Aelinor Elk are slightly larger than the common elk that roam in the Elven Forest
. Female Aelinor Elk stand about 5 feet tall at the withers
and average about 9 feet from nose to tail, while male Aelinor Elk stand about 6 feet tall at the withers
and average about 10 feet from nose to tail. They range in weight from 700 to 1000 pounds.
These creatures have very soft fur, similar in texture and weight to that of a wolf. It ranges in color from a light grey to a dark brown, also spanning shades of green, to match the Aelinor Oaks
around them. During the colder months, the Aelinor Elk grow a darker, thicker coat to survive the winter, and shed this layer when the weather gets warm.
Aelinor Elk stand apart from other deer and elk in that they do not shed their antlers yearly. Over the course of their lifespan, their antlers will grow and twist in a very flexible way, very similar to the branches of the Aelinor Oaks
. This phenomenon has been impossible for Scholars
to explain, so it has been attributed to the magical qualities the elk gain from the Aelinor Oaks
Genetics and Reproduction
Aelinor Elk reproduce very slowly, often only having two or three calves in a typical fifty-year lifespan. These elk grow slowly, reaching full size by roughly age seven, at which point their antlers will continue to grow and shape themselves in interesting patterns. Upon reaching age ten, an Aelinor Elk is considered mature enough to reproduce, at which time it will find a mate that it will keep for the rest of its life.
Dietary Needs and Habitats
The optimal environment for the Aelinor Elk is close to the Aelinor Oaks
in the Elven Forest
. Much of their life is dependent upon the magical network that connects these trees, causing the elk to rarely if ever, leave the safety of the Elven Forest
. Because of this, their diet consists largely of plants and leaves that are common to the forest and are imbued with the magic that makes the area thrive.
Those Aelinor Elk that have been claimed and somewhat domesticated by the Outlanders
may also subsist on a diet of berries and oats as the growing