|Official Name||Ceardian Bloodhound|
|Common Nicknames||Hunting Hound|
Among the breeds of dogs in Aloria, the Ceardian Bloodhound stands out as a unique creature. It’s loyalty and intelligence has caused it to become one of the most sought after dogs in Aloria, while its strong scenting ability makes it a master of the hunt. Despite its use in such a ferocious activity, it is also a sociable animal, quickly getting comfortable and settling down if or when trained properly.
Ceardian Bloodhounds are believed by many to be an ancient breed, perhaps one of the only examples of Ceardian breeding pre-Cataclysm. However, others contend that perhaps Regalian Ailor were the ones to help birth the species, likely with Anglian assistance. Regardless of the truth, first records of the species by name mentions them in 5 AC when they were mentioned as serving in the conflict of the Five Family Rebellion. However, they also existed on Ceardia as Ceardian Warlords made extensive use of them during their reign on the continent. Back in the Regalian Archipelago, the animals were a major presence of the lands that eventually became Dragenthal, and soon leaked into Anglia. Later on the species proved itself valuable as a hunting dog, but also in general conflict, hence its use by Ceardian Warlords. However, this secondary use largely fell out of use within the Regalian Empire when legislation was passed against animal cruelty. Instead, the animal fell into use by Vladno slavers and plantation owners in Daen for tracking down escaped slaves. To this day, their widespread military use has largely been crushed, and they are instead used in the hunting of various prey, in addition to just being a pleasant housepet.
Ceardian Bloodhound stand at two and a half to three feet tall and have a range of weights going up to 160 pounds. Their heads possess a large muzzle with a heavy flap of facial skin which is indicative of their wider sagging face, as their large ears also flop down and there are multiple skin wrinkles on their face. Their face is rounded out by two large, black or dark brown eyes. The animal’s head is connected to its athletic body by a long, well built neck, and the animal is notable for its four pawed long legs, highly useful in harsh hunting terrains. Their bodies end in a thick, upturned tail. The entire animal is covered in a layer of thin hair, which is most commonly a shade of tan or brown with a large dark area around their middle known as a saddle. Additionally, the fur on their ears, muzzle, and jowls is often darker than those on the rest of their face.
The Ceardian Bloodhound’s population is slightly skewed toward the male gender, but the species lacks obvious social dimorphism. Apparently once the males were far larger than females, but in the three centuries since the breed apparently came into being, this severity has greatly diminished.
Life Span and Development
Ceardian Bloodhounds are born in litters of three to five, being lightly haired and requiring constant warmth. After three to eight weeks they are weaned off their mother’s milk and begin to more actively mature. At a year and a half to two years old they will be fully grown, and considered adults. They have a shockingly short lifespan, even for a dog species, ranging anywhere from six to twelve years.
Ceardian Bloodhounds are unique in the canine world due to a number of features. For one, their ability to scent is perhaps unrivaled by any creature in Aloria save Maz-Allar and a rare few exotic creatures. To this end, they are relentless once they get a scent, pursuing it with great vigor and speed. For this reason they made excellent hunting dogs, but there are a few problems. The first is that because of this, they can be fairly headstrong and difficult to train or contain when they are excited or energized. However, those well trained and coming from pure hunting stock are often the easiest restrained and brought back to order. In addition to this is their intelligence, as they are capable of following an array of commands, some fairly complex for even canines to comprehend, but it seems that their training and large flopping ears engrain such commands deep into their minds. In addition to this high responsiveness, the animal is also intelligent in the pursuit of its prey, and also largely avoids the traps set either by the slaves trying to escape or hunting masters trying to get game. This intelligence also gives them emotional range, as they are seen to be capable of empathizing with their masters and charges, crying, whining, and angrily ruffing in correspondence with different moods.
Territory and Groupings
Ceardian Bloodhounds are protective of their owners and the territory said owner occupies. They will often intensely sniff a newcomer, regardless of it being a sentient Race or a fellow animal, and sometimes even inanimate objects if they have a particularly strong scent. The animal’s surroundings vary on their role, as while some are simple housepets kept generally solitary or perhaps with another pet or two, most are engaged in the hunting profession of either people or animals, living with several other Bloodhounds who are often part of their family.
- Some posit that the Ceardian Bloodhound may have actually been a late breeding effort of the Altalar, to create an animal effective in tracking down their fleeing slaves. The collapse of the Allorn Empire then dispersed the animals across Aloria, at least in the minds of these scholars.
- Ceardian Warlords spread the urban myth among their people that the dogs had an iron bite capable of ripping flesh from bone and were the size of bear cubs, all in the name of fear and intimidation.
- There is generally a rivalry between hunters either favoring Ceardian Bloodhounds and Calemberger Beagles, with the positives and negatives of each breed resulting to hunting rivalries within this community of sportsmen.