Thydian Cattle ("Dire Wooly Cows")

"Moooooooooo"
"What was that?"
"Sean, knock off the stunts, some of us need sleep."
"OH SHOOT!"
— Soldiers, just before a stampede

The huge, lumbering, cattle-giants of Theydim have been domesticated since at least the time of the Adrakian Empire. Written records from the early days of the Empire or before are sporadic at best, lost to history at worst.

Geographic Distribution and Domestication Attempts

While attempts have been made to have Thydian cattle herds in other parts of Soplas, the cattle tend to require more grazing room than the mountain valleys of Tormyra, more dry land than the Five Cities Region and Goltheris' grazing lands have been drastically reduces in the recent urban sprawling. Theydim has large expanses of land, such as in Felkhath, Horfadal and Southern Feroia which proved to meet the needs of the herds.

"Look at the size of that one - the hoof prints were huge, like, they were this big!"

Physical Description

The cattle are generally large sized, bulky, and covered in long hair that tends to develop into matts if the hair does not fall often enough, or is not brushed often enough. Both tend to grow long horns that sweep to the side and then forwards, while bulls grow the longer horns.

Lifespan
12-20 years naturally
Average Height
Bulls: 5-6 feet at the withers
(Wild, 4.5-5.5 feet at withers)
Cows: 4-5 feet at the withers
(Wild, 3.5-4.5 feet at withers)
Average Weight
Domestic:1100-2600 pounds
(Wild, 800-1400 pounds)
Average Length (Without Tail)
Domestic: 8.2-11 feet
(Wild, 7-9 feet)
Speed
2 Miles Per Hour (Walking)
25 Miles Per Hour (Stampede)
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities

Domesticated

Thydian cattle generally stand as being almost shorter than the average Human, at the withers. Should a stampede be triggered, they can easily crush an encampment and leave the survivors in no shape to continue funcitoning as a military.

In year 36 3A, a group of cattleherders from Flachfeld had ended an occupation attempt by Capitolist troops with a stampede, though they had to spend the rest of the winter regathering the herds and moving into winter grazing lands.

Wild Cattle

The cattle out in the wild tend to be smaller than their domesticated cousins due to the domesticated breeds being bred up for size and generally in better health than the wild ones.

Economic Uses

Food

The steers - altered bulls - raised as food are generally of the larger breeds and raised specifically to grace the plates of the wealthy. They are often herded with care as to provide the meat as much fat development as possible while keeping their muscles soft. Most are butchered at two years of age. Older Bulls, cows, or work-steers tend to have toughened meat that is best served as ground meat.

Milk cows, however, are often found at least one to a farm and with her calf nearby.

Wool

The long shaggy hair has to be brushed or occasionally cut off in large groups before it could be cleaned, carded, and then spun into yarn or other similar craft products. The cattle raised for their wool production tend to be smaller in physical size as the breeds are more focused on the wool production.

This product tends to be used in making garments, cloth products, and MakeALongListOfWoolProductsHere.

Draft

Due to their size, Thydian cattle are strong and can pull wagons or perform other tasks of hard labor involving pulling. The cattle raised more for draft purposes are sheered periodically as to keep from overheating while working, though the quality of the wool produced is not nearly as fine as what is made of the wool-bred cattle.

Most draft-cattle are steers, due to their intact brothers tending to be more tempermental despite being larger.

Horns

The horns of the wooly dire cattle break off like a deer's antlers once the horns grow to be too long for the keratin to hold up, unlike the cattle found in other parts of Corive. These shed horns are used for NameStuffHere, and button-crafting.

Cavalry

A cattle cavalry is not a common tactic used in Thydian warfare, but it has occured. Generally, the cavalry is a herd with a few riders moving at a slow pace over a long period of time until a stampede is triggered.

So long as the individual bovine has been raised and is used to carrying a person on their back, they make for reasonable mounts.


Comments

Author's Notes

This originated from a session where I had big cows as a main industry for a town. I had described their hoofs as being like, the size of my hand -- "this big" (By the way, my players, that's a SMALL HOOF from a NORMAL COW, apparently, and regular cows have ... well, bigger hooves than my hand, so uh, the hoofprint of "Tap Dancing Bessie" is much much larger) -- and had described a site that had been stampeded over, crushing a military encampment.   One player later on asked or their character made a snarky suggestion of making a cavalry from the beasts, and when I went along with it, the player was like "No, why - why are you agreeing to my stupid requests?!"   BTW - I am keeping the Dire Wooly Cows, they're amazing.


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3 Jul, 2021 00:44

You can do some cool CSS with the organization of those biproducts. If type it in like this:

 

Food

The steers - altered bulls - raised as food are generally of the larger breeds and raised specifically to grace the plates of the wealthy. They are often herded with care as to provide the meat as much fat development as possible while keeping their muscles soft. Most are butchered at two years of age. Older Bulls, cows, or work-steers tend to have toughened meat that is best served as ground meat. Milk cows, however, are often found at least one to a farm and with her calf nearby.

Wool

The long shaggy hair has to be brushed or occasionally cut off in large groups before it could be cleaned, carded, and then spun into yarn or other similar craft products. The cattle raised for their wool production tend to be smaller in physical size as the breeds are more focused on the wool production.   This product tends to be used in making garments, cloth products, and MakeALongListOfWoolProductsHere.

Draft

Due to their size, Thydian cattle are strong and can pull wagons or perform other tasks of hard labor involving pulling. The cattle raised more for draft purposes are sheered periodically as to keep from overheating while working, though the quality of the wool produced is not nearly as fine as what is made of the wool-bred cattle.   Most draft-cattle are steers, due to their intact brothers tending to be more temperamental despite being larger.
 

Horns

The horns of the wooly dire cattle break off like a deer's antlers once the horns grow to be too long for the keratin to hold up, unlike the cattle found in other parts of Corive. These shed horns are used for NameStuffHere, and button-crafting.

Cavalry

A cattle cavalry is not a common tactic used in Thydian warfare, but it has occured. Generally, the cavalry is a herd with a few riders moving at a slow pace over a long period of time until a stampede is triggered.   So long as the individual cattle beast has be raised and is used to carrying a person on their back, they make for reasonable mounts.

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape? ... If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!" —J.R.R. Tolkien
3 Jul, 2021 00:46

Ah, yes, that makes things easier as well, I was thinking of how to break them up into col3 or col for further organization.   Thank you! (It's also not CSS but is instead BBCode)

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
3 Jul, 2021 00:47

BBC Code*

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape? ... If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!" —J.R.R. Tolkien
Deity ka_jan
Jan Kaltenecker
3 Jul, 2021 00:45

Moooooooooo

"Thunder rolled. It got a 6." — Guards, Guards by Sir Terry Pratchett
Island-Inquest awaits!
3 Jul, 2021 00:53

Mooo Mooo, amiright? Or do you need more cowbell?

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Deity ka_jan
Jan Kaltenecker
3 Jul, 2021 01:00

Always needs more cowbell. That's how we know they are coming! Great work and very enjoyable read! Nothing beats an opening quote that makes people laugh :D

"Thunder rolled. It got a 6." — Guards, Guards by Sir Terry Pratchett
Island-Inquest awaits!
3 Jul, 2021 02:48

I wanted to play with something casual that turned ... not good. Stampedes are basically just walls of unstoppable hooves and mass.   And laughter is always good. I'm glad you enjoyed the article!

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
3 Jul, 2021 08:45

M god, giant cows, thats terrifying ;-;

Author of Interarcanum !
3 Jul, 2021 20:41

I know they're kind of terrifying, but they're awesome! Moooooooo! =D

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
7 Jul, 2021 23:34

Moooooooooooooooo. Button-crafting!! I love these cows and I would die for them. If they don't stampede me.

8 Jul, 2021 20:45

I'm so happy the cattle are pressing the "I love these - please don't stampede me" buttons, because as soon as I started making them, I loved them too (even as I was going a bit over the top in the initial discussion with my group ... and now they have a small cavalry force of so-called "Bull Riders")   Usually, they're pretty docile with some obvious exceptions - bulls around In-Season cows, for example, and are more skittish than aggressive.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
16 Jul, 2021 23:00

Great opening there ! MOOOOOOO!   It was an enjoyable article to read through. Also pretty neat how those stampedes were even used to defeat an army. Also funny how they had to find those afterwards again xp

Feel free to check out my River challenge article and my Secrets in the swamp Adventure article if you want to see what I am up to!
17 Jul, 2021 00:15

Finding the cattle wasn't too hard - they split off into smaller herd groups. The main challenge was sorting out whose cattle were whose, and then keeping the bulls in line, all while trying to keep everyone fed and keeping an eye on the cows to track which ones would be having calves in the spring (and for the cattle-hands, they were also trying to track the losses they'd be owing the ranch because of the stunt)   Most of the Cattle Cavalries are more ... organized than that particular example. But I figured that just about anything a horse can do, a bovine could also do. And a cattle stampede would hit a lot harder than a horse herd.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive