The Cristata are diminutive elementals having taken the form of small blue songbirds. They ride on winter winds, their bodies as vibrant blue as the deep sky. They are also delicate things, their feathers as brittle as snowflakes. They can survive the worst of winter gales but a few minutes in a warm hand can kill one as surely as a strike from a magical hammer.
Folklore and Superstitions
Seeing a Cristata is considered a sign of ill omen in some locations. The bird-elementals ride the tempestuous winds of winter storms, so seeing them is sometimes a warning of a winter storm approaching.
Killing a Cristata is also considered to be very bad luck, as it supposedly draws more of the elementals to the site where the other died. This is generally false, though someone willfully hunting and killing Cristata is likely to draw the unwanted attention of a Stamagast.
A Cristata appearing at a formal event is considered a good omen, as it ensures that despite adversity, good things will come as sure as spring follows winter. This is most often associated with weddings (endurance of love) funerals (passage of grief) and at child birthings (survival of the child).
It is rumored that eating a live Cristata will cure a fever. This is more likely to cause frostbite to the mouth and throat as the elemental is below freezing temperature.
If you kill a Cristata with a frozen piece of holy water, it will shatter into diamonds, sapphires, or some other cold colored stone. This is patently false, but the belief is common in areas of poverty.