Ceardian Silver Wolf
|Ceardian Silver Wolf|
|Official Name||Ceardian Silver Wolf|
|Common Nicknames||Twintail Wolf|
|Habitat||Essalonia, Regalian Archipelago|
Terror of many, symbol of some, the Ceardian Silver Wolf is a group predator, originating in Old Ceardia and has since then migrated to the harsher regions of the Regalian Archipelago and Essalonia. The Silver Wolf has been incorporated in much imagery and folklore as a symbol of fear and strength for the Old Ceardian people, as well as serving as a raging example of the saying “strength in numbers”. While a wolf on its own is not a particularly fierce creature, it's organized pack mentality and hunting strategies is what makes it a terrifying sight to behold, and if a pack of Silver Wolves descend on your sheep herds, you can do naught but watch.
Originating in Old Ceardia hundreds of years before the Cataclysm, the Ceardian Silver Wolf has served as a symbol of superiority to the various Kingdoms and lands that ruled the region. An invisible struggle over the Silver Wolves was always present, such as who wore the most Silver Wolf furs and who had the highest population in their forests. It is still unclear why this conflict even existed, as the predator was actually quite a problem for the landowners, taking down entire herds of sheep over a week and even making game of cattle or local hunters. It was during the Destruction of Old Ceardia that the vast majority of the wolves perished, though some of the nobles, in a final attempt to win the Silver Wolf struggle, brought a couple of packs with them on the evacuating ships. Some of them were set loose in New Ceardia, while others were brought to some of the harsher regions of the Archipelago, such as Drixagh and Gallovia where the Old Ceardian population settled.
They have continued to thrive in the new environments and their numbers have grown over the years as they repopulated, remaining a constant menace on the sheep and cattle industries. In most of the regions it lives in, the wolves have been hunted relentlessly in local forests to keep their numbers under control; in Gallovia, however, there have been placed restrictions on the number of wolves a hunter is permitted to kill. This likely stems from the fact that many of the old Ceardians settled down in Gallovia and have continued the practice of revering the beasts to preserve their culture, rather than casting them aside as a nuisance. To this day, the Ceardian Silver Wolf remains a strong symbol of Old Ceardian culture and folklore, but also a threat and constant problem on the minds of many landowners and sheep herders the world over.
Visibly built as a predator, its muscled body carries many weapons and instruments to assist the Silver Wolf in its hunt; from sword-like teeth, to ears that can turn nearly 360 degrees to listen in all directions. It can grow to a length of four feet and a maximum of three feet in height, making it a fairly large predator for its kind. The most notable feature of the Ceardian Silver Wolf is perhaps its tail. Its tail starts at one base, but half way up it divides into two tails with large plums of fur. This creates a lethal appearance like an arrow when the wolf sprints across a plain and has caused many historians and biologists to wonder why this trait has occurred, when it is seen in none of the Silver Wolf’s other wolven cousins.
The next thing that stands out is its smooth, gray fur which gives off a light shine, resulting in its name and comparison to the metal it was named after. It is the feature most commonly used to tell it apart from other wolves at a distance. The Silver Wolf possess four slender legs that each end in a clawed paw and in their jaws sit two rows of deadly sharp teeth which are capable of regrowing within a month should any fall out. Its elongated skull features a long snout and pointy ears like any common wolf; however, its ears are more fluffy than other wolves’, carrying a small pointy plum on the peak of its ears like that of a bobcat and a fuzzy fur all over them. The silver Wolf is born with its teeth, and it takes a hard strike from a blunt weapon to even crack these deadly fangs as the density of the bones has reached incredible strengths to avoid them being ripped out once they latch their jaws onto larger prey like an ox or a bull. The teeth usually take on a greyish tint; exactly why is unknown.
The Silver Wolf males tend to be slightly larger, and feature a thick fur growth around their necks like a mane, and their pelts are pure gray. Females are however more dull in their colors and have two black stripes running along their backs. They also appear more nimble in stature, with smoother fur and more elegant movements. Additionally, the males are a lot more territorial than their female counterparts, and as such also more aggressive.
Life Span and Development
After birthing infants in groups of one or two, the Silver Wolves begin their existence as pups. At first their fur comes in a shade of dirty gray which will then develop into the iconic silver fur as they approach adulthood. A Ceardian Silver Wolf lives an average of 20 years, during which they will produce upwards of twenty offspring over the course of their life. The wolf reaches maturity around the age of five, and their fur will be completely gray by the age of seven which it will continue to be until around the age of fifteen, where the shine will begin to dull, and they will either grow more blackish or completely white. In the final years of their life, claws will drop, fur will shed, but curiously enough their teeth always remain.
The Ceardian Silver Wolf are predators through and through, and their nature clearly reflects that sentiment. These beasts are aggressive towards virtually anything that isn’t a member of their pack and are not ones to shy down from a fight. These fierce hunters are incredibly masterful at their craft, using instinctive hunting patterns and communication to take down prey many sizes larger and some several times more intelligent than themselves. Biologists have been baffled for centuries in regards to the animal’s communication skills, as they far surpass the common interactions of most other beasts. For the duration of a pup’s childhood, it will mimic and practice the howls of its elders, letting each individual flock create their own howling patterns that can only be understood by those in the same pack. They possess a strict pack mentality and are very social creatures. In fact, they have been known to grieve for lost members of their pack, and show undying loyalty to the other members.
Territory and Groupings
The Ceardian Silver Wolf is strictly a pack-oriented hunter. They are not particularly strong on their own, and they cannot deploy any of their hunting strategies on their own either. Therefore they are always found in packs of at least five to ten members, in rare cases even more. Each group is also incredibly territorial, guarding their hunting grounds and caves with fierce vigilance and ferocity. This territorial mindset has been the death of many hunters, as well as other Silver Wolves. One of the most lethal hunting tools of the Silver Wolf is its howl. Each pack has learned a unique howl, and while a normal ailor could not hear the difference, the communication is blatantly obvious to any other Silver Wolf from the pack. This allows the hunter to alarm its pack of intruders, and communicate the whereabouts of their prey.
- In Old Ceardia, warlords would domesticate these creatures for military and aesthetic purposes. The methods of taming these beasts have since then been lost.
- The West Gallovian island of Pach Mort is said to hold the highest population of Silver Wolves within the Archipelago.
- Some scholars theorize that the twin tails are a by-product of Void Taint from the Destruction of Old Ceardia.