|Official Name||Gallovian Geep|
The Gallovian Geep is a creature covered in dark colored wool that has adapted to the rocky terrain of Gallovia. The Geep has unknown origins, with some assuming the Elves brought it to the region from elsewhere in Aloria while others feel they are native to the mountains that cover the island in which they inhabit. Regardless of their origins, the Gallovian Geep has provided milk, wool, and meat for the native Gallovians for over two centuries. In recent years, their numbers near the main cities have been reduced as the Gallovians pull them back to the mountains to prevent them from being bred into average sheep and goat stocks.
The Gallovian Geep has a mysterious background due to its unknown origins. Some claim they are an Elven creation, a crossbreed of sheep and goat, bred into being by the Elven Empire as a source of food. When the Cataclysm occurred, the animal was set free from the Elven slaving outposts along the coastline of Gallovia where they integrated themselves into the island’s habitat. Native Gallovians contest this theory, stating that the animal naturally lived on Gallovia for years before the Elves arrived. They believe the Geep was taken by Elven slavers along with their people back to Daen instead of the other way around. What is certain is that the Geep has remained an important local animal as it is a reliable source of meat, milk, and wool for many of the Native Gallovians. In recent years, however, foreign herders and other groups have attempted to reverse-breed the unique mesh of goat and sheep and are in the process creating two new species using aspects from the Geep combined with that from both the Elladorian Mountain Trodder and Ceardian Wooly. This action from foreigners has resulted in many Gallovians keeping their prize animals closer to their native habitat of the mountains for fear of losing it to those that wish to breed it with the other animals.
Resembling a mix of a goat and sheep, the Gallovian Geep is an odd creature. Wild Geep are noted as being larger than their tamed counterparts, but all sit at four feet in height, are up to five feet in length and weigh about 220 lbs when fully grown. They possess a sheep-like face with small, velvety ears, and a prolonged mouth, coupled with a goat’s defining “beard” of hairs. Horns also grow out of the top of their heads, varying in growth from small and thin to large and curled, often depending on age. Their skulls are built for headbutting and they possess hard teeth to grind up various materials. Their bodies are covered in a woolen coat with a light line of hairs that begins at their chin before running down base of their necks to their underbelly. Females have udders, marking the only exterior difference between males and females. Their thick wool coats are shades of dark grays, black, and dark browns. All of this rests on four cloven feet, surefooted for their natural, rockier terrain that works well in open spaces too.
The Geep is found exclusively in Gallovia. The population has an equal split gender-wise and can be found in the rocky mountains but also near major villages. The only way to tell the two genders of the animal apart is that females possess udders and males do not.
Life Span and Development
Baby Geep are known as kidlets until they mature to the point in which they are not reliant on their mother’s milk, and are referred to as a kid until they are fully grown. Geep kidlets are weak when they are born, depending on their mother for warmth as well as for milk and guidance. They grow at a normal pace, reaching full size at around ten years old and can live up to 20 years of age. Their minds also go through the different stages of maturity, from ages one to five as their childhood, five to seven as their adolescence and then adulthood from seven until the day they die. When younger, they are often more exploratory yet as time goes on, they roam less and less, but these earlier explorations help them to learn lessons in footing.
The Geep is a herbivore and are peaceful even when found in the wild. The animal especially allows young people and babies close to it, tender to those younger than it. However, when a dispute is encountered, both genders will resort to headbutting with their heads and horns. Often it is members of the same sex who tussle, yet fighting between males and females has been observed during mating season because the female not wanting the male who has selected her. Geep couples last for several months while the mother is pregnant, yet the father will tend to leave or keep his distance once the mother gives birth. They are easy to herd but will panic when attacked and often flit off in different directions when startled. Despite this, Geep regroup quickly to charge their attacker with their horns if threatened.
Territory and Groupings
As herd creatures, Geeps have a pecking order of dominance often determined by the leader’s ability to defeat others in butting heads. The leader leads the herd around, gets first pick of mates unless challenged and is the first to eat. Wild herds rest at about ten to twenty, and those herded by civilization can reach up to 60.
- Gallovian myth speaks of the Geep-faol, a horrendously mutated Geep-human hybrid who roams the hills in search of human flesh. Some believe this to have been some archaic Elven experiment gone awry, but to others, it is a servant of the Archdemon itself. Most scholars however, point to the origin probably being an exaggerated Url encounter.
- A group of wild Gallovian bandits makes use of blackened Geep heads as their sigil and wear clothing exclusively hemmed in black Geep wool.
- Children sometimes sit atop Geep in Gallovia as a game to see how long they can stay on the animal. This has also sometimes led to small mock tourneys for the affection of a fair maiden two boys are fighting over.