An Coríthe



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An Coríthe
« on: September 30, 2018, 02:21:49 PM »
An Coríthe
Inspired by: werewolves
Written by: Jones

Average Lifespan: 450-475 average, 500 years maximum
Average Height:
  • Male: 6’0 from ground to crown in human form, 32 inches ground to shoulder in wolf form
  • Female: 5’8 from ground to crown in human form, 30 inches ground to shoulder in wolf form
Average Weight:
  • Male: 160 - 180 pounds in human form, 85 pounds in wolf form
  • Female: 120 - 150 pounds in human form, 60 pounds in wolf form

Before time there were two brothers. Not of blood or ilk, but brothers of a mind. Suibhne was a man. A forest child before they were called children of the wood. Legend differs on how the boy became an orphan, but by boat sinking or attack by wolves he was the sole survivor of a tragedy. A toddling infant he made his way into the forest where a Queen of Wolf Kindred adopted him for her own. She nursed him with her pups, of whom the Prince Fáelán was the only male. They were raised up together and did not part. Not even when Suibhne returned to the human kind in search of a mate.

They hunted together, and made a home where Kindred and Man lived in peace. But the mate that called to Fáelán’s heart was not of the Blood. Just a common wolf. In some versions this caused a rift between the brothers, in others it only served to make it so that Fáelán’s pups were not of the Blood either. In both tales, it is the lack of Craft in the pups that drives Suibhne to pray to Mother Night.

A great invasion came, and as the leader of his people Suibhne had to lead them into war. They were not very many of the Blood. But Fáelán thought he could lead the common wolves to the fight. And he might have, if he had not been killed in the journey. Leaving Suibhne alone, trying to find a way to make a pact with the pack. Mother Night heard his prayers, and as the Children of the Wood came from her own self, she granted this son a way.

A way to be a bridge between both while being neither. Wolf and Man. With the Craft to change between them at will. His blood changed, and those that were born from him were changed too. Thus the legacy of the Wolf Kings started, and spread through all of Kaeleer.

There are two forms available to the the An Coríthe people. The first is their birth form, which is always human. Their ability to change forms does not manifest until they have made their birthright ceremony. Those born to the pack who are not granted a birthright Jewel cannot change their form, even if they do receive a Jewel for their Offering.

In their base form the An Corithe are indistinguishable from other human Blood. This has helped to preserve them since centuries of stigma surrounding their abilities makes them ill received. The one defining factor is the color of their eyes which is typically an amber color, not as vibrantly gold as the long-lived, but very similar. In general they are slightly taller than the average human, often lean and light on their feet. They have the pointed ears that signify roots in Dea Al Mon, but years of selective mating have left them a gene pool prone to higher melanin occurrence in the skin. This is especially more prevalent in foreign territories where packs have mixed with other races.

The differences in wolf form compared to Kindred and common example of the species are also minimal. An Corithe people tend to have coats of pale fur. They are of a larger (in weight, not height) build than wolves due to better eating habits afforded by their human form. Historically the wolf form is utilized for warfare and hunting. Many choose to have ribbons woven to their fur, or patterns painted on by packmates so that other Blood will identify them as Blood out in the wild.

While switching between forms is done at will, this is not a lightly done bit of Craft. Transformations are painful since they involve drastic changes in muscle and bone formation. They are not instantaneous either, with experience or the aid of brews for the pain forms can be changed in under a few minutes. Young An Corithe can take several hours to fully transform. The act of transformation is often done in small groups or complete privacy while one is learning. This is for safety, though it does pose potential embarrassment since clothing must be removed or put back on when going between forms. It is important though, not to transform in the open when possible. An Corithe people have been killed when other Blood come upon someone in transformation and mistake them for a suffering animal that needs to be put down.

Social stances and pack structure:
Since ancient times the An Corithe have been persecuted for their abilities. Their wolf forms are deadly foes, and while many suffer attacks by Kindred wolf packs, they commune with the Kindred and live in peace by their sides. This has led to rumor that they are not really human, or use forbidden Craft. It doesn’t help that from time to time a member of the race is born with an absent An Corithe parent, or to several generations of normal Blood humans. It is said that the bite of the wolf people will transform you into one of them. But really, they are only taking in those they recognize as kin and teaching them Craft it is their birthright to control.

These misunderstandings and rumors have caused most individuals to hide their true nature. Over the centuries the stories of An Corithe warriors charging into battle at the behest of their Queens has become a sort of bedtime story. Or a cautionary tale to keep children from wandering in the forests.

No matter where or how they choose to live all An Corithe answer to a pack. These social structures exist in most societies, normally as a secret sect. They can work, live, and coexist peacefully among other races, though their unusual lifespans can make it difficult to mask that their abnormalness. Each pack is composed of several families, usually they are related. They are very territorial, so there is rarely more than one pack living in a province. Pack members answer to one another. There is no hierarchy other than peers and the pack leader. The leader is always female, the strongest of her pack, not the eldest.

Packs do fight one another. Over territory on occasion, over alliances with other races too, but mostly over keeping the secret. If one pack sways, or one member of a pack reveals themselves, the other packs in the area will retaliate. Putting the entire race at risk is not acceptable.

Mating and Marriage:
These are not the same to the An Corithe people. And unlike their Kindred and common canine cousins, they do not take one mate for life. The creation of children has little to with love or affection. Strong offspring requires good pairings. In the spring there are territory wide gatherings so that interested parties can safely meet potential mates. Pack Leaders heavily influence these decisions, and they can choose any male they wish for their own mate when they are ready for parenthood. Males that refuse are exiled from the pack, they must either beg their way into another or form one of their own. The actual act of mating is a drawn out affair. Never done in conjunction with a woman’s Virgin Night. Brews increase the fertility of both parties and send the males into a rut-like drive to procreate. It is far less violent, but not generally considered a pleasant experience for the males.

Once a mating is proven successful the males must guard their mates through pregnancy, which usually means bringing her into his home. Females become a part of the pack they bear a child into so that families are not broken up and there is less chance of accidental inbreeding. They have the choice to mate with other males of the pack later if they wish. By accident or purpose mating with those outside of the An Corithe is considered taboo- and in some society is even punished. It risks exposure, can be very confusing for the other person involved, and if something should happen to the An Corithe parent the child might never know their potential. Marriage and love matches are as normal for the An Corithe as for any other culture. When a spouse is also a suitable mate, it’s considered an excellent pairing and very celebrated.

Children are raised communally. Most are siblings and first cousins after all. While they conform to the standards of living and education of the territory they live in, it's often not clear to outsiders who the parents of a particular child are. To make things simple the mother claims the child and if she has a husband, he is called the father rather its true or not. All members of a pack look out for one another, even if they don’t have children of their own.

It has been centuries since a queen was born to the An Corithe of any territory. Since ancient times it has been the rarest of castes. Healers are in short supply, many are encouraged to travel between Packs to aid in childbirth, transformation difficulties, and other medical issues that shouldn’t be brought up to non-An Corithe healers. Warlord Princes are particularly common, and uncommonly vicious compared to the same caste of other races.

Names and Naming Traditions:
Each pack holds the name of a founding ancestor. It is used as a surname and identifier among the An Corithe, even in lands where surnames are nonexistent or uncommon. For names it is vital that the pack adhere to local tradition and convention so that they fit in.

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The Darkness

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Re: An Coríthe
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 05:37:54 PM »
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