Dlintiarnas

The lonely Dlintiarna is fearful, but the pack is fearless.
For as long as they can remember, Gérouns always traveled their lands alongside Dlintiarnas. These creatures are to Gérouns what horses are to Humanity. For centuries now, they have been roaming Ménicéa together. These sturdy animals have served as beasts of burdern, mounts, and as pets. They are the motors that propel Menicean progress.   But not all Dlintiarnas are tamed and docile. A vast majority of their kind remains wild, living alone or in small packs in menicean forests. While Gérouns hunt most of them for their meat and leather, time taught them to avoid the oldest and largest specimens.  

Appearance

Dlintiarnas' height varies between 1 and 1.60 meters. Their length is similar to the average horse, between 2 and 2.5 meters for adults.

    A deep layer of fur covers an even thicker skin to protect them from weather and predators. Many breeds tend to develop tufts from the middle of their back to the top of their eyes. While tamed Dlintiarnas get theirs trimmed or coifed by their owners, their wild counterparts rub their heads against trees to keep it from growing over their eyes.   Their large ears are always raised, paying attention to every sound coming from their surroundings.   Both wild and tamed breeds have two different types of evergrowing horns on their faces. Most of them are sharpened bones coming through their skins, but only one pair comes out of their mouth. These are teeth that Dlintiarnas sharpen each time they open their maw, as horns rub against the superior teeth.

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Tamed Dlintiarna (Official Art) by Antoinette Stoll

Tamed Dlintiarnas have almost infinite patterns of horns, as crossbreeding keeps making new ones.   Large and muscular, their nose is their primary tool for survival in the wild. When foraging for foods, Dlintiarnas dig the ground using their nose. It can also smell insects, snails, predators, and buried seeds or roots.  

Domestication

Dlintiarnas were domesticated hundreds of years ago, further than Gérouns can remember. Their primary use is as mounts; not only are Dlintiarnas fast, but they are also endurant. They can maintain a trotting speed for hours as long as they are adequately fed and cared for.
What also makes them exceptional mounts is their cold-blood. Dlintiarnas rarely get spooked, as they tend to believe that their horns and powerful legs are enough to protect themselves.  

During my time in the capital, I saw one of the local Dlintiarna breeds, the white-horned.
I knew we humans could be crazy about our horses, but I never saw an auction as passionate as those for this breed. There was this poor little man from the countryside, the prices raised so quickly that he did not even have time to place a bid.
- Vrans Gardis, Human Explorer

As generations went by, selective breeding became famous among wealthy families who could afford it. Dlintiarnas in places such as the capital's High Garland district are often larger, with beautiful fur and horn patterns. Having a good-looking mount is a must amongst nobility, and leatherwork for that purpose is one of the capital's leading source of revenue.   Dlintiarnas are also of great help in farms all over Ménicéa. They pull carriages, plows, and females produce milk. Gérouns use them for agriculture, transport, and food.
Some breeds were selected for their tendency to grow fat, and are kept as livestock. Occasionally, Meniceans will harvest them for food and leather.

Wildlife

Wild Dlintiarnas are among the most common animal to find in Menicea. They especially are abundant in deciduous forests where the dirt is easy to dig.  

Social Structure

  Male Dlintiarnas live entirely alone. They roam the forests, looking for food for most of the year. When mating season comes, they follow the trails left by females and meet their pack before looking for a partner. If more than one male is present, they will fight for the right to reproduce.
Regardless of whether they won or not, the males go back to their lonely life afterward.   Females live in large packs called companies. These groups are composed of many females and children, led by an Elder. When male children reach sexual maturity, adult females chase them away. On their side, female babies get to join the company for the rest of their lives.

Reproduction

  As they grow, young females synchronize their biologic periods with the rest of the company. By doing so, they get pregnant and give birth roughly at the same time, allowing them to regroup easily afterward.   Dlintiarnas' gestation period is three months long. At the half of the third month, pregnant females stray away from the company and dig an outdoor den. This will later help keep their babies warm and comfy.   After three extra months, the mother and her babies are strong enough to return to the company, who will protect them until they grow up.

Diet

  Dlintiarnas are omnivores: they can eat almost everything nature provides. Despite having sharp teeth and considerable strength, they are no predators. Their only source of meat comes from already dead animals they find in the wild. Since this is not a sustainable source of food, their day is mostly spent digging small holes to find worms, roots, seeds, acorns, and sometimes moles.   For that reason, fields and farms, in general, are their holy grail. Dlintiarnas gladly take meals that require almost no effort and thus often do lots of damages in farms all over the countryside.

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Wild Dlintiarna (Official Art) by Antoinette Stoll

I could not hide my stupefaction when I saw the Menicean boars for the first time. I found it difficult to remain calm in front of such a powerful beast, but they proved to be more social than I expected. They form strong bonds with their owners, and it really shows.   One of them kept asking for pets, and I must admit that I fell to the charm.  
- Vrans Gardis, Human Explorer
Lifespan
WildTamed
8 - 10 yrs15 -20 yrs
Average Height
WildTamed
80 - 180cm1m20 - 1m60
Average Weight
WildTamed
80 - 200kg100 - 180kg
Average Length
WildTamed
1m - 1m801m30 - 1m50
As we were diving deeper into the Great Forest, our convoy suddenly stopped. While I first thought about bandits, my breath was taken when I saw this big lurking shadow in the distance.
For a minute, the only sound filling the open air was the rattling of swords and lances being taken out of their sheath.   We patiently observed the large silhouette that was looking back at us, waiting for it to be on its way. After what felt like an eternity, it finally went away.   That was my first encounter with an elder Dlintiarna.
- Vrans Gardis, Human Explorer
 

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Field Dlintiarna (Official Art) by Antoinette Stoll

   
I only start to fathom how much this animal is central in the menicean economy. A good part of the materials for leatherwork comes from their hunt.
Lots of villages we saw on our way to Nelandra were also hunting and raising them as a source of food and revenue.   I wonder how good they would sell in our lands...
- Vrans Gardis, Human Explorer
       
The deal is sealed. We will return to our lands with four male Dlintiarnas to show-off to the world. Gérouns are smart; they did not want to sell us females alongside males so they could keep the prices higher for a few more exchanges.   But sooner or later, we will obtain a pair. These animals have only a few things to envy horses, and they will surely be useful in the war we are fighting.
- Vrans Gardis, Human Explorer

Elders

Wild Dlintiarnas never really stop to grow. While it drastically slows when they reach adulthood, their bodies keep developing as they age. The oldest and most potent adults are called Elders.   They are the most feared amongst their kind. Elders are massive, territorial, and know how to defend themselves from years of surviving in the wild.
Female elders are generally easy to avoid. Unless there are children to protect, they will run away with their company when approached. Yet if someone dares coming close to a company sheltering babies, they will not only face an elder but also every other adult in the company.
Males, on the other hand, are more dangerous. Their lonely lifestyle makes them prone to more sources of danger during their lives, which raises the abilities needed to make it that far.   Male elders are fetid. Their ears are used from countless fights for females, their hoofs ragged from running to escape tiaplo herds. All over their heads, horns turned into sharpened blades with each predator they impaled on them.   Elders know that their life is almost over, and will risk anything to defend the short amount of time they have left. They don't care if one got lost or was foolish enough to approach too close. Now, they are fighting for their lives.




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Elder Dlintiarna (Official Art) by Antoinette Stoll



Cover image: by Paul Francis

Comments

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29 Apr, 2020 01:11

I love this article and find them both very adorable and inspiring. How would you pronounce their names, exactly? And do they have a shorter version that commonfolk refer to them by?

29 Apr, 2020 21:01

Thanks for the kind words. ♥ A good way to get the pronunciation for Menicean words is by putting them into the Italian google translate and have it read it out loud, I wouldn't be able to explain it here x)   They do have a nickname. When people are in a hurry, they tend to call them "Tiarnas" :)

12 May, 2020 19:28

All the artwork in this world is amazing, how am I just now seeing this?

12 May, 2020 19:37

Worry not, Blasepan, you shall always have a place in my Sazashi heart.

12 May, 2020 20:52

;)