Swifthound Species in Pronathea | World Anvil


"If you think you hear this beast running, that sound be your own feet.."
- An unknown hunter

The Elven Dogs

Swifthound are large, pointy eared hounds. They are known throughout the world as elven dogs, for their features resemble those of elves and they are often found in the company of elves, who train them as guards. They bark only to warn their masters or other swifthound, but their bark can be heard clearly up to one mile away.  


Swifthounds attack by biting and tripping their foes. Once down, an opponent is held down. A swifthound trained as a guard can hold a person down until help comes; wild swifthound are more likely to tear the foe to pieces. These dogs are also legendary for their ability to race like the wind in almost perfect silence.   This is how swifthound launch most attacks; they begin their charge from so far away that they either haven’t been spotted yet or their intended victims believe they’re safe. If the swifthound weren’t spotted before they charged, odds are they’ll be among their foes and attacking without anyone hearing their approach.  


While swifthound are terribly difficult to catch due to their speed, training them to become guard or hunting dogs is not particularly difficult. Most swifthound will respond to positive reinforcement, as well as good treatment. Someone who decides to treat their hound with disrespect and malevolence will find themselves swiftly being dispatched by the hound.  


Swifthound are notoriously well behaved when trained, and even in the wild they seem to have a form of manners towards other beasts, allowing most placid creatures to coexist freely around them. Whilst they are solitary creatures, they can be found within small packs of between four and nine swifthound.   The packs are tightknit groups and maintain a strict hierarchy, similar to that of wolves, with the differing factor of ranking by physical stature, not ranking of dominance. With that in mind, each swifthound in the pack gets a portion of food from their hunting that directly relates to how much they need to eat for their stature, and they do not claim any food just for themselves as their hunts are for the pack and not individuals.
30 years
Average Height
4 feet
Average Weight
Average Length
5 feet
Temperate forests


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Jul 8, 2018 06:56 by Zen Bagunu

I think elaborating on the social dynamics of their packs would be an interesting addition.   I'm also curious why people, especially elves, would choose these over other hunting companions. Yes, they're fast and stealthy and well-behaved, but how do they match up with other creatures? Are elves simply vain and like how they both have pointy ears?   And why train them as guards? For the most part, they sound more like hunting animals than guards.

Jul 8, 2018 07:02 by Andrew

It's not a vanity thing with the elves, they just identify better with the swifthound. Of course, not even close to all of them can have one, so they still do their best with ordinary dogs, wolves, or other animals.   The guard dog bit is to do with their speed and the nature of their disabling attacks, both immensely useful for both guarding and hunting, and they can do both, as is mentioned under domestication.

Jul 8, 2018 08:56 by Laughing Prophet

I find it interesting the wild packs are generally so small. I'd imagine if they were outnumbered by something like a more conventional Wolf pack that any ensuing fight between the two would be a fair bit more punishing. How do the packs generally deal with immediate physical threats they don't have the numbers to properly contend with?

Jul 8, 2018 09:08 by Andrew

They run. Their speed is their best asset.

Jul 8, 2018 13:16 by Tikal

That's interesting, fascinating creatures that I can't tell if I would be scared of or not.

Jul 9, 2018 02:53 by Andrew

Do you like very fast dogs who don't make a sound? If so, then you'll love them, otherwise run.