The Stilted Elk is more common in the damp inland swamps, lakes and marshes of Sarvonia. Its legs are longer than the other elks, with a large nose capable of closing its passages. This allows the Stilted Elk to feed of pond grasses underneath the surface.
Appearance. The Stilted Elk is one of the bigger elks; At over two peds at the withers, nearly two peds in length with a full square ped of antlers, it can not be missed. The Stilted Elk is not a colorful animal, usually carrying a solid roan or sable color. The legs of the Stilted Elk are what gives it the name, excluding the antlers it makes up 1/2 of the animal's height.
The Stilted Elk has a bulbous nose, roughly the size of a child's head. This nose has extremely strong sense of smell, and strong muscles that can close tight when the Stilted elk roots beneath the surface of the water for food. All Stilted Elks have a fat deposit upon their withers, males grow a small patch of hair upon it; it is thought to be used as nourishment when lakes freeze over in the winter. Males also have a hair growth from their chin that resembles a beard.
The hooves of the Stilted Elk are evolved for wading through marshes; they are cloven but slightly flattened, with a fair amount of bare foot touching the ground. The antlers of the Stilted Elk are wide and blunt-ended. Some compare them to dishes or bowls, with the tips rounded.
The Stilted Elks only special ability worth mentioning probably is its extremely
strong sense of smell.
Territory. These elks prefer marshy and watery environments; and they are not fond of warmth. Stilted Elks roam the lower half of Northern Sarvonia, and reach into Southern Sarvonia as far as the Seanian Swamps. A similar creature roams Nybelmar; though it is considered a seperate breed. These elks do not fight at all for territory; they tend to let things slide.
Stilted Elks are also particularly disliked by the mullogs of the Silvermarshes. The Stilted Elk is a massive animal and a terror to them and they prefer to take down the beast and kill it rather than let it reside in their marshes. In this region the Stilted Elk population is therefore quite low.
Habitat/Behaviour. These elks are particularly polite to one another, if an animal can be so. Elder elks are treated well at feeding grounds, and mothers let their children feed first. More often than not weak males submit before fighing for territroy and mating rights.
The height of these elks make them safe from most predatory attacks, but they do tend to flee if they spy anything out of the ordinary. To see a Stilted Elk run is odd indeed; their long legs make for a unique stride.
It is known that the will'o'wisp causes much confusion for the Stilted Elk. Not fond of humans they tend to leave it alone, and walk in the other direction. Elder Elk, usually ill or injured, may wander toward the luminescent bauble; to be trapped and killed in a painful and frightening fashion. Scholars assume the Elder Elk becomes disoriented with the light-presentation and untimately kills itself in its confusion.
Elks are known to
have no problem swimming from one side of a small lake to another; they swim
quite well and can swim for well over 60 peds before becoming fatigued. Mother
elks are very kind to their children, they have some
difficulty shrugging off their calves, and sometimes a mother may have two
calves at one time; one newly born and another at least a year old.
Diet. The Stilted Elks are most fond of foraging among the reeds and plants of lakes, rivers and swamps. They seem to prefer the softer grasses such as the oran'jule and the aomar. Their teeth are flat; evolved for mashing the wet plants they consume rather than grinding grasses and seeds. Eating harder substances than water grasses wear down the teeth of the Stilted Elks and make them ornery.
Mating. Males do fight from time to time, but most weak elks submit before there is a fight. Mothers have some difficulty getting the elder calf to leave, and a mother may have two calves to tend to; one elder and one newly born. The Stilted Elks only come together for mating and do not band together.
Usages. The hide of these elks do not fetch great prices in trade, but their meat is highly valued. Additionally their size makes them great catches in both game and food hunting. As stated in the elk overview, some elk are used as horses, but the Stilted Elks are an exception due to their massive size.
Information provided by Viresse