Beeve

See also:
Greater Beeve

A changeling breed derived from the pre-Kingdom Come animal called a "cow" (Bos Taurus). Beeves share some resemblance with their predecessors, in that they're hoofed herbivores that can sometimes be induced to give milk. However, they're smaller than the cows of the Before Time and are far nastier and more agile, as befits the harsh conditions of the Dust Lands.

A beeve weighs from 45 to 150kg and stands 1.0 to 1.4 meters at the shoulder. All specimens bear one to three horns that project from their brow up to 40cm, with elder males sporting "crowns" of up to a dozen of the weapons. (They add additional horns as they grow older.) Beeve horns are hard and can be exceedingly sharp - some beeves strop them on rocks for just that purpose. "Scoring" or delivering light cuts with their horns is a common method of interaction among beeves, and beeve-herders (sometimes still called "cowboys") tend to wear thick cured chaps or trousers to resist their charges' attempts to either greet or hamstring them.

Beeves are partially resistant to drought - some humped versions can store water for weeks between drinking, though such prolonged fasts can still kill the animals. A full-grown beeve weighing 100kg can be dressed out to provide about 30kg of useful meat - 45kg if your definition of "useful" has a fair amount of stretch to it. Beeves that have drained their hump-reserves of water and fat are less palatable - the meat grows sour and tough. Nursing females "sour out" faster, and a milch-beeve, kept for its milk, is practically inedible after a year or so of milking. The best-tasting meat comes from young beeves that haven't reached full growth.

Dust Landers have been raising beeves for food and leather for some time, but the wandering herds were mostly a nuisance to crops until recently. The population in the Iron Brotherhood territories is growing, and those associates and Brothers have developed a taste for young beeve meat. Cowboys have been rounding up herds of wild beeves and driving them into the Brotherhood state, where the price for the animals has supported some healthy trade. Running beeves isn't easy, though - delivering animals in edible condition after a long drive takes care and luck. Driving herds into good grazing land means driving them close to settlements, and Dust Fielders can be violently protective of their crops and water supplies.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License