Qilin: Difference between revisions
mNo edit summary
mNo edit summary
|Line 1:||Line 1:|
|image = .png
|officialname = Qilin
|officialname = Qilin
|nicknames = Qirin, Eastern [[Elasmo]]
|nicknames = Qirin, Eastern [[Elasmo]]
Revision as of 21:51, 30 June 2022
|Common Nicknames||Qirin, Eastern Elasmo|
Of all the animals in The Far East, the Qilin is one of the rarest and most beautiful creatures native to these lands. The Qilin was used as the base for the Qilin Stance, one of the more visually spectacular transformations and power-sets of the Sihai Race. It is also the Lunar Spirit to the proud and boisterous Heiyan Sihai, from the Heiyan Kingdom at the heart of the continent of Zhong. The animal was once ridden in the distant past, but an ancient conflict between the Sheng Empire and the last of the nation who supposedly tamed the Qilin put an end to this practice. Today, it exists sparingly in the wilds or is kept in a broad enclosure for the enjoyment of wealthy folk.
The Qilin is like an animal of legend to the Sihai, even if evidence of it is abundant across their society. Its origin is claimed to lie directly with two Loong Dragons, for while all Loong created the world as far as the Sihai see it, two working in concert to form one creation is a rarity. The first of these Loong was of course Saaima, the Mother while the second was Ao-Jin, the Futureteller. Ao-Jin desired an animal to aid him in his weaving efforts, to craft the fates of all, so the Qilin was formed. Delicate, with a singular horn, it could nimbly leap and fetch the strings the Loong fateweaver so desired, while its horn could also serve as an anchor point for multiple strings that needed to be kept in order. Thus, when the Stances came into being, the Sihai were given a fraction of this animal’s power, to give the Qilin eternal acknowledgment for its role in the universe. From here, the Qilin’s path took them to be dominated by the nation known as the Qilinnarri, one of the many Ancient Kingdoms from Sheng’s oldest years. Located along the southern coastline, in humid to temperate plains under the open sky, the Qilinnarri supposedly tamed the Qilin, riding them into conflicts to preserve the work of their seers, many of whom were jealousy sought after in this early time. When the Sheng Empire arose centuries later, the last to stand against them was the Qilinnarri, whose desire for total autonomy and other demands could never be accommodated by the First Emperor. Thus, the Qilinnarri rode a final time, but it is said rather than face death, their Qilin carved paths into the stars that their riders then ascended, joining the heavens rather than falling to the earth.
Many outsiders might question these very flowery tales, and even some Sihai have come to doubt them in recent years, for many more tales insist the rise of the Sheng Empire was peaceful. But, it is true that the Qilin were once ridden by the Sihai living on Sheng, only for this practice to come to an end. But what is not fiction is the role Qilin would hold in later Sihai society. To have a Qilin horn was said to be a sign of a great fate for the bearer, while alchemical texts also speak of near-mystical connotations capable of boosting a Qilin Stance Sihai’s powers, or extending one’s lifespan. So, as centuries wore on, Qilin were hunted, growing rare and isolated in the wilds, which only added to their mystique. Never openly pursued and never sanctioned by the Sheng Empire’s ruling dynasty, instead agents and amoral hunters of those with money to burn, and time to wait and acquire what they so desired, went after the animal in ancient forests and mountain wilds. When the Sihai eventually landed in Zhong, they surprisingly found Qilin to roam the wilds in the western reaches of the continent. Their abundance was soon brought to an end, but unlike in Sheng, the Qilin within their borders were actively protected by the Heiyan Kingdom. Even more so than on Sheng, Qilin seers–trusted keepers of wild Qilin populations, equal parts ranger and prophet that exist outside of the structure of the Loong Virtue faith so key to Sihai society–came about to guard the wild populations and tend to those kept in enclosures by Sihai nobles. This remains the same still today. The pride many Heiyan Sihai hold often derives, in part, from their role with keeping these precious creatures safe.
The Qilin is a very delicate, dainty cervid. They stand between five and six feet tall (minus their horn) and are around seven to eight feet long with a weight somewhere between 200 and 250 pounds. Their heads are narrow and delicate, with a small mouth, but a large black nose, a pair of large black or brown eyes, two pointed long ears, and finally, a single, thin back-curving horn. This horn is strange and exotic, with a normal yellow coloration seemingly infused with traces of violet, in addition to dark or dark blue bands that spiral up the horn’s formation. These colorations and contrasting tones also help to name the age of a Qilin. The horn, while often gentle and straight facing in its point, positioned in the middle of their head, is known to lean to one side or droop further forward or rise further back, in certain cases. One was even known to have a slight twist to it. The Qilin’s thin head is supported by a long, well-built neck that attaches itself to the rest of the narrow body. The animal stands on four long legs with white hooves, and its body ends in a long tail often made far longer by the silver coat that covers much of the animal. This silvery hide is located on the body, the back of the neck, and down each of the legs with a slight twist so that by the time it reaches the hooves, it is complete and has removed the normal, thinner white haired underbelly. The two types of hair are distinguished apart by their color, but also because along the point they meet, a cream or beige-colored “transition section” can be found.
Qilin gender numbers are equal, and they lack obvious visuals between the genders, save when they are fawns. However, there is one method of indication on a Qilin, which is their age. This is determined through the dark bands that can exist on their singular horn, because for every band, a Qilin has lived ten years.
Life Span and Development
While a lot of information about the Qilin is steeped in myth, and is almost hearsay, the rise of the Heiyan Qilin seers has allowed them to record more accurate information. An individual fawn is born from a mother, and is cream colored with only yellow stubs in place of their antlers. This is the only stage when males are different from females, as males have a series of white spots around their lower neck and face in a clear dappling, while female fawns only have them around their hind legs. They mature slowly over the course of several years, reaching physical maturity by age of two but mental maturity by age of four. Their horns then begin to slowly come in, and eventually form the impressive and beautiful structures they are known for. They have no set mating season, capable of engaging at all times of the year, but it is most common in the fall months. Their lifespan is unknown, though the oldest specimens which have been seen reportedly had such long and curved horns that the tips had turned forward, suggesting beings well over 100 years old.
The Qilin is a timid, skittery creature that exemplifies the mannerisms of a herbivore. Their bodies are capable of short sprints from danger, and their thin size allowed them to leap between and around tight obstacles. However, they are also fragile, and easily tire. Thus, to prevent the chase altogether, the Qilin uses its large ears and noses to smell and hear danger approaching. They are a caring species, tender with each other, and there is no competition during the mating season or indeed any other time of the year. They have been known to favor activities at night, napping during the day and sunset to rise for brief periods during the darkness for runs and social activities.
Territory and Groupings
The Qilin live in heavy isolation in deep-growth forests, jungles, and rugged mountain valleys. Their groups are small, made up of family pairs and children loosely forming a larger herd spread out across an area of several miles. Thanks to their keen smell, it seems that the animals are able to keep track of the members of their scattered herd and follow them. Their pattern is meangering, but in general, they ascend higher during the spring and summer, and lower in the fall and winter.
- Qilin pelts and horns outside of Zhong are almost unheard of, but a few left with the Altalar in olden times and are reported to have not lost their luster.
- Among modern warriors of the Sihai, which have only grown in number due to the demands of beating back the Akula every few years, the animal is said to be ethereal, and thus difficult to physically injure or catch unaware.