Thursday, November 10, 2011

Arcadian Beasts of the Wood

These elusive beasts mostly inhabit the vast woodland of Woodbury Forest. Some, however take to smaller forests and groves throughout Calabria.

After Sir Edwin Landseer

The White Hart is believed to be an aberrant member of the red deer family. Seen only once every few generations, this enormous male is a ghostly figure, and it said to be able to outrun an arrow in flight. The sight of the Hart is said to inspire courage against odds. Legends tell of tides of battle that were turned when the White Hart appeared. Eating the heart of the creature on the eve of battle is said to assure victory. The droppings of the Hart are highly valued by alchemists.

The Golden Hind is counterpart to the White Hart. She bears antlers of pure gold, and is said to appear to star crossed lovers. A trinket of golden antlers is a symbol of forbidden love.

Barbara Longhi

The Unicorn is a solitary beast, in all the ages of Calabria seldom seen beyond the borders of Woodbury Forest. It is said that there is only one Unicorn at any given moment in time, and it can foretell the hour of its death. Knowing this, it mates only once in its lifetime, and a newborn Unicorn comes into the world as its sire draws its last breath. The unicorn foal is born to a mare which has been marked by the Unicorn during a full moon. Legend tells of one such mare that was captured to lure a Unicorn to its death, and resulted in the birth of a Unicorn in captivity. The young Unicorn was set free when it seemed it would surely die in absence of its freedom, resulting in perhaps the extinction of the creature entirely.

The Unicorn horn is prized as proof against poison, and is highly valued by those with numerous enemies.

Viktor Vasnetsov

The Calabrian Wolfhound is an enormous lupine with an affinity towards humans. Various tales tell of Wolfhounds raising human babies lost in the woods, fending off creatures of the Monstrous Races, and even carrying humans on their backs away from danger. Various attempts to tame such creatures inevitably fail, as the Wolfhound is fiercely independent, and could never be mistaken for a "pet".

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