloen, also called Efér'veván or Firebird. Picture drawn by Enayla.|
While a Haloen rarely leaves the borders of the forests
that it calls home, on rare occasions it will fly north. This is either by the
call of a sorcerer or wizard, or by call of a deep bond with another in trouble.
In these cases it will fly, day and night, calling on reserves of heat and
energy it receives from the sun, the Injčrá, regardless of its
family. It will then serve whenever it is called, warning
from danger, passing on a message, or simply giving
warmth in deep cold. The desert living Haloens do not,
under any circumstances, fly beyond desert bounds though they are known to serve
as guides to some.
Territory. The Haloen lives mainly in the Southern Sarvonian Continent. It nests in the mid- to southern forests, closer to the heat that draws it again farther south at the call of winter. Some also live in the Rahaz-Dath desert or beyond and live on nothing but sunlight. These Haloens are the least controllable.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Haloen lives in warm climates, some in the desert. The mid-climate living birds migrate farther south at the onset of winter and return to the same spot to nest again the next season. The bird can most commonly be found at the borders of forest and field, where the fruits and flowers of the woodlands are most revealed and the insects hover profusely.
Diet. Insects, seeds and fruit dominate the diet of the Haloen. It is very omnivorous, feeding off of any tiny animal, even scorpions. However, a Haloen will not eat rotten or unripe fruit and is extremely picky when it comes to other areas of its diet. One can watch it unseen while it jabs at various pickings, lifting and dropping food again and again.
Mating. In early spring, immediately after returning from winter migration, mating is performed after several weeks of calling and whistling back and forth. Some speculate that migration is not even necessary but that Haloens do so to find mates. A bird will call to a potential mate and then they will travel south and back home together. Sometimes, the potential mate does not work out, in which case the bird will either live the next months alone or find a new potential. Single birds are often silent, unlike their warbling neighbours with three happy children, hatched within the next couple weeks. The desert living birds will even fly limited distances in any direction to find a potential mate. Haloens often have only one to two children, for which the extreme temperatures might be partly responsible.
Myth/Lore. There are countless stories of this bird saving one among many from certain death, by bringing food, or offering warmth, or warning of danger. A common misconception is the idea that the bird does this of its own volition. Quite the contrary: A Haloen will only answer a favour by a sorcerer or by a deep bond, formed only by common hardship and danger.
Information provided by Daie