The Cragok Goat, though small in comparison to its many cousins, including the capricus, is one of the larger creatures occupying the Stone Fields of Peat. They are usually light gray in color with black undertones that help them absorb the sunlight. These goats are known for their superb balance, which helps them make their homes among the rocks of their habitat. They are fairly good jumpers as well.
The Cragok Goat is a
relatively small goat, although, compared to the
other creatures in its habitat, it is actually fairly large. Itís about 2 Ĺ
fores in length, including a small tail only about a palmspan in length. An
average Cragok Goat is a little over a fore in height at the shoulder.
The body of the Cragok Goat is not unusual to its species. It has a snout, slightly stunted, with a black nose at the end. It has black eyes, as well. Males will grow horns from their skulls, hard and ridged, usually of a dark brown or even black color. They come up with a seeming straightness, but as they grow, twine back. These horns are used for butting. Their hooves are cloven and able to grip the rock, which helps with balance. Hooves are almost always black, but may also be dark brown.
The coat of the Cragok is light in color, either a light gray or a white, though some very light browns have also been seen among this species. This coat is usually relatively short in the summer months to allow the goat to remain cool, but upon the coming of autumn, these coats will become thick winter fur, helping them to keep warm when the temperature drops. The fur is interesting in that the undertone is actually black, attracting sunlight and thus helping to keep the animal warm.
The Cragok Goat is unique in how well adapted it is to its environment. Itís fur
is very thick, especially in the winter during which it grows thick on the
goatsí hides. The undertone of the fur is black, which helps further to keep the
animal warm. The goats also have gripping hooves that help them hold themselves
to the rock, increasing their balance. Strong back legs also lend this animal
natural jumping ability, which is helpful in moving from rock to rock.
Territory. The Cragok Goat lives in or near the Stone Fields of Peat in Northern Sarvonia. They are well adapted to this environment, able to live in a demanding habitat rather well. They sometime make little retreat against the rocks or in small caves where they can protect themselves against the weather. They, however, are nomadic, and thus make no permanent abode.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Cragok Goat is seemingly an objective and unassuming creature. These goats live in family groups, which are usually made up of between 5 and 12 members. Family groups are usually made up of a mother and her mate, as well as her most recent children. Often older female children will also stay with their motherís group, as will their mate and children, when they gain them. When the eldest mother dies, the group will typically split up, though they have been cases where two or three sisters have kept the family together.
These families donít usually have a strict hierarchy on who is leader, but typically the oldest female will decide where the group, as a whole, will go, and the rest will follow without complaint. They make the same routs year after year, and often the female children, when their mother has died and they are in charge of their own family group, will follow the same path as she.
Cragok Goats are nomadic, continually searching for vegetation and water sources. The group will all eat, sleep, and live together, keep each other warn during the bitter winter months. Cragok are not aggressive most of the year. When two groups meet, they will not fight but for fun and play and may even stay with each other for a while to keep each other warm, for protection against the cold. In mating season, the male goats will often be more aggressive, as adolescent males challenge each other for potential mates, and challenge older males for their current mates. It is then that there is fighting, including head-butting and kicking.
Diet. The Cragok Goats can and will eat almost anything they can find, save for meat. They will, however, eat anything that is or was, at one time, a plant, such as pieces of clothing, bits of fungi, seeds, and any vegetation that grows in their habitat. Their main diet is peat grass, though they will also eat the weeds that grow in the Stone Fields of Peat. Peat grass, however, because it does not die in the winter, is the most important food source, able to be eaten all year around, which is helpful because the Cragok does not hibernate when the weather turns cold.
Unlike many goats, the Cragok Goat does not have to chew cud. The acids of the mouth and especially the stomach are very strong so that the goat doesnít need to waste energy chewing, though they sometimes will anyway to keep themselves warm and active. The Cragok Goats will digest food more slowly in the winter so that they donít need to eat as much during the winter season.
Mating. The Cragok goat will mate typically in mid-summer. Mating season makes its mark on the male goats, whose horns become a dusty teal color. During this time, males will fight, butting head and kicking, to prove their strength to the female. If she is impressed with a male's display, she will allow him to be her partner and to eventually mate with her. Cragok Goats will often spend about 2 weeks of affection during which they will nuzzle each other and play before they actually mate together. The mating process is usually short and includes the male boarding the female. The two may mate several times before the coming of winter. Typically Cragok Goats will stay partners for life unless their mate dies or, in the case of male, another beats him in battle.
The gestation period is about six months, and thus female birth their kids in late winter or early spring. Kids usually come in groups of two or three and are fully furred miniatures of their parents. Usually within a few hours following birth, the kids are able to walk. They will spend the spring and summer playing, building up muscles and skill in jumping, and before the winter comes, the males will begin to grow their horns. The males will often leave the group after their first year, but females will stay with their mothers and her mate. They will migrate with them, as will their mates, when they gain them.
Cragok Goats usually live between 12 and 15 years.
Usages. The Cragok Goats are a very important resource to those living in the Stone Fields of Peat. Some will keep the goats as pets, but often the goats experience some stage of madness being kept in a pen, and will butt the walls of their pen tirelessly. Some goats have adapted well to a domesticated life, but most need to be out in their natural habitat.
The fur of the Cragok is very warm. In the early spring, when the winter coats are shed, many residence will use the winter fur to make sweaters, shirts, and other pieces of clothing, which tend to be rather warm. Also, the hide of the goat can be made into comfortable boots, gloves, and coats. Some may even make hats out of the furry hides.
The Cragok goatís meat, while not being the most delectable, is indeed edible and may help sustain residence throughout the year, given the goats do not hibernate. However, those residence who are not nomadic often need to tailor their eating and hunting habits to the rounds of the goats. The goat meat can be tried and saved for months, perhaps used for when food gets low or for travelers, though most prefer it fresh.
Information provided by Rayne Avalotus