Jackalope Species in Kald | World Anvil


Anatomy & Morphology

The jackalope is a species of wild hare, their defining feature: a light held in stasis between their antlers. Common fur coloring patterns include muddy yellow, with some subspecies in colder mesas having light-green to teal stripes. Mesa jackalopes also have thicker bodies, thinner fur, and longer legs to help them leap up the steep rocks; not so much needed in the relatively flat grasslands. In contrast, grassland jackalopes have thicker fur to combat thorns & bristles, sporting overall smaller bodies to hide in the brush. Having a thicker or thinner coat only seems to help in defenses, as the mesa jackalope keeps warm by their light.


Only bucks have antlers. Bucks use their antlers during mating season to contest suitors to win the doe; though they will use them if cornered by a predator, or to protect the troupe. The last-ditch effort isn’t always suiccessful, some predators have been seen picking their teeth with antlers. Antlers aren’t all for rough and tumble fighting: marking territory is another major use. Bucks scrape their antlers against trees and rocks not only to rid the itchy velvet after its yearly growth, but also to mark their territory. Bucks have to tilt their heads back to keep their antlers flush against their body when in burrows. They often have more trouble moving around in burrows. They stay closer to the exits while the does are further in, protecting them, too.

Some say that a jackalope’s antlers act as a tether for their light, this being corroborated by the darkness of the antler’s core. Jackalopes are notoriously under-researched, for one reason or another, but common sense would say this is false —doe jackalopes also sport lights while being antler-free; furthermore they are nearly indistinguishable from an average hare (while sleeping or afraid), their average size only slightly larger than an average hare. However, does also have darker ears than males, so the possibility of some sort of tether being there isn’t out of the question, more research should be done, if anyone is willing to waste their grant.
The Ilaowi people of northern Hasehak keep ornate embossed jackalope antlers for ritual potion brewing. Druids claim it is a great universal repellent, a stirring utensil that won’t either inadvertently add to the brew or dissolve in something acidic. The exposure of the blackened interior is necessary, while the embossment is a traditional choice to make each stirring utensil both enchanted with written runes and unique to the druid.
— Anonymous Kexist anthropologist


All jackalopes have a light hovering above their heads, either posted between the antlers of a buck or the ears of a doe. The light is a bright white-yellow that many have trouble looking at for too long, their eyes hurting like they stared at the sun. They have a unique property of it being substantial, able to be grabbed. If their light is pulled away from the jackalope, the creature will cry in pain, becoming more frantic the longer it’s kept away —researched by many a torturous young inspecting life without empathy. Once the light is released, it flies back to be in its rightful place, like one had pulled a stretchy substance and watched it snap back into form.

The light glows brightly while the jackalope is awake, increasing in intensity as it becomes aggravated. Conversely, it dims when it’s afraid, likely an adaptation to help the jackalope hide from predators. Their light is also nearly extinguished when sleeping, again likely to do with predators, though it could be a happy coincidence of their bodily functions slowing down when asleep. If a jackalope’s light were to ever go out, one can assume the poor creature dead.
How beautiful it is, to watch the lights die at dusk.

As the sayk falls, so to do the gentle creatures of the rock.

Into our homes do we sleep.

Oh, how beautiful it is, to see the jackalope dim to fireflies,

Lights of intensity intermingled with shimmering delight.

Out from our eyes do we weep.

By night, let oh fleeting beauty be reaped.
— Page 32. Splendiferous Life and the Monsters They Coddle

Perception Abilities

A jackalope's strongest sense is their hearing. Their large ears are always up and twitching, ready to flee at the slightest sign of danger. If you thought you could catch yourself a quick meal by being silent, think again. Jackalopes also have above average sense of aura, keenly aware of even the plant life around them. If one could mask both your steps and your soul, you might have an easy time getting past their sight, which is quite poor. They can’t seem to focus on anything, their beady eyes more attuned to noticing movement. Due to jackalopes being fairly easy to spot, it doesn’t take much to mask oneself and have jackalope stew later the day.


Jackalopes can be found in the grasslands and mesas of north-central Hasehak. The rodents love to spend their time basking in the sunlight, munching on grass. Many a Drake have remarked at the beauty of a troupe of jackalopes, even during bright noon, sparkling within the grass as they fly past. In mesas they’re a bit harder to spot due to the playful shadows cast by both the sayk and luminescent creatures.

Jackalopes in grasslands live off of and within the grass. However, if they feel threatened, or are heading to sleep, they will dive into their shallow burrows. A mother will spend more time in her burrow than foraging if their young need milk, rarely if ever leaving. This is hard on the mother who usually emerges weeks later on death’s door, starved of light more than food.

In mesas, dens are established by the troupe. Like their grassland cousins, jackalopes would prefer not to spend much time in their dens. During cold nights and even more frigid winters, a troupe will sleep in bundles, hibernating. Otherwise, they roam their territories, fight competing troupes, and otherwise try their best to stay alive long enough to breed.

Dietary Needs & Feeding Patterns

With an herbaceous diet of grasses, grassland jackalopes can more readily find food than their mesa-hoping cousins. Poppy, wheat, mint, and some seeds & grains are harder to come by in the cold deserts. Their teeth, like other rodents, do constantly grow, so their diets also include, inadvertently, bark — which is, again, much easier to find in the spattering of forests in grasslands. Mesa jackalopes are by no means starved of food, there is still plenty of shrubbery with and without bark around. It’s water they have to worry about, hydrating mostly from the shrubbery they eat, with the occasional succulent.

What Eat Them

A lot. foxes, belfovk, lynx, drakes, eagles, wgultash, weasels, swinathy, really any medium to large-sized predators find jackalopes an easy to find snack. Other than making their light brighter, a jackalope’s mode-de-facto of escape is running, sprinting, fleeing, and hopefully diving into the safety of their burrows. Their network of tunnels will help them resurface if the chaser, like a badger, happens to be able to burrow in after them. When a jackalope is chased, the beacon of their light will alert others, keeping the troupe safe. If tremors of a subterranean predator are felt, to the surface they will flee. Due to being underground, they are less able to alert their troupe, an inattentive antlered hare is easily caught. Even then, like the grouper and eel, some subterranean predators symbiotically team up with those superterranean to assure a catch of a jackalope. Male jackalopes are particularly susceptible, if they panic and get their antlers stuck.

Mating & Social Structure

Living in troupes of five to ten, they only pair off individually during Breeding Season (go figure) —though they can feel like breeding at any point in the year (the least often being during Dying or Silent seasons), it is during the Breeding season that they are most adamant. Seasons other than Breeding may have the doe go in heat, if environmental factors push the troupe hard enough —like the multiple times they were on the brink of extinction (see sidebar). That is, they aim to mate one at a time. After a buck has mated, they will not spend time defending the doe but rather find its next conquest, the doe does the same. Does prefer a buck with larger antlers, and may even reject a buck if they aren’t up to standard. During all other times of the year, jackalopes will live with their troupe for protection.

To win first breeding rights to a wanted doe, males will fight one another first by antler charging, then by boxing if both refuse to back down. Fights that escalate to boxing can get pretty bloody, the losing party often walking away with more than a shattered libido. It’s usually the first jackalope that gets to mate who has offspring, but allowing more than one to mate increases the chance that every egg will become fertilized.


When Birth season comes to an end, one can expect the grass to become suddenly harder to look at. The newborns will have recently been weaned off their mother's milk after spending the greater part of the Birth season in their den. By the following breeding season, the year’s jackalopes will sexually mature, though will not be fully grown until the following Silent season. The surviving young are welcomed into the troupe, ready to feed and flee as their ancestors have done.
Edited by: ZyChrome
Major Reln: Jyk

Jackalope are harvested for the drug Bright Abyss.
Average lifespan
4-9 years

Cultural Reception

Jackalopes have been hunted to near extinction several times. So easy do they fall prey to intelligent predators like drake and Muzoval that laws have to keep being put in place to prevent overhunting. They rebound so quickly, breeding like rabbits, the laws for their protection rapidly decay in their reasoning. Then, when they finally fully dissolve, the crisis of overhunting jackalope arises once again. They’re just so easy to find and catch. Not to mention some jackalope soup recipes, with plenty of carrots and spices, are to die for. Known to any chef worth their salt, the key process is to seep and stir with the antlers. Un-embossed, of course.

It’s a well-known fact that using a jackalope’s antler, un-embossed, in the stirring of something will lighten anyone’s mood —assuredly due to their light’s residue on the antler. To this end, jackalopes are hunted not just for their meat, but for ingredients for potion brewing. Cultures use them to stir; the unable-to-be-corroded-easily dark interior sterile while the happy exterior adding effects to the potion.

A common joy potion is to mix in equal parts honey, vanilla, lavender, salt, a parrot’s feather, & lemon zest, then stir all in boiling water with a jackalope antler. The resulting tea will be sure to lighten even the most grumpiest of days.

Aside from hunting, some keep them as pets. They aren’t domesticated, but they can learn that the big scary predator that feeds them likely won’t feed on them. Some keep them as furry companions for children, a much cheaper and more lesson-rich (care, death, and other life lessons) night-light for little ones still afraid of the dark.
Fia asked Ghm to land to inspect the hares, curious about the lights. Her travel partner sighed, not bothering to protest when Fia was set in a goal. Fia’s run from her previous life gave way to a new purpose, the pursuit of arcane knowledge. Jackalopes may not have much, but any unknown known to her tasted too sweet to pass. Not to mention, it made an excellent bargaining chip with the right people. Such small, insignificant creatures as the jackalope, yet no one knows the source for their light.

Possibly, with the hit of a new roommate, keeping one for herself would give her more time to uncover their secrets. One young, not yet learned in the fearing of rela. Such simple creatures, easy to sneak up on and easier to follow from their overwhelming presence. Fia snatched one up, a young doe so close to maturity. She felt a slight pang of guilt, memories threatening her through its glassy eyes. Ghm scared the feeling off, approaching with uncaring thunderous footsteps and jovial yet annoyed conversation —they can’t tarry for too long. Fia takes another inspection of the jackalope, turning it over in a firm grasp. Apprehension proving right, typical, she would have to bring it with her to inspect further.

In her room, in a cage that shone with what’s within, Fia and Ghm took off to their next destination. Perhaps, in time, Fia will learn why it is that her new roommate glowed. If not, at least she had a furry pet to keep her company while mulling over scroll after scroll.
— Witch of Knowledge

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Cover image: Sun Jackalope by Cressiel


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