Reign of Hazards
This immense bird seems to be made of living flame. It spreads its wings and gives vent to a musical cry as it takes to the air.
The Trial of Ash
In the Iron Mountains, above the Firebird lands (but still in the First Lands) there is a semi-active volcano. Within the caldera there is a layer of cooling molten earth that aspiring warriors sprint across, braving poisonous gasses and very hot feet. The goal is to reach a cave where a phoenix resides. (This phoenix is unique, powerful, and known to the Firebird only as Eldest Sister.) The phoenix looks into the aspirant’s heart and future. If she finds them worthy, she heals their wounds and bestows upon them one of her feathers. If she finds them unworthy, she brands their face with a black feather. They then find their way back into the mountains injured and branded. Most die.
Those that return with feathers can speak and vote in tribal councils. To become the new chieftain one of these chosen warriors must convince their fellows to give them enough phoenix feathers for an entire mantle/cloak to be worn. (Those warriors can no longer vote at councils, the chieftain often gives gifts, favors, ect to acquire these feathers, but sometimes they are charismatic enough to convince people to just give them their feathers. This cloak is the proof and regalia of a Firebird chieftain.