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Shadow Wolves are an intelligent, large species of wolf from a as of yet still unknown planet, that preffered to live higher up on mountain sides in order to better spot an enemy's approach. "Shadow Wolf" is not the exact name of the race, but only the closest translation to it. They have a language, but it is a compilation of animalistic growls and telepathic signals. After centuries of only being active at night they developed the ability to meld their bodies in with shadows, allowing them to move faster and hunt silently while in this "Shadow Form". They had also unlocked the ability to control their spirits after death, allowing them to easily reincarnate if they so wished.
Larger than Earthly wolves, Shadow Wolves were normally around 6-7 feet long and around 4 and a half feet tall at the shoulder.
Scars were given to each pack member by their Alpha's, used to show an individual's place in their pack;
- •A single vertical scar from the brow to upper cheek was a sign of one accepted by the race.
- •The same scar, but over the right eye was one who was rejected, be it for a crime or something of the like. They were not allowed to interact with any other Shadow Wolf, be them an accepted pack member, reject, or marked for death.
- •A Shadow Wolf who had their scar on their left eye X'd out and was then scarred over their right eye is the mark of one who was one accepted, but was cast out; usually for a crime or betrayal.
- •A Shadow Wolf with X's over both eyes was one marked for death, and was to be ripped apart should they ever be foolish enough to cross another Shadow Wolf's path.
Much like the regular Earth wolves everyone knows and loves, Shadow Wolves didn't have a very diverse eye color. Usually blue, green, yellow, brown, or grey.
Many packs were spread out across the planet, each overseen by their own Alpha. Alpha's were determined by bloodline, much like human royal families. Shadow Wolves that were the firstborn of an Alpha were next in line to take over. Firstborns found to be unfit for any reason had their right to be Alpha taken away, and the right would be passed on to the second born. If there is no other offspring, a sibling of the Alpha would take command and the line would proceed from them. The title of Alpha was not like "King" or "Queen", an Alpha could be male or female. While all Shadow Wolves were expected to obey their Alphas above any others, Alphas had to respect and obey the word of their Predecessors, alive or dead, or else be banished and their bloodline shamed. The biggest and strongest Shadow Wolves trained harder than average Shadow Wolves, taking on a more warrior-type role and acting as the front line incase of an invasion of their territory. All Shadow Wolves were taught, and expected, to hunt and fight if needed. They loved nothing more than to be able to die in combat.
Shadow Wolves were in a constant conflict with the white-furred Celestial Wolves for as long as any of them had known, causing their nocturnal nature. The two races were like day and night, Celestial Wolves moving about and hunting freely during the days, and Shadow Wolves at night. Celestial Wolves had also unlocked control over their spirits, and a type of "Light Form" like the Shadow Wolves' "Shadow Form." There were a very few Alpha Shadow and Celestial Wolves throughout the races' histories that had attempted to join the races and end the constant battling by taking the other's Alpha as a mate. Each time the attempted joining ended disastrously. The results was a blended race rejected by both sides, only allowed to hunt during the fleeting hours at dawn and dusk when neither Shadow nor Celestial Wolf were yet active. Although, there was known to be one Shadow Wolf Alpha that was one of the mixed race, who had renounced his Celestial Wolf blood and had proven himself not only worthy of being accepted as a Shadow Wolf, but of becoming an Alpha.
The name of the religion and God of the Shadow Wolves has been, so far, lost to time, but as a whole shares a striking similarity to the Daedric Prince Hircine from the videogame series The Elder Scrolls. A Shadow Wolf believed that, if successful in proving themselves worthy in life, they could join their God in his hunting grounds, running and hunting for never ending big game prey along his side for eternity.