From Encyclopedia Ermariana
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Cows, also known as cattle are a hoofed herd animal. These animals are herbivores and can be found all over the world, though their preferred natural habitat are the plains. They have been domesticated and raised for their meat, milk and their leather, while some surface varieties are used as draft animals.

Cave cows

Cave cows are sickly shadows of cows that the Empire originally sent underground occasionally as a 'gift' to the Avernites before the Empire-Avernum War. Most of the cattle sent died due to lack of their preferred food, though some survived by feeding off the various mushrooms, lichens and mosses which could be found.

Though they survived they were sickly, pale creatures and their meat and milk were considered rank. Gradually the cave cow population of Avernum fell in numbers until by the time of the Blight there were none left.