|Common Nicknames||One-Horned Horse, Cabä’llӧhëélleh-lássou’yuṋna Edeӧ’alle-fehlänësséh|
|Habitat||Plains regions of Daen and Essalonia|
The Elasmo is a creature thought to have lived since the dawn of civilization in Aloria but is more well known today as the only species of overtly hostile horse to live. It is a short horse too, with thick but short legs as well as a sharp horn that emerges from the center of its forehead that it uses to charge and strike at enemies. Highly territorial, anyone who faces down the Elasmo should take care not to get themselves impaled by its horn or kicked by their hard, thick hooves. Spread across the world, their numbers have been suffering the last few years as urban environments expand themselves into the equine’s territory. While some groups have almost vanished, others survive and the species will likely continue to survive in the years to come.
The Elasmo is an old creature, with scattered and inconclusive appearances in murals and artwork from the era of the Seraph all the way to the Meraic. The first formally recognized accounts come from the early Elven Empire when they moved into the Ularen Wastes, as among the Bathoggs and the Ularen Lions were the Elasmo, horned and untamable creatures of the plains. However, there is some suggestion that these were not the Elasmo and rather a purely mythical animal. Language around the animal exalts it as a servant of nature and Estel, a messenger from her to her Pantheon. It is only after the conquest of the Elven Empire that less extravagant records appear, noting the animal’s features more accurately and describing its territorial nature unmentioned in earlier accounts of history. Most believe that the animal was native to northern Daen, in the plains beyond the Varran Empire and information about it was relayed to the Elves inaccurately or as myth already. By the time of the Fifth Void Invasion, the animal either was or had been spread over a large distance from Fendarfelle to Essalonia. Some believe that the Elasmo was at least semi-domesticated and were moved across these distances for some unknown reason by the Elves but there is no conclusive evidence of this. In the north, the Elves living within Drovv civilization rarely speak of the Elasmo, even once they were incorporated into the Elven Empire as a client state and some believe this is indicative of the animal never reaching so far north.
Following the Cataclysm, several of their populations sharply dropped off. Velheim Ailor who spoke of the feared horned horses of the Elladorian ice plains now spoke of the search for the bones of such animals. Those groups of Elasmo that still existed in Daen faded into near extinction following the after effects wrought by the Cataclysm, only being rediscovered in 79 AC while those on Essalonia and Fendarfelle would remain undiscovered for a further century. However, slowly with time the animal reemerged and while it had been viewed as a servant of Estel in times past, it was now seen as a societal danger. Only the populations found in Ithania held any reverence and for a time were considered as symbols of female purity and several tell tales of the real-life hunts of knights seeking bring down an Elasmo to win the heart of some great beauty. Recently however, the animal has suffered under Regalian expansionism. When the Empire reached Fendarfelle, it rendered the Elasmo populations clinging to the coastline extinct. There has also been mounting Regalian pressure on Ithanians to purge their lands of the Elasmo, mainly to free up their “sacred” living grounds for expansion. In Essalonia however, the animal lies untouched and it will likely remain that way for some time while dwindling herds of Elasmo in the Ularen Wastes of central and southern Daen have retreated into hiding from hunters and predators. It is likely the animal will survive into the next century as it had all others, even if it lives in numbers far lower than it once was.
The Elasmo is one of world’s smaller breeds of horse, standing between four to five and a half feet tall and up to five feet long. Their head features a small snout, two large eyes that can be green, blue or yellow, two small ears and of course their most prominent feature, a single long and often curved horn. This horn is almost a foot long but is not taken into account when measuring the animal’s height as it is felt to increase it artificially. The horn is sharp, kept that way by the Elasmo rubbing it on rocks and often is a beige or dirty white due to dirt and dust in the otherwise white protrusion. The rest of the body is also small, as their short, muscled legs, equipped each with a thick and hard hoof which holds up their stout body that ends in a long tail. The Elasmo is covered in a layer of medium-length fur, giving them a fuzzy appearance as well as a long mane along their short neck. This fur is commonly colored white or cream, but can occasionally be black. In these rare cases of black Elasmo, their horn is black instead of white and appear as dark brown when uncleaned. The color of the animal’s mane is consistent, as either white or cream which can be a stark contrast of colors on a black Elasmo. Their hooves are either brown or white.
The Elasmo has an equal gender binary, and their fur coat colors are seemingly not affected by any features such as parentage or territory.
Life Span and Development
The Elasmo is live born like all horses but unlike others, is slow to run and move, taking up to a week sometimes just to get up on their feet and move around fully. At this point, their horn is just a small but obvious bone lump on their foreheads. The foals then grow slowly alongside their mother and by the time they reach yearling status (one-year-old), they have reached their full size. Their horns rapidly grow in the last two months, reaching its full length during this time. From there, the Elasmo is capable of mating and is considered an adult physically though an additional year is required to bring their minds up to the level of a full adult. They have a natural lifespan of up to thirty years, though a few rare specimens were known to live up to forty.
The Elasmo is the most confrontational horse in Aloria, and also one of the slowest. It plods through its chosen territory on a daily basis and only ever breaks into a run when it is charging a potential predator. Their predators and enemies in the wild can range from an Ularen Lion to an Ailor hunter or even another Elasmo vying for the same mate. When the Ailor rediscovered the animal, they were incorrectly assumed to be fairly harmless, but their sharp horns and heavy hooves dashed that notion soon after. The Elasmo sharpens its horn on a bi-daily basis, nuzzling the point alongside the edge of rocks to produce the sharpness known to spear into the unprepared. The animal hooves are also excellent for kicking, and have been known to dent even plate armor with a sharp movement. To other members of their species, the Elasmo is tense if not outright hostile. Only in the mating season is the Elasmo anywhere near accommodating as females allow males into their borders and they compete for the right to mate and carry on their lineage or to assert their dominance if they go unchallenged. Females do care for their young, but once they become yearlings, things grow tense and at the very latest by the age of two, young Elasmo are forced out.
Territory and Groupings
Elasmo live mostly solitary lives except during the mating season. During the rest of the year, they live in “clusters” of territory, each piece of territory held by an Elasmo. These territories range from two to eight miles squared, the youngest Elasmo often beginning with the smallest territories before expanding them over time or as other much older Elasmos die.
- Elasmo horns were once highly sought after by various races for use in art or objects involving various fertility gods and goddesses. These objects are now scarce with the aggressive advent of Unionism.
- Elasmo fur is extremely soft and thus far the only person known to possess an outfit of the clothing was the previous Ithanian Sovereign. The lady was seen wearing it on a visit to the Regalian Empire during a particularly cold winter day.
- Some expert crafters can carve Elasmo horns into small instruments.