The Elver Elk definitely is one of the most beautiful elks; these elks have received their name from the lands that they are the most abundant: the Elverground. However, these elks can be seen over most of Santharia and are easily spotted due to their bold markings.
Appearance. One of the shorter breeds, Elver Elks have a height of 1.5 peds at the withers, and 1.8 peds in length from chest to tail. Their antlers are broad and sharp-edged; a full ped square.
Their markings are quite unique. They come in a broad variety of colors but usually carry the base pattern of a dark back, with pale legs, dark stripes on the legs and along the withers. The ears contrast with the back color, sometimes tipped with a dark color, and a long dark tail with contrasting stripes, with a tuft of dark hair like a paint-brush. The face is usually dark with a white muzzle.
These markings breach the whole range of elk colors; from grey and white to roan and cream, black and tan to gold and silver. These colors intermix, but always the base of dark and light can be found in the same spots.
Calves are usually born in a solid, pale color, and then grow into their coats. Rarely are there all white Elver Elks, but all-dark Elver Elks are not uncommon.
The Elver Elks eat of the grasses (e.g. found in abundance on the
Elverground), and their manure is full of
the ground-up grasses of the land. This makes it very rich and the
Elverground farmers use it to keep their
plants healty and growing. Elver pelts are prized by hunters, rare color
combinations fetch high prices.
Territory. Elver Elks are most common at the Elverground region (from where their name derives), but they range in general across Southern Sarvonia and Nybelmar, mostly congregating in low hilly ranges and flatlands. Males are not dominant about territory until mating season, or under great duress.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Elver Elks are respected by the folk of the Elverground; they see these elks as an incarnation of the Tarkkin, a patron of the farmers in deer shape. These elks also are known to take a certain interest to halflings; they will watch the small people from a distance, observing them as they move about. It is assumed that these elks are trying to make a decision on whther these people are dangerous or not. The Elver Elk are not pestered when they forage, not unless they mean to damage crops and land. Sunflower growers have to be especially wary of the Elver Elks, they have a great fondness for sunflower seeds and will wander into a patch to consume them. Outside of the Elverground they are hunted regularly.
When attacked, these elks become mean and vicious; males bowing low, meaning to gouge with their antlers. Females tend to rear up and kick with their fore-hooves; usually to deter the enemy and look as large as possible. The coats of the elks may or may not blend into their surroundings, depending on where they live. Certain coat-colors are more abundant in one area than another, usually due to predators taking down those that stand out the most.
have picked a prime spot to forage, and they have little difficulty finding
food. Their migratory patters make it even easier to find food, though every ten
years or so a great migration may occur when several hundred
elks leave a feeding ground. Some scholars believe it is due to lack of
decent food; but why they all choose to leave at once is a mystery.
Diet. Elver Elks are fond of the soft and lush grass and mosses of the plains. In hard times they will pull bark from trees and eat leaves of low-hanging trees. Those that live in the Elverground are fond of seedlings, seeds and berries of some farm crops; this can get them into trouble.
Mating. The Elver Elks are extremely territorial when it comes to mating. Males get quite vicious, it is normal to see a loser of a mating battle with cuts around his legs and withers. These elks are also more likely to lock-up during a mating battle due to their drive and territorial instinct. When it is time for a calf to leave, the mother may physically harm her calf to shoo it away. The calf does not begin growing into its coat until after it is weaned from its mother, which takes about 3 months. By the time they are ready to leave their mother at a year; they are fully-colored while still retaining the soft baby-fur. This can make them a target, but their size and speed make them hard to hunt. While these elks are beautiful they are also dangerous.
Usages. The Elver Elks have beautiful pelts, and are highly valued. The rarer a color, the more the price. They do not carry as much meat as their larger brethren, but their meat is good-tasting and sometimes considered a delicacy.
Information provided by Viresse