Tokha are a species of mammals that are kept as livestock by the Kaumogg societies in the Central Erana Mountain Range. They are creatures similar to sheep but a bit smaller in size. Their fur is dark grey and very thick. They are not especially cleanly or engage in social grooming but naturally shed their fur in spring and another time in summer to get rid of dirt. The first shedding is usually more intense and offers more wool, but the second shedding offers cleaner and finer wool. Tokha have cloven-hoofed feet offering them a stable stance on rocky surfaces and reducing the risk of injuries. Unlike sheep or goats they do not have horns but rather antlers which might hint at them being related to deer. The antlers are shed yearly in late winter. They only grow back after the first shedding in spring. It is not possible to tell the sexes apart by looking at them as males and females both have antlers. You can rather tell a Tokhas age from the antler, as they tend to get more ornate the older a Tokha gets.
Behaviour and lifestyle
There are wild and domesticated Tokha in the Central Erana Mountain Range and all bigger mountain ranges connected to them. They live exclusivele in higher elevations and thus never reached any mountainous area outside the Central Erana Mountain Range. Wild Tokha live in groups of five to eight animals and are mostly led by the oldest female. Seeing male Tokha leading a group is much rarer. Tokha are mostly herbivorous, but can under certain circumstances eat animals too. That's especially true for chicks of nidicolous birds, the rare amphibians on the higher altitudes and otherwise for animals that are dieing or dead already. The year cycle seems to be regulated by day length or intensity of sunshine rather than by temperatures as sheddings have been observed at a fitting time of the year but under very cold conditions. This sometimes brings problems as some Tokha die from cold when shedding under such circumstances. Their reproductive cycle follows the same rules. Tokha mostly mate three months after their second shedding and give birth to their young about 5 months later. The antler-shedding during the winter months seems to be at least partly a strategy to provide carrying females with nutrients as the females are often seen gnawing on the shed antlers.
Interactions with other animals and use as domesticated animals
Tokha are a prey item to almost all predators of the Central Erana Mountain Range. They are not a common prey though due to their ability to run quickly and safely navigate alongside even the steepest slopes. The oldest female generally leading the group often stands watch and warns the others of predators. Tokha seem to be at least slightly intelligent since they can use different warning calls imitating rather harmless birds or the sound of a falling pebble hitting the mountainside. The rest of the group reacts not to the specific sound but memorises the position of the leading female and reacts to all sounds from that general direction.
Tokha are a somewhat special form of domesticated animal for Kaumogg as most of them live more or less underground and keep species more fitting an underground lifestyle as food sources, mounts or beasts of burdens. Interestingly the Kaumogg go through great lengths to be able to keep Tokha as they lead them to surface pastures during the summer months to enable them to shed their fur. Tokha that were kept inside by other peoples never shed their fur and eventually died from infections resulting from the dirt getting stuck everywhere. Although it is not known exactly how the Kaumogg keep their Tokha, some scouts and travellers report having seen them herding Tokha on the surface and collecting the shed fur. Other peoples ocasionally hunt Tokha for their meat which is hard, but very flavourful. The Tokhas wool is not especially sought after as it is pretty coarse, rough to the touch and not easy to work with. On the other hand it is very insulating and can be used as lining for winter clothes. It can also be used for armour. Sometimes the Kaumogg engage in trade with other peoples making larger amounts of Tokha wool available, but generally speaking it is a rare ressource as Tokha have never been successfully kept in lower altitudes and it has proven very unsafe to try to establish permanent settlements to mine, provide shelter for traders and travellers or herd animals due to guaranteed Kaumogg attacks. Tokha can probably not be bonded with. Even though sources on Kaumogg societies are pretty scarce we can with some likelyhood say that they do not form bonds with Tokha.
Tokha are, due to their natural behaviour which they don't lose in captivity also used as guard animals. Kaumogg often take one older female and one younger Tokha with them. The older female will watch out for potential danger and the Kaumogg do not have to employ guards. This will work to get warned of danger posed by animals and other beings possessing the Gift of Reason alike as Tokha are easily spooked and will react to anything that is a potential threat. This helps Kaumogg during the time on the pasture as well as on travels for none military reasons where time is not as pressing as Tokha rather keep watch while resting, not while walking. When walking rather the whole group is looking for danger and will just change directions when spotting a predator.