Time to set the facts straight about this four-legged sentient creature with a long spiral horn on its forehead.
If Gentle Reader were to cast a searching spell about unicorns in our fantasy world called internet, the spell would say that unicorns are made-up bits of fantasy fluff.
Lita says horse feathers (with apologies to Pegasus) about that parcel of nonsense.
The upcoming story Glitter Ponies tells about Lady Luck’s daughter helping Wizard Kadmeion discover the cause of a mysterious unicorn illness. It will be a while until Kadmeion’s airship travels to floating Wuddlekins Island to visit the unicorn herd, so here are some facts from the wizard’s Bestiarum Vocabulum.
Appearance and Magical Ability
Unicorns are the size of ponies with red, black, or white coats. They share the physical features of horses and goats: they have manes, long flowing tails, cloven hooves, and many have a goat-like beard.
Their single grooved spiral horn sprouts from the middle of their forehead and has a lace work of holes. When a unicorn whips its head, air whistles through its horn. Elf spells mimic the haunting and beautiful unicorn horn whistles.
A powerful elf magician (or a wizard under special circumstances) can enchant an entire unicorn herd and coax the animals into bobbing their heads in unison. The mage then uses the unicorns’ combined whistles to fuel potent spells.
Unicorns are a paradox of gentle and aggressive behavior. Elf magicians service unicorn herds to temper the extremes of unicorn comportment.
About the Pure Girl Fascination
The unicorn is a wild woodland creature and is the magical incarnation of purity and grace. Its preferred magicians are young female virgins, elf-kind of all ages and worldly experience, and fey-folk.
The shy unicorns avoid other magic types (such as human wizards, demons, or clockwork automatons) unless a mage has substantial intervention with the unicorns’ favored magic (i.e. virgin, elf, or fairy spells).
The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it. – Leonardo da Vinci
A unicorn is especially vulnerable to the Pure Girl Fascination. The best way to entrap a unicorn is to ask an innocent young lady to join the hunt.
About the Narwhal Horn Issue
A land-based unicorn sheds its horn, also called an alicorn, naturally in late winter.
In addition to virgins, unicorns have a magical vulnerability to salty water. When it swims in the sea, a unicorn turns into its aquatic form called a narwhal. A narwhal retains its horn, but otherwise resembles a dolphin. If a narwhal washes ashore in the Clockpunk Wizard world, it dries out and takes on its land-based pony form.
Commends [the unicorn horn] against the bite of a mad dog and other mischievous beasts, [and] also of worms…[Make] cups of it…[that] they might defend themselves against poison, drunkenness, cramp, falling sickness, and other malignant diseases. – Joannes Jonstonus, translating the text of Conrad Gesner
The alicorn has many magical, medicinal, musical, and decorative properties. The narwhal horn also has the same magical properties as unicorn’s pony horn.