Lightning Bird
The Lightning Bird by glass candy-1-
Alternate Names/Spellings Impundulu, Inyoni Yezulu, Izulu, Thekwane
Origins African Mythology
Alignment Lawful Good, Neutral Good, Chaotic Good
Element Air/Wind/Sky, Life/Death/Blood, Lightning/Thunder/Electricity, Time
Species Magical Beast, Shapeshifter (Avian)
Appearance Various (often Avian)


The Impundulu is a creature with origins in African mythology, legend and folklore. In particular, accounts of its existence first arise among the Pondo, Xhosa, and Zula tribes.


Though only able to be seen by women (or perhaps those who are not men), the Impundulu is described to be a black and white bird the size of a human that can shift into several forms depending on its intended prey. It may appear to women in the form of a human in order to seduce them and drink their blood.

There are several different descriptions given by many sources on the appearance of the Impundulu. Some say it looks like a rooster, with black and white feathers. Others say it had peacock-like feathers made of flames. Either way, most agree that the creature can change it's form entirely so there's no way to know what the beast would actually look like.


The Impundulu is often described as being a territorial, dangerous bird that worked for the tribe witch doctor. Damaging the nest of the lightning bird was thought to bring about a storm.


The Impundulu is thought to have the ability to create storms and lighting. It also has been said to be able to shapeshift from a bird, it's assumed true form, to a human. (Most say that the human form is male but, given that the creature seduces women in order to drink their blood, I'd bet it's safe to assume it can shift, like it's bird form, into whatever is necessary.) The Impundulu is closely related, abilities wise, to the vampire.

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