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Bogyn's Nastiness Rating: -11 (Harmless) for your average cow and up to 122 (Incomprehensibly Nasty) for Giant Meteoric Cows

Creature Families: Bestial

Depending on one's personal level of intellect and/or schizophrenia, The Elemenstor Cycle raises any number of interesting psychological, philosophical, sociopolitical, continuity, and causality questions. But there is one question which everyone, regardless of race, religion, creed, class, education, or economic background, asks.

"What's the deal with the cows?"

At first glance, the inclusion of Beef seems harmless enough; despite the presence of Dragons or Pasta Fiends or Kitsune or what have you, it is typical fantasy convention that domesticated animals like horses or cows exist for the feasting of Men.

But starting around Book 5, things get odd...

Little Cow Problems

First, we must consider the problems that normal-sized cows cause en masse.

The Quilp

According to the Quilpon, the holy book of Quilpism, cows are spiteful and blasphemous and should not be permitted to live. Also, they should not be eaten. Oddly, in the lands of the Quilp, cows breed like rabbits. So the Quilp export a tremendous amount of Beef from their homelands.

This unreasoning and dogmatic hatred of so harmless and stupid an animal is only the beginning of the confusion, however. It gets much worse when you realize that in Battal, there is probably good reason for the quirky Quilp hatred...


What relation, if any, have cows to their more bipedal brethren, the minotaurs? Some suggest they are Halfmen, and while this is possible, it would be unwise to suggest as much to a minotaur's face. Judging by the Minotaur Shaman ability to summon Cowfall, certainly there is some connection.

But what?

Good Greef

Greef is the meat of elemental sorrow that comes from one of the layers of the NastyPlanes, namely the Cowpen of Eternal Sorrow. Greef is made from the ineffectual Dyemon-breed cow known as the Ihmho Cow, named after the Dyemon prince Lord Ihmho the Perpetually Moody.

It comes as quite a shock to most people that cows persist in other planes of existence. How did they get there? How do they survive?

Bovines of Unusual Size

Encounters of Mort the Dairyman

Mort the Dairyman is presented as an archetype of proper behavior for all dairy workers. References to his incredible exploits appear in almost every book, though few of the tales are told in their entirety. In the tale "Mort and the Unusually Big Cow," he takes on a cow which is as large as 7 cows and gives a comparable amount of milk. The Unusually Big Cow terrorizes the village until Mort vanquishes it, according to some accounts "with one blow."

Where did the cow come from? Why did it want to destroy the village?

Meteoric Cows

Large cows often fall from the sky. Or at least one assumes they fall from the sky when someone is found dead in a crater, fresh meteoric beef adorning his corpse and attracting flies. Incidents of Cowfall (as it is called) are rare and treasured events to the conspiracy theorists of Battal. Endless speculation has been wrought as to where these meteoric cows come from, and why they have always hit somebody when they land. Some believe them to be nothing more than the bovines spontaneously manifesting Lesser Elemenstation, which, in cows, is a self-destructive attack power; others claim there is a "belt" of hovering cows suspended in the air between Middlemoon and the Bright Moons, a belt that occassionally loses a cow, which then falls untold distances and onto some schmuck below. Minotaur Cosmology has yet another theory, considered by some to be quite ludicrous. Arguments about these theories (really, "crapshoots") are known for becoming quite heated. Numerous books have been written on the phenomena, the most famous being The Cowfall Prophecies.

The Giant Meteoric Cow

The largest cow of all, of course, has never been seen except in vision. It is the Giant Meteoric Cow, the prophesied doom that inspired the Transchanting of Zonardia.

So What's the Deal with the Cows?

No one knows.

They're big. They're small. They're stupid, they're crafty. Some walk on two legs, some walk on four, but one thing is certain: they're everywhere.

Noted crackpot astrolonomer Orwin Gernal links cows, especially of the "heavenly body" or "enormous" variety to the insane plans of Gambol and Brathymide. Other conspiracy theorists have suggested that cows are a hive mind entity hell-bent on complete domination of all reality. Others see them more as a planar parasite, having many manifestations, some benign, others malignant.

But in the end, only the cows know for sure.

As a Unit of Measurement

There is no known etymological connection between the word "cow" as it refers to the creatures and the word as used in measuring pies.

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