Mosai Mekape (mo-SAH-ee meh-KAH-peh)

I've never seen one. But I've heard tell that the sailors on the last expedition to Asantha saw these giant birds flying out of the fogs. They was hugefrom what I hear tell. Wings the size of a ship's sail and had 'emselves a screech that would cut through ya like a knife through butter!
— Dockhand in Lawcrane

Summary

The Mosai Mekape are a mythical beast that are believed to make Sopowowe Qebaro (Asantha) their home. Sailors who have made the journey to the region have reported that these birds are heard before they are seen, and fly in pairs or trios. It is unknown if they are dangerous, as they have never been seen up close, nor have their eating habits been documented.   Sailors generally believe that the Mosai Mekape are warning omens, telling the ships to turn back, and that ignoring them will result in ruin, They are also considered positive signs if seen, as they are believed to be protectors of mariners.

Historical Basis

On Asantha, there were many different species of bird, many with large wingspans designed to help them fly across long distances. The largest of these birds could have up to a 12-foot wingspan, and they were adept at riding thermal air currents and tacking across the wind to maintain flight with a bare minimum of physical effort.   Many species mutated in the aftermath of The Cataclysm. It is possible that some of the Asanthan sea birds underwent a mutation causing them to grow much larger than previously, This type of change has been seen in Urnati Dragons, and is not out of the realm of possibility.   THe question would then become: Why haven't those birds flown to the Arnathian mainland?

Spread

The legend of these birds is known throughout Arnathia, but flourishes the most in seafaring cities and villages where sailors congregate. Some of the more fantastical stories say that Asantha is just a giant nest for these birds. Or that Asantha is protected from intrusion by these birds. Others believe the birds are messengers of the gods, warning intruders away, or acting as harbingers of danger.

Variations & Mutation

In some tellings, the birds are less bird-like and more like dragons or flying reptiles. Some describe them as dark in color, like ravens, while others see them as white or light colored, like a seagull or albatross.

In Literature

The first description of the Mosai Mekope in Arnathian literature is found in the book "My Life At Sea" by Rolant Bethel (published 174 ATG). In it, Bethel describes the birds as having a wingspan of 35-40 feet.
They came from the fog, just off the bow of the ship. The left me awestruck with their size and silent grace in sailing on the winds. They appeared almost as ghosts, or perhaps angels, at first. As they grew closer, I could see their brilliant eyes and sharp talons.   The silence was pierced when one of the birds screeched. It was a loud, high-pitched cry that dug through my soul. It did not seem angry or malicios, but reather, a warning.

In Art

Various depictions of the Mosai Mekape have been seen throughout the centuries. The depictions vary from the calm vision of giant seabirds flying over azure seas to vicious, nearly bat-like creatures attacking ships. The most prominent example is the mural on the side of Goral's Pub in the Docks area of Lawcrane.
All Images created BY Kahuna the Elder, with source materials from Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, Artbreeder and public domain sources.
Date of First Recording
147 ATG
Date of Setting
Ongoing

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