|Common Nicknames||One Horn Deer, La Antélli.|
|Habitat||Ithania, Dragenthal, Anglia, Vixhall.|
Elegant, yet somewhat unintelligent, the Antelluion are similar to the common deer in all but a few aspects of their appearance. They are much larger than a typical deer and possess a single curved horn that is frequently prized for its strength and beauty. For years, they have lived in the Archipelago and in the grasslands of Ithania, mainly existing as something pretty for hikers to spot. While they are sometimes hunted for their horns and kept as menagerie creatures, there are not many other uses for the animal besides aesthetics. Today, Antelluion thrive as simple beasts, roaming and surviving as they have throughout generations.
Antelluion have existed in their native lands for as long as people can remember, ever grazing in fields that border the forests. In the past, there were predators to keep them in check, but after previously being hunted to extinction in Dragenthal, local wardens were keen to protect the beautiful species. Now, the Antelluion populations are booming, and are coming close to overcrowding the regions they thrive in. The deer is indigenous to the grasslands of Anglia and Vixhall, where their numbers are better controlled by natural predators and hunting. There are also some Antelluion in Ithania that were brought over for hunting sport and managed to escape, which quickly multiplied and formed larger herds.
Today, they are common and easily-recognizable animals to all those familiar with the oversized deer. Antelluion are commonly found both in the wild and in petting zoos, where they are kept for their calm temperament and natural beauty. Besides being targets for hunters and children wishing to pet this mysterious animal, however, they serve little purpose. They are considered an invasive species in Ithania, as they overpopulate and graze the fields down into dry, over-eaten pastures. Each year, the population soars into the tens of thousands during the springtime, and during hunting season is brought down to an average of nine thousand.
The Antelluion looks much like the common deer when considering its basic shape, but its size and colorings set it apart from its distant cousin. An Antelluion can reach heights of six or seven feet at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 900 to1,500 pounds. Both genders share similar traits; pure white flanks, and spotty markings of a deep black or grey that dapple its hide. The differences between male and female Antelluion are minimal, but the animal’s gender can be easily differentiated by measuring the length of their horns. Males’ horns are much longer, while a female’s horn is just a sharp stub upon her head.
Another odd trait of the Antelluion is that they have two rows of molars, and no incisors. Due to the very narrow space between rows of teeth, they often have dental problems, and it is not uncommon to find rotted Antelluion teeth lying about in the pastures. Their eyes, like most prey creatures, are placed on each side of their face, giving them a heightened peripheral vision. The iris of this creature is usually a shade of brown or black, and their horizontally slit pupil is sometimes hard to define due to the dark colors.
The gender ratio of male Antelluion to female Antelluion is somewhat inequal. There are more females than males, erring on a balance of 40% male to 60% female. As such, it is likely for a buck to have multiple mates to compensate. Despite this, the population never seems to even out; ever being in a state of unbalance.
Life Span and Development
Antelluion give birth to live young, as all mammals do, which are called fawns from their first day on. This stage of development lasts roughly a year, finalized when they begin developing their horn. After entering their adult stage, wild Antelluion live for 30 or so more years, but can live up to 40 more in captivity. During the last five years of their natural lives, they begin to grow thinner and slower, dying once their body can no longer support their excessive weight and they can no longer graze.
The Antelluion are rather curious and docile beings, preferring to graze peacefully than fight for territory with their herds. It is common for people in Ithania and Dragenthal consider them empty-headed or unintelligent as they do not run from predators, but this is only due to the environment in which they have evolved. In Dragenthal, where they originate, there are no predators and have not been for decades. Thus, the new generations brought to Ithania never developed the instinct of flight. However, unlike their Ithanian and Dragenthalian cousins, Anglian and Vixhallan Antelluion have been known to defend themselves using their horns and sheer size, panicking and ramming into their enemies when under threat. If something does attack an Antelluion, the herd will often abandon the grazing field where it happened in favor of safer pastures. Though often gentle, males can sometimes become aggressive towards one another during mating season, where they may fight over a mate.
Taming an Antelluion for domestic purposes is difficult, though it can be done with patience and care. Since they are ever curious, it is hard for an Antelluion to resist coming up to a strange being. There have been a few people who keep Antelluion as pets, but never as steeds; Antelluion will always buck when someone tries to ride them.
Territory and Groupings
Antelluion often form herds of ten to fifteen members in the wild. They can sometimes be seen with less, though it is rare to find a lone Antelluion. Luckily for those few, it is not difficult to enter a strange herd due to the animal’s lack of threat intelligence. The only requirement is that the newcomer shows respect to all males in the herd by allowing them to prod at their neck with their horn. When several herds live in the same region, peace is kept by mutual respect for territory lines. Territory disputes occasionally erupt, but are quickly settled by duels between one or two Antelluion from each herd.
- Sometimes, Antelluion horns are sold by shady dealers in place of the horns of greater beasts. Otherwise, they are frequently sold to poor peasants that wish to decorate their mantels.
- If offered food, an Antelluion will always take it. They will eat right out of a person’s hand. As a result, this makes them a prime target for petting zoos.