This folder gathers torn excerpts from several distinct encyclopaedias. Because they only are ripped pages, no precise source can be determined with certainty. You suppose most pages either come from a medical almanach or a sociological book. Mountain Hounds are a sentient canine species descended from Earth wolves, that inhabit the Highlands and Mountain regions of the Cylinder.
Mountain hounds can be described as massive canine species, with a few variations in their tail and head shapes, as well as their fur colors, between populations. The two major anatomical difference between Mountain Hounds and other sentient species, is the size of their back head, that carries their large enhanced brain; and the presence of opposed fingers on their front paws, allowing them to handle and build precise tools.
Growth Rate & Stages
Although their lifespan is longer than other canines, Mountain hounds still have the shortest livespan of all sentient species on the Cylinder. Most cubs birth in early autumn, while horset milk is turned into cheese to last for the winter. Small cubs are extremely dependent from their parents, being unable to open their eyes during their first week. Cubs usually learn to write and play music by observing their family, by age 2 to 3. They are then put in Central Schools, where they learn general knowledge about their cultures, their history, and work. Most Central School are common to a large amount of villages. In these, Pups create strong friendship bonds. with other hounds of similar ages. Young Hounds quit the Central school around the age of 8. Most hounds are sexually mature around age 6, although it is extremely rare for one to produce offspring before age 10.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Mountain Hounds are mostly observed in Mountain ranges, where human presence is almost inexistent. However, some are observed among human cultures, especially in the regions opposed to Merinos, and the Nordic regions. They most of the time play the roles of improved pet and hunting companions, although a few hounds work are independent traders.
The Mountain Hounds are sentient creatures, and are able to build complex tools thanks to the opposed thumbs on their front paws. However, their muzzle and tongue are unable to produce enough sounds to create complex speech. This difficulty was overcome in the beginning of Mountain Hounds history. As Hounds were first enslaved by humans, they developped a way to share emotions and informations through howling melodies and rythmic sounds. After Hounds escaped in mountains, that language was slowly developped, to reach the modern complex mix of spirituality, emotions, and rythm it is today.
Civilization and Culture
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Because of their inability to speak, Mountain Hounds are not able to speak the Commonlang dialects. However, they are able to learn and understand Commonlang. Between each other, Mountain Hounds communicate through writing or very simple sounds of body language, throughout the day. At the end of the day however, and for ceremonial events, Mountain Hounds communicate through music, using wood and bones instruments to discuss and debate around spiritual and political topics.
Mountain Hounds appeared on the Cylinder in 563 AR. As they tried to mix with human societies, they were promptly enslaved. Most Hounds were either used as warbeasts, or farming workforce. As the decades passed, some rebellion attempts occured : most of which being led by feral Hounds that were recently enslaved. As humans noticed that the main channel of communication Hounds had were visual, they started to isolate them, or blindfold them when they weren't working. While it is not known whether singing appeared in a single place or independently in several areas, it is estimated that this communication form appeared circa 800 AR. It is known that hounds started to communicate, first emotions and then informations, through subtle howlings and beats. As the development of that language occured over several decades, the human jailers did'nt notice it as a sudden evolution. They considered the Howling as a way for hounds to scream their despair, or their emotions and failed to see the informations that were passing through the beats. The Great Flight, as it is sometimes called, took place circa 890 AR. Over a few years, several coordinated waves of rebellions occured across the Cylinder. As the first waves were successful, escaped Hounds coordinated themselves with enslaved hounds, and helped them escape. Humans, realizing they couldn't count on Hounds as workforce anymore, retaliated by decimating their slaves, and tried to hunt down feral Hounds. The skirmishes escalated in frequency and violence, until they reached an equilibrium. Hounds clustered in mountainous areas, where their methods of communication made them much more efficient than humans. Humans, on the other hands, progressively stopped hunting down Hounds, and entirely deserted mountains.