Spear Deer: Also known as Odocoileus enis, or the Sword Tooth Deer. In their natural environment, Spear Deer feed primarily off of the flowers, fruit, and foliage of the violent Yateveo tree. In order to bypass the tree’s natural defenses, the Spear Deer’s tongue has adapted into a hard-tipped projectile capable of kebabing morsels and retracting similar to a chameleon. In the rutting season, however, these tongues are used not only for fighting, but also for hunting small game to supplement diets with protein.
Petite Pudu: An already miniscule deer species bred (or magicked) into being even smaller, Petite Pudu can fit in a human palm and are primarily seen as the warmounts for equatorial pixies. Their tiny sharp antlers are decorated and barbed for the purpose. Their overdeveloped preorbital glands constantly leak a red tear-like musk, making them appear to be weeping blood. The musk is quite potent (and popular among perfumers.) It is ‘milked’ by the pixies through a sort of ocular massage (instead of killing the animal and taking the musk pod.)
Briar Elk: We are not quite certain yet if this is indeed an elk or an especially large variety of porcupine, or something else entirely. What we do know from reports is it is around 17 hands tall and is obscured largely by a large, dense coat of curly fur not dissimilar in appearance to blackberry briars they’ve been spotted near. Although one has yet to be captured, clumps of its thorn-filled fur have been found in likely bedding spots.
Mimic Muntjac: This small, omnivorous, fanged deer is similar in many ways to others in the ‘barking deer’ family. However, their vocal cords have evolved over time (or been manipulated by wizards damn them) to be capable of mimicking a wide variety of other sounds. They have been observed defensively mimicking the sounds of predators, using a wide variety of collected noises in mating rituals, and using their mimicry for procuring food using limited pack hunting. Mimic Muntjacs that live near human habitations often learn the noises of crying children, snippets of gossip, and the phrase ‘Help me.”
Rangifer dactylceros: Or the Fingerhorn Caribou. Unlike many other caribou who remain active grazers of lichen through the winter, the Fingerhorn actively gathers and caches food through the summer and fall in preparation for the winter. Their antlers have adapted into semi-flexible ‘hands’ that can grasp and hold objects for these purposes. It is not uncommon to see a Fingerhorn bull grasp a tree and shake it vigorously while a herd stands near to catch acorns or other seeds. These are shed in the spring and have led some to believe cloud giants have cut one another’s hands off in some kind of struggle.
Roe Deer: No, not those roe deer. This Roe Deer lives primarily by lakes and slow moving streams. Instead of caring for their young like other deer, the Roe Deer lays thousands of roe-like eggs to fend for themselves. The young go through a tadpole period before a few eventually grow large enough to venture onto land. Here their gills harden and change into frill-like antlers that are more a mating display than any other function. Their roe is a delicacy and religious officials have deemed them a sort of fish for the purposes of certain meat prohibitions during fasts.
Goomoose: Proof that wizards need to be kept from large mammals and birds all together, this creature was likely produced initially by some rival of the inventor of the Owlbear. You’ve probably found this somewhere else before as it is not much of a stretch to think up. Other wizards thinking themselves clever, and obviously having each thought of it first, have made a wide variety of versions. From moose with goose wings, goose head with moose body, moose antlers on a goose, a Jersey Devil-like thing with two moose legs, a goose upper body and an awful fusion of beak and snout on top. The worst of it is somehow all of them are interbreedable so the variety continues to grow. Please, please someone stop this madness.
Black Hind: White Stags are known to appear when one displeases a deity by transgressing a great taboo while in the woods (which Small God is telling on you out there?) In the reverse, a Black Hind shows up when one PLEASES a deity by transgressing a great taboo while in the woods. Given this, sometimes they both show up at once and they go off to have a Gray Fawn. Don’t worry, the deities are as confused as you are about what this might mean.
Elder Elk: There’s only ever one. They are to a Megaloceros, what the Megaloceros is to Bambi. Although mortal, the Elder Elk is semi-divine, existing as a fulcrum through which the platonic ideal of a Deer. Through them the shedding and growing of antlers, the rut, the changing of spots and coats, every changing aspect of every species flows. The Elder Elk exists in a flux between all species and sexes, appearing anew with each viewing. When the Elder Elk dies through age or violence, the next eldest deer in the world metamorphoses into its new role.
Radiance Reindeer: After a certain glowing mutation was found among Papa Noel’s population of flying reindeer, a breeding program was put in place to heavily select for this trait. Over time, a breed of reindeer with glowing nodules scattered across their bodies was developed. It turned out the glowing “nose” was some kind of luminescent benign tumor. Left alone, these lights glow a bright eye-searing white requiring them to be covered for safety when not in use. Thin amounts of paint are sometimes used to festively color the lights or spell out messages during Papa Noel’s yearly flight. They no longer take requests after the elves thoughtlessly followed a letter and spelled out “You’re Adopted!”
Gore-Horn: The misnamed Gore-Horn, as they are antlers not horns, is so named for the constant shedding and regrowing of velvet on their antlers.Velvet provides the nutrition to the growing bone that becomes the mature antlers in most species. When the antler is mature, the bone dies and the velvet molts. The Gore-Horn’s antler grow is prodigious to the extreme, causing them to go through several cycles of growth and molting in a season. As such it is rare to see a Gore-horn without a bloody mess of velvet hanging from their heads. The antlers also fall off easily, and more than one gored predator has been found with a Gore-horn’s rack wedged into their stomachs.
Deer Homunculi: Did you know that if you taxidermy a white-tailed deer’s butt and put eyes and teeth on it, you are a terrible terrible human being why would you do that oh my gaub. Unfortunately it is done and sometimes it is done by people who know alchemy. What results is these terribly little gremlins with ass-breath and a wonton lust for chaos. Redneck Warlocks like to use them as sentries, mainly by surrounding their property with corn which the little buggers have an endless hunger for. They’re cheaper and easier to make than traditional homunculi are but think of what the wider alchemical community would think!
Nithing Deer: If you wish to curse your enemies, the best way to go about it is with a Nithing Pole. Mount a horse skull on a pike, wrap it with its flayed skin, aim and curse. Egil cursed all of Norway once that way. You can do it with a deer too, but the results are less…controlled. You see, horses are, for the most part, domesticated. The magic we can channel through them is domestic magic. The magic in deer is wyld, it is the magic of glades and forests and cycles, of hiding and fearing and rutting and crashing. A horse skull nithing pole sends that horse’s spirit galloping straight and true to deliver its full curse. The deer’s spirit leaps and twists and reacts, leaving a dispersed trail of sorrow and agony in its wake.
Magnetized Deer: Deer tend to align themselves along a north-south axis while standing. Deer with high iron diets, such as those living near volcanoes or black sand beaches, will eventually become magnetized. The strength of the magnetism correlates to the size of their antlers that act as poles for the magnetic forces. Some particularly large stags have been known to violently bounce away from each from several meters away. Some urban magnetic deer have adapted to using their antlers to pull garbage cans across alleyways. There is a small but dedicated community of hobbyists attempting to domesticate the Magnet Deer to use as metal detectors. A few have started to pick up radio frequencies.
Cactus Buck: When a male deer’s ability to produce testosterone is hindered, such as injury to their testacles, it has the curious side effect of causing their velvet to not shed. Unlike the Gore-Horn which is constantly growing and shedding, one of these deer have their antlers continuously growing into strange knobbly burdens. The antlers eventually grow over their eyes, causing blindness, or grow so large that they cannot properly raise their heads or traverse through forests. THESE are actual real Wyrd Deer. To make them Wyrd and Wyld, some folks have taken to molding the growth of Cactus Buck antlers, not unlike Tree Shapers. A cult dedicated to The Many Horned Prince has been attempting to form their patron’s Sigil in the antlers of these bucks so to spread and infect viewers.
Monkey Deer Alliance: Whelp. Before starting to write this portion I know about these japanese macaques who have been reported riding on deer for fun and transportation and the deer apparently tolerated it because the monkeys groomed them and sometimes shared food. But then I came across a wikipedia article where apparently there are rising cases where the female macaques would aggressively gratify themselves on top of the deer. And y’know what? I am not certain how I feel about this being a thing I know now. So listen, you are just going to suffer with this me and think about how the deer and the monkeys eventually traded scions, formed bonds and alliances, and over time they settled their differences. Now generations later we have some kind of awful monkey-deer centaur things instead of monkeys or deer. Moneers? Deekeys? I don’t know dude but this isn’t a world I want to traverse that’s for sure.
Salt Doe: As we all know, Bears are born as lumps of clay that their mothers lick into shape. A few canny deer, tired of their newborn fawns being eaten by predators, figured out a similar trick. Doe living near large salt and mineral deposits can over the course of a season lick one or two fawns out of the rock. In a bad season, the doe can merely leave their fawns unfinished until better times. A few entirely female populations of deer have popped up next to abandoned salt mines. After predators moved in on one of these populations, several moose-sized mega-stags were generated within days.
The Royal Deer: Once upon a time there was a princess and she was turned into a deer by an evil wizard. Or there was a prince and it was a witch. Maybe it is some other mix. Anyways, a long time ago some royal got changed into a deer. Instead of bothering to break the spell, maybe it was unbreakable, the court crowned the beast and turned the silvia regis into their monarch’s new home. A careful line of descent is kept and occasionally especially stately does and stags are introduced from other royal estates. The current Hind-Queen or Hart-King is lavished over and decorated in adapted royal finery. Any decrees that requires their approval are signed by hoof-print and any decisions made with a choice of acorn adorned placards. Spreading any rumors that the King/Queen had been poached or that the Viziers are full of shit are hanging offenses.
Furfur and Perytons: You’ve probably heard of them both. Furfur is a demon Earl of Hell, known for his power over storms and his power over the love affairs of mortals. Also known for being a big man-stag with batwings. Perytons, on the other hand, are genocidal iridescent deer with bird’s wings from Atlantis. Here’s the connection. When Atlantis was doomed to fall, under the storms and vengeance of whatever deity, a collection of Atlantians made a pact with Furfur to survive the onrushing tide. Each were expected to sacrifice a life for their life but were unwilling to pay with their fellow Atlantians. Furfur therefore gave them the devil’s bargain. They were transformed into these splendid beasts but cursed with the thoughts and desires and knowledge of their own humanity–but unable to act upon them or communicate at a human would. They cast their human shadow as a sign of this entrapment. The only escape is the taking of a human life, where upon their own soul is supposedly released and the Peryton becomes merely a strange animal. Furfur, of course, did not disclose that this necessary murder give him a claim over that Atlantian soul.
Glitch Gnu: The G’s are both silent. Here’s the thing. Camera’s do not glitch. What they capture is true at that moment. The six eyed sleipnir-thing with 6 antlers. The doe whose mouth is open enough to swallow a child. The fawn with two heads, one sprouting from its chest like a tumor. The moose whose legs just keep getting longer. It might not have been what was there when the trail cam turned on, but it is what is out there now. At one time it was only through mirrors that they could come in, reflecting simple truths in their simple forms. But we have provided the means for real monsters to take shape.
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