Quietly, in the dusk, to let the dead rest;Grave Elk are tall quadripedal herbivores found most commonly in the eastern provinces of Hansun, where they have a strong cultural connection to many of the smaller cities and towns. The Elk have short, wiry hair, that comes in a variety of shades of dark lilac -- in the dark, they often blend into the shadows nearly perfectly. Both males and females sport antlers; male Grave Elk have exceptionally large sets of antlers with thick webbing between the prongs, while females have smaller antlers without the webbing. Grave Elk are drawn to the smell of freshly turned earth -- as such, they are often found wandering graveyards at dusk. This has lead to many myths, legends, and folktales regarding the Elk, most of which have some word of warning or encouragement woven into their story. Grave Elk are both wild and domesticated, and with such a strong cultural connection, many Elk have found work within ceremonial practices across eastern Hansun.
Silently, in the dawn, to give them peace;
Softly in the dark do the Grave Elk wander
Your loved ones will know if your afterlife is blessed or cursed by watching to see if the Ethelk visit your grave.To many in Hansun, death is an opportunity. Those with wealth will plan their funeral procession as a way of showing their success, and those without wealth will go into debt to attempt the same thing. In the eastern provinces of Hansun, this is mostly done through hiring of domesticated Grave Elk that then lead the march to the newly dug grave that awaits the recently deceased.
I want four, no, five, Gravehorns at my funeral. Make that 6. And maybe sneak them some liquor before. I want them sluggish!
TheoriesFull understanding of why the Grave Elk seek out the smell of freshly turned earth has not yet been gained. Most seem to agree that it's not related to feeding -- the Elk chew bark and leaves of local trees -- but instead think it must have something to do with finding a mate.
Other ElkSome keepers of Grave Elk have begun to breed for slight behavioral differences in the animals -- some, rather than being drawn to the smell of fresh dirt, are instead drawn to the smell of freshly spilled blood.
Blood ElkWhat was at first seen as a new, grotesque behaviour, soon began to be seen as unique and useful. Grave Elk that seek blood rather than earth started to see use by local enforcement operations, in order to aid search operations and murder investigations.
Do NOT let the Blood Elk get loose. We don't want it out lookin' for Ichor.