|Common Nicknames||Bok Horse, Yanar Steed|
|Habitat||Daen, The Far West|
Elfaar are horse-sized constructs of plant matter with a deep tie to the Yanar, only allowing that Race to ride and tame them. Their origins are recent, at a little over two hundred years, but are suspected to be a dilution of ancient creatures just like the Yanar themselves. With a high diversity in appearance and a mysterious process of creation or birth, the Elfaar are sometimes confused for creations of Mages, ridden by Mages, but this is incorrect.
Unlike other creatures of Aloria, or even Daen, the history of the Elfaar is very recent, and not very mysterious. Following the Cataclysm, many creatures emerged, changed or formed anew from such a destructive event. Among these were the Yanar Race, and soon, the older but now silentNeefar came out of hiding alongside them. But starting around 50 AC, yet another plant creature stepped into the spotlight, the Elfaar. Where it came from is not known, though many suspect they, like the Yanar, are cut-down and far less hostile forms of the giant mounds of earth, rock and plants that the Grul-Yanar rode on at the vanguard of the crusade demanded by the Va’sil Trees. If they are, then for reasons unknown, they took far longer than their riders to change, and re-emerge. Still, since that time, Elfaar continue to emerge, plant-like and magical, their mysteries locked beyond warbling, high-pitched neighs and modern Yanar largely not caring to pry into such matters.
Elfaar are unique for a Mount in that they have a range of physical appearances based on both their own original form, and the desires of their Yanar caretaker, since they can manipulate the growth of plants with the Elfaar often a willing participant. Many Elfaar take on an equine appearance, curtains of bright vines forming a mane while thick muscles or legs craft a workhorse’s physical build, or the slim but sturdy speeding form of a racing horse. Others still mimic other Mounts, forming great cats, or ram-like creatures, bark twisting into horns or mimicking the appearance of claws. However, they do have some commonalities. For starters, they cannot be larger than a horse, nor smaller than a pony. They also constantly possess a pair of white and green swirled eyes, or several depending on the exact shape they take.
As discussed above, Elfaar are highly versatile in their appearance and it is rare for two to look exactly alike. However, they are ultimately rare. Elfaar also lack gender, though can take on the appearance of either or both male or female Mounts from other species.
Life Span and Development
The Elfaar are highly mysterious when it comes to their origins and rates of maturity. While some emerge from the forests in smaller forms, perhaps juveniles in some way, others have been known to burst fully-formed from the earth. The process of their creation is thought to be the result of a concentration of Exist power around a particular form of crystal known as Chrysete, the fire-tempered former blood of the Va’sil Trees which calcified in the earth before being hidden by the natural transformation of the Wildering. However, this too is a mystery, and in fact a secret, one of many the Yanar keep to themselves due to its deep ties with their own Race. Elfaar are capable of seemingly living eternally. Those severely wounded are known to collapse into the earth, yet remain close to their Yanar owner, reforming at an opportune time though are weak for several weeks.
Elfaars can be as diverse in their minds as they can be in their physical forms. Shaped not only visually by their riders, but mentally, Elfaars can be temperamental, docile, skittish, exuberant and everything more and inbetween. It is believed that a mental bond is forged with their rider very early on into the relationship where, through some unknown mechanism, the creature is able to understand and adapt itself to the sort of steed a rider desires. Others contend instead that Elfaars are drawn to matches they are suited for, already having qualities making them ideal for their rider. Regardless of this, Elfaar do have some common mental characteristics. They will always balk at fire, even artificial or cold fires produced by Magic, though will power through if commanded. Given their high resilience, they may be annoyed or irritated at having been pushed into damaging themselves against fire, but they can recover and this will fade. Elfaars also do not react positively in the presence of insects either. Even simple ladybugs crawling on their leaves will see them rearing upon realizing their presence, and for this reason, Elfaar avoid and resist being stabled in “traditional” structures due to the presence of flies.
Territory and Groupings
Elfaar do not live in herds in the wild, because as far as anyone can tell, soon after they form in the wild, they immediately go to seek out, and bond, with a Yanar. However, they are capable of living in a herd when in domesticated surroundings, upon contact with the Yanar and efforts to tame and keep them. Such herds are typically small, given the lower numbers of Yanar in Aloria, but they commonly avoid being put into paddocks, horse fields and the like, instead existing in their own little territory in a wild area near town, such as a forest or swamp, appearing when called upon.
- How Elfaar appear to Dul-Yanar found in the Dread Empire is a mystery, because the lands the Empire controls are both seeped in Void energy, and far away from the spread of the Va’sil Trees during their heyday. This is why some disbelieve the Chrysete hypothesis of formation.
- Another, though very controversial, opinion on how Elfaar form is not from the Exist or the Void, but instead caused by the returning of a spirit or soul of a tamed animal to the mortal plane, where they take on a few form.
- Elfaar don’t need to eat plants or any matter to survive. However, some perform the motions of grazing on a strange impulse. Others eat specific treats fed to them by their owners, some being quite strange or complex like cookies, yet not impacting the creatures in any sort of negative way.