The Asteltos, or Star-Eagle, is a unique bird species native to Anaetyr. They are an invaluable asset to both the military and clandestine organizations of the government, and are considered to be both sacred to the gods, and a symbol of Anaetyr.
The Asteltos average a length of 35 inches, a wingspan of 7 feet, and a weight of 12 pounds. The largest have been known to reach 42 inches in length, with an 8 foot wingspan and 15 pounds weight.
Plumage colors vary wildly, with nearly any color, and most birds showing two to three colors on average. There seems to be no genetic correlation with children often having very different colors to their parents.
Individual Asteltos are known to range in large areas, often greater than 50 square miles when they are free. A bonded Asteltos can travel over 150 miles a day when trying to reach a specific goal, and in dire circumstances have been seen to travel twice that distance a day if they dont stop. The Asteltos have no known migratory behavior, as their home territory in Anaetyr does not experience drastic temperature change throughout the year.
The talons of the Asteltos are very unique amongst any bird species, in that they shed them, usually once a month. The inside of the talon is hollow, and the next talon grows into place inside of it until it eventually gets large enough to take the old one's Place. The talons have a nub about two fifths of the way up the top, and the discarded talons are used as a traditional writing implement in Anaetyr. Some say that the distinctive thick lines that quickly taper into points of the Anaetyne alphabet seems to suggest that it was developed by using Asteltos talons.
Another unique feature of the Asteltos is their ability to bond with the elves of Anaetyr. Through a special ritual, the Asteltos can choose to bond with an elf. Most Asteltos can bond with two or three individuals at a time, though several notable Asteltos have bonded with up to five in the past, and there is a legend about an Asteltos who bonded with seven.
An Asteltos instinctively knows how to get to all of its bonded elves at any given time. This is what makes them invaluable for the military and other orginizations, they are the most reliable form of communication in Anaetyr. Though, they are also fierce opponents in a fight as well.