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Author Topic: Icelands Wison  (Read 18865 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #15 on: 30 May 2007, 06:21:13 »

Truthfuly, yes.  I think I considered having them gelded (correct term for non horses??) but did not put it in.  I had read Takor's addition to the brief description on the wison that she did the day before I took the project.  In her abscence, I left it as I saw it.  When she returns we can get her views on it and go from there.

My diaper entry was from here
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« Reply #16 on: 30 May 2007, 09:11:04 »

I'll try to look up a reason the Native Americans used buffalo chips for diaper powder, when I find out I'll post ok. grin
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« Reply #17 on: 30 May 2007, 09:13:49 »

If I was to hazzard a guess, I would think it was absorbant and would soak up access liquid, preventing rashes, etc
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« Reply #18 on: 30 May 2007, 09:21:08 »

Well I could'nt find anything, but your guess sounds right. It's probably true, for what else would it do. grin
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« Reply #19 on: 16 June 2007, 15:02:58 »

Uhm...back after a 2+ week hiatus.  Is Takor back from her trip yet?  Just wondering if she has had a chance to disect the Wison yet.
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« Reply #20 on: 16 June 2007, 15:15:29 »

Takor (Talia) has just returned, yup, so she might show up sooner or later with some comments :) Aurora also needs something from her, so she just has to work her way through ;)
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« Reply #21 on: 03 July 2007, 02:01:24 »

OVERVIEW:  The wison is a member of the bovine family and therefore has many similarities to domestic cattle.  However, it is clearly an animal that is suited for the Coast of the Icelands.  It provides a veritable cornucopia of products that the Ice Tribes use to survive in the harsh environment of the Ice Coast.

APPEARANCE:  Having the general appearance of domesticated cattle, it is easy to see that the wison is part of the bovine family.  Though considerably smaller than the Thunderfoot, the wison is itself a very formidable creature.  It stands roughly 2 peds, 1 fore in height at the shoulder, with the males being slightly taller, and its weight is around 40 pygges, again, with the bulls somewhat heavier. 

The most obvious fact of the wison is its dense, course coat, which is a pale blue in colour.  It is believed that this is a result of its diet of Hrugchuk grass.  The males of the species have a large hump above its shoulders.  These humps are full of fat, and it is surmised that it sustains them in times when grazing land is hard to come by.  The cow has a less pronounced hump, as her fat is more evenly distributed. 

Each sex of the species has horns, usually white with the tips darkening to a deep blue or black, though the females have smaller ones.  The horns of the males may span 1 ped, 2 fores across, while, in the females, they rarely reach a span of 2 peds. 

The legs of the wison are heavy and covered in thick hair to protect it from the snow and ice.  They are slightly longer in the front than they are in the back. (this would also give them a noble stance..perhaps include this) It is thought that this is to give the wison more power in its front end to assist it with the ritual head butting that the males do at mating time (then why would the females have different legs lengths?). See below. The foot of the wison is wider than that of domesticated cattle, helping it to walk in the snow. As well as this it has a small bony growth underneath that is sharp, though not like a claw, but rather a spur. See below.

SPECIAL ABILITIES:  The wison is equipped with a small but sharp spur on the underside of its front hooves.  Though not long enough to serve as a defensive structure (as well, the wison is not built to attack with its front hooves), the spur is cleverly used by the wison in its search for the buried Hrugchuck grass.  The wison, by use of a small muscle, pushes the spur down so it is protruding, then use their front hooves to dig through the ice and snow.  This spur is particularly effective in breaking the layers of ice.  When not actively pushing the spur out, it slides back within the hoof.

The wison is an excellent swimmer, and its thick coat gives it perfect protection from the freezing waters (no matter how thicka coat is...you are still likely to be cold...perhaps the beast has a fat layer to keep it warm).  This is an important ability, as the wison must cross many wide channels in its migration route.  Sometimes these channels are not frozen over, and sometimes the ice is not thick enough to support the weight of the wison herd.  In most crossings of the channels, however, the wison herd stretches out and only a few animals at a time can be found together.  The herd normally keeps much closer together.(the last sentence seems to be a little odd...what are you referring to...that when not migrating they stay in larger groups? Make this more apparent if so)  There have been reports where the ice has broken and the wison were not able to climb back out.  In these situations, hundreds of animals were found drowned and frozen.  In most instances, the animals are able to pull themselves back onto the ice or swim to the surface.

TERRITORY:  The wison’s territory covers most of the Icelands Coast.  However, it is a migratory animal, so it can be found in different areas depending on the time of year.  In the summer, the wison is found up north, in the lands of the Vertans.  As autumn approaches, they begin the migration south, reaching the mountains north of the wastes of Despair, where they spend the coldest part of the winter.  Then, in spring, they begin the journey north once more.  The cows have their calves while making this trip.  This is the most difficult time for the wison, as the predators of the north come looking for the weakest of the herd, the newborns.

HABITAT/BEHAVIOR:  The wison is a herd animal.  As individuals, their eyesight and hearing are not that advanced, but within the herd this is compensated for.  These herds are typically 500-1500 animals, though herds of up to 5000 have been sighted(that sounds a little extreme...5000?) .  When pushed to extreme agitation, these herds have been known to stampede.  Wildly charging as one large entity, nothing can stand up to a stampeding herd, as it blindly runs its course.  Anything caught in its path is usually crushed by the multitude of hooves. (It must be difficult to stampede in thick snow...perhaps mention this as an impairment)

In the wild, A wison may live up to 30 years old.  It has few natural predators, the caracal being the main threat, next to the Ice Tribe hunters. 

There is a hierarchy to the herd.  A single bull acts as the leader, and the herd follows where he leads.  This bull is usually older, but at the peak of his physical form.  Next to this, are many lieutenants; bulls that take positions on the flanks and rear of the herd, both to keep stragglers from falling away from the herd, and to watch for danger.  Younger bulls and cows make up the majority of the herd.

Bulls are very aggressive.  If they spot danger they will bellow.  This bellow is to warn the herd and, if the danger is a predator, to chase away the predator.  If the predator does not heed this warning, the bull will charge, using its horns in a deadly fashion.  Often, if one bull is engaged with a foe, other bulls will join in the fray.  They have learned to coordinate their attacks, much like a pack of wolves, to form a deadly cohesive force.

Bulls often compete in a head butting ritual to determine dominance.  They bellow a challenge at one another, and then charge from a distance of 10 peds or more.  They can hit one another with tremendous force, the resulting thud (crash is more suitable) very loud.  Though it can sometimes lead to death, more often then not, one bull will submit after a dozen charges or so.  Young bulls challenge lieutenants, and lieutenants challenge for the lead bull position.  Bulls usually have a harem of cows that they breed with and protect.  The leader and his lieutenants usually have 6-10 cows, while younger bulls typically only have 1 or 2 females.

Cows are somewhat more docile than bulls.  This is not true when a cow is protecting her calf, however.  In such a case, she will become enraged, her own life secondary to that of her offspring.  Though her horns are smaller than those of a bull, she can wield them with deadly force (deadly seems to be overused...replace please).

When a leader or a lieutenant gets old and is overthrown by a younger bull, he loses his harem and is no longer welcomed in the herd.  The dominating male will chase him out.  Should he try to return to the herd, several of the lieutenants will attack him as they would any other threat to the herd.  This individual bull is now known as a rogue.  Rogues are solitary animals and, as such, are extremely unpredictable and dangerous.  Without the herd advantage of extra eyes and ears, and its own senses substandard, it is believed that the rogue will attack almost anything, as it struggles to survive.  This is possibly a madness brought on from not being in the herd.

DIET:  The wison can eat most types of grasses, but as it comes from the Icecoast, its main diet consists of the Hrugchuk grass, in particular, the flower, which the bulls get most.  If a female digs up a flower, she usually bellows so that a bull can come and get it.  Bulls, if they spot or a calf about to eat a flower, will charge at them.  This charge is usually enough to cause the cow or calf to run away, leaving the flower to the bull.  However, it has been seen where a particularly aggressive female will stand her ground.  Sometimes this can result in physical altercations, though rarely resulting in any serious harm.  The flower will then be eaten by the victor.  The wison is a voracious eater, and will eat the Hrugchuk stalk down to the root, leaving the earth bare in its wake.  This is what probably precipitated the wison’s migration pattern, as it searched for land not laid bare.

MATING:  The mating cycle of the wison takes place in summer, while they are in the lands of the Vertans.  The mating ritual of the wison is a fairly simple one.  The bulls will begin bellowing, this sound often can be heard for miles.  Receptive females will then approach, and after a brief moment where they sniff each other, the bull mounts the cow.  It is believed that the sniffing is both to recognize each other, and to detect sickness and already impregnated cows.  Bulls have been known to chase off females that it has deemed not acceptable for mating. 

The pregnancy results in a gestation period of around 8 months.  The calves are then born during the migration north to their summer lands.  Within mere hours of birth, the calves are able to walk and keep up with the herd.  This is imperative, as the herd does not stop to wait for the newborns, or the weak and infirm.  Those left behind are easy prey for wolves and the ever dangerous caracal.

Cows give birth to one calf, usually every two years.  She will nurse the calf for nearly two months, as the calf will then learn to eat grass.  The calves will mature in about 4 years.  Until then, they will stay with their mothers.  It is not uncommon to see a cow with more than one calf, one nursing and the other chewing on grass. (How do you get herds of up to 1500 if only one calf is born by each cow every two years? It would take one hundred generations?)

USAGES:  As the wison travels through the lands of most of the Ice Tribes, each one relies heavily on this creature.  As such, the nomadic elements of the population follow the herds as they cross their lands. 

The biggest resource that the wison provides to the Ice Tribes is meat.  Without this meat, it is debatable whether the Ice Tribes would be able to survive at all in the hostile environment.  The meat is very rich and nutritious.  No other animal is put to such complete use as the wison.  A complete list of products that are taken from the carcass of a wison are as follows:

Meat:  Food

Hide w/Hair: Robes, Caps w/ear flaps, Mittens, Coats, Capes, and Bedcovers

Hide w/o Hair: Boots, Leggings, Shirts, Dresses, Underclothes, Tent Covers, Door flaps, Tent linings, Horse masks, Wrapping sheets for the dead, bags, Saddle blankets, Horse blankets, Quivers

Rawhide: Boot soles, Belts, Cache-pit covers, Trunks, Saddle Frame coverings, Saddle rigging straps, Stirrup coverings, Cruppers, Saddle bags, Bridles, Hackamores, Hobbles, Travois Hitches, Pole hitches, Miscellaneous tie strings, Horse water troughs, Horseshoes, Snowshoes, Shields, Cover and hafting of war clubs, Knife sheaths, meat and berry pounder hafting, Maul hafting, Drums

Hair:  Headdress ornaments, Tent ornaments, Bridles, Ornaments for clubs

Tail:  Tent ornaments, Fly brushes, Whip

Hoof:  Rattles, glue

Horn:  Horse masks, Hondo rings, Powder flasks, Spoons, Cups, Ladles, Arrow points

Ribs:  Ice sled runners

Shoulder Blades: Hoes

Bones: Dice, Arrow heads, Fleshing tools, Knives, Sewing Awls, Hide scrapers

Sinew:  Bow backings, Bowstrings, Arrowhead and feather wrappings, Thread

Paunch:  Cooking vessel, water buckets

Rough side of Tongue:  Hair brush

Dung:  Fuel, Diaper powder

Brains/Liver:  Tanning agent, Soap

Fat: Tanning agent, Soap, lamp fuel, Hair Grease

Blood: Soup, Pudding, Red Paint

Gall: Yellow paint

(Please...make these into paragraphs...it ruins the form of your entry)

The wison has another use by the Ice Tribes, and that is of a mount.  Some of the permanent settlements have domesticated the wison, keeping a bull and cows.  It is a dangerous practice, as the wild nature of the beast never completely disappears.  However, if a calf can be separated from the herd at a young age, and given extensive human interaction and training, it can become a useful beast of burden (I have never heard that phrase...what does it mean?).  Though rare, the males can be trained to serve as war mounts.  This takes extensive training, usually by the warrior who will eventually be the rider.  If that warrior dies, the wison is usually unable to be trained to take a new rider.  It is this inability to take a new rider that coined the phrase “lonely as a wison mount”, to refer to a man (sometimes a woman though less frequently) who has lost their spouse and never remarries.

The Remusian's are the one tribe that do not use the wison as a mount.  They prefer to use their Kor'och fey Mologh, the Remusian Horse.  They use their horses to hunt the wison, chasing the herds and using the bow, spear and lance to bring down the creatures.  The other Ice Tribes hunt on foot, or on trained wisons.  Those on foot wear wison cloaks and headdresses to get close enough to use bows and spears to bring down their prey.  Whichever way is used, hunting wisons is a dangerous prospect.  Many a warrior has been killed or maimed by a stampeding herd, or a bull protecting his harem.  Some clans use the hunt as a rite of passage into manhood for young men.

After a hunt, men and women set to work butchering the carcasses.  Then the haul is brought home using travois or sleds.  This is done quickly, so that any wolves or caracal in the area do not pick up the scent of blood.
 
MYTH/LORE:  (I got none, though suggestions are welcomed, or better yet, completed myths or legends.  This is my weakness.)



Overall Altario....Nice entry...Nice Idea with a few nice touches...But Please...myths and lore are easy...Just make up anything that relates to the nature of the beasts or the relationship they have with other races...
 
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #22 on: 03 July 2007, 12:27:03 »

Thank you Deci for checking this entry. grin  I have incorporated MOST of your most helpful suggestions.  I will defend the rest as such:

As the wison is based on the bison, and the bison used to travel in herds of a million or so, I think 5000 should be manageable as a top end figure.  There are stories told by the Indians and early explorers of herds taking days to pass, and covering the entire landscape in a mass of animals.  The average I propose is about 500-1500.  To this end, a calf every two years should be able to sustain a herd.  The cows can have up to around 10 calves in her lifetime, so, that is a 10:1 ratio.  There are very few predators that actually hunt them, so a higher birth rate would be too much I would think.  The predators that do hunt them, the harsh conditions, and the mass drownings would keep the top end from getting too high.  The herd mentally, for protection, would require large numbers.

But, it's just my opinion and I welcome all other comments.

Next, I left the stampede as is.  True, it would not be as easy as on dry ground, but a stampede is the best word for it.  The wison CAN run, so a thousand of them CAN run.  It would still be just as out of control, and just as dangerous.  Besides, after the first beasts trample the snow, the rest have a trail blazed for them.

Third.  Do I need to place the wison uses into paragraphs?  It would make for a fairly dry read.  This way, the reader can scan it quickly and move on.  Later, if they need to look up something it is there.  Unless you think perhaps a separate entry be made?  A table could be made for it?

Fourth. Beast of burden refers to animals that are domesticated for hard work.  It usually refers to horses, oxen, mules, etc.  It is a fairly common phrase in my neck of the woods at least.

And lastly, Myth/Lore.  ACK!!!  My mind does not work this way.  I'm science.  I'm history.  I am not song and poetry and stories.  Far more talented people than I would be better suited to this.  If you wait for me, I'll be 3 months and produce a mediocre mess that will take another 3 months to make ready for approval.  I beg you....please.... * gives his best puss-in-boots wide eyed look from Shrek*
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #23 on: 10 July 2007, 12:08:37 »

Ok, I give in.  I created a Myth/Lore section.  I did not give the hunter a name, as it was lost in time, though, I was considering maybe giving him a name that would later become the name of a tribe, perhaps Vertan or Aeidin.

Anyhoo....give a perusal.
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« Reply #24 on: 10 July 2007, 14:38:10 »

I'll try to gove you a check today, Altario, and lok into the size of the iceland coasts as well.

« Last Edit: 10 July 2007, 14:42:31 by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

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« Reply #25 on: 11 July 2007, 06:48:36 »

It looks great, Altario.  I'll make sure to uri-check it soon as well, more for spelling and grammatical things than for content, since I think Talia will probably be looking at that.  That way, Altario, you can get it approved for next update before I leave on vacation, and it can actually get completed and into the Compedium!

Congrats to you on yet another high quality entry!

Alysse
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« Reply #26 on: 11 July 2007, 07:04:45 »

This is long! 

But I started!
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« Reply #27 on: 11 July 2007, 13:04:52 »

Ah ha, Talia...it is long because you have taught me to be thorough ;)

I don't dare try to slip something half hearted past you. grin
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« Reply #28 on: 11 July 2007, 16:43:43 »

Please, be open for my proposals, don‘t guard yourself already now! This is a wonderful beast, give it the last touch!   

OVERVIEW:  The wison is a member of the bovine family and therefore has many similarities to domestic cattle.  However, it is clearly an animal that is suited for the Coast of the Icelands.  It provides a veritable cornucopia of products that the Ice Tribes use to survive in the harsh environment of the Ice Coast.

APPEARANCE:  Having the general appearance of domesticated cattle, it is easy to see that the wison is part of the bovine family.  Though considerably smaller than the Thunderfoot, the wison is itself a very formidable creature.  It stands roughly 2 peds, 1 fore in height at the shoulder, with the males being slightly taller, and its weight is around 40 pygges, again, with the bulls somewhat heavier.

  That is huge, especially if you want to have big herds. This beasts doesn‘t live in an environment where it has abundant food!  The wisent is listed with a shoulder height of up to two meters as well, but a fore makes quite a difference and it has leaves and a lot of grass to feed on. See end of the text

The most obvious fact of the wison is its dense, course coat, which is a pale blue in colour.  It is believed that this is a result of its diet of Hrugchuk grass.  The males of the species have a large hump above its shoulders.  These humps are full of fat, and it is surmised that it sustains them in times when grazing land is hard to come by.  The cow has a less pronounced hump, as her fat is more evenly distributed.

   Altario, that is boring, just one blue color! Has your imagination failed you here?  ;) Just imagine them flooding the snowy plains, not very challenging for a painter!

What about:
Different colours between the sexes?  OR better

Colour changes with the age. The small young ones are white (and therefor a bit better protected in the snow), the older they get the bluer they get? And maybe the males even bluer than the females with some blackish strikes? So you can determine the age from the colour of the coat? (and other characteristics like longer hair etc...) You can have fantastic tales about huge males with a (!) black coat or about albinos who might be frightening or friendly...


Each sex of the species has horns, usually white with the tips darkening to a deep blue or black, though the females have smaller ones.  The horns of the males may span 1 ped, 2 fores across, while, in the females, they rarely reach a span of 2 peds.

That is huge as well, reminds me on this african cattle  I saw in a zoo lately. No changing of colour here either? Does the colour indicate something? 

The legs of the wison are heavy and covered in thick hair to protect it from the snow and ice.  They are slightly longer in the front than they are in the back, giving them a very noble look.  It is thought that this is to give the wison more power in its front end to assist it with the ritual head butting that the males do at mating time, though observers have not yet concluded why the females are so adorned.  See below. The foot of the wison is wider than that of domesticated cattle, helping it to walk in the snow. As well as this it has a small bony growth underneath that is sharp, though not like a claw, but rather a spur. See below.

SPECIAL ABILITIES:  The wison is equipped with a small but sharp spur on the underside of its front hooves.  Though not long enough to serve as a defensive structure (the wison is not built to attack with its front hooves), the spur is cleverly used by the wison in its search for the buried Hrugchuck grass.  The wison, by use of a small muscle, pushes the spur down so it is protruding, then use their front hooves to dig through the ice and snow.  This spur is particularly effective in breaking the layers of ice.  When not actively pushing the spur out, it slides back within the hoof.

  Yeah, good! 

The wison is an excellent swimmer, and its thick coat gives it perfect protection from the freezing waters, coupled with a generous layer of fat beneath.  This is an important ability, as the wison must cross many wide channels in its migration route.  Sometimes these channels are not frozen over, and sometimes the ice is not thick enough to support the weight of the wison herd.  In most crossings of the channels, however, the wison herd stretches out and only a few animals at a time can be found together.  The herd normally keeps much closer together when not crossing the frozen channels.  There have been reports where the ice has broken and the wison were not able to climb back out.  In these situations, hundreds of animals were found drowned and frozen.  In most instances, the animals are able to pull themselves back onto the ice or swim to the surface.

  I know your entry is long enough, but what about a small eye witness report how they cross frozen channels which might not hold their weight? A leading animal cautiously searching for the right path and stamping (?) to test the ground? ... That stretching out is fine ! 

TERRITORY:  The wison’s territory covers most of the Icelands Coast.  However, it is a migratory animal, so it can be found in different areas depending on the time of year.  In the summer, the wison is found up north, in the lands of the Vertans.  As autumn approaches, they begin the migration south, reaching the mountains north of the wastes of Despair, where they spend the coldest part of the winter.  Then, in spring, they begin the journey north once more.  The cows have their calves while making this trip.  This is the most difficult time for the wison, as the predators of the north come looking for the weakest of the herd, the new-borns.

What about the places with the hot springs which are distributed throughout the lands (well, it is not clear where and how many exactly there are. Are they using them?  - but you can still add these as soon as those springs and ponds are fact  (=written down)

HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR:  The wison is a herd animal.  As individuals, their eyesight and hearing are not that advanced, but within the herd this is compensated for.  These herds are typically 500-1500 animals, though herds of up to 5000 have been sighted.  When pushed to extreme agitation, these herds have been known to stampede.  Wildly charging as one large entity, nothing can stand up to a stampeding herd, as it blindly runs its course.  Anything caught in its path is usually crushed by the multitude of hooves.

Why comes it to this agitation? There is no predator   which has the power to frighten them. 

In the wild, A wison may live up to 30 years old.  It has few natural predators, the caracal being the main threat, next to the Ice Tribe hunters.

There is a hierarchy to the herd.  A single bull acts as the leader, and the herd follows where he leads.  This bull is usually older, but at the peak of his physical form. Maybe add here already a sentence about who may fertilise the cows    Next to this, are many lieutenants; bulls that take positions on the flanks and rear of the herd, both to keep stragglers from falling away from the herd, and to watch for danger.  Younger bulls and cows make up the majority of the herd.

Bulls are very aggressive.  If they spot danger they will bellow.  This bellow is to warn the herd and, if the danger is a predator, to chase away the predator.  If the predator does not heed this warning, the bull will charge, using its horns in a deadly fashion.  Often, if one bull is engaged with a foe, other bulls will join in the fray.  They have learned to co-ordinate their attacks, much like a pack of wolves, to form a deadly cohesive force.

  We don‘t have predators yet - what would a single caracal do when facing such a  big herd?

Bulls often compete in a head butting ritual to determine dominance.  They bellow a challenge at one another, and then charge from a distance of 10 peds or more.  They can hit one another with tremendous force; the resulting crash is very loud.  Though it can sometimes lead to death, more often then not, one bull will submit after a dozen charges or so.  Young bulls challenge lieutenants, and lieutenants challenge for the lead bull position.  Bulls usually have a harem of cows that they breed with and protect.  The leader and his lieutenants usually have 6-10 cows, while younger bulls typically only have 1 or 2 females.

  lieutenants  - don‘t know, if I like this military name, do we have lieutenants at all? maybe you try to find another word which could replace this? It is difficult, I know. (subleader, minor leaders ?)

Cows are somewhat more docile than bulls.  This is not true when a cow is protecting her calf, however.  In such a case, she will become enraged, her own life secondary to that of her offspring.  Though her horns are smaller than those of a bull, she can wield them with lethal accuracy.

When a leader or a lieutenant gets old and is overthrown by a younger bull, he loses his harem and is no longer welcomed in the herd.  The dominating male will chase him out.  Should he try to return to the herd, several of the lieutenants will attack him as they would any other threat to the herd.  This individual bull is now known as a rogue.  Rogues are solitary animals and, as such, are extremely unpredictable and dangerous.  Without the herd advantage of extra eyes and ears, and its own senses substandard, it is believed that the rogue will attack almost anything, as it struggles to survive.  This is possibly a madness brought on from not being in the herd.

You have big herds,   

DIET:  The wison can eat most types of grasses, but as it comes from the Icecoast, its main diet consists of the Hrugchuk grass, in particular, the flower, which the bulls get most.  If a female digs up a flower, she usually bellows so that a bull can come and get it.  Bulls, if they spot or a calf about to eat a flower, will charge at them.  This charge is usually enough to cause the cow or calf to run away, leaving the flower to the bull.  However, it has been seen where a particularly aggressive female will stand her ground.  Sometimes this can result in physical altercations, though rarely resulting in any serious harm.  The flower will then be eaten by the victor.  The wison is a voracious eater, and will eat the Hrugchuk stalk down to the root, leaving the earth bare in its wake.  This is what probably precipitated the wison’s migration pattern, as it searched for land not laid bare.

  The flowers are not so many and often are visible above the snow! They could count for a bluer coat though if you like to introduce this feature! 

MATING:  The mating cycle of the wison takes place in summer, while they are in the lands of the Vertans.  The mating ritual of the wison is a fairly simple one.  The bulls will begin bellowing, this sound often can be heard for miles.  Receptive females will then approach, and after a brief moment where they sniff each other, the bull mounts the cow.  It is believed that the sniffing is both to recognise each other, and to detect sickness and already impregnated cows.  Bulls have been known to chase off females that it has deemed not acceptable for mating.

The pregnancy results in a gestation period of around 8 months.  The calves are then born during the migration north to their summer lands.  Within mere hours of birth, the calves are able to walk and keep up with the herd.  This is imperative, as the herd does not stop to wait for the new-borns, or the weak and infirm.  Those left behind are easy prey for wolves and the ever dangerous caracal.

Cows give birth to one calf, usually every two years.  She will nurse the calf for nearly two months, as the calf will then learn to eat grass.  The calves will mature in about 4 years.  Until then, they will stay with their mothers.  It is not uncommon to see a cow with more than one calf, one nursing and the other chewing on grass.

USAGES:  As the wison travels through the lands of most of the Ice Tribes, each one relies heavily on this creature.  As such, the nomadic elements of the population follow the herds as they cross their lands.

The biggest resource that the wison provides to the Ice Tribes is meat.  Without this meat, it is debatable whether the Ice Tribes would be able to survive at all in the hostile environment.  The meat is very rich and nutritious.  No other animal is put to such complete use as the wison.  A complete list of products that are taken from the carcass of a wison are as follows:

Meat:  Food

Hide w/Hair: Robes, Caps w/ear flaps, Mittens, Coats, Capes, and Bedcovers

Hide w/o Hair: Boots, Leggings, Shirts, Dresses, Underclothes, Tent Covers, Door flaps, Tent linings, Horse masks, Wrapping sheets for the dead, bags, Saddle blankets, Horse blankets, Quivers

Rawhide: Boot soles, Belts, Cache-pit covers, Trunks, Saddle Frame coverings, Saddle rigging straps, Stirrup coverings, Cruppers, Saddle bags, Bridles, Hackamores, Hobbles, Travois Hitches, Pole hitches, Miscellaneous tie strings, Horse water troughs, Horseshoes, Snowshoes, Shields, Cover and hafting of war clubs, Knife sheaths, meat and berry pounder hafting, Maul hafting, Drums

Hair:  Headdress ornaments, Tent ornaments, Bridles, Ornaments for clubs

Tail:  Tent ornaments, Fly brushes, Whip

Hoof:  Rattles, glue

Horn:  Horse masks, Hondo rings, Powder flasks, Spoons, Cups, Ladles, Arrow points

Ribs:  Ice sled runners

Shoulder Blades: Hoes

Bones: Dice, Arrow heads, Fleshing tools, Knives, Sewing Awls, Hide scrapers

Sinew:  Bow backings, Bowstrings, Arrowhead and feather wrappings, Thread

Paunch:  Cooking vessel, water buckets

Rough side of Tongue:  Hair brush

Dung:  Fuel, Diaper powder    Was there a discussion about diaper? Just take the British word napkin!


Brains/Liver:  Tanning agent, Soap

Fat: Tanning agent, Soap, lamp fuel, Hair Grease

Blood: Soup, Pudding, Red Paint

Gall: Yellow paint

  I would make out of this an extra entry which will be attached to your main entry, (see my Shendar), then you could(should) make whole sentences as well and  not only list it. Some more sentences to explain the stuff would not be bad :)

The wison has another use by the Ice Tribes, and that is of a mount.  Some of the permanent settlements have domesticated the wison, keeping a bull and cows.  It is a dangerous practice, as the wild nature of the beast never completely disappears.  However, if a calf can be separated from the herd at a young age, and given extensive human interaction and training, it can become a useful beast of burden.  Though rare, the males can be trained to serve as war mounts.  This takes extensive training, usually by the warrior who will eventually be the rider.  If that warrior dies, the wison is usually unable to be trained to take a new rider.  It is this inability to take a new rider that coined the phrase “lonely as a wison mount”, to refer to a man (sometimes a woman though less frequently) who has lost their spouse and never remarries.
What about gelded wisons, or are they only held for the fertilisation purpose? It would suffice if there is one male in a community, the females are easier to have..   

The Remusian's are the one tribe that does not use the wison as a mount.  They prefer to use their Kor'och fey Mologh, the Remusian Horse.  They use their horses to hunt the wison, chasing the herds and using the bow, spear and lance to bring down the creatures.  The other Ice Tribes hunt on foot, or on trained wisons.  Those on foot wear wison cloaks and headdresses to get close enough to use bows and spears to bring down their prey.  Whichever way is used, hunting wisons is a dangerous prospect.  Many a warrior has been killed or maimed by a stampeding herd, or a bull protecting his harem.  Some clans use the hunt as a rite of passage into manhood for young men.

After a hunt, men and women set to work butchering the carcasses.  Then the haul is brought home using travois or sleds.  This is done quickly, so that any wolves or caracal in the area do not pick up the scent of blood.
 
MYTH/LORE:  Ages ago, before the War of the Chosen, the Ice Tribes were a lost people.  They lived on the frozen plains of the Ice Lands Coast.  It happened that one a day a young hunter went out to find food for his family.  He travelled far, but could not find anything to hunt.  Knowing that the very lives of his family were at stake, he continued on, though he could see a storm was brewing in the sky.  When the storm hit, the young man was far from home, and without shelter.  He knew that he would not see the morning light.  He continued onward, praying to the gods as he went.  Just as he was about to give up, he could smell the smoke from a fire.  Gaining strength from this, he pushed himself until he saw a small hut through the swirling snow.

The young man entered the hut, calling out, but no one answered.  Indeed, no one was home, but there was a feast laid out on a small table.  As much as he wanted, the young man could not bring himself to help himself to the meal.  Instead, he warmed himself by the fire.

Suddenly, the door opened and a large white bear entered the hut.  Terrified, the young hunter grabbed for his spear.  He pulled back on his arm, and took aim.  The bear however, did not attack, but ambled to the table and sniffed at the food there.  The young hunter lowered his weapon, not willing to attack the great beast.  Suddenly, the great bear disappeared, and in its place, the god Zundefor stood.
   Does Zundefor appear as a bear? We do not have ice bears yet, but could invent them.

"You, young hunter, are a noble warrior.  You did not steal from me, though you are hungry."

"No, I am a warrior, a hunter, I am not a thief!"

Zundefor smiled.  "Yes, you are all of that, and more.  For your integrity, I shall reward you.  Name what you wish.  A sack of gold?  Food for you and your family?"

This sack of gold is irritating me - do Icetribe people see much money at all? Maybe he offers a great amount of furs instead, or a caracal fur? Or if you need something the hunter cannot use, maybe use gems?

The young hunter thought for a moment.  "I do not want any gifts.  I am a hunter.  My tribe are hunters.  We can not use gold, we need animals to hunt.  We need the meat for food; we need the hide for clothes.  Give us an animal that can fulfil all our needs."

The god continued to smile.  "Very well, my young friend, I shall give you an animal that you and your tribe may hunt.  I will create a number of them so vast, that all your children and their children will be able to hunt them.  And I will make this beast have everything that you can use to feed and clothe your tribe.  I shall call this creature the Wison.  Now, eat my young friend, and rest near the fire.  In the morning, the storm will be over and you can go home.  Gather your best hunters, for the next morning, the wison will come."

With that, the god disappeared and the young hunter was left alone.  He ate heartily and rested until morning.  Sure enough, in the morning the storm was gone, and he hurried back to his tribe to gather the hunters.  The following morning, a herd of wison was spotted not far from the tribe.  Since then, the ice tribes have hunted the wison, and used all of its parts for food and clothing.


You said you cannot write myths? And what is that lovely tale  above?

Now some additional comments to numbers and other ideas I had while reading and - dreaming this night. ;)

I have not yet checked the size of the Iceland coasts, just some thoughts and concerns.

A word to the grass first. If we assume that growth has the same rules here as it has on earth, then warmth and water accelerates growth, and so far we have it like this. That means, that the hruckchug grass grows VERY slowly. I read once a fir tree grows one cm in ten years in the northern tundra or arctis. The blue grass will not grow much faster apart from its flower! Pikel invented a high nutritional characteristic to get enough food for the Thunderfoot, but I don‘t know, if it will work for the wison as well. If I imagine a herd of thousand animals - how will they feed? There is just not enough grass under their hooves to get enough food. I would not allow them to grace it to the ground, leave at least some stems where it can recover!


 I would find it more realistic, if they split up in smaller groups of maybe even just 20 animals, (or maybe 100? )The advantage would be, that they are much more vulnerable , can be hunted more easily by the icetribes and other predators (packs of wolves or another invented animal). Then a stampede would make more sense, for they actually have something to fear!
This breaking into the ice could occur at such times where there is a stampede.

You want your big herds, I can understand that. Why don‘t you give them a migration pattern, where they meet at a certain place or in an area, maybe a region which is friendlier weatherwise and where the calves are born? Maybe at a place where hot springs are? The could just not eat for a time of two or four weeks, for food would  be of course extremely short. I know this sounds a bit like penguins, but why not? Then you have your big herd and you could even have a big stampede, for they beast still know the fear from the time when they are on the way in smaller numbers.

Maybe this gathering time could have the purpose of mixing up the genes of the herds as well (do not mention genes :) )

More is simmering in my brain, but I think this is enough for now ! :D

A nice submission!


Ah, what I forgot toask - who fertilises the cows, you are speaking of a harem. One bull cannot fertilise all cows in your suggested big herds of 500 , does he? Have the lesser bulls a go as well? or do they try it?



 
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« Reply #29 on: 11 July 2007, 23:27:47 »

I knew I forgot something!
What about eyes (color?), tails, ears, mouth - are they somehow adapted to their different environement? (smaller ears, furcovered nose or what ever you can think of ?) Is there something pecurliar perhaps?

What if Thunderfoot and Wison meet? they are competitors (food)
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