Long thought to have been killed-off 300-400 years ago by the hunters of the Icelands Tribes of north-eastern Sarvonia, the "White Warg", now more commonly known as the Eanian Warg, was re-discovered living a secretive, nomadic life as recently as 1533 a.S. The smallest known breed of its kind, this is surely one of the most beautiful and intriguing of the warg species. Having been so mercilessly hunted for its meat and highly-prized fur, it has developed an uncharacteristic wariness of man, and seeks out the remotest areas of the Icelands Peninsula and the Peninsula of Iol as its home. However, the man who mistakes this wariness for fear is a fool indeed, as, despite its size, the White Warg is, without doubt, one of the most savage, merciless killers ever to have lived, especially when cornered.
As has already been mentioned, this is the smallest of the known
breeds, a result perhaps of living in such inhospitable surroundings. The same
forces of nature which stunt the growth of trees in the frozen northern regions
have most likely caused this ‘dwarfing’ in the Eanian.
Unusually for wargs, there seems to be very little difference in the sizes of the sexes, with both standing at about a palmspan over a ped at the shoulder, with the larger ones reaches nearly a ped and a fore. Their length ranges from one ped and four palmspans to one ped and eight palmspans, excluding tail, which is about four palmspans long. Weight varies with the availability of prey, but seems to range from three to five pygges.
The overall appearance of this animal is not unlike that of most warg breeds, being deep-chested, long-legged and powerfully muscular. The thick fur coat which they wear for most of the year, however, leads one to imagine them as being slightly bulkier or fatter than usual.
The coat of the Eanian is actually made up of two separate layers of fur. The top, or outer, layer varies in length and thickness throughout the year, typically being between one or two palmspans, and provides much of the protection needed against the biting winds and blizzards of the north. It is coated in a thin layer of a greasy, odourless matter, which seems to serve only as a means of preventing it from becoming waterlogged when the animal submerges. The bottom, or inner, layer is much shorter, being only around one to two nailsbreadths throughout the seasons. It is also of a darker hue, sometimes appearing more grey than white, and grows much more densely than the outer coat, almost forming a ‘mat’ of hair across the whole body. So dense is this fur that even when the animal dives beneath the water, its skin remains dry. A few timeticks of shaking when back on dry land is all that is needed to remove every last drop of water from both layers of fur, and the thickness of them soon allows the Eanian to regain any heat lost.
In comparison to its size, one of the most notable features of the Eanian Warg is the size of its paws, which appear to belong to a much larger animal altogether. Although this could be said equally of some of its larger cousins, such as the rast warg, the effect seems to be somewhat exaggerated in this breed. Having widely-splayed, fully webbed toes and being covered in thick fur does nothing to reduce this appearance. However odd they seem though, these large, wide feet prove invaluable when moving across the deep snow and smooth ice of its habitat, preventing them from sinking too deeply into the snow or slipping around. When running at full speed across deep, fresh snow, they almost seem to be floating above the surface, whilst other creatures simply sink up to their bellies, making easy prey for the warg.
Each toe is tipped by a sharp, curved claw. The claws are usually used to help with the grip when crossing ice, and to this end have around only a fourth part of their length showing. When the warg is trying to bring down prey much larger or heavier than itself, though, the claws are exposed in all their flesh-ripping glory, digging into the flanks of the fleeing animal and curling backwards into the flesh to ‘hook’ the warg onto its prey, allowing it to sink its teeth into the animal at will.
Another singular feature of the Eanian Warg also comes to the fore when swimming or diving. The tail of this breed is no longer than that of the others, but is, without doubt, much thicker and more muscular, enabling it to be used as a steering device, much like the rudder on a ship. It is also used when the warg is climbing out of the water and back onto the ice, when it wags it vigorously back and forth in the water to give aid to its front legs as it drags itself onto land.
Surely the most striking feature of this animal is its coat. So white is it that if you were to stand within a few peds of one, and it remained still you would be unable to see it against the fields of snow it lives in. This is, very obviously, most advantageous when the warg is on the hunt, which it seems to be constantly.
As advantageous to the animal as this fur is, it also nearly proved to be its undoing, being one of the major causes of the over-hunting by the Icelands Tribes.
The facial features of the Eanian are unmistakably warg-like, being similar to a wolf but with the elongated muzzle typical of the breed. The muzzle, cheeks, and forehead are covered in short, bristly fur of the same pure-white colour as the rest of the animal, with slightly longer ‘eyebrows’ which help to shield the eyes from the driving snow and ice common in its natural habitat.
The eyes are set either side of the face, pointing forwards just above the point where the muzzle begins, and are of the most piercing vontromarine blue, surrounded by a narrow band of black. Stone wrote that “….the eyes of this dangerous, enchanting creature seem to pierce your body, reaching deep into the very soul of your being, searching out your deepest secrets. By turns, they appear to reflect the wisdom of a thousand lifetimes, and the sorrow that comes with such a burden…..”
Perhaps due to the almost constant driving of snow and ice by the wind in the extreme nothern regions, the Eanian Warg appears to have unusually poor vision. If its prey can hold its nerve and remain still, the warg will have great difficulty in locating it, especially if it is upwind of the potential meal.
Within the powerful jaws are set forty two menacing teeth. The back four teeth of both upper and lower jaws are roughly square-shaped and flat on the top surface. These are ideal tools for crushing and cracking any bones which the warg eats, and also aid in the softening of frozen meat. The remaining twenty six teeth are of varying lengths, with the longest being set into the front-sides of the jaws, and all are ideally suited for ripping and tearing flesh. All of these ‘tearing’ teeth are inclined slightly backwards, to prevent whatever is being eaten pulling free. Each of the ‘razors’ has an additional cutting edge which runs down the back of the tooth and is made up of tiny saw-like points.
When the jaws are apart, there is a small gap between each tooth which at first seems odd, until the jaws are seen when shut. Both upper and lower sets of teeth fit perfectly within each other, creating an ideal device for severing limbs or holding fast anything which comes between them. The only exceptions to this are the four canine teeth, two in each row, which are almost half as long again as the rest, and even sharper, if that is at all possible.
As with all wargs, whenever a tooth is lost due to injury or carelessness, a new one will soon grow to replace it, unless the damage to the surrounding gum is too severe. Unlike humans, there is no limit on the number of times a warg tooth can be replaced.
Whilst there is much that is unusual or unique about this creature, without doubt the strangest feature is the tongue. Instead of the expected pink, it is of a distinctive blue/grey hue, the reason for which defies explanation. It has been suggested, albeit by ill-educated nomadic herdsmen of the Icelands, that it is a result of the frozen meat which the Eanian seems to thrive on, and if you are ever bitten by one, then you will surely freeze to death at the touch of its tongue.
The ability which sets this warg apart from the many
other breeds is its skill in the water.
Whilst most kinds of warg are competent but somewhat
reluctant swimmers, the Eanian seems equally comfortable on either land or
water. If food is scarce, this beast has no
hesitation in diving into the nearest lake, river or ocean and catching
slow-witted bonehead or evoor
fish. They will even take on the feared dark
stryke shark, if the opportunity arises.
Where the webbing between the toes really proves its worth, though, is when the warg submerges and chases its prey underwater, something which it can do for longer than any man. Unfortunately, research into the precise details of its underwater exploits has proven all but impossible owing to the freezing temperatures of the water, and the difficulty in finding anyone brave enough to enter the frozen ocean for extended periods of time.
They can regularly be observed dipping beneath the waves and surfacing a short while later holding a crab or some such in their jaws. The time they can spend submerged seems to vary from warg to warg, but one thing is certain; they can hold their breath for far longer than any human. Some say that they can even breath underwater, but this is highly unlikely.
In a similar manner to their long-distance running ability, the Eanian Warg seems able to swim at a steady pace for many time-candles with little rest, moving from ice-flow to ice-flow, scenting for prey.
One of its favourite prey on land, the pinnip, seems to elude it in the water though, as its skill and speed are far greater than the wargs once it enters the water.
Due to their thick double coat, the Eanian is able to tolerate far colder temperatures than most other beasts, and they have regularly been reported sitting atop ice boulders, with blizzards and ice-storms swirling about them, sniffing the air for any scent of prey. If they do take shelter, it is usually in the lea of a snow-drift or ice-shelf, and they will curl-up quite happily, with their tails across their noses, until the worst of the weather has passed. Many times they become buried beneath the snow, and instead of escaping immediately, they remain curled-up and then dig themselves out when they sense the weather has changed.
Because of the almost constant swirling snows and driving ice-storms of their territories, the eyes of Eanian Wargs are almost permanently half-closed, in order to protect them from damage. Add to this the blinding reflection from the pure-white landscape, and it is little wonder that their eyesight is rarely used for hunting food. The same tale can be told of their hearing. The howling winds which are a feature of their habitat render it virtually useless, except at very close quarters.
Fortunately for the wargs, and unfortunately for their prey, their sense of smell is unsurpassed by all but a very few creatures. They can smell and track a single animal from many strals away, even in the most terrible of conditions, often pinpointing a winter fox or pinnip which it will take a whole time-candle to reach. It is claimed by those who live within the wargs territory that they are able to scent and pick-out a single weak or injured individual from a large herd of wison or baneg, just from the scent the herd leaves behind. Numerous witnesses have testified to seeing this, some claiming that the warg tracked their herd for several days and targeted the single weakened animal immediately from a herd of dozens.
The Eanians ability to withstand freezing temperatures without ill-effect has given it a singular advantage when it comes to hunting, and being hunted. They can remain absolutely motionless on the ice and snow for hours at a time. Their pure-white fur blending perfectly with the snow around it means that you could be standing a mere three or four peds away from one and not know of its presence. This is of great use when hunting prey, as they can simply position themselves ahead of the animal and wait patiently for it to pass by, before attacking, without warning, from the rear. The advantage of becoming almost invisible when being hunted needs no explanation.
Also of particular use when hunting is the great speed the Eanian has over short distances. From a standing position, they can cover up to ten peds in the time it takes to blink an eye. This allows them to dart in and out of range of a prey animal’s defensive attack before the animal even realises what is happening. On larger prey, such as bears, they do this repeatedly, circle, dash in, bite (usually at the legs), then dash away again before the bear has chance to react with a crushing paw-strike.
As well as their great short-distance speed, in common with most warg breeds, the Eanian is able to run continuously, seemingly without rest, for three, or even four, days at a time. As long as they keep at a trot, they appear never to tire. Again, this is of great advantage when tracking prey which they have scented over a great distance.
Territory. Once a common sight across the whole of the Icelands Peninsula, from the Gathorn Mountains in the south, right up to Sirnil at the very northern tip of the Vertans territory, the White Warg was long thought to have been hunted to extinction by the Icelands Tribes, and had all but disappeared from memory, appearing only in folk-tales and legends.
However, in 1533 a.S., whilst researching rumours of a “Wolf Spirit”, lore researcher Bartholem Stone happened upon a female White, obviously heavy with pup, hiding in a small ice-cave in the frozen wastes to the west of Eanin, in the Eanian territory. Deducing that the fact she was pregnant meant that there must also be at least one male, he determined to find how widespread this legendary creature was.
After many years spent traversing the dangerous terrain of the Icelands Peninsula, he had found that the White was alive and well, if not exactly thriving, in the remotest regions of the Eanian, Faeron, Sanartrim, Filmainrim and Vertans territories, and, thanks to the wily nature of the animal itself, and the secrecy surrounding their precise locations, they still exist there in small numbers today.
Thanks to the foresight of Bartholem Stone, and the co-operation of the few herdsmen and the Ice Elves of the Peninsula of Iol, a few second-season pups were introduced to the area around Mount Gould and the White Sea, and a ban on the hunting of these creatures, agreed between Stone and the Ice Elves, has seen them flourish until they now inhabit a vast swathe of land from the sea of Iol, north-westwards right up to the Forest of Contamar. There are also reports from the rangers hired by Stone to enforce the ban of individuals being spotted as far north east as the Faerin Isles. So populous have they become that the ban on hunting them is lifted every few years to ensure that they don’t become too dominant over the other wildlife of the Peninsula.
Habitat/Behaviour. Unlike its more southerly relatives who are, by and large, fairly social animals, the Eanian Warg chooses to lead a relatively solitary existence, only tolerating the company of another during the mating season, or when raising a new pup. No-one knows whether this has always been the case, or whether it has adopted this strategy as a means of self-preservation against the massive over-hunting of their kind by the hunters of the Icelands Tribes. However, evidence gathered from the Iol Peninsula Eanian Wargs suggests that this may be a natural position as these wargs, since being moved from their natural homeland and having been the subject of a hunting ban and allowed to live as they wish, still choose to avoid contact with each other as much as is possible.
Unlike the other breeds, in particular the rast (which treats the human species with disdain), the Eanian displays an uncharacteristic desire to avoid humans as much as possible, and, the myth of the ‘Spirit Wolf” notwithstanding, seems to ignore them as a food source. This is thought to be directly linked to the merciless slaughter of their descendants in the Icelands Peninsula, where they were, and still are, hunted down not just out of fear, but also for their meat, pelts, teeth and claws. It is unclear how many true Eanian Wargs still exist in the Icelands, but without the timely intervention of Bartholem Stone, and the assistance of the herdsmen and Ice Elves of Iol it is almost certain that this magnificent animal’s very existence would be in peril.
As has been briefly mentioned, one of the few times that these wargs tolerate the presence of another is the mating season during Turning Star, when males seek out and ‘do battle’ for the right to a female.
Seeming to realise that killing each other in unnecessary fights will serve no purpose other than to deplete the already low population, the males compete for females using a very unusual, but fascinating, method. If two males seek the company of the same female, they hold a size contest, the winner being the one who proves himself to be the largest, and therefore more dominant one.
Slowly walking towards each other, each one seeming unwilling to take a step until the other does so, the males gradually stand less than a ped apart, nose to tail, with their fur ruffled out to almost its full length. This can make them appear almost twice their normal size and weight.
They keep their heads low and tilted to one side so that they may keep a wary eye on their opponent. The tail is held rigidly straight-out from the body, adding perhaps a fore to their length. Lips are curled back, baring the razor-sharp teeth within, and an almost constant, low, rumbling growl comes from deep within their throats.
They will remain in this position, neither one moving, unwilling to show weakness or submission in any form, for many hours. Occasionally, they may make a slow circle around each other, but always keeping the same distance apart, and always watching the other.
Eventually, no-one knows how, a winner will be decided, and the loser will begin to back away from his opponent, slowly relaxing his fur as he goes. The bared-teeth and menacing growl will remain until he has reached a distance at which he feels safe enough to turn around and disappear into the snow.
When two equally-matched males meet over a female, and a winner cannot be decided by the ‘size’ contest, a rather more violent, but almost completely bloodless, method of determination is used.
Again realising that there is little benefit to be gained in ripping lumps from each other, the only rules seem to be ‘no teeth, and no claws’. Using brute strength alone, each male attempts to knock his opponent onto his back, thus proving himself to be the dominant one. Head-charging, wrestling, standing on hind legs and trying to push each other over, all seem to be common tactics employed in these fights. Much snarling, growling and barking accompanies these battles, and as violent as they seem, very rarely is any blood spilled.
As soon as one of the males has overturned his foe, he will chase him away from the female, his prize, and mating will usually begin within minutes.
If another male is attracted to the scent of the female during the week of mating, the first warg will have to go through this whole process again to retain possession of his female. This can happen many times over the following week, and it is little wonder that the successful males need to spend several days resting after the mating period is over.
Owing partly to its diminutive size, and partly to the relative scarcity of prey in the frozen northern wastes, the Eanian Warg has developed a hunting method unrivalled by any other ice-dwelling animal.
With prey smaller, equal, or slightly larger in size to itself, the Eanian uses the traditional method, that of pursuit or ambush, then kill. However, on the larger beasts of the region, and in the case of the Eanian Warg this means almost everything, this method is unreliable, and usually ends with the warg at best going hungry, or at worst seriously injured or dead.
To avoid these undesirable results, the Eanian instead uses its small size, great speed over short distances, and its ability to dodge and swerve around larger, slower animals, to great effect. Having found its prey, the warg will brazenly trot along nearby in an effort to draw its attention. Once it has done this, it will slowly start to circle inwards until it decides the prey is within striking distance. Then, using its amazing speed, the warg will dash forward, deftly avoiding flailing claws and snapping teeth, and bite at the legs of the animal (usually the rear legs), before running away to a safe distance. If the prey animal stays to fight, or if the warg failed to take a sizeable bite, then this process will be repeated until the prey collapses from loss of blood, at which point the warg will close-in and finish the animal off by biting out its throat.
If, however, the animal decides to turn and run, then the warg will follow at a safe distance, tracking the beast by scent. The Eanian Warg seems able to sense from the blood dropped into the snow just how badly injured the animal is, and will close-in for another quick attack if the animal shows no sign of weakening. They have been observed tracking such an injured animal for several days, biding their time until the prey is so weakened that the warg is able to finish it off with little danger of response.
Little is known about the methods employed by the Eanian when hunting sea-creatures, but suffice to say that they appear to be every bit as successful as their other methods, as rarely is one seen leaving the water without something thrashing around, clamped between its powerful jaws.
Diet. Living in such a hostile environment, the Eanian Warg has very little choice over its diet. It either eats whatever is in front of it, or it starves, and it appears to matter very little how fresh the food is, although in the frozen climes in which it lives, rotting meat is a scarcity indeed.
On land, the occasional white bear, wison, baneg, basking pinnip seals and winter fox make up the bulk of their diets, but they have been known to use their stealth and speed to pounce on eagles and other birds feeding on the ground. In particularly harsh winters they will use their sharp claws to dig into the frozen ground to unearth tubers, but these are rare occurrences. Of particular interest is the digging for blue myrmex queens, which has recently been reported from the Peninsula of Iol wargs. It is said that they show no signs of injury from the many bites they surely receive whilst clawing open the nest in search of this tasty treat.
Although most of the Eanian’s prey is somewhat larger than itself, it has developed a singular hunting method which makes use of its small stature, great speed and nearly unrivalled tracking ability.
Where the Eanian Wargs differ from their more southerly cousins is in their ability to hunt and capture prey not just in the water, but under it as well. Whilst other land predators may be struggling to find enough to eat in deep winter, the coastal wargs can be sure of a meal as long as they stay near water.
Any sea creature within biting distance becomes prey when the Eanian enters the water. From the plentiful bonehead and evoor fish, to flyer crabs and even the feared Dark Stryke Shark, the warg shows no distinction or mercy to these denizens of the deep. The only creature which seems beyond reach to this skilled hunter is the pinnip. As easy to catch as they are on land, they are equally difficult to capture once in the ocean, their speed and acrobatic twisting and turning proving to be more than a match for the warg.
On occasion, the body of a caefan or the mysterious kraken will be washed-up on the icy shores of the northern peninsulas, providing many months worth of food for not just the wargs, but also the other wildlife in the area. This also provides the warg with numerous opportunities for hunting, as the bears, wolves and foxes descend upon the vast corpse of ocean bounty.
Mating. The only time of year when Eanian Wargs abandon their solitary lives is during the mating season, and then it is only for a brief period of about a week.
In order that the pup is born at a time when the female will be able to catch enough prey to feed herself and her new pup, the Eanain Wargs mating takes place in the depths of winter, in Turning Star. The males will become more aggressive and less reclusive during this period, seeking out the still secretive females who will be sheltering with last seasons pup, who will stay with her and help her tend the new pup for several months after its birth, before leaving in search of its own territory. Interestingly, the second-season pup also plays a part in the mating ritual. If the mother warg shows signs of reluctance or disinterest in mating with a particular male, the pup will help the mother drive the male away. If the male is particularly aggressive or strong, the pup will wait until mating has begun and then attack the male from behind, constantly interrupting the mating until the male gives up and sets off to find a more receptive female.
Males will usually have to fight for the attentions of a female, but this being the Eanian Warg, as one might expect they do things differently to the other wargs. Instead of fighting each other until either one dies, or is so seriously wounded that death is inevitable, the male Eanians will ’square up’ to each other, the winner being the one who is deemed biggest.
Once a male has won the right to a female, he wastes no time in beginning the period of mating which will hopefully see her pregnant. In order to ensure that it is his seed which impregnates the female and not the next male to pass-by, he will stay with her constantly for up to a week, seeing off any would-be suitors using the size contest related above. During this time, he will mate with her many times, often as many as a dozen times a day.
The actual process of mating takes only a few seconds each time, with the male mounting the usually disinterested female, grabbing the back of her neck in his jaws, and then almost instantly cough-barking as he impregnates her. The female seems to have very little say in this procedure, and resignedly carries on with whatever she was doing as best she can.
During this period of mating, the previous seasons pup will have been forced away from the female by the male, and will stay close-by, hunting for itself and the mating couple. As soon as the male has left, the pup will return and take over much of the hunting duties from its mother until the new pup is born, when they will again share the search for prey.
The female will carry the single developing warg pup for two months, and will give birth around the end of Awakening Earth or early Changing Winds. This ensures that there will be plenty of fresh game for them to eat, which helps the youngster to develop quickly so that it is well prepared for the harsh winter which lies ahead.
On rare occasions, a female may produce two pups, and both will be cared for by her and her second-season pup (or warglet). However, in the following winter, if food becomes scarce, then the female will have no hesitation in killing the weaker, or less dominant, of the two pups, in order that the other may have a life-sustaining meal.
When the female senses that she is near to giving birth, she will seek out, or occasionally dig out, a shelter in the lea of a snow-dune or ice-block. She lines the shelter floor with fur which she pulls from her own body, usually from around the back legs and stomach areas where it is easier for her to reach. The second-season pup will also pull fur from its body to help its mother.
Usages. It should be pointed out at this juncture that since this warg has become all but extinct in the Icelands Peninsula, the tribes of that region place great value on the artifacts and such that they have inherited from their forebears. Any shaman who is in possession of a set of divining teeth is seen as being somehow more reliable, accurate and powerful than one without, and any tribesman who owns a tool or garment made from this animal regards it as his most treasured possession, and will guard it with his life if neccessary.
As the Eanian Warg lives in some of the most hostile areas of Sarvonia, the various tribes who share the territories with it, by necessity, found many and varied uses for almost every part of the creature.
First, and most obvious, is the meat. Being such a muscular beast means that there is a far greater amount of roasting meat on one average-sized warg than on any three winter foxes, or any two pinnip seals, therefore it is worth the extra trouble it takes to capture one, should the opportunity arise.
The meat tastes quite strong, some would say too strong, and takes longer than wison to cook properly, but it seems to contain high amounts of goodness, as trappers who spend long months eating little else seem to suffer no ill-nourishment, but rather they appear to be in fine health. After many years of eating this flesh, the hardy northerners seem to have become 'immune' to the taste, however, they still tend to add any herbs or spices they can find into the meal, and wash each mouthfull down with strong ale. The bones, when boiled in a broth, provide goodly amounts of marrow.
Eanian Warg meat has become something of a delicacy in the royal courts of the south, and hunters can make a tidy sum selling the flesh to the merchants brave enough to make the journey to the frozen wastes of Iol and the Icelands. This rise in popularity has undoubtedly come about solely due to the rarity and cost of the meat. People of wealth are easily fooled into thinking that a high price always means quality, and if just one Lord or Lady is seen to be in possession of the item in question, this causes other folk to buy, solely to show that they can afford it as well.
Of late, the blue tongue of this animal has become something of a delicacy amongst the well-to-do classes in Southern Sarvonia. Whilst the taste can at best be described as bland, it is, no doubt, the very scarcity of this item (due to the strict control over hunting of the largest population, Iol) which has caused its popularity.
Another part of the warg which has traditionally been used by the northern tribes and has since gained favour in the south is the pelt. Although it is only small, two or three sewn together make an excellent coat, or cloak to keep out the biting northern winds. Almost every settlement in the frozen territories bears testament to the efficiency of the Eanian fur in repelling the cold. Hats, gloves, boots, trews, jerkins, blankets, shawls, all were made from any scrap of pelt which became available. It was this feature which almost caused the extermination of the Eanian from its original territory, the Icelands Peninsula. Like the meat, the fur of the Eanian has begun to be in great demand in the south, with travelling merchants willing to pay high prices for whole pelts, and then making vast profits when re-selling them to the makers of fine attire in prosperous cities across the land. It is said that only royalty and successful criminals can afford the prices charged for Eanian Snow Wolf (such is it known, as warg fur would, doubtless, not attract such a high price). It is also said in some quarters that there is little difference between the two!
Amongst the numerous Ice Tribes, the wearing of warg tooth necklaces and bracelets is thought to offer the wearer protection from anything from attack by wild animals to fever of the bones, and it has even been suggested that placing a warg tooth beneath your pillow will increase your energy abed!
The teeth were also used in the making of tools and weapons. Being so sharp and strong, they make ideal cutting edges when attached to stout lengths of timber.
Tokarian shamans use the teeth as tools of divination. Casting a handful of teeth on the ground in front of the person in search of help is said to show the shaman the solution to the seekers problem, or reveal the events which are about to befall him.
Like the teeth, some northern tribes wear the claws, and in some cases the whole paw, as a defence against some imagined evil. The claws are sometimes worn through the ears or nose, but are more often seen as necklaces, bracelets or headbands.
The Eanian people themselves wear the full paw as an omen for a successful hunt. They remove the foreleg at its elbow and then hang this from their belt. The tribal Elders use both paws as a sign of office. Both fore legs are removed, with the section of the chest which connects them. This ‘scarf’ is then draped around the shoulders and crossed over the Elders chest and fastened with two or three claws.
Myth/Lore. Bartholem Stone, the Lore researcher who re-discovered the White Warg, was set upon his trail of investigation by a tale he heard from a ranger recently returned from the Icelands Peninsula.
The tale came from the area containing the Sarmanian, Tokarian and Tarkyns tribal territories, and concerned the appearance of a white wolf-spirit, which came in the darkness of the harshest winters to steal children from their beds. The men of the villages vowed to stand guard during darkness, and even though many of them reported sighting the mysterious creature, none had been able to capture it due to its ungodly fleetness of foot. Surely, they agreed, this must be a creature from another realm, as no animal alive was capable of sneaking past them, entering a shelter, stealing a sleeping child, and then escaping, all in a candles-drip, and leaving barely a scuff on the snow. Whilst Bartholem was intrigued enough by the story to set off immediately north, he began to wonder if there may be some truth in the tale, as is sometimes the case. As we have seen, his dedicated research proved more fruitful than even he could have hoped.
Many of the Icelands Tribes believe that the wearing or carrying of Warg teeth will bring them protection from attack by wild animals, in particular, the Eanian Warg. They fashion them into rough items of jewellery and wear them whenever they have occasion to enter the frozen wastes beyond the village boundaries. Believing the tale of the wolf-spirit to be true, they make their children wear necklaces of teeth when they sleep, and place lines of teeth across any entrances to the shelter.
The Ice Elves of the Iol Peninsula, having accepted the Eanian Warg into their territory, have come to see the wearing of a warg tooth as a sign of strength and virility. A single warg tooth is placed beneath the pillow of a newly-wed couple on their wedding night to ensure that they will produce many strong, healthy babies.
The Ice Elves have come to hold great respect for the warg, admiring its tenacity, grace and savage beauty. They have also begun to use it in one of their most important rituals; Kár'teth'neás, or Time of Youths End.
On the day that a male Ice Elf reaches the age of 55, he sets out with older male members of his family to hunt and kill a warg, the adults accompany him for protection only, he must complete the hunt and kill on his own, for they believe that if he can do this successfully, then he shall have no need to fear anything throughout his life.
After the kill has been made, the boys father cuts the throat of the warg and offers a cupful of the warm blood to his son to drink. This is thought to give him the hunting skills and keen awareness of the warg. Next, the youth must carry the dead animal back to the village without help. Once he has returned, the tribal Elders sit in a circle around him and watch as he skins it, cuts it up into separate joints, and then cooks it. The Elders then taste the meal, and if they decide that he has shown sufficient skill in his tasks, and has proven himself capable of providing for a family, then they award him the right to choose a female from those of suitable age within the tribe. They also give him the warg pelt, upon which his future marriage must be consummated to bring the couple strong and brave children. The elves have arranged this ritual around the regular cull, thus restricting any serious damage to the warg population.
The unusual blue-grey tongue of this creature has become a rare delicacy amongst the wealthy classes of southern Sarvonia, but the herdsmen of the Icelands Tribes believe its colouration to come from the large amounts of frozen meat the warg eats and fear its touch, thinking that they will freeze to death.
Whilst researching a tale about a mysterious white Wolf-Spirit in the Icelands, Bartholem Stone, the wealthy son of a merchant and researcher of History and Lore for the University of Lorehaven, happened upon a heavily pregnant female White Warg. Realising the importance of this discovery, and also the danger the animal would be in if the Ice Tribes heard of it, he determined to keep her location a secret.
However, in order to try and secure the safety of the breed, he called a meeting of the Eanian tribal Council and told them what he had discovered. He told them that if they were prepared to let the wargs live and breed in peace until they had re-established a healthy population, then he would give a yearly sum of money to each settlement in the area, and that he would compensate any herder who lost an animal to a warg. After very little discussion, the Council refused his request, fearing that it would endanger the lives of their families.
Stone next went to the Tarkyns Council, then the Aeidin. Tokarian and Sarmanian. In each place he received the same refusal. Not one tribe was willing to offer sanctuary to the wargs for fear of losing their families to the vicious killers, and besides, if they agreed to the deal, they didn’t trust the other tribes to stick to the bargain.
Knowing that a large area of the neighbouring Peninsula of Iol was all but deserted, Stone next went to the tribal elders of the Ice Elves, who lived in the far north-western region around the Forest of Contamar. He offered them the same deal as before, and after several days of talking and debating, they agreed to lease the area around Mount Gould and the White Sea to him for a period of ten years. During this time they agreed to allow the warg to breed in peace, and to kill not a single one, except in self-defence. As they were not herders of any animals, believing all creatures are free to roam as they wish, they sought no recompense for lost cattle. They did, however, insist that Stone make every effort to spread the news of the offer of compensation to the scattered nomadic herdsmen who regularly traversed the northern Peninsula.
This was no easy task, and several years had passed by the time Stone had succeeded in visiting most of the nomads. During this time, the Wargs had settled in very well to their new surroundings, and their population had reached sufficient numbers that Stone agreed with the Elves to raise the hunting ban for a period of 1 full Moon each year. This period must, however, fall outside the breeding season, and no first season pups were to be taken. With agreement reached on all sides, Stone returned to the University to file his reports
Something had taken hold of him during his years in the north, and he felt a growing need to return there to watch over his wargs, or Eanian Wargs, as he had now re-named them. He sold the large house his father had left him, resigned his position at the University, and went back to the Elves of the Forest of Contamar to study their history and legends for his own pleasure. He lived amongst the Ice Elves for many more happy years, even taking a particularly beautiful female as his wife. He died aged 75 in 1578 a.S., leaving behind his wife and three sons, and his many notebooks which were offered to Giliric Tawan many years later when he overwintered with the elves during a field trip.
"Thou art blinder than a warg at midnight." - Common jocular remonstration from the north, usually from a wife to her husband who has difficulty in finding something which is in plain sight. Usually socks or a clean shirt.
"She's a warg's tongue on her, has that one." - Another northern saying, this one from a gossip when referring to someone who is noted for their cold, no-nonsense language.
Researchers. Bartholem Stone, wealthy heir and history/lore researcher rediscovered the White Warg living in the frozen wastes of the Icelands Peninsula.
Giliric Tawan also needs to mentioned. He is a young Kyranian who did much of the original research on the rast warg. He rediscovered much of Stone’s early research notes and set about completing them with his own observances. He also brought to light Stone’s research notes on the Ice Elves.