Quaelhoirhim elves are one of the few wood elven tribes to keep "domestic" dogs, although they tend to roam around in packs much of the time, so perhaps may only be counted as semi-domesticated. The hounds seem to have their origins in the alliance with the dark elves in the First Sarvonian War (see the Eophyrhim elves). It is believed that the Quaelhoirhim elves manage to aquire several of these sought after animals. The Zeiphyrian animal is a slightly glossy, slightly shorter and stockier version of the original and is often used as an all purpose working, hunting or guarding dog by many many tribes, as the Quaelhoirhim love to trade, and these dogs have found usages in many different communities.
Image description: Illustration of the Zeiphyrian Hunting Hound. Pic by Fiorellina, commissioned work for Ana Espinosa.
animal is a slightly glossy version of the original,
Eophyrhim Hunting Hound. It seems likely that
Hound has come from specimens aquired from the dark elven
tribe during the alliance of the First Sarvonian War. It
has, however, definetly been outcrossed with the tamer wolves
that wander through the Zeiphyrian
Forest. Thus it still retains evidence
of the Eophyrhim Hunting Hound's sleek,
slender lines, but the Zeiphyrian Hunting Hound is of slightly stockier build,
and slightly shorter with males standing at 0.75 peds. The coat on the
Zeiphyrian Hunting Hound is longer than that of its parent species,
especially on the ears, tail and around the feet.with either white, grayish or
black fur on their backs and sides, and they are snowy
white in the belly. Patches of tan coulouring are also
not uncommon on the animals back. They have large brown or blue
eyes and a long tapering head.
Special Abilities. The Hound has aquired its intelligence from its ancestors, and maintains many fairly obvious wolf qualities. Like the hound of the Paelelon this hound is a well trained animal, which can work alone, and they are trained for all sorts of purposes. Zeiphyrian Hounds are good hunting dogs, being powerful enough to bring down animals of large size, such as deer and elk. As a result several animals may be used to protect settlements and livestock against large predators, such as drakes, shingar and wolves. Several hounds make a formidable opponent even for quite a large lesser drake, as they work together rather like wolves, and many observers record that they show faultless tactical behaviour.
Zeiphyrian Hounds are also fantastic utility animals. If brought up seperated from a pack they make loving and dedicated pets, they have been used to pull small carts, especially across the Elverground and in mountainous regions, and there is one example of Aellenhim elves being gifted with specially trained dogs to pull sleds one particularly vicious winter.
Zeiphyrian Hounds appear to be immune to the poison of the Sarvonian white hart, which is very useful given the large number of these dangerous creatures in the Zeiphyr, suggesting perhaps that the Hound has at least some lineage of from the Ashmarian wolf, from the northern continent, though others argue that this is simply implausible, and that this immunity has been aquired by a process of natural selection.
Territory. The Quaelhoirhim elves love to trade, and these versatile animals are often very popular with outside tribes and races. Thus several elven tribes, especially the Aellenrhim and Maeverhim, have received animals from the Quaelhoirhim, and they can now be found in several forests throughout Santharia.
The Quaelhoirhim have also made gifts of these Hounds in the past. Four of the best animals in Elving were given to King Santhros on his unification of the Santharia kingdom. As a result the palace of New-Santhala has a fine population of these animals, who, it is often complained, have more rights than the servants! Over the years, these have spread far and wide, and now many of the Dukes and Earls of Santharia own such animals. The population is limited to Santharia, however.
Habitat/Behaviour. Zeiphyrian Hunting Hounds retain many of the instinct seen in wolves - the need to hunt, to be in a pack, but they are also incredibly social and gregarious animals. If one substitutes people for a pack at an early age, Hounds are easily domesticated and trained. Some animals have been pet/working animals for generations and where this is true they are docile intelligent animals. Where they are allowed to roam slightly freer the owner must continually assert their role as the pack leader to ensure the animals do as they are told.
Diet. The diet of a Zeiphyrian Hunting Hound depends greatly on the circumstances in which it is living. If based in a home or a farm as a working animal, where it is fed regularly, then it is preferable that these Hounds are fed a meat diet, as it will keep it in prime condition.
However, as mentioned previously many animals wander the forest in packs. It is not that they don't belong to someone, but in remoter parts of the Zeiphyr if the animal is not required that day it is let out to fend for itself and it will return in the evening. This may seem cruel, but the instinct to wander and hunt in a pack environment is often strong, and must be repressed in domestic dogs by strict training. It also saves their owners from having to feed them. In this position, they are often omnivores, hunting if they need to, scavenging if they can, and eating pretty much anything they find. They will only kill what they need to eat.
Mating. The female Hound will enter into heat in early spring. The male will smell her out and come to her. Mating takes place in a span of minutes. Gestation lasts 4 months, with a litter of 3-7 pups, most looking similar to the mother or father. The mother will suckle the pups for 6 weeks, the father watching over both mother and pups during this time. Once the pups reach 8 weeks, they are able to leave their mother.
Information provided by Wren