Sheep are the economic basis of Mikelmerck. Without them, society does not function.
Scrivener Wainwright, that self-proclaimed authority on all things Mikelmerck has this to say.
"It is a pity that more poets have not honoured the sheep in verse. Surely their extreme utility and interesting habits deserve more attention. The black-faced denizens of the hills are supremely hardy and in the words of their shepherds, "canny buggers".
The shepherds tell me that the Mikelmerck sheep are matriarchal. In their quaint way, they describe it thus:
"Flock allus follows owdest ewe, never ram. Hims but for tupping, no matter what 'e thinks. Done and gone, but ewes is forever. Reason being, if she'n not smartish, she'n not get to be owd. Fight like helldogs if'n flock's threatened. Ram does nowt but charge, but ewes gang up. Tupping time, rams gets het up and fights, but not proper-like. All manlihood that is, no bloodshed. But I seen owd ewe hold off wolf afore now."
Wainwright continues in the same eulogistic tone for some time. He describes in detail his pursuit of the secrets of knitting runes into garments made from Mikelmerck wool and his frustration at the refusal of the great knitting families to share any information with him at all.
This is not surprising. It is certainly true that many unique and magical items can be created using Mikelmerck wool, but such things are not given merely to the curious.
An old tale tells of a feylord who sought armour to protect him from a gigantic wyrm. In order to gain what he wanted, he asked dwarven smiths, elven metalcrafters and human women to create their best work. The dwarves laboured for gold, and the elves for magic, but the humans asked for nothing but their time. Unable to pay the human price, he offered instead to enchant the flock leader so that she would always be able to call on fey help.
The feylord chose the wool. It helped him defeat the wyrm and since that day, all owd ewes have a connection to the fey. None have ever forgotten it.