The character of the Wind Horse in The Twelfth Eagle is based on Asian shamanistic tradition, as an allegory for the human soul. Over the centuries the concept of the Wind Horse has absorbed Buddhist, Tibetan, Mongolian and Old Turkic meaning, which makes him an excellent mentor to the character of Balapan, the baby eagle central to the story. As Balapan the young eagle struggles to find her way in between the human and the natural worlds, she seeks wisdom from the Wind Horse and from the Owl, but what is she to do when her mentors don't seem to agree? The Wind Horse is an integral part of the Mongolian coat of arms, and is symbolic of well-being and good fortune.