Known in the hilesal language as Elrathil'heris—the Beautiful Children—unicorns are considered the loveliest creatures in Valadae. They are also of the ten ruling creature-kinds, and one of the oldest civilized kinds in the land, with a detailed history spanning back to the Elder Age.
Due to their reclusive natures and renown abilities in Light and Healing magics, they are perceived with dream-like eminence by many cultures and are a popular muse amongst the songsters and bards.
Unicorns are equine in appearance, with a small, compact body (averaging 4'5" in height from the withers), slender legs, and a long, spiralled horn protruding straight from the centre of a handsomely structured head. Both mane and tail grow to long, flowing lengths and have a light, silken texture. Hooves are small and somewhat egg-shaped and angle to a—oftentimes sharp—tip.
Males and females grow to a similar size and form, although males generally have a broader nose and cheek structure, and stockier legs.
The majority of unicorns are born with white fur and grey pigmentation of the skin, though a few bloodlines carry the rarer colouration of black fur and black skin. The rarest bloodline is what unicorns call a Goldling: a unicorn born with gold-coloured fur and flaxen mane and tail. A Goldling is able to amplify the magical prowess of other unicorns, in addition to casting their own magic with greater potency.
That unicorns are solitary creatures is a misconception shared among the general populace of other cultures. They are, in fact, highly sociable with their own kind, and live in herds averaging two dozen individuals.
Sometimes, the bloodlines of herd leaders join, and families merge to form herds of impressive number and status. The largest herd documented is that of the Great Stal-Marr, ruler of the kingdom of Whelvenlailil, and consists of over seven hundred individuals.
All unicorn herds have a three-head leadership who govern and guide the families under their charge: Alvarn the Shield, Elmieth the Counsel, and Shuunhers the Divination. The Alvarn oversees those called to protect the herd from physical dangers. The Elmieth governs the community and social health of the herd. The Shuunhers acts as the spiritual guide and High-healer. Only unicorns from a strong magical bloodline are considered candidates for future leadership roles.
The vast majority of sentient creature-kinds hold unicorns in high regard and consider them the embodiment of purity and beauty. It is deemed highly taboo for one to cause deliberate harm to a unicorn, and yet individuals known as Trappers will still seek to hunt them for an unsurpassed profit.
Unicorns, in regards to interacting with creatures from other kingdoms, tend to be withdrawn and unreceptive. They rarely venture from their familiar domains and do not often make an effort to seek outside attention. Nevertheless, their reserved nature does by no means negate their instinctual tendencies toward kindness and compassion.