sheep of Scarterra Species in Scarterra | World Anvil

sheep of Scarterra

Scarterran sheep are generally similar to real world Earth sheep, but like most other mortal creatures, Scarterran sheep are subject to elemental ethnicity.   Sheep are raised primarily for their wool, and the four elemental variants of sheep lead to very different types of wool, both in texture and color. There also infinite possibilities for various elemental hybrids so the Scarterran wool trade is fairly complicated.
by me with Midjourney

Basic Information


Scarterran sheep come in a wide variety of colors, but the basic anatomy of what is a "sheep" is the same.

Biological Traits

Earthy tend to have grey, off-white, brown, or in some cases black wool. The wool is often thicker and stronger than other wools.   Watery sheep tend to have green or blue wool. The wool is often softer and silkier than other wools.   Fiery sheep tend to have orange, yellow or in some cases red wool. Their wool is often more breathable than other wools.   Airy sheep usually have white or light grey or in rare cases midnight black wool. Their wool is often warmer than other wools.
  Most sheep have mixed elemental heritage. Certain combinations and colors of wool are considered more or less valuable than others. Generally, bright mono-colored wool is considered more valuable while dirty or mixed colors are considered less valuable.   A lot of wealthy people and the high end tailors that cater to them go out of their way to import exotic foreign wool. Yellow wool is common and cheap near the equator but it is considered exotic and rare up north. White and black wool is pretty common up north but rare near the equator. Some traveling Scarterran merchants make a good living by solely trading wools.

Genetics and Reproduction

"There is no set mating season, so sheep will rut all year long and lambs can be born at any time of the year, though spring lambs are the most common.   Sheep are not to prone to pair bonding and tend to mate opportunistically and aggressively.
  Because certain elemental varieties of wool are much more valuable than others, there is a strong incentive for selective breeding, but selective breeding of sheep is difficult.   I don't have enough pasture land or sheep to even try selective breeding. That is pretty much the province of the wealthy.   If by dumb luck, I accidentally end up with a lamb of rare vintage, I'll thank the Nine for my good fortune and then barter my 'jewel ewe' to the local lord's shepherd and get four or five 'lesser' lambs in trade."

Growth Rate & Stages

Sheep pregnancy takes about five months but pregnancies is generally only detectable without magic until the last six or seven weeks of the pregnancies.   Baby sheep are called "lambs" Sheep of either sex in their first year are commonly referred to as "yearlings". Males are "rams", females are "ewes".
  Sheep ewes typically reach sexual maturity in about six to eight months. Sheep rams typically reach sexual maturity in four to six months.   Healthy sheep can live upwards of fifteen years, give or take.

Ecology and Habitats

Wild sheep are practically extinct in Scarterra because Scarterra has a lot of predators that like the taste of mutton, including many two-legged humanoid predators.   Domesticated sheep can survive and thrive anywhere with good grazing where the shepherds are capable of keeping the predators at bay.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Sheep are natural grazers. They commonly eat grass, legumes, clover, and forbs (wild flowers).  
Sheep have a reputation for being "overgrazers" that is own. As long as they have enough space, they won't irreparably overgraze the land. They are pretty good at naturally spreading their manure evenly (small feet kicks and spreads it evenly) and sheep can digest a bunch of pesky weeds.
  Shepherds can feed their flocks grains and alfalfa but sheep should not overindulge in these foods.   During the winter period where quality grazing is not feasible, most shepherds feed their flocks primarily with grass and alfalfa hay.

Biological Cycle

Domesticated sheep are usually sheared for their wool once per year. Normally this is done in the spring so sheep can have their fleece be at its thickest for the winter.


Earthy sheep are arguably the most sheepish sheep, being mellow easy followers. Watery sheep are often a bit more clever and more curious than the norm. Fiery sheep are typically more willful and independent. Airy sheep are often more skittish and easily frightened.  
"I was born into a family of shepherds but I didn't stay in the family trade long. I prefer dumb sheep over smart sheep. Fiery/watery sheep, aka 'steamy' ship are headstrong and intelligent. They are certainly smart enough to get into trouble but not smart enough to get out of trouble.   They are good at escaping their pens or avoiding the eyes of their watchers and then getting eaten by a hyena or leopard. Fire/water hybrid is the most valuable wool on the open market so any sheep of that breed lost to attrition is a huge blow."   -Saad, traveling minstrel
  Regardless of their elemental heritage, sheep are more alike with each other than they are different. Any sheep can be herded with the largely the same techniques by mortal or canine shepherds.  
by me with Midjourney
In general, sheep of different colors/elements don't mind being penned or herded together, but rams can be especially aggressive with other rams of widely different colors.   Sheep rams can be surprisingly aggressive during "rutting time", especially among unknown rams. Fiery rams are especially notorious for aggressive ruts.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Sheep are very famous for their tendency to follow the herd. So much so that "sheep" has become an insulting slang term for mortals who are blind followers of their leaders.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Domesticated sheep are kept primarily for their wool, but they are also valued for their meat and milk.   Most sheep's milk not given to young lambs is made into cheese.   In some places that are full of sheep like the Wooly Slopes Barony, mutton is a relatively common food, but in most places, lamb chops and other mutton dishes are considered a high status food or special occasion food because sheep are an income producing asset and it is considered somewhat wasteful to kill them for their meat.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The plurality if not the majority of all clothes in Scarterra is made of wool, and most wool in Scarterra comes from sheep, so domesticated sheep are commonly found throughout Scarterra.   Sheep in Scarterra tend to ressemble the other sheep in their local area but tend to vary widely in color from region to region due to varying elemental influences. Sheep of mixed elemental heritage are the norm.
by me with Midjourney

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Sheep are not color blind but they have less ability to differentiate colors than human or humanlike mortals. Sheep do have much wider peripheral vision than most mortals.   Sheep have excellent senses of smell and hearing.
15 years
Average Height
36 inches (shoulder)
Average Weight
Ewes typically weigh between 100 and 220 pounds and rams typically weigh between 100 and 350 pounds.   Earthy and watery sheep tend towards the high end of sizes and fiery and airy sheep tend towards the lower end of size.
Average Length
50 inches
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Varies considerably
Geographic Distribution
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Mar 28, 2024 08:38

Does the wool have any other effects? can I, say, have a water sheep clothes and feel the effects of heat less or if i burn it does it produce a differnt color flame?

Mar 28, 2024 15:09

I cover this a little bit in the wool article.

wool in Scarterra
Material | May 1, 2024

overview of the wool trade in Scarterra

  The different color flame is an interesting idea but I wasn't thinking sheep of different elements would be THAT different.   I figure fire/water hybrids would have wool that is very popular for undergarments. It's smooth against the skin and it wicks away sweat. I'm still on the fence if watery wool has any benefits for sailors at sea. Most of my in depth lore so far is on land locked regions.   I figure air/earth hybrids would make superior winter clothing and blankets for warmth.