Icari is one of the common names given to the winged people that were first spotted in the highlands of the Old West. Beneath the colourful feathered wings, eyewitnesses have described them as slight, childlike figures that spend most of their time eating and breeding. Isolated until now, the icari have in recent years been spotted further from home as their appetite begins to outstrip the natural food supply in their homeland.
Evidence points towards the icari being introduced to the nation within the last century. Western pioneers had recorded no such creatures when the highlands were first prospected during the coal rush. The current hypothesis is that the icari were created alchemically through the machinations of an eighteenth-century cult that had operated in the region.
It is said that a group of wealthy landholders had developed a common interest in a mythical group of alchemists, who centuries ago had granted themselves angel-like wings. The landholders spread their obsession to the common folk, and together they formed a movement with the singular obsession of recreating this lost knowledge. The reports end with all known members of this cult disappearing into the highlands in the dead of night, and then a sighting of robed figures circling a campfire.
Many people now believe that on that night the cult managed to give themselves wings, but that the transformation continued far beyond their expectations.
The most striking feature of an icari is its birdlike limbs. Feathered wings sprout from its upper arms, giving the icari a wingspan that's twice wide as the icari is tall. An icari manipulates objects using the talons of its feet, because only a vestigal thumb remains where a human hand may have been. An icari grows to a height between four and a half to five and a half feet tall, and its bird legs account for half of its length. It is fully grown by sixteen yet remains childlike in appearance, with no body hair to speak of. Icari tend to die in their fifties and appear to age rapidly towards the end of their lives. Women are more numerous than men, and lay at least one egg every week.
Icari are willing to eat almost anything thanks to their powerful digestive system, which means they can survive off a wide variety of diets. This is important as the icari are in a constant battle with their extraordinarily high metabolism, and must eat their own body weight in food each day in order to stay healthy. The capture and dissection of icari show that their bones are hollow, their joints are flexible, and that their muscles are slender and elastic. This explains how icari can stay airborne for hours at a time, and can twist themselves at odd angles and fit into small spaces.
Icari settlements seem chaotic and alien, with an overwhelming number of icari living in close proximity, all with different morals, thoughts, and outlooks on life. While young Icari will regularly leave home, often driven by wanderlust, they will jump at the chance to visit their birthplaces. Icari flock together and form new homesteads as they mature, and the children of these areas will further spread out and do the same. Every icari settlement is connected through family bonds and occasionally large groups meet for massive parties and festivals, which often puts a huge burden on the local food supply.
When interacting with outsiders icari can seem impatient and thoughtless, but the truth is that they are all driven by simple urges and strong fascinations. An icari will often abandon whatever current fascination holds them as soon as they find a new one that appears more interesting to them.