Creature Name: The Bearded Goat.
Rumoured to have original originated from Karzim the bearded goat is the result of countless generations of selective breeding by the dwarfen race. This selective breeding program had bred several different species of goat, each boasting beneficial and superior racial trait/s, to naturally create an animal able to meet and supply all the farming requirements of the Children of Cetheron.
The bearded goat has the capacity to grow the longest beard known in the animal kingdom on any known animal. With a beard measuring a foot in length the bearded goat is easily distinguished from other species of the goat family. The average bearded goat measures easily three foot in length nose to tail, standing upon four hoofed legs two foot in height and weighing on average around 60 to over 80 pounds, the bearded goat has been selectively bred by the dwarfen race to fulfil all their farming requirements. It should be noted that the male sex of the species, especially the unfertile ones, are considerable larger than their female counterparts.
Like every member of the goat family, the bearded goat has horizontal slit-shaped eyes and pupils, an adaptation which helps the bearded goat see within the total darkness of the Motherwell; where a large amount of these animal traditional live. Easily the most distinguished feature of the bearded goat, other than their long beards, are their bright red eyes, a natural occurring result of their infravision. However this obvious advantage within the darkness of the Motherwell, being able to see heat, brings peril upon the surface world where these creatures have recently been introduced. Being only able to see with infravision means that within light of day bearded goats’ abilities to spot predators such as the Great Panther is greatly diminished.
The face of the bearded goat is dominated by a large snout like nose with two slit nasals which enables the bearded goat to detect the faintest of smells from many miles away and is the main defence of the bearded goat. Two short, stubby ears and wattles, one dangling from each side of the neck, complete the picture of the face of the bearded goat.
There is no defining colour for a bearded goat, and it is not uncommon for them to have intermixing colours in a varied of different patterns and styles. The tail of the bearded goat, a characteristic of the goat family, is short no more than several inches long and points upwards. Unlike the majority of the goat family, however, both sexes of the bearded goat have horns. These horns, like other horned-animals such as stags, are used by the bearded goats for both defensive and display purposes. When butchered the horns of the bearded goat are used as poor commoner’s drinking cup.
Living anything up to ten patterns, the female sex of the bearded goat can start breeding as young as one era of age and than continually each era until death. The breeding season of the bearded goat begins early springs and last for around four cycles until about early summer. After a gestation period of around 150 brightenings, a female bearded goat will on average give birth to a litter of between two to four kids, the name given to baby goats, every era.
When born bearded goat kids are completely white and have fully developed eyes. The kids will only begin to develop their personal, unique coloured fur upon reaching the age of maturity; around six months of life. The newly born will live on a combination of their mother’s milk and grass for the first three months of their life until progressing to a diet of grass and other plant life alone.
Found predominantly within the borders of the Centripax Province of the Aelyrian Kingdom, the bearded goat’s natural habitat is rocky mountainous terrain both upon and below the surface of the Telath. It should also be noted that a large number of these species can be found near Enamorian/Sherian border and eastern Arakmat Province this is as a direct result of the large number of dwarfs found within these regions.
Organization and Lifecycle:
Being a partly domesticated animal the organisation of the bearded goat follows certain guidelines. Almost always found/kept within small herds dotted around the countryside/Motherwell, theses herds usually number between the regions of ten to twenty bearded goats. The usual structure/make-up of a typical herd is one led by a dominate female with one fertile male, the rest being young gelded non-sexual male and females of every age.
The structure of the herd remains the same throughout the majority of the era, barring illness and/or unforeseen deaths. The only time of the era in which the structure changes is during the birthing season usually between late summer/early autumn. It is at the point that the dominate male and any other unfertile males are separated from the herd and placed within a separate enclosure/field. The reason behind this separation is to lessen the discomfort of the female bearded goats during this painful and distressing period of time. Once the newly born are several cycles old the male bearded goat is reintroduced into the herd.
The gelding of the young male usually occurs during the first few brightenings after their birth. Upon deciding which males are to be kept for breeding purposes, the ‘unlucky’ males are normally made unfertile by the use of ‘banding’. This is where a band is tired around their testies so cutting off the blood supply to their sexual organs. After a few brightenings their testies shrivel up and drop off. This process is totally painless and harmless for the young males.
The bearded goat, like every member of the goat family, is ruminants. Being ruminants means they have a four-chambered stomach consisting of the rumen, the reticulum, the ornasum and the abomasum. Having this four-chambered stomach means that the digestive system of the bearded goat is capable of digesting a wide range of organic substances even some that are natural poisonous to most races and animals; which is of great benefit to them within the eternal darkness of the Motherwell.
Although able to eat from a varied diet upon the surface world, the bearded goat mainly prefers to eat a diet of grass, plants and other such members of the botanical world. However while in the Motherwell, where choice of food is somewhat limited, the bearded goat’s diet is more defined with them mainly eating Azhnal-Felek, or to use its common tongue name Glowing Moss. This Glowing Moss, while poisonous to most known races and animals, has been precisely cultivated by the Children of Cetheron to provide adequate substances to their animals.
There are, however, certain minor side effects to the bearded goat in eating such a poisonous plant. Although the poisonous nature of the Glowing Moss is somewhat diluted by the four-chambered stomach of the bearded goat, the meat of the bearded goat is still slightly poisonous to non-dwarfen who don’t have the natural dwarfen resistance to poison; although it should be noted that this poisonous nature is only life threatening in large quantities. This poisonous nature may also be the reason behind the somewhat sour taste of the bearded goat’s milk; although this product is in no way harmfully to anyone/thing.
The bearded goat needs in order to survive, on average; about 20% of its body weight each and every brightening from any and all sources of food.
The bearded goat is near totally defenceless from any predator of size within the world of Aelyria; both above and below ground. Although they do possess two large horns upon their skull, these horns are more for displaying purposes only and the main defence of the bearded goat is their herders/shepherds whom sole task is to guard this peaceful animal from harm.
Inherent Resistances and/or Immunities:
Bearded Goats, being only partly domesticated animals, are somewhat resilient to pain and can survive in anything but the most testing of climate conditions, for an extended period of time. Other than this, bearded goats have no special inherent resistances or immunities.
One of the primary reasons for the bearded goat being selectively bred by the dwarfen race was to supply their communities with fresh, cheap meat. Given the nature of the ancient dwarfen homelands, mountainous, rocky and severely lacking in wide, open grasslands resulted in the Children of Cetheron concentrating on raising an animal in which they gained the most amount of meat for the least amount of grazing ground.
It is therefore understandable to learn that goat meat is the main meat used in dwarfen cruise and is by in large the cheapest meat, the average price for a goat steak being seven silvers per lbs, within heavily dwarfen populated cities/regions. Other parts of the bearded goat, other than the obvious surface meat, can be eaten. In particular the liver of the bearded goat is believed, in some minor quarters, to be an aphrodisiac and is therefore highly sort after.
The fleeces of bearded goats are used heavily within dwarfen society as a means of producing a cheap and useful cape/cloak ideal for outside use. Due to a combination of their softer hairs near the skin and longer ‘guard’ hairs near the surface, means that such cape/cloaks retain heat and repel water naturally; making them highly particle for the mountainous terrain of the dwarfen race’s tradition homeland and the wide range of weather experienced there.
As well as using their fleeces the Children of Cetheron also use the bearded goat’s wool in wide and varied amount of ways. Being able to be shorn twice an era, yielding on average around ten pounds each time, the wool of the bearded goat is used to make numerous items of clothing from shirts to jumpers. Although not as plentiful as the wool off a sheep, the large amount of these creatures herded by the dwarfen race has resulted in clothing made out of this wool being both plentiful and cheap.
What is of special attendant is the long beard, which gives the bearded goat its name, and the special properties it boasts. This beard hair although even less plentiful than the wool the bearded goat is bred for, possess certain elements, somewhat akin to the protection offered by leather, that when woven creates a shirt/jumper of unusual protective properties. However it should be stated that any attack by an axe and/or heavy weapon this protection is severely limited.
Like the majority of animals within the world of Aelyria, the female sex of the bearded goat produces milk all era long. Milk production varies with age, quality and diet of the female bearded goat but on average around 3 – 5 pints of milk a brightening is produced. The diary needs of the dwarfen race are provided by the bearded goat than the more commonly widespread use of cows upon the surface world. The main causes/reasoning behind the use of goats instead of cows is the limited amount of grazing land available to the dwarfen race. The milk produced by the bearded goat has a creamy if somewhat sour taste. The average price for a pint of goat’s milk is 4 silvers.
Using the same process as any other milk, bearded goat’s cheese is created by a cheese churner and several candlemarks of hard work. Being made from somewhat sour milk, bearded cheese has a strong, musky smell and a very unique taste. One of the strongest cheeses available upon the market, the strong taste and smell of the bearded goat’s cheese is a delicate throughout the dwarfen world and to any other foolhardy race willing to try it. Goat’s cheese is white in colour.
Ever a race to use every resource available to them, the dwarfen race’s main soap is also a by-product of the bearded goat. Rendering the bearded goat’s fat with bile and gastric juices produces a form of laundry soap. This soap, although lacking an expansive and nice smell that appeals to a higher class market, ‘does the job’ and is found within most dwarfen homesteads.