While there are many rabbits around the castle, none are quite as sweet as the holly jackalopes. These companions make friendships very easily, even with more aggressive creatures, and spread good cheer wherever they go. It is thought that this talent is a magical one, stemming from the plants that grow from their fur. While holly is usually toxic to humans, this type is not at all dangerous, and is often used in tonics to help those who are grieving or unusually sad. Though holly jackalopes are not tricky animals by nature, there have been incidents where holly has been slipped into the meals of grumpy people. The effect is always a positive one. These creatures are popular pets throughout the world, and treated quite well. Like other companions, holly jackalopes are free to go wherever they choose, but they seem reluctant to wander far from their home, perhaps because they are treated so well, with plenty of carrots to nibble on. Their fur is carefully combed and collected every day, and spun into expensive yarns. Holly jackalopes have supremely soft and beautiful coats, but these animals are never hunted. They don't even get preyed upon in the wild. It is fortunate that they do not share the same reproductive rates as their cousins, lest the world be overcome by jackalopes. Some people think that holly jackalopes are an integral part of the winter solstice, and are responsible for everyone's good mood. Whether or not this is true, these companions do seem most happy around this time of the year.
There seems to be a bit of holly growing on the shell of this egg.
When they first hatch, holly jackalopes are furless and blind, and should not be moved much. Special bottles are used to feed them rich milk, and within a few days, these kits are able to see and are covered in soft fur. In another few days the little ones are full of energy, seeking out other hatchlings to play with. These games take place all day long, and it seems as if holly jackalopes never run out of energy. But run out they do, and it's anyone's guess as to where they'll fall asleep. Though there are designated burrows for holly jackalopes, these hatchlings randomly choose a place and slip into slumber. It can be irritating to hunt them down, so most magi just leave them be, wherever they are. If one truly wants to find their holly jackalope hatchling, they can usually be found snuggling with other hatchlings. These kits are extremely affectionate and loving towards all creatures, so it's necessary to check everywhere - including dragon's nests and other unlikely places.
Unlike the other jackalopes, these companions like to live more to the north, and shun warmer weather. They mingle easily with northern creatures, and even share burrows with other rabbits. These companions truly love the snow, and become despondent when it melts. When spring rolls around once more, adult jackalopes join the other animals heading to the Arkene. They leave behind those too young for the trek, but as always, those hatchlings are lovingly cared for and snow is created for them. Holly jackalopes are most content when a thick layer of snow covers the castle. As soon as the first snow falls in late autumn, they return to The Keep. Holly jackalope hatchlings are usually born in the very dead of winter. Their thick coats that protect them from the cold come in three colors. These variations include snowy white, black, and spots like those of a leopard. Even the smallest hatchling grows warm fur within a few days of being born. Jackalope hatchlings are very small when first hatched, and it takes them a full year to reach adulthood. Once fully grown, these companions have majestic antlers, and love to conduct battles with one another. While most companions tend to settle down with age, holly jackalopes never do. Certainly they move more slowly, and perhaps rest more often, but they are as playful and loving as when young. Holly jackalopes are some of the most beloved animals to reside at The Keep, and their presence is always a welcome sign of the holidays.
Obtained from: Event, Winter Solstice, Retired
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Sprite art: Xenomorph/GlassWalker/Cassowary/Munin | Description: Damien