These fascinating creatures are not often seen near the castle – they are wary of humans, and seldom leave the forest. They remain in the northern parts of the woods primarily, which is a long and dangerous trek away from The Keep. Only on the hottest days of the year will pine nulorns move towards the edge of the forest, looking for cold lakes and ponds. Pine nulorns love to submerge themselves in water, and even dunk their heads under to escape the heat. Young nulorns will happily follow the adults in, and learn to swim very quickly. These animals are excellent swimmers, and can even cross lakes if they so desire. Though it is very rare, these nulorns will sometimes bond closely with their magi, and allow them to ride on their backs. This is a speedy form of travel, as these nulorns know of every tree in the woods, and can travel at great speed. Even deep snows do not deter them, as their wide hooves act as snowshoes. Once snow begins to fall heavily, pine nulorns withdraw deeper into the woods. Although nulorns are peaceful animals, most people give them a wide bearing. These companions are one of the largest creatures found to the north, and can measure up to twice a man's height. To further add to this, male nulorns also possess remarkable antlers. The only animals that pose a threat are packs of wolves, during the winter. Pine nulorns freeze in place whenever alarmed, and their strange coats blend in perfectly with the trees. It is said that one could pass right by one of these companions without ever knowing.
This egg resembles a large pine cone.
Much like the adults, young pine nulorns are cautious creatures. They remain deep in the forest, searching for vegetation to snack on. It is very rare for them to leave the safety of the woods, though they will approach magi if they see them. Should one spot a nulorn hatchling, it is best to remain perfectly still and let the hatchling approach on its own. They are very shy around humans, and if one moves too suddenly, they will run off. Offering a few treats will help lure a nulorn hatchling near – they love apples, mushrooms, and berries. If the hatchling accepts the treat, a friendship has been established. If a magi has brought many treats, other hatchlings can be convinced to come near.
Nulorns are most active in the autumn, when the leaves begin to change and the air grows cool. At this time they are busy choosing mates, a process that can take many weeks. Their bellows can be heard all the way from the castle, a deep sound that attracts females. Male nulorns strive to capture the attention of them, and engage in fights to do so. Although they are large beasts, with tremendous antlers, it is rare for them to injure one another. As soon as one has asserted his dominance, the fight ends and the victor prances off. It is the females who are more intelligent, and take on the important task of caring for hatchlings. This is an activity easier said then done, for nulorn young do not tire readily. As they age, nulorns focus their time on finding food, rather than playing. These companions eat all manner of vegetation, and much of the energy is focused on males growing antlers. These antlers are very interesting; they resemble wood, but are very strong and rarely break. As winter approaches, male nulorns lose their antlers, so that the energy might be used for other means. They will regrow them in the spring. From time to time, people find their discarded antlers. After some experimentation, a magi discovered that these antlers possess a strange power. Crushed and added to potions, this powder allows anyone to navigate the Silvan forest with ease. This knowledge remains for several days, and fades slowly. There is one other mystery that has yet to be understood; the tales that are still told by those who live near the forest. These villagers say they sometimes see nulorns with tiny beings riding on their backs, beings that look much like small humans. No magi has ever been able to verify this.
Obtained from: Shop, The Herbalist Shop: 7000 gold
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Sprite art: DarrkestDrow | Description: Damien