|Common Nicknames||Delicate Horse|
The Ulaan-Shiraal straddles the line for many between an equine and a cervid, but its form is ultimately that of a horse. They are quite noticeable, having a slender, lithe build alongside elegant antlers and an exceptionally long tail. With the rebirth of the Allorn Empire, it is only a matter of time until the Ulaan become synonymous once again with the Teledden who so commonly rode them in past centuries.
One of the longest known of creatures in the history of Teledden history, the Ulaan-Shiraal is viewed to have been first recorded during the Darkening, images showing delicate antlered creatures surrounded by nature seen in the ancient caves of the Teledden’s prehistory. However, it is just as possible that the creatures in these images were normal deer. Regardless of this, as the Teledden emerged from the mists of their early centuries and the Allorn Empire began to be formed, the Ulaan-Shiraal became key to Teledden society. It is commonly said as much as half of the calavry of the Allorn army who first united the Nelfin world, and then warred with the Asha, was made up of men and women riding this animal. Following Talea's death and the start of the Consolidation, the Ulaan-Shiraal was transported across Daen in greater numbers, establishing population centers outside of old boundaries. Wild herds of the creature also apparently spread, and were allowed to remain in the wilds. But as the Allorn Empire reached its zenith, the Ulaan-Shiraal became less used. Other horses existed at this time, and over the years, hardier, tougher equines, on top of more exotic Mounts like the flying Ellon-Wing were used by the Races of the Allorn Empire. As the Allorn Empire declined, the animal survived due to their spread across much of Daen. Since the Wildering, Ulaan-Shiraal survive in scant numbers in the wild, the vast majority still kept by Teledden as valued tools of transport. With the reborn Allorn Empire, it is likely that the cervine-like equid will only grow in importance once again.
The Ulaan-Shiraal is a delicate, but sturdy creature, standing at six and a half feet in height (without its antlers), six feet in length, and weighing about 200 to 250 pounds. Their heads are slight, with a narrow, almost pointed muzzle meeting a pink dot of a nose, while their large eyes are deep green or brown in coloration. The top of their head has a pair of white antlers, for both sexes, with copious elegant curls to their formation which reaches nearly a foot tall themselves in the most ornate structures. Their heads also hold a pair of short, small pointed ears. Their neck is narrow, yet firmly holds the equine’s head to their similarly narrow bodies, each of their four legs barely larger than the bone beneath but iron-strong in its support of their bodies. Their hooves have a black coloration to them, and their bodies end in a long-tailed tail that can trail upon the ground if not well kept. The Ulaan-Shiraal’s body colors are unique, presenting a variety of gradients. Their lower legs possess dark brown body hair, which fades up into a pale yellow or white coat that covers much of their remaining form. This is only different in the animal’s tail hair, which often displays a tendency to green at the fringes like the hair of some Humans.
Ulaan-Shiraal are surprisingly uniform in their appearance, as both sexes possess antlers and do not possess sexual dimorphism as other horned species might. Their gender ratio has been observed to slightly favor males at a ratio of six to five, but this may be flawed information.
Life Span and Development
Ulaan-Shiraal emerge as single foals from their mother and are capable of rapidly running soon after their birth. At this time, their body is entirely pale, and their antlers have not come in. Over six years, the Ulaan-Shiraal foal will mature, gradually growing in size, gaining their antlers, and having their tail hair grow long. During this period, most domesticated Ulaan are also trained for riding. After six years, newly minted Ulaan-Shiraal adults often keep close to their parents for a handful more years before ultimately leaving the herd and seeking out a new one for the mating season. Ulaan-Shiraal are capable of living as long as thirty years in the wild and forty-five in domesticated surroundings.
Ulaan-Shiraal are haughty creatures, finicky and seeking to keep themselves well cared for. Their relations with one another are based on this principle, as well-groomed Ulaan are favored over those wilder or tempestuous in temperament. Ulaan take their time, moving slowly unless driven to action, and rarely engaging in aggression unless as a last resort. Their slow pace and meticulous nature can be an issue for those few Teledden and Lesarra looking for great speed at all times. For all their haughtiness, Ulaan Shiraal bond quite well with their riders, as well as their offspring, caring for them as much as possible though males are often more aloof.
Territory and Groupings
Ulaan-Shiraal herds in the wild are often fairly large, though evidence from the past suggests they were once smaller. This suggests an active grouping of those members left in the wild, to avoid weakening their population. Regardless, such groups now reach between twenty and fifty individuals. Ulaan in domesticated surroundings, often have larger populations, usually capping off at 100 members. Their collective domain is nature, as Ulaan kept outside of green spaces even in domesticated spheres tend to get depressed. For this reason, even a potted plant in a domesticated Ulaan stable is a good idea.
- Some wonder if the Ulaan-Shiraal has any connections to the great Imperial Stag Deer of Corontium, another hooved creature known to the Teledden.