Manuscript from Eastern Lupercal, circa 970 CE
Translation by Cat Lange, 2015
The Firebird has always been here. I have never seen it, nor has my father, nor has his father. It must be waiting, roosting quietly at the top of the World Tree, for the right moment to take flight again. As the old texts describe, it is a creature of great beauty. A large bird the size of a crane or swan, with plumage glowing bright like the casting of iron. It is said to be the most magnificent bird in the world.
This bird is highly sought after. Clothes incorporating its plumage would no doubt bring much attention to the wearer; suitors for noble women, respect for noble kings. Its flesh must taste heavenly, better than the most carefully prepared duck or pheasant. Its song would be more beautiful than any instrument could produce. Many in my time and the time of my ancestors have left in search of the Firebird. However, none of them have ever uncovered the grove where the World Tree and the Firebird lie.
According to the old texts, the Firebird is a creature of millennia. Only after 1,000 years does it spread its wings and travel into the world of man. It will circle the globe for a quarter-century before roosting again. During these 25 years, something amazing happens, and this is the true reason why many are tempted by such a creature.
The Firebird holds the power of gods. Through its beautiful feathers, it will bestow this power upon a lucky few during its travels. It is said that the Firebird will perch before you, its great wings splayed over its head in the image of the burning sun. If you dare approach it, you may grab one of those plumes. The Firebird will only let you take a single feather at a time, but it is said that one is all you need to make your wildest dreams a reality.