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105 Phoenix

The Phoenix Bird by Hans Christian Andersen

In the Garden of Paradise, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, bloomed a rose bush. Here, in the first rose, a bird was born: his flight was like the flashing of light, his plumage was beauteous, and his song ravishing.

But when Eve plucked the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, when she and Adam were driven from Paradise, there fell from the flaming sword of the cherub a spark into the nest of the bird, which blazed up forthwith. The bird perished in the flames; but from the red egg in the nest there fluttered aloft a new one—the one solitary Phœnix bird. The fable tells us that he dwells in Arabia, and that every year he burns himself to death in his nest; but each time a new Phœnix, the only one in the world, rises up from the red egg.

The bird flutters round us, swift as light, beauteous in colour, charming in song. When a mother sits by her infant’s cradle, he stands on the pillow, and, with his wings, forms a glory around the infant’s head. He flies through the chamber of content, and brings sunshine into it, and the violets on the humble table smell doubly sweet.

But the Phœnix is not the bird of Arabia alone. He wings his way in the glimmer of the northern lights over the plains of Lapland, and hops among the yellow flowers in the short Greenland summer. Beneath the copper mountains of Fablun, and England’s coal mines, he flies, in the shape of a dusty moth, over the hymn-book that rests on the knees of the pious miner. On a lotus leaf he floats down the sacred waters of the Ganges, and the eye of the Hindoo maid gleams bright when she beholds him.

The Phœnix bird, dost thou not know him? The Bird of Paradise, the holy swan of song! On the car of Thespis he sat in the guise of a chattering raven, and flapped his black wings, smeared with the lees of wine; over the sounding harp of Iceland swept the swan’s red beak; on Shakespeare’s shoulder he sat in the guise of Odin’s raven, and whispered in the poet’s ear “Immortality!” and at the minstrels’ feast he fluttered through the halls of the Wartburg.

The Phœnix bird, dost thou not know him? He sang to thee the Marseillaise and thou kissedst the pen that fell from his wing; he came in the radiance of Paradise, and perchance thou didst turn away from him towards the sparrow who sat with tinsel on his wings.

The Bird of Paradise—renewed each century—born in flame, ending in flame! Thy picture, in a golden frame, hangs in the halls of the rich; and thou thyself often fliest around, lonely and disregarded, a myth—”The Phœnix of Arabia.”

In Paradise, when thou wert born in the first rose, beneath the Tree of Knowledge, thou receivedst a kiss, and thy right name was given thee—thy name, Poetry.


James: Ace Attorney

Freeman: Sazuka

Source: Bestiary 1 p.261

Patreon Request: Povo [Pah-vo]

Reading List:

Archives of Nethys -

The Phoenix Bird by Hans Christian Andersen, translated by Jean Hersholt -

Pathfinder Lore


· Primordial bird made of heat and fire

· Looks like most of the heat is concentrated in wingtips and tail



· Highly intelligent & compassionate

· Best known for its ability to resurrect itself from its own ashes

· Also known for its healing abilities

· Don’t like suffering

· Will deny healing to “…the most foul and irredeemable of creatures.”


· Lives in the most inhospitable regions of the desert

· Like the company of metallic dragons (probably Brass as they tend to live in arid climates)

· When neighbours can forge a lifelong friendship

· Share info, news and hot goss from around Golarion


· Can fall under the influence of evil

· Still retains its’ appetite for information

· Will attack libraries and universities for their books

· Then set that shit ablaze to hoard the info for themselves

(real dick move dark phoenix)


Sorcery Bloodline – whose initial spell is called Rejuvenating Flames

· 15’ cone that heals and burns, restores 1d4 to allies and a +1 status to FORT for 1m

· 1d4 fire to enemies, basic reflex

· Artifact, worn necklace

· Features heavily in FistsotRP

· Glowing red, and strongly spiced

· Gives you phoenix wings

· 1m fly of 40’

· First time you fly in a round (including hover) shed feathers

· Feathers fall in 10’ emanation at the end of movement and deal 3d4 fire

· DC 29 basic reflex

· Pathfinder bacta tank

· Just read from page – too complicated so summarize easily


· Same as 2e


· Not denizens of the Outer Planes

· Long associated with Sarenrae

· Many phoenixes think of Sarenrae as their patron

· Take up her mission of redemption

Mythology & Folklore


· From Latin, but way of Fenix

· First from Mycenaena Greek po-ni-ke, probably meaning griffin, or palm tree

· Appearing to have the same root as the word Phoenician – “those who work with red dyes”

· Could mean Phoenician bird or “purplish-red bird”


· Earliest CLEAR mention from a fragment of the Precepts of Chiron, a didactic poem attributed to Hesiod

· The centaur Chiron tells the tale to young Achilles

A chattering crow lives now nine generations of aged men,

But a stag’s life is four times a crow’s,

And a raven’s life makes three stags old,

While the phoenix outlives nine ravens,

But we, the rich-haired Nymphs,

Daughters of Zeus the aegis-holder,

Outlive ten phoenixes.

Pliny the Eldar

· Wrote that the phoenix appears at the end of each Great Year (in this context ~72 years)

Bennu Egypt

· 5th century BC Herodotus wrote the following account:

[The Egyptians] have also another sacred bird called the phoenix which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it is a great rarity, even in Egypt, only coming there (according to the accounts of the people of Heliopolis) once in five hundred years, when the old phoenix dies. Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow: The plumage is partly red, partly golden, while the general make and size are almost exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does, which does not seem to me to be credible: that he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows out the ball and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun. Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird.

· The bird has been confirmed as the Bennu, (Grey Heron) a solar bird similar to the Greek Phoenix

· Sources are problematic and require further interpretations

· Some believe the Egyptians adopted the concept from the Greeks rather than it being the usual other way around

· Egyptian sources have not yet been found to mention the death of the deity

· Said to have been self-created and helped create the world

· AKA “He Who Came Into Being by Himself”, “Lord of Jubliees” (a festival for Sed, or the celebration of the continual rule of a pharaoh)

· Most likely named after the extinct Bennu Heron from the current UAE, the extinct heron was then named after the Egyptian diety upon it’s “discovery”

· It was 2m/6.6’ tall, 2.7m/8.9’ wing span and belonged to the family goliath heron

· About the wingspan of a California Condor and as tall as an Emu, which are considered ridable (image)

· Slavic and Russian

· A magical and prophetic

· A large bird

· majestic plumage that glows brightly “like a bonfire that is just past the turbulent flame”

· feathers do not cease to glow when removed and one feather can light a whole room

· usually depicted as a fire coloured falcon

· a fairy tale collected by Alexander Afanasyev in Russian Fairy Tales

· the king had a tree that grew golden apples

· every night the Firebird would steal them

· king decided whoever caught the bird would get half his kingdom

· his youngest son managed to catch it but he only got a feather

· a fairy tale ensues where he rides a wolf, a woman called Helen and his early death

· AKA Homa, bird of Iranian legends and fables

· Says the bird never lands living it’s entire life flying above the ground

· As it has no legs

· Consumes itself every few hundred years to arise from it’s own ashes

· Both male and female natures in one body

· Considered to be a compassionate bird of fortune

· Probably based on the lammergeiger or bearded vulture

· Probably the inspiration for the pokemon ho-oh


· Persian - Simurgh

· Hindy – Garuda and Bherunda

· Gergorian – Paskunji

· Arabian – Anqa

· Turkic – Konrul

· Tiebet – Me byi karmo

· Chinese – Fenhuang & Vermillion bird

Pop Culture

· The Phoenix – Rachel Summers, X-Men

· The Phoenix/Dark Phoenix – Jean Grey, X-Men (Catherine Disher)

· Harry Potter – Order of the Phoenix, Fawkes, Phoenix feathers in Harry & Voldemort’s wands

· Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney

· Simon Phoenix – Demolition Man (1993) Wesley Snipes

· Phoenix spacecraft – landed on Mars on May 25th 2008 to scout the history of water on the planet

· The whole premise of Monster Rancher is to find the Phoenix Suzaku to destroy evil Lord Moo

· Dave Farrell – Linkin Park bassist use stage name

· Cosi fan tutte by Mozart is an opera about who a “faithful woman is as difficult to find as a Phoenix” so if you’ve ever had any doubt he’s a sexist, case closed – also directly translates to “Women are like that,”

· Not to mention the companies that use the Firebird as their name or iconography – Gibson Firebird, Pontiac Firebird


· Most seem to portray the phoenix as a bird wreathed in fire

· Able to bring itself back from the dead

· Usually helpful or at least benevolent

· And always a being of immense power


Story and Mechanic Ideas

I’d honestly just steal the plot of Monster Rancher

· A weapon (Lord Moo) made in a different time became so powerful that the PCs need special power to stop

· Specifically the all-knowing eternal Phoenix

· Phoenix fetch quest, the flaming McGuffin

· Get the bird, fight the BBEG, save the world


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