- "The diet of the typical Kislevite peasant is made up of fish, tubers, and the flesh of the oblast deer. The diet of the typical Kislevite bear is made up of fish, tubers, and the oblast deer. It is little wonder these people see so much kinship with the creatures."
- —Friar Begel, “My Travels in Kislev”[1a]
Along with the bear and the steppe pony, the oblast or ice elk is one of the three creatures vital to stanitsa life. They closely resemble the deer of the Empire but are larger and have much larger horns. Wild ones are hunted for their meat but are extremely elusive, and such hunts can often take weeks to complete. In some stanitsas, they are domesticated to pull sleighs, ploughs, or mill-wheels, and sometimes they’re even used as pack animals. Their milk is fermented to make koumiss. Their hides are used to make cloth and sacking; their bones are carved into pipes, flutes, and tambours, and their intestines are woven to make an extremely strong elastic thread. The uses of the elk are endless, and their application is ubiquitous in any stanitsa. Gospodars are known to hunt the elk for sport alone, a practice the Ungols view as barbaric.[1a][1b]