Found mostly in the harsh, scrubby savannas on the edges of the Etain desert, temple rhinoceroses are large, sturdy creatures, only slightly smaller than elephants, but their great size belies their grace and speed. In addition to their light movement, they are most easily distinguished from other rhinos by their swirling filigree markings and the gold bands hovering around their horns. These bands are bound to their souls, and disappear upon death. Masters over fire and metal, with an artistic flair, they have long been favored companions for metalworkers and jewelers of the Etain desert. Temple rhinoceros workings are generally for the benefit of humans, who feed and protect them in turn, and magi at the Keep are still unsure as to how such a specialized relationship developed. However, a well-loved legend in the Etain region describes their origin: Once, a magi found a wounded rhinoceros and took it in, nursing it back to health. One day, the magi's home caught fire, and out of desperation to save the magi, the rhinoceros appealed to the sun for power to help. The sun, moved by its pleas, granted the rhinoceros power over flame and metal, to extinguish the fire and brace the home against collapse, and thus the first temple rhino came into being.
A golden ring hovers around a horn that has poked out of this egg.
Newly hatched temple rhinos are adorably wobbly and surprisingly tiny considering how large they will be one day. However, they grow in size very quickly, rivaling the size of a large foal within a month. Temple rhino hatchlings always hover closely around their parent or magi. They do not yet have the tough, nearly impenetrable skin that adult rhinos rely on for defense, and so will dive behind their parent at any sign of danger. It is an amusing sight to see a creature the size of a small elephant attempt to disappear behind a magi because it was spooked by a bee. Even at a young age, they are already excellent at commanding metal, though a magi raising a temple rhinoceros hatchling may find this rather vexing when beloved jewelry and important instruments get bent into strange new shapes for the hatchling's amusement.
Temple rhinos are born with a ring around their horn and summon a new one approximately every five years, and are considered fully grown when they have three or more. If a temple rhino is being raised by a magi who doesn't specialize in metals, it is common for it to find either an adult temple rhino or a human metalworker to study under between its second and third rings. Otherwise, it learns the finer points of the art from its mother, allowing magi to trace families matrilineally through the distinct metalworking styles passed down. As temple rhinos do not tend to leave Etain, aspiring metalworkers from all around the world will sometimes make the journey into the desert to seek one out and learn from it before returning home.
Obtained from: Donation (Jul)
Renaming cost: 20000 gold
Release date: July 15th 2022
July 2022 Midmonth Donation Pet
Sprite art: Mysfytt | Description: Kestrad