Peacock phoenixes are considered to be one of the most beautiful of companions, with their long, vibrant feathers. Their feathers are highly sought after, not just for their beauty, but because they are imbued with power. A wand or staff with one such feather is made much more powerful, and in days long gone, sorceresses wore their feathers as jewelry. Despite their huge plumage, peacock phoenixes have no trouble flying, though they are not the quickest of creatures. Males have the largest plumage, but it does not seem to weigh them down. Their gorgeous feathers taper slowly off into ethereal flames that burn brightly but are cool to the touch. When a peacock phoenix is mortally injured or extremely old, it will burst into flames. These flames are said to be wondrous to behold, dancing in an unearthly fashion and burning with many colors. When the flames finally burn down, all that remains of the creature is a small egg, nestled in the ashes. No one knows how many cycles of rebirth a phoenix can go through, and no true death has ever been reported. No new phoenixes are ever created; rather, old phoenixes are discovered. No one knows where peacock phoenixes come from, though all agree that these majestic creatures were not created by man. A popular legend tells of a regular phoenix growing enchanted with the beauty of a peacock. It wooed the peacock for a year and a day until she fell for its charms. Upon their mating, the two birds burst into flame, leaving nothing but seven eggs that hatched into the first peacock phoenixes. How much truth there is to this legend is unknown.
Strange feathers have burst forth from this egg, radiating with heat.
A peacock phoenix hatchling is not the most playful of companions: they prefer to remain aloof and watch the proceedings unfold. They will mingle with the fire and ice phoenixes, watching other hatchlings play games and muttering secretive things. Peacock phoenixes bond very easily to their magi, however, and seem sometimes to sense sadness. Whenever a hatchling is hurt or lonely, the peacock phoenix youngling will make its way over to them and huddle protectively. If a creature is ever seriously injured, the phoenix hatchling will call upon what magic it has mastered and produce a shining tear, to heal the hurt creature. Even in a young phoenix, this power is quite powerful, and has saved many a companion's life. As a peacock phoenix ages, it will often leave The Keep for long stretches of time, seemingly called to help creatures and humans in need of healing.
Born small enough to fit easily inside a pocket, phoenixes grow rather large. Some of the largest reach the height of a man's shoulder, while smaller ones are only knee high. The interesting thing to note is that a phoenix will always remain the same color when it goes through its rebirth, but its size will sometimes differ, as well as its personality. Some say it is possible to determine how large a phoenix will be by the size of its feathers. The easiest and most obvious way to tell that a phoenix hatchling is approaching adulthood is their plumage. As they grow, so do their feathers, resulting in a most beautiful sight. Peacock phoenixes have been depicted sporting a wide variety of colors in ancient pictures and books, but only two colorations are known to exist currently. One is a lovely mix of blue and purple, named royal phoenixes after the traditional garb of an ancient dynasty of kings that is long gone by now. The other is a darker variant of grey and red that has been dubbed dark phoenix. Unlike ordinary phoenixes, it is only the males who possess the extreme plumage; the females have more sedate feathers, though they are still lovely to behold. Males and females both share the same keen intellect, growing wiser as they age. It is rare to see a phoenix hatchling acting foolish; these are the most intelligent of birds, their wit almost on par with that of a dragon. It was once thought that this was the reason that phoenixes never mated at The Keep; that they considered it beneath them. It is has proved otherwise, though; as phoenixes seem to be immortal, no new ones are ever born. Instead, old eggs are discovered.