Known Creature Details
Single: Elyks | Plural: Elyks
Males and Females: Elyks | Young: Calf
Elyks are large furry mammals that roam the isle of Xaaida. Despite their size and large set of antlers, they're rather docile and gentle. They're easily herded and kept as livestock, and can even be very friendly with their owners. Their thick coats help keep them warm during the cooler months, and are worn through from autumn to spring, but it is exchanged for a shorter coat during the summer. Neither coat has much variation, remaining the same browns and creams throughout the year. Both males and females have a large set of antlers, making it difficult to tell from a glance what sex an Elyks is. Antlers are shed during the autumn and are fully regrown in the spring. Elyks are found in herds, often ranging from as little as 10 to up to 200 in number. They're very social animals and depend on herds for survival in the wild.
Elyks are herbivores, grazing primarily on grasses. They also will eat small brushes and the leaves on some trees. During the winter, when food is more scarce, they will dig into the snow to reach plants underneath, and eat roots and bark from trees. They'll even eat some lichens and moss in times of less food.
Elyks can move surprisingly fast for their size and the ramming attacks they can perform can be very damaging. Elyks only attack when they are threatened. Their natural predators include the Pieshu Major, and a herd of Elyks can easily overwhelm one. Elyks' cloven hooves are built for walking on snow and digging to reach plants underneath.
Elyks breed in the fall and birth in the spring. They generally give birth to only one calf at a time, though there are rare instances of two calves. Calves can stand almost immediately after birth and stick close to their mothers throughout their young lives. They are weaned completely within 6 months and begin to grow their antlers during their second year. Elyks are considered completely mature at 3 years old.
There are many things that the Elyks can provide to those who keep or hunt them. Their coats can be sheared without hurting the animal, and the thick fur can easily be used for other purposes. Islanders will often use Elyks fur in winter clothing, as it is thick enough to protect them against Xaaida's winters. Antlers that are shed can be used as materials for tools or more decorative purposes. Milk can be collected from females, though there are more nutritious alternatives.
Elyks are also a good source of meat. One animal can provide a great weight of meat, and said meat's taste can be equated to that of a bison's. They are also a good source of leather, which is generally used in everything from clothing, to bags, to saddle straps.