Phoenixes were crafted out of an ember that the Living Flame separated from himself. In order to better interact with the natural world, they take on the form of fire-birds or will o' wisps. They are highly intelligent beings capable of great destructive and healing feats. After the Great War with the Fae, they were gifted with human forms by the Living Flame and the power of empathy by the Matchmaker.
It is rumored that should their deity fall, so too shall they.
A single phoenix was created by the Living Flame when Fae were brought into the world, but this first phoenix split into seven parts, forming seven phoenixes total. None have been created since then.
During the Great War with the Fae, the Phoenixes acted as warriors and healers for the Pantheon, only using their flames to sear their foes when there was no other option. As a reward for their assistance and loyalty, as well as to foster empathy for humans, the Living Flame gifted the remaining phoenixes with human forms. The Matchmaker gifted them with the ability to feel the emotions of other life forms in order to better integrate them into the world and serve as guardians.
It is believed that the phoenixes fell during the fall of Caelum after the Blight appeared, but there have been rumors of a sighting in Caerleon and Dokrayth.
Phoenixes are solitary enough that they can drift in and out of others’ lives with ease. They are social enough to care for the peoples of the land and their well-being but remain distant enough that they don’t necessarily need to be there for them all the time. They tend to enjoy being around humans and the Pantheon more than other species, including their own kind. Due to their origins of having a shared existence and their power of empathy, there is little to nothing that phoenixes can hide from one another except for thoughts themselves.
They are nomadic when left to their own devices but frequently find themselves curious of other creatures and thus watch from afar. Phoenixes do not have a diet since they require only fire to survive. Thus, they do not need to hunt for sustenance. The more a phoenix uses their healing and fire abilities, the more often they will need to bathe in flames to replenish their energy and keep their inner flame strong. The places they feel most at home are the forges, volcanoes, and Shangri-La. While they do not care to linger in Allutheria since the saturation of magic in the air causes them mild discomfort, the freehold of Shangri-La does not cause them this disturbance. No matter how busy the freehold is, their empathy rarely causes them to feel overwhelmed for the karmic balance the freehold exemplifies.
Due to how intense the power of empathy can be, phoenixes often do not stay in loud, urban environment for an extended period of time. Being exposed to all those feelings at once, especially if they are negative, can be detrimental to their health and mind.
Phoenixes are typically seen as birds on fire with a wingspan of 12ft and brilliantly colored plumage, but this bird form is merely a figment of perception. In reality, they are spheres of fire with embers trailing after them, appearing as feathers or wings. Due to how often they are mistaken for fire birds, phoenixes tend to shift their forms to appear like smaller birds so they are seen as less threatening. The sounds they make resemble that of fire snapping, crackling, and popping, but they have adjusted these sounds to resemble chirps, trills, and other bird noises.
After the Great War with the Fae, they were gifted with human forms by the Living Flame to walk among the new god creations and with the power of empathy by the Matchmaker to provide better assistance to their new charges. Although phoenixes are capable of playing with perception in their natural form like flames do, the human form cannot be changed until the current life cycle is complete. When they enter a new life cycle, a new human form may be selected. It is not uncommon for the same human form to be chosen more than once.
Phoenixes are incapable of biological reproduction.
As they are beings of true flame, their natural forms are often viewed as being invulnerable except to water. A sword cannot cut fire so a sword cannot harm a phoenix, unless it’s in human form.
As a gift from the Matchmaker, Phoenixes are capable of feeling the emotions of other beings around them. They cannot manipulate these emotions, only feel an echo of them. It is possible for them to block out the feelings of others, but doing so long-term and for extended periods of time will cause the phoenix to be unable to use this ability and become more sensitive to others' emotions for a limited time. It is possible for them to be overwhelmed by the feelings of others too, especially in large urban environments.
Phoenixes are capable of flight so quick, it may appear as teleportation since the path is not always clear. If one is paying attention to the flight path, it is very easy to tell this is not true teleportation. They are able to teleport in their natural fire forms and their destinations can only be where fire is present. Their flight is accomplished through levitation rather than true flight as birds do, but they may opt to beat their fiery wings for the appearance of flying. These wings can also be used to generate gusts/mini tornadoes of fire so they are careful when they do use their wings in demonstration.
Their fire can be used for acts of healing, in the way that fire is viewed as the ultimate cleanse. If the fire washes over a friend, the fire will heal them of their injuries, unless those injuries are fatal. If the fire washes over a foe, the fire will burn. The stronger healing property of phoenixes comes from their tears in human form which, when applied, can heal more severe wounds than their fire as the tears are more potent. Even phoenix tears have a limit, however.
Phoenixes have a life cycle of 500 years before they combust and become ash. The fire they release upon reaching the end of their life cycle is non-harmful other than radiating warmth and bright light as the energy produced is pulled back in to begin the next life cycle. Within a week after rebirth, a phoenix has regained its mature form and all of its memories from previous cycles. Phoenixes do not often respawn in the same place as their death. They can be reborn anywhere that fire is present, typically within a forge.
Phoenixes are weak against water and oxygen deprivation as they are made of flame. Snuff out the life flame, and the next life cycle will begin. In this new life cycle, the phoenix will be born weaker than usual and must recuperate by bathing in flames or it will experience the true death by the end of the seventh day from their rebirth.
A phoenix’s human form is vulnerable to any and all human ailments and injuries. So long as they bathe in fire, they will restore themselves. If kept from fire, they will die as a human would and begin the next life cycle.