Lemyrkûns are a populous species on Radthel, the principal continent of Sweytz’ northern hemisphere. The creatures are one of that planets five known proto-sentient races exhibiting a remarkable, if rather childlike, intellect.
The creature is found throughout the northern hemisphere and on the largest southern continent, though in minuscule proportions with respect to those found on Radthel. While classed proto-sentient by most xenobiologists of the tri-galaxies it should be noted that none of them believe the species will ever become the principle native intelligence. The reason for this is simply the lemyrkûn’s utter lack of interest in making tools or doing more in life than playing and gathering nuts. Though it should be noted that they would be remarkably easy to elevate as they show great thoughtfulness, keen memory, as well as a remarkable aptitude and enthusiasm for any tools they are given.
Wild lemyrkûns are very fond of people and seem to take a great pleasure in showing off for admiring audiences, and so they are found frequently near homes, villages, and cities playing in trees and among rooftops.
The creature itself is a hermaphrodite, as are so many of Sweytz’ native animal life, and is marsupial. They feed entirely on seeds and nuts, and go dormant during cold seasons, though if one is kept as a pet in a warm home or warm climate they do not seem to require hibernation, but become comparatively more lethargic and sleep longer hours during the winter korvare. They are approximately a yard long from head to tail when fully mature, and have been described by many Terrans as a mad scientist blending a flying squirrel, a raccoon, and the speaker’s choice of various monkeys or a lemur. This is a reasonable description of the creature, though those who are familiar with the Kûndthêk of Glarosd would say it is a tiny one of them, hence the name which is an Oplitti construction for “Tiny Kûn”. It should be noted, however, that the lemyrkûn is in no discernible way related to the Kûndthêk race, and utterly lacks in their ferocity or strictly piscivore diet.
Due to their fun loving, gentle, and bright nature they were quickly adopted as pets among the early Sweytzian settlers and have remained one of the top ten favourite pets of the people of that system since its founding, and is always of the top five native species pets.
The lemyrkûn evolved from a primarily nocturnal species and is still mostly so in habits, though like the cats of Earth they are found active at all points of a day, and seem to sleep in naps of myriad length as needed. They do have large eyes, and seem to posses a very finely tuned echolocative capacity, studies show them able to locate grass seeds in perfect darkness with no apparent difficulties. They do not converse in the ultrasonic, however, instead reserving communications for trills, “merps” and “meeps” in a high pitched, but firmly human audible range – for reference to approximations of their vocalisations in pitch, tone, and essential sound observe young Terran kittens, or the adult stage of the Flendessu oplkite.
They are exceedingly clean animals who can usually be shown how to use various toilet facilities, or if one has a stubborn individual or an incompatible facility for their needs a litter-box will nearly always suffice, though most owners in this situation prefer to teach their pet how to use the door to go outside – the wiser installing a special door for the pet to use as it can be lightly difficult to convince then to remember to close the door afterwards and it makes it near impossible (even compared to normal) to get the curious little thing to stay out of (or in) a room.
As a proto-sentient they are banned for export from Sweytz, though some concession is made to allow citizens of the system not on the primary planet to keep the creatures, and family pets may be taken off-world by their owners. As a result the lemyrkûn has not spread much beyond the near region as a pet, nor are many outside the Sweytzian Alliance familiar with them.
Also their status as semi-intelligent does make the terms ‘pet’ and ‘owner’ slightly inaccurate. The creatures are adopted by families or an individual, but the lemyrkûn must also accept the family willingly. It should be noted that little direct enforcement of this ever occurs as it is seen as foolish in the extreme to try to take a lemyrkûn against its will. They are highly mischievous and playful at the best of times, they can become hellish dæmons of destruction and chaos until they escape or are set free if they’re unhappy. This also discourages ill treatment by those possessing one in their home who still wish to actually have a home. Treated well they are incredibly loyal, will assist (in their own way, which may or may not be actually helpful) with caring for small children, will defend their home from intruders by means of thrown objects – many a valuable heirloom vase has been save from theft by being hurled and shattered against the skull of a would-be burglar. Some even manage to teach their lemyrkûn household chores.
It is a rare home that has more than one, maybe two, lemyrkûns living in it. This is not because they fight. Rather it is for entirely the opposite reason: they’d PLAY. Those who raise lemyrkûns tend to have a home made of very sturdy materials that their hordes live in (horde being the best translation of the official Sweytzian word for a group of lemyrkûns, floghe, which is derived from flogkä – the word for a several of a kind of dæmonic spirit. Unofficially most Sweytzians just say group, bunch or some other generic plural) separate from the keeper’s own home.