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CREATED BY asiotusMEMBER GROUP: fabled.
NATURAL LIFE SPAN: 500 years.
a rare breed turned rarer come the modern day, the silver cranes were once regarded as creatures of heaven: an epitome of grace and perfection. breaths held in villages outside the marshes they would reside in, where—at dusk and dawn—a haunting chorus would oft rise into the air and, occasionally, a tall stranger all limb and limber would stroll in from nowhere, donning strange crimson eyes and silver hair, to buy a small thing or three and be gone within the hour.
at least in the hamlets that all but worshiped them.
but men were never benevolent creatures. and magic and beauty came with a price. smart as they were—some could say even smarter than man—a manner was always found to hunt them. pilfering plumage for cloaks and bones for charms and organs for magical tinctures was a common practice among those who cared more for wealth. the cranes were not first to fall victim. nor would they be the last.
but self-preservation is their strong suit, caring little for those beyond themselves or their dance. those lucky enough to gain the trust of a crane learn that they are awfully selfish, prideful creatures. finding one that cares about you as much as you, them is a rare thing indeed from an animal oh so holier than thou. because, really, they avoid man for more reasons than their tendency to poach.
and in the face of adversity, rarely do they go down without their swords and shields.
silver cranes are easily recognized through their beautiful argent plumage, deep crimson eyes, and impressive stature. a river of long, trailing feathers extend from their tails and the base of their wings and, considering the way they move with a certain undeniable elegance, it's no wonder they were once believed to be of angelic descent.
as for reproduction, most cranes can only lay a clutch of 1-2 eggs. were a crane to interbreed with another species, its offspring will only have a chance of being a crane as well if the mother was a crane or otherwise another egg-laying species. since their human (or alternate) form isn't a thing they can turn into naturally, but rather requires magic, they will always be hatched from an egg and will always hatch as a crane.
physical.physical capabilities: a crane's physical abilities are due more in part to their size rather than any magical means, with enhanced strength and speed (while in flight), though some may choose to enhance these abilities (up to superhuman low-tier) with the assistance of magic should the need strike. naturally, they have no special degree of durability, being that of mundane creatures though, being heavily magic-reliant, some might find alternate ways to enhance their defense.
voice: while not holding any magical properties, a crane's song is said to rival that of merfolk and sirens, being hauntingly beautiful in both their true and human forms. individual families of cranes are known for having unique voices and preferred sounds similar to pods of orca.
magic.while not limited to any specific form of magic, a vast majority of cranes are naturally inclined towards nondestructive forms of the craft though, not being inherently altruistic at heart, most abilities are learned and used out of self-interest. healing, temperature regulation, and heightening (or suppressing) the senses are all extremely common. legitimate magical spells are less so, but are not at all beyond a crane's ability.
form shift: switching between states is not an ability passed down through genetics, rather, cranes have long since learned the ability to shapeshift through their magic and have since passed it onto their offspring. shapeshifting is a practiced skill, not a natural ability, and it often takes young cranes several years to master it. cranes can technically shift into any creature they desire, but due to human poaching, most are first taught a human form in order to better blend into society. a crane with many forms is likely fairly old and has spent a very long time practicing them. during the practicing stages, a crane might accidentally release the magic holding their form and slip back into their natural state, but overtime the process of holding one's shape becomes natural and requires no concentration at all.
identifying a crane in human form (or otherwise) is often not too difficult thanks to their tall, slender frames with longer than average limbs and necks, deep red eyes, and silver hair shaded anywhere from a very dark gray to platinum blond. a crane's human height is dependent on their natural height; they are as tall in human form as they are tall at the shoulder in crane form, generally growing anywhere between 5'10 to 6'6. so for example, a crane that stands at 6' at the shoulder in its true form would be 6' in human form.
in modern times, some who remain in human form for extended periods might choose to dye their hair or wear colored contacts to further hide their true identities, but a crane cannot change their appearance through their magic beyond the general species they choose to present as. their shape and coloration will always hearken back to their true identity. look below in weaknesses for further detail.
healing factor: left naturally, an injury on a crane would heal at a normal human rate, but most cranes are more than willing to use some of their magic to heal themselves quickly, often not even thinking of doing otherwise. the speed at which an injury can heal depends largely on how much magic is expended in doing so. minor cuts can be healed within a matter of minutes, while more traumatic injuries require much more time and magic. they're capable of healing others in a similar manner through touch, though it requires more energy to heal another compared to themselves.
telekinesis: with a bit of practice, cranes can quite easily pick up and move objects about using just their minds. the smaller the object, the easier it is to lift of course, but being tool users, cranes can imbue and tune frequently used objects with their magic, therefore allowing easier control over them. a tuned object is very easy to control for the crane it belongs to, and more difficult for any it does not. generally, anything that's capable of being lifted physically can be lifted with the mind, but objects slightly beyond this limit may be lifted if they're specifically tuned to a crane's magic, though it does still take a bit of effort.
telepathy: used as one of their main forms of communication, cranes are capable of sending entire thoughts to even mundane humans, though the strength and complexity of the ability can depend largely on the individual, their own magical abilities, and how familiar the crane is to them. a mundane human that a crane just met would quite likely receive telepathic thoughts and interpret them as their own. as their relationship grows, so too would their recognition that the thoughts are from a separate entity. a witch or other magical creature can commonly receive telepathic thoughts an almost hear it as an actual voice, and identify emotions. further still, close friends and other cranes, especially blood relatives, can share words, complex emotions, and detailed visual imagery and memories.
WEAKNESSESsilver cranes are vulnerable to all the methods that can be used to kill a living organism such as a human (though it takes more to kill them than it does a human). such methods include blood loss, starvation, destruction of the organs, etc. (they also have several weaknesses unique to their race, listed below.)
form shift: while shapeshifting can have its benefits, its downfall among cranes is that it requires a constant use of large amounts of magic. while shifted, the magic they're capable of using elsewhere is minimal. generally speaking, what magic they can use is internal: healing small cuts, regulating one's temperature, and simple telekinesis through touch doesn't take much effort, but larger feats of magic, or things that go beyond themselves are pretty much impossible. not to mention, hunters with a watchful eye are capable of picking out cranes in a crowd should they not go through extra lengths to alter their appearance.
wings and legs: while technically quite strong thanks to their size, were a crane to seriously injure either set of limbs, it could prove to be physically and mentally scarring to a crane.
magical: being creatures that rely heavily on magic, cranes are in turn extremely susceptible to it, and are no less vulnerable than a mundane animal should they lose control of it. their magical nature is frequently the cause of their poaching as well: their various parts thought to provide some specific enhancement or other, but mostly they tend to just boost the effects of whatever else they get paired with.