Red Fur Fox
|Red Fur Fox|
|Official Name||Red Fur Fox|
|Habitat||Western Regalian Archipelago|
The Red Fur Fox of Dragenthal is a common sight for anyone on the western side of the Regalian Archipelago, including Anglia and Vixhall. A long loved sigil of the Dragenthaler people, the red fox has and will continue to be a symbol that represents the Heartland. As a savvy and beloved animal, it continues to thrive in captivity as it has been recently domesticated and is now a frequently hunted animal in Dragenthal Due to their rather recent integration into Ailor societies, only the wealthy or extremely patient are able to truly domesticate a fox into forming a bond. Many foxes either outright reject the owner’s attempts to bond with it, or despise them so much that they attack them. The reason for their investigative domestication is due to this trait, where they almost exhibit some form of judgement or sentient thought, though no progress has been made nor are there any set guidelines for what a Red Fur Fox prefers.
The Red Fox has been around for as long as the Regalian Empire has been established. From as early as 3 AC have the commoners and nobility of Dragenthal alike been hunting this animal, and in the year of 304 AC have they come into semi-domestication. While docile towards Ailor at first, wild foxes are certain to flee on sight. This nature did not continue into the later years of their history, as the surrounding Ailor decided to hunt the fox for it’s tail meat and oddly textured tongues. This behaviour drove most of them into a corner, forcing the adoption of aggressive behaviour around 150 AC, those that survived being hunted passed on the traits that helped them survive, elongated tongues and sharper teeth.. This steady flow of adaptations to their environment led to a stable population despite the popular hunt for them, they began building burrows underground and bushes where applicable. Thanks to their large breeding rate, they’re also enjoying a slight population upturn due to the small pockets of domestication. Due to the traits that the Red Fur Fox is adopting, they’re spreading from Dragenthal to the southern areas of Anglia and the northern areas of Vixhall, as well as the forests of the Regalian Archipelago.
The Red Fur Fox comes in varying shades of red as the name implies. They can be from burgundy in tone to ginger, though always sport darker furs around their legs and paws. Interestingly enough, some foxes have spirals of lighter shades of red that form a helix around these dark patches, giving the impression of colourful runes along their limbs. Three or rarely four tails sprout from their back, which is a delicacy in Dragenthal and a largely sought ingredient by culinary professionals, of which the same can be said of their tongues. White patches of fur coat their underbellies, though this only encompases the stomach area and does not reach to their tails. The average head to body length is anywhere between twenty inches to forty five inches, while their tails always sit around twenty inches each, though the middle is typically longest. Their eyes range from blue, green and the rare grey. These foxes’’ eyes are said to be highly reflective, which is notable enough to startle hunters at night, as all they’ve been able to see is eyes floating in the darkness and watching. Their claws are retractable, and noted to reach at most two and a half inches, evidently a hallmark of their continued aggressive hunting. The fox's’ teeth share the same reputation, able to pierce even Ailor skin with ease.
The only notable difference that gender has on the Red Fur Fox is that males are typically larger than the vixen females by approximately fifteen percent when reaching adulthood. Females are also prone to growing lighter shades of red, as well as thicker coats of fur. From minimal observation of the animal, they seem to have a job system based on gender; males are much more likely to leave the grove to hunt, while females typically build said nest, which is true to a degree. It’s said that female foxes are a symbol of craftiness and low cunning.
Life Span and Development
As many other mammals of its class, the Red Fur Fox gives birth to live young, about three or five to a litter. Many fox cubs start off blind, and eventually open their eyes around the fifth day they’re in the world. They start off small and grow to their adult size around their ninth month, which is also the time their reproductive systems kick in. This is where the sexual dimorphism also begins to show. Males will typically roam between multiple nests and claim females as their own, while females will stay at a grove and maintain it while the male is gone. They have a lifespan of four years.
While the large majority of the Red Fur Fox remain undomesticated, wild and largely aggressive to the sentient races of Aloria, there are a very small minority that seem to be able to form emotional connections. After some extensive study by husbandry students in Dragenthal, some of them found that when a Red Fur Fox is offered food or the designated “tamer” performs an act of kindness, then there’s a chance that the fox will begin to judge said tamer. Researchers have been able to document this behaviour but not why this occurs, though it’s generally believed to be a remnant of their previously docile behaviour that was present before humans began to hunt them. This is what “domesticates” the foxes, though they’re only prone to listen or become attached to individuals they “like”, or “deem worthy”. If these people change from their original persona, the fox is unlikely to recognize them anymore, and become wild again. The Red Fur Fox mainly hunts small game like rabbits, some birds or even elk, and has been known to burrow under farm fences in order to kill livestock for food.
Territory and Groupings
The female red fox rarely travels away from the original nest it makes, unless it’s disturbed or tampered with in some way. A male will travel between each of their marked nests, meaning that their travel distance can vary. Males often operate alone, though they don’t attack each other on sight. They can work together, though it is very rare for males to work in packs, seeing as each male has multiple designated females to them, and any attempt at ‘stealing’ results in aggressive behaviour between males.
- Rumour has it that in the deeper forests of Dragenthal, huge and aggressive so-called “Dire Foxes” reside within built up groves towards the Dark Wald. This has never been proven, however.
- All foxes have vertical pupils, making them closely related to cat species, despite widely being believed to be more like dogs in behaviour.
- When Red Fur Foxes become domesticated, the scent glands that usually mark their territory seem to stop functioning, essentially becoming useless. Researchers seem to think this infers that their body was already ready for domestication, and that Ailor hunting only made them regress.