Sin-Eater Goats

Sin-Eater Goat

"The Hegyembi Mine Goat is frequently called 'The Sin-Eater' but the translation--with its implication that the Hegyem use the animal in some sort of scapegoating ritual--is a very imperfect approximation. The Hegyembi word for the animal cannot be properly rendered in our alphabet, but a more accurate translation is 'goat who seeks out and devours that which is poisonous and corrupt and leaves behind only that which allows a humble man to converse with gods.' The name clearly derives from the goat's utility vis-a-vis the harvesting of Spite Bat venom. The derivative name for the beast, 'Skin-Eater,' is overall a more literally accurate appellation."
--Nurhan Sahin , Cyclopedia of Carnivorous Mountain Fauna 

Basic Information


Sin-Eater Goats are short, thickly-muscled, and shaggy. Males have large backward-curving horns. The main divergences from other goat species are the sharp spurs on their hooves, eyes that appear bloodshot, and the teeth of a carnivorous predator, including large incisors that often grow to saber-tooth tiger-like proportions.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Goats as a whole are known for their ability to eat nearly anything, but Sin-Eaters exhibit this trait to an almost unbelievable degree. Most notable, of course, is their ability to devour the poisonous flesh of the Spite Bat without suffering any debilitating effects. The only parts of the bat that they leave behind are a few of the larger bones and the venom sac.

Biological Cycle

Sin-Eaters are biologically similar to other goats in most ways. The only real differences are related to their role as Spite Bat hunters, and it's unclear whether the Hegyem trained them to hunt Spite Bats or domesticated them because of their talents for Spite Bat hunting.

Additional Information


Given the use of Spite Bat venom in some ancient Hegyembi rituals--and the difficulty of obtaining the venom without the use of Sin-Eaters--it seems likely that the Hegyem domesticated the beasts around the time they transitioned from a nomadic to a settled civilization.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Nine out of ten Sin-Eater Goats are used just like any other domesticated goat, providing milk, manure, and fiber until they're selected to provide meat, sinew, and hide. The remaining Sin-Eaters--selected through a trial that involves turning a group of kids loose in a mine or cave known to harbor Spite Bats--become mine goats. These goats accompany Hegyem miners into the tunnels where they serve as "guard goats," tracking down and eliminating any Spite Bats that could threaten the miners. As more outsiders have become aware of Spite Bat venom's psychotropic properties, the Hegyem have increasing begun training some Sin-Eaters as active Spite Bat hunters rather than passive guardians against the hateful creatures. Sin-Eaters are also used in the bizarre Kozachi Sud, or "Trial by Goat" ritual practiced by the Hegyem.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Sin-Eater Goats have an uncanny ability to track down Spite Bats, though the mechanism by which they do so is unknown. In all other respects, their senses are indistinguishable from those of other goat species.
Related Organizations

Cover image: Main Header Banner City of Ten Thousand Daggers by Steve Johnson


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