What are Torch Hounds qualified as?
Where did they originate from?
They share a common ancestor with Diamond Dogs hence their canine features but due to seperation and different environmental pressures evolved differently to posses a horse like posterior.
Can torch hounds swim?
They can! Most animals have an innate knowledge of swimming. They're not particularly fond of water however as it is not usually found in large bodies underground.
Do torch hounds like cake?
Who doesn't like cake?
Do torch hounds have a special way of communicating when not speaking, like from a distance, or like morse code?
Basic messages can be sent from large distences by varying flashes of glow patches. However this is uncommon as large open spaces are not common within the tunnels and sound carries very well.
Do they have a sense of individuality?
Yes. Torch Hounds can look very similar and work closely together but their individuality comes from their vocalisations. Each individual's voice is presented as a different colour and texture through their synesthesia that is completely unique to others.
Do they have music?
In a sense. Music to them is partly visual due to their synesthesia, it may consist of simple clicking noises or be a full blown chorus of voices depending on the message and emotion involved. Although the value and meaning of this is likely lost on other species that cannot experience the visual side.
What are some activities that Torch Hounds participate in? Do they like sports? Do they sing and dance? Do they just dig all day long?
Activities vary per indivdual, some Torch Hounds collect items to barter, explore new areas or even collapse tunnels for amusement.
Are there any specific things that Torch-Hounds tend to stay away from, other than direct sunlight?
Large bodies of water, digging too close might accidentally flood a tunnel.
What do Torch Hounds usually eat? What is their favorite natural food?
Tree sap and paper.
Why Tree Sap?
Tree sap has a very high sugar and mineral content, living underground doesn't bear much food apart from other animals, bugs and the overhanging roots of trees. Tree sap is a renewable source of food plentiful through out the tunnels and rather tasty. For a Torch Hound.
Since Torch Hounds live underground, do they also feed on bugs that you find underground, like beetles, worms and such?
Torch Hounds are primarily vegetarian with salt lick suppliments for necessary minerals. Insects etc. are usually avoided unless food is scarce and they have no choice. They're crunchy and eww.
Can Masks be taken off or are they a permanent thing?
Masks are permenantly fixed to the skull and are periodically shed like the carapace of a beetle as they grow. A soft layer of tissue beneath the bone mask calcifies and cracks the smaller mask which can then be removed.
Is there a substantial difference between male and females of the species?
Males are physically larger and possess much 'colder' colours (blue, green, purple etc) of glow patch than females. Apart from physical properties males also exhibit more territorial behaviour and tend to be more competitive.
Do they howl like wolves or have pretty songs/vocalizations they use to communicate over long distance?
Being part canine they're perfectly capable of howling when communicating. Sound within tunnels travels very well and in certain cases mysterious songs can be heard echoing around caves in Equestria.
Are there manes always this fluffy?
Underground tunnels are quite cold and can be damp. The thick floof is to keep them warm especially when digging through soil and occassionally; in the winter, ice.
Are they allowed to have designs painted on the bone mask?
Mask customisation with paints is quite common on special occassions however paint tends to smudge and wipe off when digging and so is rarely worn as an every day accessory.
Can the bone masks have horn-like (Or antler-like) attributes? Maybe for drilling/digging or maybe even fighting?
Horns severely reduce a Torch Hounds ability to manouver through small areas. Many tunnels require crawling and have overhanging roots that can get caught and tangled effectively trapping individuals. It is a sever disadvantage to have horns on your mask.
What is there general IQ?
It varies per individual, an average would be from 70 - 120.
Are torch hounds capable of having none working light patchs or very dim light patches that don't help with seeing?
Malnutrition will prevent the synthesis of glowing pigments within their skin that can lead to dull glows and some rare genetic diseases can prevent the body from forming the pigment also.
Are torch hounds limited to having glowing markings only, or can their entire coat be glowy?
Entire coats glowing can be a severe disadvantage among Torch Hound Society, from living underground their eyesight is sensitive and too much light even from glow patches can cause loss of vision.
Is it possible for glowing markings to be on the bone mask?
It is uncommon as the mask is bone and retains pigments poorly but if the developing soft tissue beneath is capable of synthesising glow pigments then it is possible it may be retained when the tissue hardens.
In terms of their markings, can the shape of them be anything? Like, for example dice? Or something intricate like celtic knots, or is it limited to simple shapes (circles/rectangles/triangles, etc.)?
Excessive markings means more pigment needs to be synthesised, this takes energy and resources. More complex markings mean the individual will have to eat more to maintain their glow patches which can be a severe disadvantage in times of famine. It is beneficial to be simple.
Do Torch hounds have different species branches like the ponies? (Earth pony, Pegasus & Unicorn/Alicorn)
No, their species is more uniform as their habitat is similar all over Equestria. Communities within warmer areas such as deserts are likely to have less floof and wider feet for walking on sandy terrain, this is the extent of species branches.
What determines the colour of glow patches? Is it the shining through the skin or is it variations in the glow chemical?
A mixture of genetics, diet and temperature. Certain coloured pigments can only be synthesised using chemicals that can only be obtained through eating certain foods. Torch Hounds also show a natural progression of colour change as they get older, glow tending to be brighter when younger and cooling with age.
You said that they could go blind, but to what extent would it take to make them blind? And can they ever adjust to normal daylight at ALL? Ever?
Direct sunlight can be devastating, their eyes are adjusted to low levels of light. Chronic exposure to levels of light on an overcast day can cause cumulative damage to the eye. Living on land would likely cause them to adapt to high levels of light but it would take hundreds of years through the process of evolution.
Do all Torch-Hounds dislike light? For example Loki doesnt mind it, how about the others?
Disliking light is different to being able to physically tolerate it. There is a stigma against it as to the damage it causes. A blind Torch Hound cannot experience the full extent of their culture as sound and emotion are closely interlinked with the visual stimulus they recieve through their synesthesia.
What are the Torch-Hound Tunnels like? Do they live in a very big tunnel with separate smaller caves as their own, or they live together, or alone?
In large groups of Torch Hounds typical tunnel structure is one large communal chamber; often carved into rocks or incorporated with caves, with branching tunnels that lead to private burrows for families. Traveling tunnels themselves vary in size from large groups able to walk through to ones that you might have to crawl through alone.
Are torch hounds monogamous?
They're like penguins, they mate for life.
Is their sexual reproduction just like every other animal or is it different?
Like any mammal you might see on the Discovery Channel.
Do Torch Hounds have a mating season? if so do Female's or Male's change their behavior, characteristics? Like markings change colors etc?
Much like ponys courting can happen at any time of the year. There is no physical change when trying to woo another but behaviour may change showing possessiveness and a need to impress.
What is the relationship between Mother and Father Torch-Hounds? Do they stay together and love each other? Or are they more like wild animals in a sense, having babies and then moving?
Couples generally stay together till they depart although there are always exceptions.
Do they live in packs? And if so how large?
How they live is personal choice, many Torch Hounds live in interconnected tunnels forming a community of friends and family. Groups tend to be small numbers ranging from a couple to roughly a dozen although in habitats with caves incorporated as large communal areas groups tend to be larger.
Are Torch Hounds born in litters like cats or dogs?
Not specifically, Hounds are generally born by themselves but a single mother can produce up to three children at a time.
If by some slim chance there was a Torch Hound fight, how would they fight?
They posses claws, sharp teeth and a strong solid skull, typical fights likely involved head butting and biting and in certain circumstances kicking.
What kind of family structure do they have? Patriarch, matriarch? Pack, pride, tribe? Do they live with the family they were born in, do the young leave to make their own pack?
Families are generally very close with the oldest male and female presiding over the others as family leaders. Females leave their family and join their mates when they become a couple.
What is the relationship between Diamond Dogs and Torch-Hounds? Do they like/hate/tolerate each other?
They tend to tolerate each other, Torch Hounds don't hold jewels to the same value as they do.
Do all torch hounds live near ponies or do some of them live far away and don't like ponies.
Torch Hound tunnels stretch all over Equestria, how near they are to ponies depends on the depth and location. Some Torch Hounds dislike ponies and choose to live in more remote areas but there is a large portion of the population that don't mind their existence.
Do they interact with ponyfolk?
Occassionally when they need things that life underground cannot provide such as certain medicines, books and on occassion tools and technology.
Are their tribes separated- would they have "wars" over territory or other things, or are they in general peaceful easy going creatures that have no set boundaries?
They are typically passive when it comes to conflict preferring to settle it with as little bloodshed as possible, only fighting to defend themselves when they have to.
Do they have their own currency?
They do not. Anythng they need to obtain they do so through bartering of jewels found in tunnels, information and services they can provide.
How are they named?
Names are usually only one syllable and are more a descriptive noice, colour and emotion than a normal pony name.
Do Torch Hounds have an enemy?
You will have to wait and see...
Do torch hounds have a religion/god/deity/king/queen like how the ponies have Alicorns?
Not particularly, their morals stem around what is good for their people rather than a power out of their control and their civilization is led by the elder members rather than a monarch.
Where do Torch hounds get their knowledge from? Pure instinct, or is there a library somewhere deep underground?
A mixture of family teachings and instinct. Important information and values are kept in a crystal vault; the special cyrtsals absorbing the sound and colour of a Torch Hounds voice to be released when needed.
Are the glowing markings a sign of rank? Like, the more markings, the more respect?
No, there isn't really a discernable rank within Torch Hound society.
How do you feel about adoptable sheets?
I'd prefer not to have adoptables, my species if free and if a person cannot be bothered to design their own then should they really have one? If it's not really yours it's harder to love.
Could someone make a "sister species" which came from the same roots as Torch Hounds but evolved differently?
I'd need more information but from this vague information I'm hesistant to allow it.