Chinese Entry 2: Zhen Niao

The Hong Kong socialite reveals herself to be a Zhenniao! Zhenniao(鴆鳥)or Zhen birds, are mytholical creatures from ancient Southern China. They are described as either eagle like birds with a purple abdomen and green tipped feathers, or goose like in appearance with a dark purple coloring. A Zhenniao’s body is said to be extremely poisonous from the feathers on its body, to the blood flowing through its veins. The poison from its body was so potent and unparalleled that it was often used in assassinations, the only cure being the horn of a rhinoceros. As a result, stirring tea with a hairpin made from said horn was done to neutralize any poison. This was common as it was said that the poison only had to pass one’s throat to kill them. In fact, the toxins from this creature’s body were so legendary that the word “zhen” became a metaphor for any type of poison being used. In my iteration of this creature, I designed her to be a Zhenniao who shapeshifted into a human to blend into society. China has many myths of animals transforming into humans, and although there are no such tales of Zhenniao doing this, the idea greatly interested me into creating this character as a result.

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