Name: Stymphalian (aka Stymphy, Stymph, Stymphalian Bird)

Category: Monsters, Useful

Type: Avians

Size: Medium

Region: Forest and Jungle, particularly Chandric Forest? and Yondallar Rainforest?

Rarity: Fairly common

Lifespan: 17-19 years

Appearance

Stymphalian birds are similar to the blue heron in shape but are a mottled brown and white with pink and purple overtones. The body is slender with purple tail feathers, and there is a crest of three long feathers that lift from the top of the bird's head whenever it feels threatened or during mating.


Art by Joy?

Behaviour

Their feathers, despite the colours, have the consistency of metal which makes them very sharp and gives the birds extreme defensive capabilities. Anyone coming in contact with a stymph would be speared to death in short order.

They roost in dark forests and jungles, ones often inhabited by other scary creatures, but their feathers are so heavy they can't actually fly.

Diet: Worms, insects, seeds and fruit.

Habitat: Dark forest and jungle, including the more overgrown areas of Chandric Forest? and Yondallar Rainforest?.

Breeding: They mate for life and raise their young together. The female lays up to three eggs every spring but often only one survives to adulthood.

Special Information

Strengths/Abilities:

  • Adult feathers are made from sharp metal making them largely invulnerable to attack.

Weaknesses:

  • Their feathers are so heavy that stymphalian birds can't fly.
  • Adults have a single weak spot at the neck; everywhere else is covered by metal feathers.
  • Stymphy young have downy feathers that make them just as vulnerable as other birds and it takes around two weeks from hatching for their metal feathers to grow in. It's because of this that many stymphalian young die as chicks, and also why so many poachers and hunters go after the young rather than deal with adults.

Uses:

  • Stymphalian feathers, as heavy as they are, can be worked into armour and weapons that prove invaluable with their supreme defense and attack qualities. Unfortunately, the feathers also make these items so heavy they're unusable, so you'll likely also need griffin feathers to lighten the load.

Origin: Stymphalian birds are an oddity even by Elysian? standards and it's unclear how they came into existence. So far, the best guess has been that Xanth was bored one day, which is pretty much the explanation for anything strange.

Creator: Joy? with contributions from Emma?

Creatures Monsters Useful Avians Medium Forest Jungle