THE PRIETA DEER

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOURDIET - MATING - MYTH/LORE

The Prieta is a slender graceful member of the deer family that is very adaptable to various environments and able to flourish. They are also made for running and can sustain a speedy pace for hours. The Prieta prefer grasslands, brushlands, bunch grass and sagebrush areas throughout the continent of Sarvonia.

Prieta Does
View picture in full size Image description. Two prieta does in their typical bounding movement. Picture drawn by Eratin.

Appearance. The Prieta stands a little over one ped at the shoulder and weighs between 9 and 12 hebs. They are a slender, graceful, animals with a deer-like bodies with short bristly fur. The upper body and outside of the legs are tan to cinnamon in color with a buff, palmspan length tail. The cheeks, lower jaw, chest, belly, inner legs and rump are usually an off white. The male has two broad, black bands down either side of the snout to a black nose and black breast patch, together with black horns. The female has no black bands or breast patch but does have a black nose and dark brown horns. The Prieta have large, protruding yellow to light brown eyes on the fore part of the head. The horns of the Prieta are a hollow sheath over a bony core arising from the skull directly over the eyes. These horns are a twisted lyre shape on the males and can reach just short of a fore in length and sometimes will branch into two points. The females have short protrusions that reach about a finger length. The male sheds these horns annually after breeding, whereas the female keeps hers. The Prieta does not run but bounds or springs when moving very fast. These hops are low and cover about five peds per spring. These running bounds are graceful and the Prieta can easily out run a horse. Return to the top

Special Abilities. Because Prieta inhabit open terrain they rely on defense mechanisms of speed and keen eyesight. Their eyesight allows them to detect movement up to three strals away. When alerted to danger, they contract their rump muscles causing their buff tail to stand erect, which other Prieta may detect from two strals away. They use their speed to run away from danger. While initially they are very quick, they can also maintain a fast steady running pace for hours at a time. It must be noted here that hunters have found the Prieta to have an enlarged heart muscle and larger than average lung size for an animal its size. This along with its slender build is believed the main reason this animal seems built for speed. Also when forced to, the Prieta can go long periods of time on little or no water. It is believed they get what they need from morning dew. But every so often they do need to get to a water source and drink deeply. Return to the top

Territory. The Prieta prefer grasslands, brushlands, bunch grass and sagebrush areas throughout the continent of Sarvonia. They can be found from Occens' Lake on the fringes of the Rahz-Dath desert in the south to the Fields of Oun'tran'phu just south of the Caaehl Mountains in the far north to the Peninsula of Glandor in the eastern Kanapan Lands.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Prieta live in small bands of three to five in summer and forming large herds, sometimes over fifty animals in winter. The small bands are usually a mother and her young although a male may sometimes be with them. Older males may also band together in summer while the young bucks are usually alone. Being highly mobile, they cover large feeding areas during the year. This high-strung animal is active night and day, combining alternate snatches of sleep with vigilant feeding in the early morning and early evening.
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Diet. Prieta are selective, opportunistic foragers. They feed on forbs, shrubs, grasses, juniper and sometimes cacti and domestic crops. In winter, desert populations are said to favor sagebrush. Return to the top

Mating. In late summer or early fall the male gathers a harem of three to seven females fighting rival males for the privilege. These battles are never fatal and usually consist of pushing and butting the opponent until one surrenders and leaves. In her first litter, a female will only produce one young. Thereafter twins is usually the case but three can also occur. These young are born in the spring after what is believed a gestation of about 270 days. The young are born looking exactly like a full-grown Prieta so for defensive purposes it will instinctively lie motionless for hours. After two days a young Prieta can outrun a human, even so, the first few days after birth the young lie quietly in tall grass while the mother grazes. It is believed the newborns do not have an odor and lying motionless makes them almost invisible to predators. Hunters have observed countless times a predator walking past a quietly lying young one, not even noticing. It has also been observed that these predators can be downwind of a newborn and not even seem to pick up any scent for them to investigate.
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Myth/Lore. Because of their keen eyesight and exceptional speed the Prieta have become a challenging hunt. They can only be taken by deception and cunning. Most hunters feel they have not accomplished anything until they bring home a Prieta to the family table. Because of this fact, noblemen are often organizing hunting parties to bring in a Prieta. The one advantage a hunter has over the Prieta is the fact that the animal is not very intelligent. Although, they often seem more intelligent than noblemen hunting parties.
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