These massive, six-legged creatures stand three times as tall as a man, and twice as long. Their long, shaggy hair ranges in color from light brown to solid black, though legend tells of an albino lashon born into every generation. The broad necks of the lashon are set low in their shoulders, both so they can easily reach the ground to feed and to support the enormous antlers protruding from either side of their wide head.
Lashon live in herds of several hundred. They are most commonly found on the plains from which they received their name, as well as the plains of Yannawy and Duluth. Lashon are always on the move. They must graze constantly in order to fuel their massive bodies, and if they don’t keep moving, they quickly deplete the region of all its grass.
During the annual mating season, male lashon fight for dominance by butting each other in a sort of tournament that results in a single male winning out over the rest of the herd. This male is the “alpha.” He has the first pick of mates and leads the herd for the next year. The alpha and his immediate family are at the leading edge of the herd, so they get the grass that is fresh and untouched. Those who follow have to graze on whatever is left over. The weak and old are at the back of the herd, so they have to make do, and are easy prey for predators.
Female lashon give birth to a single calf, which they feed their milk for the first eight weeks. Calves milk while they walk, since the herd is always walking. If a calf can’t keep up, its mother may slow her pace somewhat, but if the calf slows its mother to the rear of the herd, with the old and weak, its mother has no choice but to leave it behind.
When a predator is sighted, the herd follows the alpha’s lead. If the alpha turns to face the predator, the rest of the herd grows aggressive and attacks with their hooves and antlers. If the alpha turns tail, the herd stampedes away from the predator. Regardless of the alpha, any predator that threatens a calf will face the fearsome antlers of the calf’s mother.
Humans of the plains hunt the lashon for their meat, bones, and thick hides. The meat from a single lashon can feed a family of two dozen for a week, its bones are used as tools, and its hide can provide shelter, clothing, and even simple shields. Hunting lashon is dangerous business. Smart hunters only pursue them on horseback, and shoot the ones in the rear of the pack with bow and arrow. If they’re lucky, the herd won’t even miss the stragglers.
The plains of Duluth are home to the “horned lashon,” which are smaller than their cousins. Instead of antlers, these lashon sport numerous bull-like horns from their heads and shoulders.