River Twine Fauna: Big Game   2.3*  
Written By: Cindy Pruitt
Posted: 08/07/06      [No comments yet]
 

Hunting information: Any animal can be killed in many various ways especially in a situation in which you are being attacked. However; certain tools should be utilized for certain animals. Beside each name of the animal you will notice a code that corresponds with the proper weapon for each animal. A knife or a rock can be used for almost anything but itís not always the best option. Some animals have extremely protected heads (bear, rocksheep, shagback) and a rock will not crush its skull. Other animals have extremely protected bodies (quillrat, shellback) and a knife or arrow will not penetrate the skin.

SJ = Spear/Javelin, A = Arrow, B = Bolaís, C = Club, K = Knife, SS = Sling-shot, N = Net

Deer/Antelope

SJ, A, K, N, SS, B
There are a variety of deer that live in and around the River Twine valley. Most of the deer are rather smallish and donít stand much taller than most elves. However they are a staple of the elves diet as well as many other predators. Generally only the males have antlers that grow in the spring and fall off after the mating season in autumn. Deer hide is the most commonly tanned leather because itís supple, easy to work with and plentiful. Antlers can be used for various types of tools, weapons, decoration and even furniture. Antlers are either taken during the hunt or in the case of clickdeer, gathered after the animal has shed their antlers.
Clickdeer (Caribou/Reindeer) SJ, A, K, B

These deer are slightly larger than most other deer, each animal weighing up to 300 Ė 500 lbs and stands about 3 Ė 4 ft at the shoulders. However; they travel in massive groups of up to 10,000 animals in one herd and are a main food source for elves and humans. In late fall, clickdeer are clove-brown with a white neck, rump, and feet and often have a white flank stripe. During the rest of the year they are mainly clove brown to reddish brown. Clickdeer have large, concave hoofs that spread widely to support the animal in snow and soft tundra. The feet also function as paddles when they swim. They have four toes that make up each hoof, generally walking on the front two toes but the toes in back clack together while walking making a rather loud clicking noise, which gives them their name. They summer in northern regions and winter in southern regions a several days journey from the holt. Clickdeer are the only deer in which both male and female have antlers and therefore are very difficult to tell the difference in gender. Males carry antlers from late spring to late fall, and females when pregnant can carry their antlers until spring. In order to keep with "The Way" in their hunting practices the elves conduct a winter hunt and only take down those without antlers.

Marshbeast/Water Deer

(Moose)

SJ, A
Largest of all the deer. This water loving monster of a deer stands about 8-9 feet at the shoulder and can weigh in excess of 1800 lbs of meat. These animals are big, dumb, lazy, and stubborn. One of these creatures can feed the entire tribe for a full day or two depending on the size of the animal. Therefore these animals are only hunted when food stores are low. Unlike most deer that travel in herds the Marshbeasts are generally solitary creatures only coming together during the mating season when the males battle each other over females that they herd together into harems. After mating the females are on their own and everyone goes their separate ways. Often having two offspring at a time, calves only stay with their mothers for two years before going off on their own. Only the males have antlers, which grow in the spring and eventually fall off after mating season. A full set of antlers can be used as a framework for a large loom, a harp, and sometimes even a framework for a sitting area or bedding. The hides are extremely thick which also makes them very durable. Coincidently marshbeast hide can be a challenge to work with, so their hides are generally used specifically for winter clothing. Because of their sheer mass they are extremely dangerous, several elves have been pinned beneath this behemoth and/or trampled by their hooves.

Branch-horn

(Elk)

SJ, A, K
Second largest deer in the area, standing at about 5ft high at the shoulder and weighing up to 1200 pounds. These deer have massive branch-like antlers that sweep back over the shoulders and have a gray-brown body, with a white rump, and dark brown-black legs and neck. Branch-horns are migrating deer that travel in small herds. Sometimes the herd contains a dominant male, but is mostly made up of a harem of calves and cows, while nearby, but separate from the herd, can be found small bands of mature bulls. During the mating season bulls will "bugle" to challenge each other vocally, and eventually the challenge becomes physical. The high pitched eerie sounding "bugle" is the signal to the elves that itís time to hunt.

Rocksheep

(Big Horn sheep)

SJ, A, K
This alpine sheep has tan or brown fur with a white belly, rump and muzzle. It is most noted for its large curved crescent shaped horns. The males have large, thick curving horns, while the female's horns are more slender and less curved. Males weigh between 125-300 pounds, females weigh between 75-200 pounds. Rocksheep are good climbers and jumpers. Its hooves are hard around the outside and soft on the inside, which help give them traction on slippery rocks. Rocksheep live in alpine meadows, mountain slopes and foothills. They like areas with rocky slopes they can climb to evade predators. During the mating season, the adult males engage in fierce jousting matches and crash head-on into each other with an impact that can be heard a mile away.
Mountain Goat SJ, A, K
The only white coated hoofed animals in the area. These sure-footed goats thrive in the steep, broken terrain of the mountaintops to the north of the holt. Both sexes have horns and are rather difficult to differentiate between genders. The animals are quite docile but they are very difficult to hunt due to the rugged terrain in which they live. Their coats are highly prized by the staunchest of hunters. A mountain goat pelt is a sure sign of the hunters prowess, and agility considering most wolves wonít navigate the sheer cliffs of the mountaintops.

Shagback

(Musk Ox)

SJ, A, K

The Shagback is a stocky, longhaired animal with a slight shoulder hump and a very short tail. They travel in large herds along the northern tundra like planes several days journey away from the holt. Both male and female have horns, but the males horns are solid all the way across the head, whereas the females are separated. These animals stand 4í Ė5í high and weigh between 400-600 lbs full grown. The shagback has two coats, a long course outer coat that touches the ground, and a short fine undercoat that is similar to wool. The outer coat is a dark brown color with a cream colored "saddle" on the back and cream colored legs. The fine undercoat is shed periodically and can be used for spinning yarn, simply called "shag". Elves can gather this shag off of shrubs and trees that naturally comb the animals as they pass by. These animals are hunted mainly in the winter, as they travel closer to the holt for the winter. When shagbacks are attacked they group together in a large circle side by side with the young in the center and all of the adults circled around them head and horns facing out.

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