These small furry creatures confuse and surprise the sentient races with their intelligence and behaviors. Their own sentience becomes a topic of debate amongst those with limited experience with them. They resemble foxes and raccoons most closely, though they also have short, often asymmetrical antlers that sprout just behind their ears. They are able to stand and even run on two feet, though they go faster on all fours, and are known to use tools--often held in small pouches by makeshift belts. Their limbs seem short for their frame, but are long enough for them to get into all kinds of mischief, and they have stubby tails. Their fur ranges in colors from black to brown to white, and patterns of the three. They live in colonies in the wild, working together to store up food for the winter, fight off predators, and even set traps for their prey and enemies. They will mourn their dead, and send search parties if one of their clan ends up missing. They mate for life, and seem to celebrate these unions and help out young families. This is why, though many initially find lilleden attractive as pets, it is rare for them to actually be taken for that purpose, or any other. Those with a heart to care for animals can hardly bear to separate one from its family, and those cruel enough to do so are usually impeded by local laws. Some peoples recognize lilleden as a sentient race, while others just want to respect the way these creatures live. However sometimes, either when one is too ill or injured to live in the wild, or if one has been shunned for some reason, or gotten hopelessly lost, they can be legally taken in and adopted as part of one's own family. In some cases, lilleden have even sought shelter in people's homes--they are hardly ever turned down when this happens. The hosts are required by law to give the lilleden up if their family is found and they desire to leave, however. Such hosts have said that the more experience one has with lilleden, the more one tends to want to protect them. Their intelligence and curiosity, as well as their emotions and capable hands, make them excellent assistants, as well as talented artists. These traits also make them unpredictable. Experienced lilleden caretakers know how to handle their charges, and they've learned how to calm them and protect them from being abused by strangers. The lilleden have a very good memory and a special connection with their caretakers in particular. Thus it is both an honor and a burden to become a lilleden caretaker. When living amongst humans, they are known to use their trademark pouches to hold things like food, tools, and even stolen goods, singing joyfully as they go. Over time, many cultures come to see a connection between lilleden and the world that is similar to that of Eonwood. If lilleden start migrating, it pays to note where they are coming from, and where they are going, and ascertain the meaning of their actions--you probably don't want to live where they refuse to.
Genetics and Reproduction
As mentioned before, Lilledens mate for life. They have offspring yearly in litters of four to six kits.
Growth Rate & Stages
Lilledens hit their version of the "toddler" stage about three weeks in, until which they can only crawl. Their fur grows in at its full thickness about six months after birth, just in time for winter.
Ecology and Habitats
Lilledens require a place to burrow, whether it be earth or clay soft enough to dig in, or boulder fields with sufficiently sized gaps to crawl through. As long as the terrain is burrow-friendly, and water is nearby, Lilledens will settle there. But the closer food sources are, the better.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Lilledens are hunters and gatherers, though they prefer nuts and seeds, they will catch and eat small birds. They never eat rodents though.
Their fur changes according to season. Not every Lilleden has a pure white coat in winter, but each one ends up with tinges of white to help them blend in with snowy conditions.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Like many wild animals, Lilledens have a sharp sense of sight, smell, and hearing, and rely on these to communicate with enemies and friends.
Lilledens are generally respected by the sentients, as they pose no threat most of the time, and are very cute. However some predators aren't so kind, and some peoples have at one time or another "allied" with a clan of Lilledens to aid them in their survival and flourishing.
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