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Lumbeque

The untamed wilderness is home to many beasts, but few are as wild and untamed as the Lumbeque. Considered a symbol of freedom by those who have seen one, Lumbeque are huge, magical beasts that spend every waking moment photosynthesizing sunlight into the energy it needs to gallop at brilliant speeds. Lumbeque hosts features of both flora and fauna and – by virtue of their nature – do not live longer than a few days and do not respond to any attempts of animal husbandry while in captivity. 


Lumbeque are reared maternally, but do not stay in family units beyond the foal’s third year. These three years are characterized largely by single mothers watching over the foal and challenging it to races to help it develop its muscles. That said, massive herds – known as rattles for the rattling sound of branches that compose their bodies  – are known to form in the morning of every summer solstice – the year’s longest day – where all the Lumbeque in a 50 mile radius not actively rearing a foal come together to graze and race. It remains unclear why lumbeque form these rattles, but individuals can be seen greeting their maternal caregivers even after years apart. 


Branches that Rattle

As mentioned, Lumbeque are mysterious creatures with a peculiar tradition. Every summer solstice, all the Lumbeque come together to form a super herd known as a rattle. Wizards and druids travel from all over the Creaton Kingdom and beyond to observe this communal behavior and study its purpose. Not much is yet known, but what is observed seems to suggest a kind of intelligence not seen in other equine species. 


Rattles always form at the same time of day every year, just as the sun rises above the horizon, but before the dew has evaporated off the grass. Rattles form in this way and mingle from sunrise until sunset with the time in between defined by races, grazing, and playful exchanges. Rattles often congregate in fields, but some druids have noticed they will assemble in old, damaged, or recently logged woodlands where the trees can no longer grow leaves or the grass is lost to mud and stone. Either way, in the days that follow a rattle, new saplings begin to grow where the herd had been. This phenomenon is referred to as lumbeque grave settling and is thought to be one of the main reasons rattles form – for young lumbeque to share a goodbye with their aging, dying matriarchs.


Freerange

There is not a single story of a lumbeque being successfully captured and trained in any way. By some fluke of their nature, the wood that makes up a lumbeque’s musculature immediately begin to wither and dry out like kindling upon being contained by any worked stone, steel, or wood. In a matter of days, a captive lumbeque will spontaneously crackle into flame and pass away. Heroes seen astride a lumbeque describe a relationship with the beast – one that is mutual in both service and respect. Many such adventurers report having made promises to the lumbeque – though they know not how the beast can understand them – having helped a wounded one heal, or having been wounded themselves and pleaded for aid. Such unions never include bridles nor stables and the lumbeque are summoned from the forest at the call of a friendly adventurer.



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