The Impalers of the Verdant Plains
Along the Verdant Plains, herds of hulking beasts of bone and rage make their stomping grounds and migration-like paths. Bone Elk, or colloquially termed “Impalers”, are a drastic evolution of common Elk brought on by the environmental devastation of The Fall. Where their predecessors failed in might to survive the harsh lands, Bone Elk reign in overpowering it’s assailants or any entity which accidentally crosses too far along the Bone Elk’s path. At an average of 4.7 feet to the shoulder and 8.5 feet nose to the tail on the bulls of the herd, with 4.1 feet to the shoulder and 8 feet nose to the tail for the cows, the Bone Elks make up for shorter, yet longer stature in raw weight, bringing in a minimum of 765 pounds for the females, and 800 pounds for the males. Bone growths shield the soft flesh from the environment and bodily harm, and spikes and horns provide plenty of damage to be made with even a glancing blow to an aggressor. Bulls, ontop of armor growths of various designs and color shades, sprout piercing horns atop their heads from an early age. Such impressive natural weapons allow for lance-like charges in combat, and devastating gores from close-quarters. The natural armor plates that keep these beasts alive against the terrible world leave little room for weak spots, as even the underbelly is wrapped in plating. However, every beast needs space to release their waste, so it is best to strike from behind the Bone Elk, where no plates protect the ass and groin.
The intense stature of the Bone Elk species comes with drawbacks on the overall health. Where the common Elk would be hale and hearty, the Bone Elk suffers from a weaker constitution and shortened lifespan, which maximizes out at 7 years. Natural illness strikes hard against the wrathful Bone Elk, and the increased weight of muscle mass and bone armor causes the organs to work harder in comparison to the common Elk. The most common death for the Bone Elk species is organ failure, as their system is forced beyond it’s capabilities in the later stages of life.
Bone Elk Herd Dynamics
Often, herds of animals will be home to a territorial male, which will drive out any rivaling males from the breeding selections. In contrast, Bone Elks survive through the trials of this realm with the aid of their rivaling males. Herds of Bone Elk come in massive numbers of up to 15 bulls and 30 cows. When it comes to seasonal ruts, the bulls of the herd will spar till one falls of injury or aching muscles, of which the winning bull will mark the prized female with their scent, and the fallen bull will be cared for by the whole herd until they can rise to find another female.
Being a Herbivore species out along the Verdant Plains gives the Bone Elk plenty to graze upon for it’s meals. Constant movement along the plains, along with previously stated poor behavior, makes it hard to pinpoint the specifics surrounding the preferred grazing material. Decimated grasses and shrubbery lend to the assumption that Bone Elk prefer vegetation low to the ground, while avoiding a favorite of bark that the common Elk species had in times past. Fungus and moss patches tend to cause an upset in the digestion and droppings of the Bone Elk species, no matter how benign such growths are to other herbivores.
4.7 feet to the shoulder for Male, 4.1 feet to the shoulder for Female
800-820 lbs Male, 765-790 lbs Female
8.5 feet nose to tail for Male, 8 feet nose to tail for Female
While it is impossible to theorize how one would be able to domesticate such a brutish species, Solith is home to many unique and cruel minds. No known faction has been able to temper the fight or flight instincts of the Bone Elk into anything remotely close to a tame beast. However, it is entirely possible that this world is able to take such a powerful entity of the natural realm and break it down into nothing close to what we know of it now, as to forge it into a brand new weapon to wage bloodthirsty war with.