Arellund

An ancient and unusual breed of hunting hound, finding it's origins in the far flung annuals of a forgotten time.

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A proud and noble species of exotic winged canines, whose long interwoven history with the pharaonic dynasties of the Ancient Aelfaune made them an iconic companion of kings and queens. Examples of these winged hunting dogs can be found depicted on hieroglyphics, monuments and in the tomb paintings from numerous Amon'Isettiii and Veilnakarii ruins, always depicted by the feet of powerful figures and monarchs suggesting them to be a symbol of royalty and prestige.   Beside the mystifying Ssylynx, the Arellund had become one of the iconic symbol of these ancient cultures, that still endure to this day in the underground domain of Phyraxgia. While many still remain in captivity, large numbers managed to escape and became wild once more during the catastrophic events that would inevitably plunge them and their masters into the underworld millennia ago, now calling the savannas and grasslands of the Nirkana Valleyhome.
Arellund Symbol
by SerenityOnyx

Physiology

  The Arellund is in fact believed to be a distant ancestor of maned wolf, commonly native to the arid regions found on the surface. Standing as one of the tallest of the canid family, their long legs are likely an adaptation to the tall grasslands of its native habitat. It's fur is a pale, sandy, isabelline colour, with darker markings that may vary between individuals; some have spots while others are faintly dappled, some have a combination of both. Their head is almost always a darker shade, acting like painted mask with large almond shaped, golden-yellow eyes underlined with white, and the nose is always a tannish colour like their paw pads and skin beneath the fur.   Many physical characteristics of the Arellund have developed over generations to better aid it in adapting to life in a hot, dry climate. Being proportionally slighter and lighter weight to other more traditional wolves, possessing more elongated torso, less prominent forehead and a muzzle that is narrower and more pointed. One of the Arellunds most distinctive feature is its unusually large ears, which serve to dissipate heat, these large ears can also be rotated to listen for prey animals in difficult terrain. The underside of the Arellunds paws also offer a layer of protection against the extreme temperatures, insulating them as they move over the hot sands, with a dense covering of fur. Winter months in the deserts are frigid cold even in the height of the day, and as such the Arellund develops a dense coat to combat the sharp decline in temperature.    
What truly makes the Arellund unique amongst other canines, are the magnificent wings they boast. With an two meter wingspan, the Arellunds is flightless, yet these impressive feathered limbs are used for a variety of different purposes. Typically Arellunds are observed using their wings to cool themselves down in hot weather, stretching them out and allowing the air to move around their bodies. Equally during winter months they are wrapped around themselves for warmth, in a similar way they use them for protection of the ribcage during falls. When threatened they are well known to put on a threat display, flaring their wings out fully to make themselves appear larger to predators.
Dramatic displays during mating rituals, nesting and sheltering their pups during sandstorms are among are other examples documented by scholars who have observed these creatures in the wild during expeditions to the Dsja'taresh region.The most significant is related to the speed of the Arellund, reputed to be one of the fastest canine, these dogs are able to spirt up to 55 miles per hour, and long distance of up to 38 miles per hour. Due to these high speeds the Arellund will use their wings sort of like rudders to help control and steer themselves, and are spread out to abruptly slow themselves down. Some observers have claimed they are sometimes spread whilst running in wide open spaces to act like sails, but there is no credible proof of an Arellund actually performing such a manoeuvre.

Behaviour And Ecology

While a significant number of Arellund's are typically found as domesticated pets in Phyraxgian menageries. Large numbers of wild Arellund are still found native to the arid deserts and river valleys of the Dsja'taresh. Preferring to use open fields and grasslands for foraging, whilst staying close to the jungle oasis's that snake along the Nirkana river to rest and build dens for their pups.   When little prey or suitable vegetation is available, they will venture out into the arid grasslands and stony deserts of the underworld, avoiding the barren shifting sand dunes. The Arellund is an opportunistic omnivore, specialising on preying upon medium-sized animals, including small mammals, large insects, birds and fish. However in times of hardship they will not shy away from carrion. Despite this penchant for meat, the largest portion of its diet consists of vegetable matter; fruits, roots and tubers in particular.
Arellund Pup
by SerenityOnyx

Social Interaction.

Unlike other canines that exist in large tightly knit packs and large social groups the Arellund is an aloof, preferring to hunt alone. When hunting alone, it trots around an area and occasionally stops to sniff and listen. Only mated pairs typically establish a basic social unit or larger family groups accompanied by their current litter of pups. In times of hardship, scarcity of food or droughts Arellunds' do exhibit patterns of flexible social organization seeing large numbers converging together for their own mutual survival. However such arrangements are short lived. Monogamous pairs are known to defend a shared territory remain with the one partner until death, such territories are typically a series of crisscrossed paths they mark as they patrol at night.
  Social interactions such as greetings, grooming, and group howling are common among mated pairs and their offspring. Howling is particularly used as a territorial defence to perturb intruders or when they detect the presence of large carnivores. Typically howling occurs at dawn and in the evening, and sometimes at midday. Outside of mating, individual Arellunds' rarely encounter one another, unless the availability of food forces them to leave their own territory for up to several days before returning to their home range.

Basic Information

Biological Traits

Known for their luxurious silky coats
Lifespan
8-12 (average) years in the wild but there are records of domestic Arellund hounds living into their 20s.
Average Height
32”-38” | 81-97 cm
Average Weight
55-100 lb | 25-45 kg
Average Length
33”-38” | 84-97 cm
Average Physique
Generally large and elegant
Geographic Distribution

Domestication

The exact domestication process of the original Arellund hounds is largely unknown and lost to the annuals of history. The only information cyphered from sources come from ruins and ancient hieroglyphics that few today can still decipher. Offering very little insight as to how the Arellund came to be domesticated by the ancient monarchs of Amon'Isettii and their successor civilisations.   Typically Arellunds are kept in pairs, as they had been in depictions of the kings and queens of old.   Originally domesticated as hunting dogs, only the quickest and most intelligent Arellund were selected for the aristocracy, traditionally accompanying mounted hunters who release pairs of a male and female Arellund in each direction to search and draw out their prey. When their quarry is found the hounds give chase, the small and more agile female in the lead with the male keeping the prey from darting too far to the sides.

Favoured of the Pharahess

The hounds of kings and queens are favoured pet amongst Phyraxgian nobility.The Palaces of Phyraxgia are rumoured to be home to a vast number of Arellunds, some claim that they outnumbering the traditional Ssylynx found in most noble residence. However such claims of viewed as idle nonsense and hearsay in view of the exclusivity of a domesticated hound. In bygone times, an Arellund could not be purchased but be only given as gifts by a member of the royal family with express permission of the Pharahess. This prestigious status the Allelund enjoy in Phyraxgian society over the centuries has endured since time in memorial. In rare cases, an Arellund has been present as a gift to high ranking foreign dignitaries, the significance and mark of respect such a generous gift cannot be underestimated.


Cover image: by Nalak-bel

Comments

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6 Dec, 2021 15:29

This is an elegantly designed animal. Is there a reason for this canine to have grown an extra set of limbs or is it just a 'magical' evolution?

Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
6 Dec, 2021 18:44

Hi! Thank you so much :D We put a lot of love into our critters and I like to hope it shows! And yes indeed, I'm not sure if Ast already had updated the Physiology section but we've popped a brief reason they developed wings in our rather inhospitable desert! ^_^

Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come join us on our Discord Server!
7 Dec, 2021 00:15

You may ignore my previous comment, the pup is a lovely and logical early form of the adult creature. Well-drawn, I can only use traditional media, I've never got the hang of digital drawing. Well done :)

F. J. Brodie Writing The Chronicles of Qal'ath, doing my own artwork and fighting chronic pain.
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
7 Dec, 2021 11:03

Thank you so much! It's a difficult one to gauge but as the wings aren't flight capable it struck us as reasonable that they wouldn't be absolutely massive right out of the gate as it were :)

Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come join us on our Discord Server!
31 Dec, 2021 19:38

These are beautiful creatures, I love the art and the breed is very well thought out! :D

Chicky the wool chicken thinks you should check out my world Bréafír!
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
1 Jan, 2022 13:15

Thank you so much! I think these fluff balls are definitely my favourite creatures in the Evalaw universe (so far!), one of the few that also aren’t likely to take a bite out of your adventurer! :D

Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come join us on our Discord Server!
6 Jan, 2022 15:13

I love the detailed history of these guys! And you've clearly put plenty of thought into their biology as well. The way they use their wings, despite not being able to fly, is very unique!

Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
6 Jan, 2022 16:14

Thank you! We are thrilled you took the time to read the article and comment ^^ a very big influence for these fluffballs were the way ostriches and other flightless birds maintain some quite nifty uses for their vestigial wings! Especially in the sandstorms and over the open dunes, I like to imagine having natural feathered sails are quite handy in keeping them upright AND safe when they are on the hunt!

Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come join us on our Discord Server!
18 Jan, 2022 21:49

A beautiful article with some amazing artwork to support the abundance of detail included within this article. The sidebar alone in this article contains some great information and is wonderfully organised. I simply adore everything about this article.   This article inspired me to explore the rest of your world and it is most impressive!   I've included this article in my Reading Challenge summary:

Reading Challenge '22
Generic article | Jan 18, 2022

My top-10 articles from the WorldEmber '22 challenge that have inspired me to create more and better content.

I'd truly appreciate your constructive criticism on any pages of VISCERIUM. A dark, mixed genre world of infernal incursions across multiple eras.
Grandmaster ChroniclesofEvalaw
Olarae & Astaroth Arcaine
19 Jan, 2022 13:13

We really appreciate your kind words! We really tried our hardest to explain and breath as much believability into the Arellund as was possible. Both in artwork and content.   I'm am so please to hear that it inspired you and made you want to explore Evalaw further, and are so delighted and appreciate you putting our winged hounds into your Reading challenge! Thank you so much! :)

Please check out our project Chronicles of Evalaw or come join us on our Discord Server!