Creature Feature: Bicorns
The bicorn is one of the most iconic creatures in the land of Centernia. In the southern lands and coasts of Galbrian they are known as the vishalli. In the east, they are called the demon chasers. They are an intelligent and dangerous creature, but when well-trained, a highly prized companion.
The species originated in the harsh arctic northern lands on the continent of Madierna. Bicorns have many very unique features, making them desirable mounts. They are muscular and possess a resilient endurance, high intelligence and a wild fearlessness. A single bicorn can easily cost four times as much as a well-bred horse.
Bicorns are largely omnivorous creatures. It is believed in times of vegetative scarcity they rooted out grubs and other small dirt-dwelling insects. Over time, this insect-eating trait grew to encompass larger creatures such as mice and squirrels. Full-grown adult bicorns have been known to eat prey as large as a rabbit or fish, though mice and grubs are much more typical meal.
The northern lands are full of large predators. Unlike their herd-mentality horse cousins, bicorns are more independent and just as likely to fight as they are to run. Both males and females have very sharp horns, hooves and teeth. Their hide is unusually thick, giving them protection against shallow wounds. When given no other options, an adult bicorn can be a strong match against a wolf or wildcat. In the wild, bicorns tend to travel in mated pairs or trios, increasing their defense against predators. They are very good at fighting in tandem.
Bicorns have remarkable night-vision, making them surefooted on long trips through darkened forests. They have powerful muscles, strong endurance, and a superior cunning. They are not always the most lovable or loyal creatures. When they do make a bond, they tend to be devoted to a single person. Bicorns are long-lived with an average lifespan of seventy years, sometimes more in the wild. They have good memories and little patience for those who annoy them.
Bicorns are known for their beautiful colors, but this is not a natural occurrence. Wild bicorns are typically grey. Hundreds of years ago, a mage known as Graves Wywren altered the species. Graves was a mage skilled with manipulating the living body on a microscopic level. Able to see the blueprints of growth, (now known as DNA), Graves was able to change elements on a whim. Over time, his changes would replicate. Many of his experiments were disastrous, causing cancers and other deformities. Guilt-ridden for experiments on friends, Graves lived out most of his years on a secluded little farm in the northern lands.
During that time, Graves continued to us his skills to experiment on animals. He discovered a few of his changes resulted in effects that were not harmful, among those the ability to change skin pigment.
It started with a small green patch on the shoulder of an old, blind stallion named Sunshine. The bold green patch of skin slowly spread across his shoulder as the skin cells replicated. In a few seasons time, Sunshine was as green as summer grass.
When a traveling merchant spotted the bicorn, he offered Graves a large sum of money for the otherwise infirmed creature. Graves realized the money could be used as reparation to families he had wronged.