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Dire Wolves




Dire wolves are also known as 'wolflords', since some legends whispered by travellers at flickering firesides suggest they are lords over normal wolves, created by Vahal, the god of the hunt, to lead them. There have been sightings of them in amongst other species of wolves, but these are anecdotal tales at best, from survivors who had been scared so witless their accounts cannot be taken too seriously. However, it is easy to see why they have this name though as they are easily distinguished from their less supernatural kin. They are very large, almost the size of a small horse, with fur so dark they stand as one with the shadows, only their red eyes marking their presence. Their fangs and claws are more pronounced than a normal wolf's and when they reach maturity many individuals will sprout a crown of horns which continue to grow as they age. Their eyes are very sensitive to light and cannot stand sunlight. Even with heavy cloud cover, full daylight is hard for them to bear. As such dire wolves are almost exclusively nocturnal.

Dire wolves are heavy and built for strength and power but not speed. They are easily outrun by all but the most ponderous of prey but what dire wolves lack in speed they more than make up for in stamina and single-minded pursuit. Prey is simply chased until it either makes a deadly mistage or runs itself into the ground.

They are relentless, cunning hunters living either alone or in very small packs of five individuals at the most. They are often confused with hellbeasts (and it is likely some of their reputation for bloody, senseless slaughter may have been falsely attributed to them when in fact a hellbeast was responsible) but they are not daemons. Some magic does however run in their blood, showing in the red balefire glow of their eyes, and their enhanced intelligence. Legends suggest they may be able to speak, or at least understand language, but there is no solid evidence of this. Some dire wolves may also sport unusual markings that start to glow as they close in for the kill. Then there are the tales of vengeful dire wolves that hunt down and kill those who have slain thier kin, sometimes stalking them for years, seen only as a fleeting shadow at the corner of their quarry's vision, waiting for them to venture out into the wilds alone...

They have a reputation for attacking unwary travellers in lonely places but this is a little unfair since they tend to stay well away from towns and villages so only people travelling out in the wilds are likely to encounter them! Over the centuries they have been hunted to near extinction by fearful humans (and those who mistakenly think the normal wolf population would decrease without dire wolves) and have learned to avoid areas inhabited by large populations. Small farmsteads and outposts are more at risk and must guard thier livestock well. Dire wolves' relationships with other races with whom they share their territories are a little better: elves and degarii know to avoid them, whereas ranwulfs seem to have an affinity and mutual respect for them.




Average Statistics
Size: 1.5-2 m long
Weight: 600-700kg
Diet: carnivore
Alignment (if any): neutral
Strengths: intelligence, stamina, strength.
Weaknesses:bright light, slow, low rate of reproduction.