Last week, presented in a topical overview, shifters included first-order legends, second-order shifters, and third-order werebeasts fitting into mainly four categories of predatory animals except for the horse-like beings and the lizard-like beings which will need their own posts. These beings, like wizards, demons, vampires, and others, are all immortal. Their populations are much smaller than that of mortals. And while they will never grow old or die of natural causes, many of them can die if killed in various manners or choose to fade into death when eternity stretches out too long.
These beings inhabit seven of the nine realms inside the dream, whereas mortals inhabit only three realms and have limited ability to enter other realms. Still, mortals outnumber immortals, as it requires far more of them to balance their lack of magic against the magical might of the immortals. (Humans wielding magic or holding gifts will need a separate investigation.)
First-order legends are complex, wielding advanced forms of magic, and resembling things from medieval bestiaries and ancient myths. These beings possess not only the ability to trace their form between a human appearing guise and that of a legendary animal, but they also possess powerful offensive magic which they wield in either form. In this post, take a deeper dive into the distinct shifters, which make up the first-order legends. In this first report: investigate auraphants, phoenixes, and gryphons.
The auraphant shown above may appear as a woman, but in either of her forms she has a supernatural voice which acts as a siren song to lure others to do as she desires. Auraphants are always born female and have always chosen their mates from the Leaindeail. For centuries, no auraphants have chosen a mate because of the ban on leaving the Ainglean, the upper level of the dream, issued by the Queen of the White Dragons.
The royal lineage of auraphants possesses clairvoyance in different forms. In the dream, Opal Raja is a blind auraphant princess who forsakes her lineage to save her people by traveling to the Leaindeail, hoping to meet the White Buffalo Woman.
Opal needs help from the Queen of the Dream to bring about the downfall of Meid Breach, the white dragon who rules the Ainglean with an iron fist, so her people may once again seek their mates from the Leaindeail. When she arrives at Draoithe, however, she meets the pacifist dragon Ignite. He's an Eagle Lord from Eyrie Iolair on a scouting mission.
The Nagual Thunderbird exists, and the ancient kingdom is rising once more. The Eagle Lords need the auraphants to renew the ancient magic which grants them their home in the sky. Will Opal complete her mission, or will the handsome Dante Cristo sweep her from her feet and change the auraphant's perceived destiny?
These characters come to life in the Eagle Lords Miniseries and other tales exist within the Druid Justice miniseries. (These Tales are publishing soon!)
Phoenixes, like the one pictured above, are fire birds. Just as the legends record, every twenty-five years, these immortal beings regenerate from the ashes. They are powerful immortal shifters who wield cold-fire, which may alternately freeze or burn on their whim.
Phoenixes, like auraphants, are born female, but they inhabit the Leaindeail, or middle level of the dream, and realize their magical ability around the age of twenty-five. When they find their fated life mate, they claim him and turn him into a keeper of the flame. Once mated to a phoenix, a man may wield the icy fire to defend his mate.
Phoenixes have been all but lost to the dream, scattered throughout the Leaindeail, as chaos damaged the balance of magic. They were once powerful immortals who aided the resurrected dragons of Castle Dracula in quelling the vampire uprising, giving rise to the legend of the destroyers in vampire folklore.
The story of Isabell Drakos presents itself in Big Bad Wolf, volume 3 of the Kingdom Rising miniseries. After being rescued from one of Peter Elliot's horror houses in California, the phoenix orphan, who became an artist, struggles to regain her will to live. She's lonely at one hundred twenty-five years of age, wields dangerous magic, and suffers from her recent traumatic experience. When she flees California with her friends, she lands at Draoithe and meets the newly turned Druid pack beta, Javier MacGuire.
She's the most interesting woman he's ever met and when the magic pushes Isabell to claim her mate, Javier has no inclination to deny her. The only problem? Her magic might be enough to end his existence, but maybe he enjoys playing with fire. Will the Big Bad Wolf win the heart of a lonely phoenix version of Little Red Riding Hood? You'll have to read the fairytale retelling to find out.
Enjoy reading about phoenix shifters? Then read the Eagle Lords miniseries, which include other phoenix stories.
Gryphons are male, first-order shifters born in the Leaindeail. They learn they're shifters around the age of thirty-five when their magic matures, allowing them to wield electricity and shift forms. They appear as a winged lion with the head and forelegs of an eagle. Gryphons fly, possess preternatural vision, and their poison talons can either kill or turn another into a gryphon.
Gryphon Clan Castle, established eons in the past, exists to rescue newly turned gryphons, train them in their magic, and press them into serving the clan as knights rising in ranks to preserve their immortality and their unique culture. Finding a mate is difficult, and when a suitable woman is located, her gryphon turns her using his poison talons and adds her to the gryphon ranks.
The clan-like structure of society at gryphon castle has preserved gryphon lore and magical understanding for centuries and has helped gryphons remain a bastion of first-order immortals in modern times. When readers first meet a gryphon in the dream, Marchand D'Aragon appears to be a ruthless criminal. Something is terribly wrong with his orders and Gryphon Castle.
Luke passes a sentence on Marchand for his wrongdoing, but that isn't the entire story. When the gryphon finds his perfect love dying in his arms, the magic at Draoithe changes everything for the gryphon knight, once again calling to strange magic to aid Luke's ultimate mission.
Marchand's story is in the Druid Dominion miniseries, where Gaspard Gautier first makes his appearance as well. Marchand's father's tale exists in the Rogue Kings miniseries because of a beta reader's demand to know more about the older gryphon. Love gryphons as Ophelia Kee does? Know there are more gryphon stories set in the dream. A gryphon tale acts as the opener for the Mystic Dark miniseries and another one is an extra tale in the Lyons Gate miniseries. (Coming Soon!)
While there are many other first-order immortal shifters, perhaps the most obvious ones left off this list are dragons and unicorns. They need a separate investigation all their own. It's complicated, and even Ophelia Kee isn't sure she can explain all the intricate details. Until next week, when you read, please be kind and leave your honest reviews. If you have an opportunity, welcome to the dream...
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