The kirin is an ancient cousin of the unicorn and deer-like in appearance. They are good at running quickly for long distances and have long heavy manes from skull to midback. They are hunted by some of the top predators in Kurai, but possess a great number of natural defenses. They possess a diverse range of magical abilities including metal bending, forsight and shaping illusions.
Average Lifespan:: Immortal
Average Height:: 3.5 feet at the shoulder
Average Weight:: 250 pounds.
Location Found:: Kurai
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Darklilly Plain A relationship has developed between the black flowers of Kurai's Darklilly Plain and the qilin, the kirin's predatory cousins. The qilin lure their prey into the flowerfields, injuring them with particular violence. The flowers work to kill the prey faster, and serve as camouflage for the qilin to hide. The mutual benefit results in the Darklilly Plains being a very dangerous place indeed, both blood-drinking flowers and dangerous qilin well fed.
Elements Kirin are born a flat silver in color, matching Kurai's silver grass. When newly born, they have no elemental affinity, and gain it later on as they age. If two kirin should breed that are of different elements, the fawn will most likely follow one or the other, and rare dual-element kirin are possible from such pairings. However, if two kirin of the same element should breed, this will always result in a pure kirin of the same element.
Horns Approximately every five years a kirin's horn is shed to make way for a new, larger horn which grows to full size within a few weeks. This time is particularly dangerous for them as their magic is weakened considerably when their horn is incomplete and any venom utilized is typically less potent. Those with a broken horn are considered outcasts by others of their species and are fiercely rejected if they seek to mate or join a family group.
Hybrid/Dual-Elements Some kirin that are bred from different-element parents are rarely born with what's known as a 'dual element'; they possess traits and colors that are equal to each element in turn, and are widely varied in their color patterns and builds.
Tri-elemental kirin - possessing three elements at once - are unheard of naturally, but can be created through unnatural means.
Lineage and Racism Pure-element kirin have developed a vision of purity among themselves; they may view kirin of other affinities as lesser, and sometimes discriminate against them to various degrees. Duel-element kirin are nearly always discriminated against, and various slurs exist against them. Racism to this degree has been witnessed for at least the last seven hundred years in Kurai, if not longer.
Diet This is what this species, and any variants, may eat at any given time.
silver Kuraian grasses, traditional grasses, sagebrush, and other prairie plants.
woody plants, silver Kuraian grasses, and traditional grasses.
both Kuraian and other-Realm tree bark and wood; sometimes tall grasses or tall white-leafed shrubs.
silver Kuraian grasses, new tree shoots, and a variety of fruits, nuts, and berries.
tall Kuraian grasses, forbs in other Realms, and new growth on trees and shrubs.
shrubs both in Kurai and off; tall and medium, new-growth grasses.
silver grasses of any length, browse and shrubs in other Realms.
plants that grow near bloodwater rivers, swamps, and lakes; Kuraian grasses; other water-based plants in other Realms.
primarily silver Kuraian grasses, but greatly varied; shrubs, grasses in other Realms, tree bark, browse, and mast.
Kuraian and other-Realm fruits, berries, and succulents.
tall succulents such as yucca (both Kuraian and other-Realm variants), fruits and berries.
dead wood, grasses, small shrubs, plant litter.
dead grasses, roots, plant litter.
shorter perennials and annuals; tree leaves in other Realms.
older grasses, Kuraian shrubs; succulents of all kinds.
pods, Kuraian flowers, and fruits.
dry grasses, shrubs, fruits, nuts, and berries.
mildly toxic plants, thorny shrubs, tree roots; varies greatly.
bark, roots, and dead grasses.
roots, bark, dry twigs and dead shrubs; sometimes live prey.
dead grasses, roots, rotted wood.
dead plantlife, charred wood.
roots, frozen and dead grasses, bark.
tree roots and bark.
dead shrubs, roots, and bark.
specifically roots and rotting wood.
dead plants, tree bark, common demon food; varies greatly.
The kriin is a diverse and varied obligate herbivore, with very few partaking in anything but plantlife and its related elements. While many of the variants will eat Kuraian grasses as a diet staple, their feeding habits generally differ based on their specific elemental type and the region in which they commonly live. All kirin are specially suited to feed on Kuraian plants fed by the acidic rainwater or the bloodwater of their homeland's lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water, though they can - and will - adjust to other Realms' plants if so needed. Some may prefer the plants of other Realms, and become so accustomed to such a diet that they become ill upon returning to Kurai.
The kirin's only subspecies, the qilin, differs greatly. Instead of being a strict herbivore, it is an omnivore that leans towards a carnivorous diet, and often actively hunts and kills living prey to sustain itself. While it can subsist on a diet of plantstuffs, most qilin choose to feed off of meat for the greater energy such food gives.
Species info credited to Daweia, Fyfergrund, and Verridith.
Appearance An ancient demonic cousin of the unicorn, the kirin of Kurai are cervine in appearance with a light, muscular build that enables them to run at great speed for considerable distances. Thick protective scales cover their spine, shoulders and thighs, tapering into either leathery skin or soft fur. They have long manes that run from their skulls down to the middle of their back, sometimes extending further. This is often complemented by an extended tuft which usually begins halfway up their tail, though they are also known to be serpentine in appearance on rare occasions.
Kirin possess only one horn, generally antler-like with sharp points that enable them to deposit a paralytic venom in defense against predators. Sharp, split hooves can sometimes resemble claws, with a dewclaw on each ankle for defense. Multiple variants exist, based on elemental affinity; these variants all have their own unique traits and colors. Markings may be either natural, or influenced by secondary magical affinity, though their base color will always match their primary ability. All kirin are born silver, and gain alternate colors and their affinity as they age.
Air: Air-affinity kirin can be found in a variety of cool, pale colors; whites and silvers are the most common, followed by pastel colors in all hues. Markings are traditionally lighter than the base coat and scales, though darker ones have been noted. Other magic may display bright colors and patterns not normally found on an air kirin, usually more prominent than can be found in other types. Air kirin are also generally dainty of build and more lightweight than other kirin, with smooth, flat scales much like a fish.
Dark: Dark-affinity kirin come in deep colors, primarily blacks, with normally subtle markings and patterns. Their scales are often spiked, larger than others, and may have spines, frills, and burs on their bodies; sharp thorns beneath the fur are common, as are clawed forepaws instead of hooves. While their builds are average, dark kirin are traditionally quite large.
Earth: Earth-affinity kirin come in a variety of colors ranging from browns and tans to stark greens and liquid greys. Their scales are often rocky, rough, and thick while others may appear to have the consistency of wood. Natural markings are often stark and unusual, while sub-elemental patterns are rarer than in other variants. Earth kirin are the largest of the variants, with massive hooves and muscular builds.
Fire: Fire-affinity kirin come in an assortment of oranges, golds, yellows, and reds; deeper colors ranging towards blacks are also found, but are much rarer. Their markings are traditionally bold and bright no matter if they are natural or magically influenced, and may come in any color. A fire kirin's horn is always multi-branched and sharp-edged, with lines of venom-veins visible beneath the surface like glowing lava when they use their abilities.
Ice: Ice-affinity kirin can be found in shades of pale blues, pinks, and whites; silvers and purples are rarer, but can still be spotted on occasion. Very rarely, an ice kirin will be born the color of Kuraian snow - lightless black. Their manes, unlike other kirin, are almost always white with streaks of their base color filtering through. Many ice kirin will have scales cold to the touch with the texture and consistency of ice, similar to their single branching horn. Older individuals may have icicles form across their bodies, especially in colder climes, and will leave frozen hoofprints wherever they may go.
Light: Light-affinity kirin may be found in an assortment of hues; while light, pale colors are most common, vibrant hues with varied markings may be seen as well. These kirin are beautiful and lithe, their scales and horns often iridescent and glossy. Light kirin often have markings they may light up and make glow, either all at once or in patterns; older light kirin may give off subtle glow at all times. The oldest of light kirin may blaze brightly, and leave glowing hoofsteps where they tread.
Lightning: Lightning-affinity kirin often come in blues, golds and whites. Their natural markings often glow, and some may crackle with a near-constant electrical field. Their scales are sharp and often barbed, and a lightning kirin's single horn is commonly jagged and bladed. Their manes have the unique capacity to grow short and straight much like a zebra's, though many grow them out and allow them to become long and fall to one side like other variants.
Water: Water-affinity kirin come in blues, purples, blacks, and greens. Uncommonly may water kirin be born with scarlet coloration, like Kuraian bloodwater. Most water kirin have more scale coverage than others of their race; some may be entirely coated, and those with aquatic ancestry may also sport more scales no matter their true element. When touched, many water kirin seem damp and sometimes slimy, though this varies from individual to individual.
Non-Elemental:Those kirin who are born with no elemental affinity, or with non-elemental magic, appear in shades of grey with little to no accent coloration. They may have the builds and features inherited from their elemental parents, such as extra scales or rough fur coats. However, non-elemental kirin may temporarily take on other colors depending on what their magic actually is, and many have been noted to be able to actively choose their colors, much like a chameleon.
Culture As a species hunted by some of Kurai's top predators, the kirin have developed a number of societal defenses. Until about twenty years of age, by which time they have usually gained mastery over their primary magic, they travel together in small family groups. On rare occasions siblings with a close bond will stay together after this point; however, most strike out on their own, coming together only to mate.
Mixed-element family groups are common, though often stay together for less time than pure-elements do. Mixed elemental kirin groups are also sometimes discriminated against by those of pure elements, as some kirin tend to view their elements - and often lineage - as more important than their kin. Dual-element kirin are very rarely allowed near others of their kind, and may be chased away or attacked.
Each elemental variant has different tendencies, both in their family groups and without. While this does not have to be adhered to for every individual, these are the trends most elemental variants take.
Air: Seen as flighty and easily distracted. Many air kirin are noted to have short attention spans, as the perceive the world as a whole instead of focusing on one thing for too long. They may daydream when alone, making them easily spooked if startled from their musings. Air groups tend to wander more than others, and have no set territory, instead choosing the entire span of every Realm as their home.
Dark: Seen as mysterious and enigmatic. To understand a dark kirin is to know the mysteries of the night; or so it is whispered by demons in taverns. Dark-affinity kirin enjoy mental challenges and mind games, but refer to keep their personal values secret. Many may speak in riddles, and dark groups hide themselves from the rest of the world well. Territories are established, but not fiercely guarded; instead, intruders are often allowed passage without knowing the kirin was ever there.
Earth: Seen as stubborn and steadfast. Though some may perceive earth kirin as slow-witted, they are known to be very intelligent, and may not act until they've reached a hard conclusion. To befriend an earth kirin is to earn its undying loyalty; such friendships rarely break, and they are extremely protective of those they care about. Groups of earth kirin are willful, and may cross into territories without qualms, daring anyone to stop their journeying.
Fire: Seen as brave and quick to anger. Most fire-affinity kirin are courageous and arrogant, reckless and sharp of wit. Both individuals and groups are those most willing to go to war for causes other than their own, and the most likely to challenge for territory wherever they may be. They are known to be severe creatures, more attuned to action than inaction, and very few do not enjoy a good fight.
Ice: Seen as loyal and blunt. Often, ice kirin are difficult to get to know; they present a cold exterior, and many will ignore or disregard those who they don't know rather than having to interact with them. However, when an ice kirin has made a friend, they will warm to them easily and open up; they are quite loyal, and do not leave those they care for behind. Groups of ice kirin may be eerily silent upon meeting, and often go out of their way to avoid meeting others no matter the race or intent.
Light: Seen as fearless and passionate. Many think that light-affinity kirin share much in common with fire kirin; they are both brave and intense. However, where fire kirin do not necessarily need a reason to go to war, those of the light often see and adhere to their own moral code, rejecting anything they do not believe in. Groups of light kirin are self-righteous, protective, and territorial to an extreme.
Lightning: Seen as pessimistic and severe. Perhaps one of the most chaotic variants, lightning kirin are little understood and are often viewed with great puzzlement by those that wish to study them. Their personalities are often very different from one another, but always intense. Most, if not all, lightning kirin are also heavily pessimistic - they seem to be almost incapable of seeing the world in a good light, and chafe at their station as prey animals. Those rare individuals that are optimistic are often ousted from groups, and are not trusted by others of the lightning variant.
Water: Seen as easy-going and kind. Very adaptable and easy to get along with, water kirin are very fluid in their dealings - they may wander far and take no territory, or form large groups with others of their kind depending on the individuals present. Most water kirin are very accepting of others, and are willing to learn the ways of other species without any misgivings. However, those with the water affinity may also be unforgiving in dealing with those who have wronged them - especially those larger herds.
Non-Elemental: Has no tendencies; non-elemental kirin vary as much as the stars.
Abilities All kirin are equipped with a venom, held within their branching horns, that is designed to be used to defend themselves against bigger, stronger predators. To most species, this acts as a simple paralyzing agent - the one injected with such venom from a kirin's antler may spend anywhere from a handful of minutes to several hours for larger creatures, and anywhere from hours to upwards of a day for smaller, depending on the dose.
However, to demons - and demon hybrids - this venom has a much more potent effect. It paralyzes in much the same way - however, afflicted demons will also experience difficulty breathing, extreme weakness and lethargy, and if not treated by a skilled healer, will go into cardiac arrest and die. This venom bypasses the common healing genes found in some demons, and may only be counteracted by magic or kirin-made antivenom.
Most kirin have elemental affinities; those that do not fall under the non-elemental variant. While these are open for interpretation, common traits are listed below. All are weak against their opposing element, and are subjected to anything their magic is naturally immune against.
Air: Commands the element of air. Those with the air affinity are capable of nearly anything having to do with their element, and may summon anything from a breeze to a gale at will. They are very swift, and are more agile than their brethren, running faster and farther than any other type.
Dark: Commands the element of darkness. Dark kirin often can hide in their shadows, and may have their magic clinging to them at all times. They are masters of dark energies, and are the most difficult to see, hunt, and find in their Kuraian homes. While not possessed of true invisibility, they may seem to melt away into the darkness, disappearing from view and sense.
Earth: Commands the element of earth. Stronger physically than all other types, earth kirin have the ability to command earth and nature; anything from rocks and metal to nature's various plants and flora. They have thick hide and tough scales, sometimes with poisonous barbs across their bodies, fitted with better protections than most kirin.
Fire: Commands the element of fire. A kirin with the element of fire has a visible aura of heat; they may command anything from grand firestorms to the subtle heating of the area around them. They may set themselves aflame for defense, and are often too hot to touch, unless they willingly and consciously drop their physical temperature.
Ice: Commands the element of ice. Masters of arctic blizzards and freezing temperatures, ice kirin not only are able to utilize their element, but move freely within it - they are immune to extreme cold, and may even survive encasing themselves completely in ice. As a defensive measure, their core temperatures are also exceptionally low - unless raised willingly, one may experience painful frostbite from their touch.
Light: Commands the element of light. Most specialize in healing and defensive magics such as barriers and protective enchantments, but others may utilize abilities akin to explosive blasts and focused rays of cutting light energy. While most light kirin have gentle, soothing auras, they may create a dazzling flash of light from their horn, eyes, and hooves to drive away attackers.
Lightning: Commands the element of lightning. All lightning kirin may summon electricity in a variety of forms, most commonly arcing strikes from their bodies to whatever target they have in mind. Many with the lightning affinity are charged with their element; if they do not consciously dampen this, others may get shocked if they get too near.
Water: Commands the element of water. Water kirin may both generate their element at will, or pull from existing sources - be it the true water of other Realms, or the bloodwater of Kurai, it matters little. Some may have the ability to manipulate their own or others' blood, in various quantities. As a defensive measure, water kirin are often more difficult to physically catch than others - they may coat themselves in moisture, making their hides slick and slippery as an eel.
Non-Elemental: Does not command any element; instead, either has no magical ability, or has a non-elemental affinity such as reiatsu use, summoning, necromancy, etc. Many, if not all, non-elemental kirin have some form of deflection or barrier magic.
Zailen had always been a proud god, a fact he never once denied. For did he not have much to be proud of? None of the other gods of Kurai would agree, but he considered his Kingdom’s demons to be the best in the Realm. They lacked the fiercely skilled soldiers of War, the deadly assassins of Death, or the unrivalled poison masters of Pestilence, but they stood as strong as any of their rivals. But nor was Zailen entirely pleased. He watched as his demons hunted, and boasted of their skills at the hunt, but in his heart he knew their prey was unworthy of them, and gave them too little of a challenge.
In the guise of an avian, Zailen slipped away from Kurai, and walked the Realms in secret, determined to give his people prey that would be a true challenge of their skills. After seeing all the Realms, he was most impressed by the deer of Evylon, and the unicorn. He took a unicorn stallion and a doe from Evylon, then returned to Kurai. There, he took black soil, silver grass, red water, white wood, and grey stone, and placed them in a large stone basin. Then he slit the throats of unicorn and deer, letting their lifeblood flow into the basin.
As their flowing blood intermingled with the natural materials of Kurai, he took the flesh of the slain creatures, and added it in turn to the basin, together with an antler from the deer, the unicorn’s horn, and bones from each. Then he called down light from the red moon, and infused the basin with his own power. The unicorn and the deer of Evylon might’ve been worthy prey in their own lands, but this was Kurai, and his chosen prey must be able to not only to survive, but to survive here in the Realm of demons.
The water and blood in the basin boiled, and churned, melting the rest of the basin’s contents, and for a moment, the basin stilled. Patiently, Zailen waited, feeding upon the bodies of the unicorn and the deer, until a new creature rose from within the basin. Gently, the leonine god helped it climb out of the basin, and steadied it while it gained its balance. Deer-like it was, but not so delicate. Its legs were long, a single, thick, branching silver horn extended from its forehead, sharp, cloven hooves graced its feet, and thick, blood-red scales covered its sleek, athletic body. A long mane of a deep, dark red grew from the crown of its head and down its neck, and a thick tuft, as dark as its mane, sprouted from the lower third if its long tail.
All the Realm will be your enemy, kirin, and when they catch you they will kill you. But first they must catch you, runner, listener, wraith of the wild. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed, Zailen intoned. The first kirin stared at him, wide-eyed, and pranced upon its hooves before the god. But, even through the obvious fear within its gaze, Zailen was pleased to see unyielding defiance begin to burn.
"I defy you, my creator, and all who would hunt me down! But also, I honor you, my creator, for these gifts you have bestowed upon me. May no creature lower than yourself ever catch me!" the first kirin retorted, bowing deeply to Zailen before rising and racing away. Grinning fiercely, Zailen sent his chosen Lord out to hunt the first kirin, and the hunt began. However, the great stealth of Famine’s hunters failed them when the kirin sensed their coming through the very earth, and vanished after losing its pursuers through a river.
Then did proud Zailen challenge Neiren, Lethias, and Orphethas to send their Lords and hunters out to try their luck at claiming the first kirin as a prize. Lethias was the first to take up his challenge, and ordered her chosen Lord to hunt the creature down and bring death upon it. With great cunning did her hunters seek to ensnare their prey, carefully positioning themselves at key ambush spots while the Kingdom’s wolves drove the kirin before them. But the kirin’s gift of foresight allowed it to avoid the hidden hunters, and it escaped the ambush, vanishing into the wilds.
As Lethias stalked off in a huff, Neiren stepped forward to accept Neiren’s challenge, and in short order her chosen Lord was leading a great hunt out after the kirin, seeking to drive it into a blind panic by the ferocity of their pursuit. They chased it into the Maranth Dunes, where it stirred up a great sandstorm, blinding the eyes of its pursuers as it doubled back, darting between them, turning their steel-tipped arrows aside with a flick of its horn, then was gone.
Neiren stormed off in a towering rage, and Orphethas then accepted Zalen’s challenge with quiet confidence. His chosen Lord set out with a hunting party, and simply followed along behind the kirin with a steady, untiring pace, alert to any trickery, relying on their immense stamina to simply run the kirin to exhaustion. Cunning were the hunters, despite the thrill of the hunt, and they kept on the kirin’s trail for many hours, driving it towards Everfrost. Eventually, they had it cornered against a cliff, but as Orphethas turned a victorious smirk towards Zailen, he saw a knowing grin on the lion god’s face. The great hawk’s smirk vanished as he gazed back at the hunt just in time to see the kirin melt away into nothing.
It had been a mere illusion, though a very clever one, and Orphethas was forced to admit defeat. As he flew off in a disgruntled temper, Zailen, well pleased with the kirin, who had proved to be worthy prey four times over, made more of the creatures, though none were quite so gifted as the first, who bore the distinct silver horn to mark it among its fellows. Now, his people would truly be able to test their skills as hunters.
Proud as ever, Zailen watched many times as his chosen Lord led hunts out to find and kill the elusive first kirin, proud of both the skill of his Kingdom’s hunters, for they managed to claim many kirin, and in the skills and cunning of the first kirin, who both defied and honored him through its continued survival.
This Ancient First was a kirin that looked like a large, deerlike equine; he had scarlet scales and a bright silver antler, as well as a long and leonine tail. He was bold and bright, and had the ability to command both elemental magics and strong illusion.
Classification: dragonlike kirin. Location: widespread, but rare.
The qilin is a rather more draconic cousin of the kirin, predator more than prey. Though their horns lack the kirin's distinct venom and their colors show no sign of what ability they might possess, they sport harder scales and long, serrated fangs. Double-horned and cloven-hooved, the qilin sports a scaled muzzle and a luxurious mane, as well as a short tufted tail with long, thick hair. Loners, these creatures attack with a mixture of potent magic and fierce strength, using their hooves and fangs as weapons like any dragon would. Instead of being herbivores, like their kirin cousins, the qilin are omnivores - able to eat both plants and hunt animals, though a diet of mostly meat is quite common.