Written for Prompt 8 (2019 Summer Camp)
The creature comes out of the white haze, its massive legs and stout body thick as the trees surrounding it. Its thick coat of brown fur is speckled with the morning snow. A powerful snort thunders out of its elongated nose, the tip of which rising into two curving horns. The Horn-Beast, this kill will be my legacy.. or my undoing.
The Northern Unicorn is a herbivore mammal megafauna, covered in a thick brown to black woolly coat of fur and strongly built with stout limbs and body. It's body is hunched, with its head lowered to the ground and easy for the beast to graze on the grasses it eats. It eats this grass with a wide mouth filled with two layers of circular molar teeth.
Growing out of the extended snout is an ivory horn curving upwards. As the beast grows older through the decades, this horn grows longer to a full length of 6 feet. Male Northern Unicorns have a common chance to simultaneously grow two of these horns, though it takes longer for these to grow to their fullest extent. These horns are used effectively to protect the herd, where mothers protect their young sooner with their larger and stronger horns, and males usually charge forward at the threat to gore them more effectively with two horns.
While single Horn-Beasts can be found in the wild, they will usually gather in herds of between 2 and 8 individuals.
The Northern Unicorn has been domesticated by some communities where it naturally appears, especially in rural settlements and farmsteads for agricultural purposes. The pure strength of the beast makes it a better option than horses, the way it can drag ploughing instruments through the most frozen soil. There are some records of skilled individuals that have managed to tame Northern Unicorns to the point of riding them into battle as a cavalry option.
As a naturally herding animal, when domesticated the Northern Unicorn can commonly be used by the merchant class as a beast of burden. Once again, their strength allows merchants to transport more than a horse and cart, especially if a cart is attached to the Unicorn, and their woolly coat mixed with naturally being comfortable in colder climates, they last longer and are altogether more efficient than any other beasts of burdens available in the same areas. The intimidation of such a beast gives merchants added safety from highwaymen and bandits, who would only think to take on such a beast if they had great numbers and prepared to lose members of their gang, giving merchants of the north-west of Elgerlia the unique opportunity to not have to rely on seasonal caravans.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The Northern Unicorn grazes the grasslands of the north-western stretches of the northern continent of Elgerlia. This includes the Skìrah Holds of The Frost, Roghavern and Valhol, and the Mylrondia regions of Lionmidden and Vampyric Mistlands. These natural diasporas are the reason for the megafauna to be known as the Korgic Horn-Beast. It is also thought the same or similar species of the Northern Unicorn is also found in the Untamed Lands to the east.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Like it's related species like the Woolly Mammoth, the Northern Unicorn's eyesight is extremely poor, and instead relies heavily on it's keen senses of hearing and smell.
40 - 50 years
15ft (4.5m) Horn/s grow up to 6ft (1.8m)
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