Elathan Yak Species in Toy Soldier Saga | World Anvil
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Elathan Yak (E-lath-an Yak | /ə 'lɑθ ən jɑk/)

A useful animal for meat, hides, milk and labour - a staple of Balorian life

The Elathan Yak is one of the few species of mammal on Elatha and one of even fewer mostly herbivores. Standing 2.2 m (a little more than 7 feet) at the raised hump on their back, a full grown bull can weigh 4500 kg (10,000 lb), with females about 1000 kg (2200 lb) lighter. The bovine is quite domesticatable and takes to organized farm life quite well, except the bulls become aggressive and unruly at mating season, which is in the summer. Calves are born in spring and grow to near adult size in as little as 12 months.

Riding Yaks by Confused Me
The yaks are good for eating and their milk has a very high protein and fat content. Their hair makes a soft wool that is more comfortable than sheep wool and uses a different oil than lanolin to make it water resistant, that is less allergenic. Their hooves are good for gelatin and glue and their hides make a soft but thick and durable leather. The bones of an Elathan Yak have been used for everything from musical instruments ( Nardek ) to sewing needles. The horns of a yak make great drinking utensils, and musical instruments. Even their bladders can be used as toys and water skins.

When they are not killed for their byproducts, the yaks make incredible beasts of burden capable of hauling loads elephants balk at. And naturally calm, little spooks an Elathan Yak.

Basic Information


Elathan Yaks are large quadrepeds of the Bovine family. They have thick upper bodies, huge shoulders and an equally large head. Their horns can be as much as a meter long each.

Genetics and Reproduction

Gestation takes place in early summer and lasts about 9 Elathan months. Cows usually give birth to single calves, with twins being rare and all cows of a herd calving within about a week of each other.

Growth Rate & Stages

Calves reach sexual maturity at about 12 months and reach full growth soon after. They remain sexually active for the next 20 or so years and live about 28 years in total.

Ecology and Habitats

Yaks prefer wetlands and can be found ubiquitously throughout Elatha and neighbouring systems as domesticated cattle on ranches.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Elathan Yaks are princippally herbivores, surviving on the super protein rich swamp grasses of Elatha, and other systems where they have been domesticated.

Additional Information

Social Structure

The natural social structure of the Elathan Yak is a herd with a primary bull, a number of juvenile bulls, and a bunch of cows and young. Domesticated yaks are usually female or steers, with breeding bulls kept as prize stock.


Domestication of the Elathan Yak was simply a matter of fending off its predators and killing the aggressive ones. They took to domestication like the gods intended it for them.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

As was stated previously, there is very little on the Elathan Yak that is not useful. Even its waste can be used for antiseptic wash and fertilizer or fuel. It is a staple foodstock of the Fomorian Empire, and its parts are used all over a Balorian home, from drinking jacks to clothing, furniture and musical instruments.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Wild yaks can be found in wetlands all over Elatha. Domesticated yaks can be found almost everywhere.

Average Intelligence

Yaks have been bred for hundreds of years for docility and ease of handling. For this reason, domesticated yaks are considerably less intelligent than their wild counterparts.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Elathan Yaks can see in the infrared spectum but are dazzled by bright yellow sunlight, as Elatha never gets that bright. Their ears are highly developed and constantly on the listen for predators.
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Yak Grazing on Mountainside by Jinmh200

Scientific Name
Bos grunniens primigenious
28 years
Average Height
2.2 m (7' 3")
Average Weight
4500 kg (10000 lb)
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Yaks mostly have brown hair, but there are some regional differences and odd yaks can have blonde or black hair. They occasionally manifest piebald hair as well.
Geographic Distribution

Shaved Yaks by Peggy Marco

Cover image: Yak Herd by Makalu


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