White Calemberger Fox
|White Calemberger Fox|
|Official Name||White Calemberger Fox|
|Common Nicknames||Wirtem Fox, Snow Fox|
|Habitat||Calemberg, southern Drixagh|
The White Calemberger Fox is seen by many as the defining image of the Calemberg region of the Regalian Archipelago. The canine has roamed the snowy terrain for nearly four hundred years, and has been noted by the local Ailor for its unique ability to disguise its fur color by rolling in the earth and snow. The animal has the patronage and protection of the ruling family in Calemberg, who are one of the largest suppliers of the fox’s soft white fur to the wealthy and affluent across Aloria.
The earliest mentions of the White Calemberger Fox stem from records of the Wirtemcaller Kingdom, an ancient state that inhabited the region now known as Calemberg. Ruins from that era show the foxes being used as companions, crest animals, and as decoration in the nation’s art. The nobility of Wirtemcaller also had a significant connection to the fox as many surviving images have the creature at their feet or in their family emblems. Eventually, the Wirtemcaller Kingdom collapsed due to both pressures of invading Northerners from the Nordskagger Horde and the expanding Regalian Empire. When Regalia eventually assumed control of the region, the Alt-Regalians established themselves there. Quickly learning about the fox and it’s soft fur, the animal was incorporated onto the crests of several minor families as they rose from humble beginnings as fur traders.
After the Cadar family died out, competing families moved in to control the region but ultimately one came out on top. With this power, they cordoned off large areas of forested terrain where the white fox lived to ensure their stream of revenue remained intact. This action has largely succeeded, and the family maintains these regions as off limits to common hunters to this day. Because of this, the White Calemberger Fox population has maintained at a steady level for the past 75 years and continues to live in these same regions with little migration. Some have gradually moved up into Drixagh lands, but the majority still live in Calemberg.
The White Calemberger Fox is a canine mammal with short limbs, and a body built close to the ground. They stand at around a foot high (30-40 cm) with a length of one and a half to two and a half feet (46-76cm). The animal has the characteristic fox features of pointed ears, a pointed snout, a furry tail and small paws that allow it to scamper on all fours quickly. Unique to this breed of fox, however, is that the ears, as well as the snout, are shorter in length than other varieties, and their legs are covered in thick hair. All of this is done to help maintain their body heat in the wintertime. Their noses, mouths, inner ears and tip of their tail remain black throughout the changes of the seasons, and their small eyes are always various shades of blue and brown.
The fox’s most valuable trait is its thick, soft white fur they grow and keep for most of the year. The coat is layered and covers the entire body, helping to keep it warm during the winter months, as it rests for much of that period. Their fur is also notable for how easily all manner of things cling to it. Because of this, the White Calemberger Fox will roll in the dirt and gravel to appear closer in shade to the surrounding landscape when spring and summer comes.
White Calemberger Foxes have a fairly equal number of males and females. The species has adapted to suit the monogamous nature of their pairings, and as such the gender balance remains stable.
Life Span and Development
The White Calemberger Fox typically bears litters of up to three cubs. Dependent on their parents for warmth and food, they are highly vulnerable in their early days, only further hindered by their contrasting fur which is a dark brown or black. After four weeks, they began to explore the den and its surroundings; this is when they are taught by their parents to catch smaller prey such as voles and mice. By twelve and eighteen weeks, the cubs have grown their first coat of white fur and have learned to hunt from their parents and other relatives. After a year, they are fully mature and most leave to start their own families.
White Calemberger Foxes are wild and vicious creatures, but display a notorious intellect as well. This intelligence is made clear in their excellent camouflage ability, as the canine is able to blend into their surroundings well in spring and amazingly well in winter. They do so by rolling in the dirt, greenery, or snow at the appropriate times of the year, allowing the substance to cling to their rough fur and form a layer of color atop their coats. Even injured foxes have been known to escape human hunters thanks to this skill. Besides their smarts, the White Calemberger Fox is also known to be an aggressive mammal, especially if cornered or protecting their loved ones. They commonly attack by leaping for the throat or the arm joints, but the face is always close behind. With others of their kind, they are gentle and placid, though rival dens or males can have spats against each other.
As for tamability, some have postulated that the Wirtemcallers knew how to mellow out the fox’s ferocity, but such an art has been lost today. Due to their interactions with humans being almost exclusively violent, there has been little attempt to train the White Calemberger, most feeling that they cannot be tamed at all.
Territory and Groupings
White Calemberger Foxes operate in small family units, often made up of at least one, but no more than four mated pairs. Lone White Calembergers can also be seen, but these are usually dispersed males or females looking for a mate. These loners are not territorial and instead keep constantly on the move. Both family units and single foxes can be found all across the cold regions of Calemberg, as well as southern Drixagh.
- The Order of the Golden Fox Tails are an unofficial political society in Calemberg known for wearing decorated White Calemberger Fox tails on their clothing as a sign of unity. The society often backs whatever the ruling family proposes or stands for.
- There was once a wild White Calemberger known as “Smug” by hunters, as his facial fur made him look like he was constantly smiling. He was known to have escaped capture four separate times and his pelt was never recovered.