River Twine Fauna: Predators   2.4*  
Written By: Cindy Pruitt
Posted: 08/07/06      [No comments yet]
 

As a general rule, predators (with the exception of Black Bear) are not hunted for food or for their pelts, except when absolutely necessary (ie. famine). Predators will be hunted if any of them wander too close to the holt and don’t leave the area, or out of self-defense when on hunts outside the holt area. Whenever a predator is killed the pelt, claws, teeth, meat and sometimes even bones are generally put to use. The only exception is if the animal is clearly diseased.

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 it’s not always the best option. Some animals have extremely protected heads (bear, rock sheep, shag back) and a rock will not crush it’s skull. Other animals have extremely protected bodies (quill rat, shellback) and a knife or arrow will not penetrate the skin.

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

Wolf

SJ/A
Wolves are carnivores and have a hierarchy social order in which the Alpha Male and the Alpha female are the primary ones that breed. Other females may breed but the Alpha female chooses whether the cubs live or die. Wolf packs generally cover an area of about 600 square miles. Hunt wolves do not breed with Natural wolves or vice versa.

The Hunt - Elf blooded wolves that are bonded to the elves. Hunt wolves are larger and live longer than natural wolves (about 25-30 year lifespan) because of their elfin heritage. Hunt-blooded wolves can communicate to the elves thru a primitive wolf-send or by good old fashioned howling. Hunt-blooded wolves can communicate with natural wolves by howling as well.

Natural – Smaller than the Hunt-blooded wolves, natural wolves rarely come into the holt proper. Occasionally a lone wolf will stray into the holt area but it is quickly dispatched by the Holt's own pack. Natural wolves are generally only encountered when going on hunts that reach beyond the Holt’s borders.
Brown Bear/Grizzly SJ/A
The brown bear (or grizzly) is the largest of the three types of bears. They can weigh between 500 to 1,200 lbs, can stand on their hind feet up to 9’ tall and are formidable predators. Brown bears are generally only hunted when they come too close to the holt proper, or for self defense. Brown bears are not sought for their pelt as Bearclaw did, but when a bear is killed the pelt is used. Brown bears are omnivors but primarily stock up on Bounty Fish during the summer, along with small and large prey. They are called brown bears but can very in color from dark brown to blonde.

Black Bear

SJ/A
Black bear are the smallest and most numerous of the bears found near River Twines Holt. They only stand about 30 inches to the shoulder on all fours, and weigh about 180 - 200 lbs. Black bears are hunted for their pelt because they are a less dangerous and more manageable species. Black bears primarily feed on fish and berries, as well as small game, but they are also good scavengers.

Ghost Bear

(Spirit Bear/Kermode Bear)

SJ/A
A truly unique bear and sometimes labeled a myth. With the exception of the silvery white coat, this bear is similar in shape but slightly larger than the black bear. They can grow up to 300 lbs and primarily eat Bounty fish and small rodents. The humans call them "Spirit Bears" or "Bears of the Mist" because they generally see them near the fish laden streams that are near the hot springs that create a morning fog. This fog is an excellent cover for the bears and they often fish when the fog is present. Some human tribes hunt them for their prize coats, while other tribes worship them. Only the oldest of the elves have seen these bears because they are so scarce and shy.

Mountain Cat

(Mountain Lion, Cougar, Puma)

SJ/A
These cats have a small, broad head with small rounded ears, a powerful body with long hind legs and tail, which is tipped with black. The color of the fur varies from slate grey, through yellow buff to light reddish brown. As their name implies they primarily inhabit the mountains near the holt, but are rarely seen in the lowlands near the rivers. Solitary hunters and strict carnivores, these cats are very dangerous and have been known to attack lone elves and even small humans. They will hunt by day or night and will cache its food, if large enough, in dense undergrowth, returning to it over several days. The Mountain Cat takes down it’s prey by lunging at it with their powerful hind legs in one large running leap that can reach in excess of 40 feet. These cats stand about 3.5 - 4 ft tall at the shoulders and have a 4 – 6 ft body length.

Tuft Cat

(Lynx)

 

SJ/A
The largest of the cats in the area resembles an overgrown lynx that can stand 5 ft in height while on all fours. They have thick fur often in shades of light greys and sometimes with orange, brown and/or black patches and a very short stubby tail. Strict carnivores, these huge cats are stalkers, taking down their prey by biting the neck. Although tuft cats have large, sharp claws, their immense bulk does not allow them to climb easily and are therefore ground dwelling only. They do, however, enjoy water and will often bathe and play in shallow pools. Solitary hunters, they are only seen in pairs during mating season and generally have 1-2 kittens per litter.

Snow Cat

(Snow Leopard)

SJ/A
Smaller than the other cat species in the area, it lives primarily in the northern mountains a few days ride from the holt. Their pelts are prized by human and elf a-like for it’s unique coloration of a predominantly grey body, white belly, chest and chin, and large grey/black spotted markings. The fur is long and woolly and helps protect the cat from the extreme cold of its generally mountainous habitat. The head, which has small ears and a distinctive heavy brow, is rounded and comparatively small for its body size, which can be up to 4 ft in length and weigh up to around 150 lbs. The long tail, which can measure as much as 3 ft, helps the cat balance as it moves over rugged and often snowy terrain. The powerful limbs of the Snow Cat are relatively short for its body size and are supported by enormous paws that splay out like snowshoes in order to help them evenly distribute their weight upon the snow.

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