Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hercinia and Alicanto

These two luminescent birds are native to two distinctly different regions but their commonalities lead me to believe they are sister species. The Hercinia is native to the Hercynian forest of Germany. A mystical and magical place that is the also home to such creatures as the unicorn. The Hercinia was well associated with the forest, known to be a bird with glowing feathers, some described it as plated in metals of silver and gold. The radiant bird would light the way for those traversing the ofttimes treacherous paths through the dense growth of the forest. They served as guides and earned an honored reputation as a good omen for those who came upon them. They are associated with luck and hope in the darkness. This is truly a creature that I would love to encounter.
The Alicanto serves a similar purpose in the wilds of Chile, a light in the darkness for travelers crossing the Atacama desert. These birds emerge at night and their wings and glowing eyes dispel the darkness and shadows. They are a lucky omen to miners who cross their paths though the alicanto has a darkside unlike the Hercinia. These birds dwell in the caves and mines of Chile and feast upon the precious metals within. Knowing this, many a greedy miner has searched for an alicanto hoping to follow it to its nest and plunder the riches to be found there. But should an alicanto realize there is someone of ill intent following it, it will turn their greed back upon them and use its light to draw the miner over a cliff to their death. So be weary, should your greed overtake you could lead to your demise.

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