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Black Stout

Livestock of the Cradle of Clay

The echoing holler of cattle drapes the rolling hills as the sun crests, shedding a glowing light over grass touched by the fall's chill. Men and carts creak as they make their way to the corrals, the spoils of their Harvest bounty held, ready to feed and fatten those creatures that will feed them through the cold winter months when little grows beneath the snow cover. As the sun rises further, the bellowing creatures quiet as hay and grain are layered within their troughs, their stomachs already filling with the things that will later become the cud they chew as they watch the day pass.   Long before the bellies of the Clay Giants are filled, they tend to their animals, filling troughs, counting heads, and doing the sometimes menial work of making sure that those creatures within their care are healthy and safe. The Black Stout are the easiest to fulfill these chores with, as their corrals are close to the villages where their keepers live. The size of these cattle is not enough to deter predators like the Tatanka, nor do they have the large hooves of the Hillbreds that keep most that wish them harm in check. For the Black Stout, they must be protected by fences and men, weapons and fire. Even so, the hard work is worth it to the Clay Giants, one of the few groups in the world that partake in animal husbandry.   As the days become cooler and the skies change to a stormy, chilly grey, the shaggy coats of the Black Stout become the dark colors that granted the beasts their names. Some might call these beasts overgrown or unkempt, but this thick mop of hair is what protects them when the days become the coldest and the snows reach high up their legs. Even the littlest ones, just born, have a shaggy coat, but they also hide under their mothers' bellies, waiting for the Clay Giants to bring food for the others and protect them from much more than just the cold.

Basic Information


The Black Stout are considered ruminant creatures with four stomachs that allow them to digest food stuffs like grass, grain, and other things that they may eat. For much of the day, these creatures will chew cud so that everything gets digested correctly. Even so, these animals often have a strict diet in order to create the correct conformation so that they can be bred and used for meat and other goods.   These animals are much smaller than Tatanka, with the males reaching lengths up to six and a half feet from head to rump, while the females reach lengths of up to about five feet. These beasts can reach little more than four feet tall at the withers, and a weight of over fourteen hundred pounds in males and almost one thousand pounds in females. Their size makes them perfect livestock for Clay Giants and those Humans that live near the Cradle of Clay.   During the winter months, the coats of the Black Stout become darker and shaggier, providing a great deal of warmth and protection against the weather. In the summer, they shed some of the coat, the darker portions of hair falling out to reveal a lighter brown coat, that while still shaggy, is much thinner and cooler in the summer. In some instances, their coats become so shaggy, that it is difficult to see their eyes or even their horns.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Cradle-Fed Beef
Cradle-Fed Beef can refer to meat from either the Black Stout or the Tatanka from the Cradle of Clay. While this meat is a staple of Clay Giants' diets, it is also one of the largest exports from the area other than Arcane Dust.
Although the Clay Giants raise a variety of animals, Black Stout are by far the most common as they serve as the largest produces of Cradle-Fed Beef in the Cradle of Clay. This term refers to any meat from Black Stout or Tatanka, but in most instances, people will rarely call meat from the Tatanka Cradle-Fed Beef as its consumption is not as common or widespread.   After the summer months and Harvest, grain that was gathered during Harvest will be fed to the Black Stoat to shore up their confirmation for breeding season to keep the herd strong, as well as to increase the chances of better marbling in the meat once it is harvested from the cattle. A special blend of grain, grass, and other foods are fed to the animals to fatten them, but not to a point of detriment.   Because of the availablity of Cradle-Fed Beef, it is a staple of nearly every meal in the Cradle of Clay. In some instances, it is supplemented with meat from Tatanka or wild game meat, but this is rare as nearly every village has a herd of Black Stout kept in a corral close to the entrance of the village.   Milk from these creatures is also staple on most tables and it often falls to some of the children to milk the cows while the adults take care of the morning chores. Extra milk is then stored in glass jars or other vessels, but rarely is their any left. Most families try to only take what they need for the coming meal.
Black Stout
Named for the dark color of their coats during the winter, the Black Stout are often kept by the Clay Giants to produce meat and milk. Their heavy coats and stout bodies allow them to survive the changing weather in the Cradle of Clay.
15 to 25 years
Average Height
3 ft to 4 ft at the withers
Average Weight
990 lbs to 1450 lbs
Average Length
62 in to 81 in
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities


Much like the Hillbreds, the Black Stout are gentle creatures, unless threatened, and are often handled by children. Some children will ride them around and even treat them as pets. It is common for many in the herd to have names and bells or neckware given to them by the children of the village.   Horses are trained amongst them throughout the year to be ready to deal with herding the Tatanka to their winter pastures during the Tatanka Roundup. While the Black Stout are more lowkey and calmer, some horses react poorly to them and only those that have proven themselves with the Black Stout are able to work during the Tatanka Roundup.


Author's Notes

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16 Mar, 2023 15:58

I like that they shed their coat in summer so they are cooler. I love the name of the cattle breed too. Black stout is perfect.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
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