The Evjer is a large mustelid that was well adapted to the cold, even before the arrival of theIsldar who eventually caused a blast of Magic that froze much of the traditional lands trekked by the Evjer. The animal made a fortunate impression and was eventually domesticated, and now serves as the Mounts of many Isldar, though wild members of their species still exist. Evjer are also noted for their high sociability and agility, despite what appears at first glance to be a bulky frame.
The Evjer’s history is a relatively simple one, as it is believed to have been native to the mountains and northern lands of Ellador for untold centuries. It likely came into contact with the Proto-Velheim at some point, but such records, or tales of great hunts, are now lost. It is the Isldar who hold the great honor of having interacted with the Evjer in any substantial way,when they were mere Dragon Worshipers fled to a distant land, beyond the Drovv and their nation. The following decades saw, likely with the help of now lost Magic, powers bestowed by the Dragons they followed, allowed these cultists to tame many Evjer and ride them across the frigid terrain. In the warfare that eventually came between the Dregodar and Dwarves, the Evjer proved a fearsome, agile Mount for combat alongside the Wyvern in the skies. Evjer cavalry and Steamtech machines ground into each other frequently, and the creatures easily vanished into the blizzards the Dragon faithful would summon to their aid. Following the final battle of the conflict, the Evjer largely vanished from public view, what wild specimens that did exist largely clustering in lands that were soon lost in the Cataclysm. The Evjer did not suffer from either the explosion of cold from the birth of the Isldar, or the chaos that followed, already suited for cold climates and protected by the Isldar in their high cities or deep caverns. Over the coming decades, as the Isldar began to probe beyond their limited world, Evjer accompanied them, and in the modern day the animal remains populous. This is largely in the domesticated sphere of the Isldar, but there are those Evjer to be found in the wild. Both parties must unfortunately contend with Velheim and Urlan hunters, who greatly prize Evjer furs, as well as engagements with vengeful Dwarves. However, they are more than capable of facing such threats.
Evjer are between six and a half, and seven and a half feet in length, with a height from paw to back of four to five feet, and a weight of up to 1000 pounds. Evjer heads are smaller than one might expect for such a large creature, with a narrow muzzle and mouth below this filled with sharp teeth. Alongside two small dark eyes, they have two short, rounded ears. Their head is connected to the body with a short, thick neck, and it is here where the Evjer’s natural traits are most fascinating. From a distance, the Evjer appears bulky, even slow or plodding, with thick limbs and a low profile to the ground. However, one should not be decided by these features, for the Evjer is highly agile. Its limbs are each tipped with a broad. five-fingered clawed paw, and these claws help them dig into the ice and snow they live in, while the broad nature of the paws allows for easier movement across the hostile terrain of Ellador or other cold spaces. Evjer bodies end in a short tail. The other factor contributing to assumptions in a slow speed is the coating of white hair that covers an Evjer’s body. Thick and insulating, it is also light and does not add the heft some might assume from its appearance.
Evjer have a clear physical difference between the sexes, with males always larger than females and having coarser hair around their necks and front limbs (though this is obviously hard to notice from any sort of distance). There are no further examples of dimorphism in the species. Their gender ratio squeues slightly female in the wild, but is equal among the Isldar.
Life Span and Development
Evjer cublets are born in litters of one to three members, with the offspring being raised by the mother with the father or a male nearby to assist. Born pink and helpless, cublets gradually mature over the course of several weeks, rapidly gaining a coat of hair and their early claws and milk teeth, but only reaching their youth stage after two months. At this time, they are more willing to leave their mother’s side, and often travel into the area around their living space, often accompanied by the male or an Isldar caretaker. Females remain tired from birth for a further month, gradually recovering their strength, and soon join in the education and development of their young. After another three months, Evjer youths are now teenagers, and take on more of their adult shape, maturing for a further year and a half into young adults. Close to the end of this period, the Evjer offspring will start to separate from their mother and father, though sons tend to fall into line in a social order around this figure or the male who had been close in their upbringing. By the age of three, Evjer are full adults, and can live for up to fifty years when cared for by the Isldar, though those in the wild often live a lower thirty to forty years.
Evjer are highly social creatures with an affection for one another, and are even known to cross the gaps that exist between sett-sloths. Evjer partnerships are often for life, or at least long-term, frequent affairs of affection that see a strong bond established. Evjer offspring therefore benefit from that love, and in the unfortunate instance when the husband is not present, another nearby male, sometimes a second partner of affection, or a prior offspring from the male, will assist in the raising of the cublets, playing the role of father figure. Evjer teach their young everything they need to survive, this being particularly aided by the Isldar given the importance in having trained, fully knowledgeable Mounts in the harsh terrain of Ellador. Evjer sociability extends to their grooming sessions, large sett-sloth affairs where the adults get together and first clean each other’s young, and then each adult with another as the children play. Evjer are omnivorous but heavily favor meat, the Isldar accommodating this need as much as they can. Those in the wild tend to favor maritime life, leaving the solid ground of the northern Ellador coastline where they commonly make their homes to hunt seals, fish and more from the ice shelves which commonly form. Evjer get along quite well with the Isldar, even those in the wild accustomed to their presence, but do not like Urlan, Ailor or Dwarves.
Territory and Groupings
Evjer are divided into sett-sloths, groups of between fifteen and thirty individuals in one particular nesting location where they have dug or found a suitable sett space (the term for their dwellings). Their society is structured with the females separated into either singular members or pairings to a chamber, while the males live closer together in larger spaces, led by a male alpha, generally the oldest in the sett-sloth but it can also be the individual with the greatest pull in the group. Evjer in both the wild and nature use the extensive caves of Ellador as their dwelling places, but have been known to expand or develop new setts into the raw snow or earth. Evjer among the Isldar are commonly housed in more open surroundings than those of the wilderness, their chambered smooth and bubbled with open doorways allowed for easy sightlines in many cases, thus better fostering the sociability of the species.
- Evjer have been known to make their setts in Dwarven ruins, but never deep into the great underground hallways or chambers, keeping close to the surface instead.
- Evjer and the Elladorian Badger get along well enough should they encounter one another, though some of the smaller mustelids have been known to get very hostile when their offspring try to follow after the hapless Evjer, like baby ducks might with their mother.
- There are rumors that since the reformation of the Isldar into the Life and Death Isldar, Evjer under the command of the Death Isldar have developed black patches of fur around their faces.