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Tandon's Falconerifas #1050

General

Thousands of years ago, the ancestors of the falconerifas were ordinary elephants grazing on the mainland, back when tropical forests reached all the way to Alveus. Somehow, perhaps by swimming, these elephants made their way to Calidis and became trapped there. The environment harsher than they were used to, selection pressures forced the descendants of these elephants to grow smaller and smaller until they were no larger than dogs. Falconerifas are the smallest known true elephants, a result of insular dwarfism. They are endemic to Calidis where they hide in the dense forest brush, relying on their colorful skin patterns to keep them hidden from predators like Calidis dragons. Neither males nor females have tusks, but their trunks are still remarkably strong for their size and dexterous enough to pluck individual seeds from the pods of flowers. Shy in nature, Falconerifas are so good at hiding that they have only been spotted a few times in the wild. They are depicted occasionally on the walls of the Ashen temple, dressed in elaborate decorations and painted with colors even brighter than those that appear on the wild animals.

Egg

This dark egg is covered in elaborate patterns.

Hatchling

Elephants have a notoriously long gestation period, though falconerifas only carry their eggs for fourteen months compared to the twenty two of mainland species. The eggs are fairly quick to hatch, however, and the calves are adorable miniature versions of their parents, small enough to be held like a cat. Young falconerifas are quite shy, but once acclimated to their surroundings, they can be quite playful. At the Keep, hatchling falconerifas can often be seen following their magi around, tugging on their robes if the magi starts walking too quickly for the small elephants to keep pace with them. The youngsters grow slowly but prove adept at learning. Their trunks make them useful for fetching specific items, and though not nearly as strong as larger elephants, falconerifas can still lift as much weight as a fully grown man.

Adult

The beautiful patterns of flowers and mosaic designs that cover the skins of falconerifas are thought to help them blend in with the strange plants on Calidis. They possess only minor magical abilities, to slightly change the design, color, and brightness of the patterns on their back. While nothing like the color-changing tendencies of sepiida or chameleons, it can mean the difference between successful camouflage and becoming a snack to the more dangerous creatures of their island homeland. The patterns seem to have a default design that is unique for each animal, and can be used to recognize individuals. When calm or sleeping, this is the design a falconerifas will display. Fully grown falconerifas remain shy, though they are clever creatures and can quickly determine if an approaching gryphon is a threat or simply curious. Their caretakers often note how quiet they are compared to other elephants; because of the threats they face on Calidis, falconerifas communicate mostly with gestures. If they do make noise, it usually comes in the form of short snorts and grunts. During the breeding season, males will make a racket, stamping about and trumpeting as loud as they can to impress females and scare rival males away from their small performance clearing.

Notes

Obtained from: Shop, Preservationist Shop
Breeding: No
Renaming cost: 2000 gold
Release date: November 14th 2019

Sprite art: Jrap17 | Description: PKGriffin

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