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Posted: Jan 27 2010, 01:11 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 6-April 09
An outside view
Yuck, this filthy creature is ugly beyond compare!
Whers are seldom seen and pretty or even described as being appealing to the eye but instead often frowned upon, the most commonly used term being 'ugly' or 'mostrosity!'. They are indeed not nice to look at, their huge, bulging eyes sitting inside an unbelievable massive skull, framed by headknobs that can hardly be described as such, being short and as massive as the rest of their body, a thick and often leathery hide covering every inch of their bruteish form. Muscles shift under their skins with every step they make, twitching, tensing always ready to attack. Even if you were able to ignore hilariously tiny wings that are barely capable of a short glide in most cases and the sharp talons on each of their toes, there is no way you could ever ignore their hideous stare, their heavy jaws filled with white teeth. No, Whers are not cute, not nice to look at.
But Whers do hold some feral grace. Every step they make with their two-toed feet seems to be put carefully, their heads held high with a proudness only a predator can have. A jaw strong enough to cut through a mans body with ease can pick up their handler with the same care and softness a mother would pick up her kitten, their nocturnal eyes displaying the deep trust they feel... But these Whers are exceedingly rare, they are the Whers of the Southern Jungle or the few Whers that are properly taken care off.
More commonly is the case of a Watch-Wher, fulfilling his duty to the very end of his life in chains. Watch-Whers are often beaten and mistreated by their owners, knowing very well how far their chain can reach and identifying themselves by the name of the hold they are chained to rather than their owner. Handler is not a term someone would give these humans, the scars the Watch-Whers bear and their often much too skinny shape being prove enough of the ill-treatment they recieved.
Frankly, these Whers are the norm and not the exception, the general view on them being that these 'animals' only deserve such treatment and are not any better than a stray dog, their never ending loyalty being abused rather than honored. Only a few human-bound Whers have a better life, being bound to a Miner whose life depends on their partner and who did in fact realise that they are a team rather than a human and his tool.
Whers in general are highly frowned upon and being bound to one is seen as punishment rather than being an event one would be happy about, the exceptions being quite rare even among Miners who spend their entire life alongside one of the creatures. It isn't uncommon to see a child throw a stone at any Wher it might see - as long as it is a chained one - and clipping their small wings is often seen as the right way to 'tame' such a beast.
Speech and Intellect
It's an animal, what did you expect? Do you think it would answer your question?
Even rarer than a human treating his or her Wher correctly is one who realises that the creature they are bond to is not stupid. In fact, Whers are highly intelligent when compared to normal pets like a Firelizard or a Dog and develop their very own personality even more so. Their memory is much better than that of a dragon, a Wher being capable of memorising every single inhabitant of its hold but it did come to the cost of their Speech. They do develop a multitude of sounds and noises during their life, each of them having their own meaning, but they lack the smooth mental voice of dragons. They do not blurp a novel into the heads of their owners but rely on bodylanguage and single, simple words instead. In great stress this might sometimes turn into a phrase but rarely does it exceed that, lower colors being even less able to communicate through words than Bronzes or Golds. Shunned for being stupid and lacking the voice to protect themselves, Whers are not prized for their intellect put treated like a very stupid dog, like a bull on a fenced field. Their protectiveness for a certain territory or a certain group of peoples being used to increase the nightly safety but never acknowledged.
On occassion, Whers can be highly instinct driven and lacking the mental block that keeps dragons from attacking another and humans unless put under great stress, they are not just used as tools but often also feared as untameable beasts that have thankfully put into chains for the rest of their lifes. 'Taming' one of these beasts by cutting off its small wings is often seen as prove of the humans victory over another freak of nature, the Holdfolk rarely ever seeking to understand Whers better. Whilst the fact that they are not half as stupid as they believe.
OOC: This does indeed differ from the commonly used way to make Whers talk but will hopefully make them seem much less stupid to those knowing their actions. In other words, when playing your Wher use single Words to communicate and rather describe their bodylanguage and noises they make than having lengthy conversations. Keep in mind that your Whers intellect is almost on par with a dragon and their memory much better than any human could wish it to be.
Yes, you may develop a few Wher-words that your Wher speaks aloud and if other Whers start using them too, I will make a small list here for everyone to look them up.
List of common noises:
'Irrwill' - Miner-Wher slang for bad air, a warning often accompanied by a wrinkled nose
A daily Routine
Let's go to the Watch-Wher with a glowbasket in our hands!
Whers are nocturnal creatures and highly photophobic. They are awake during the night and sleep during the daylight hours, seeing heat rather than having normal eyesight. They fear both fire and the sun for the simple reason that their eyes can be damaged beyond repair if they get in contact with too much light or heat at once. A thick layer of cloth can often solve this problem for a couple of minutes but it won't save their skins from getting sunburns, getting dry and cracking open easily. Usually their sight during the night is superior to that of a human being or a dragon but a source of great heat like a large fire or a generally warm place can easily confuse their senses. They sometimes have troubles guessing distances correctly, shying away from a large rock they had expected to be much closer or bumping into a tree when everything has pretty much the same temperature. Relying on their infrared-sight does make them amazing hunters and great trackers, their sense of smell coming in handy when they have to pick up an old trace and their eyes spotting fresh footsteps on the ground.
Their nocturnal lifestyle makes them amazing guards at night but for those who bond to them and truely share their life with their partner it can be quite difficult. Some humans can start suffering under a multitude of diseases caused by the lack of sunlight and others simply have troubles to adapt their lifecycle to a nightly shift. While sometimes not the handler takes care of their Wher, at Holds it is common to use Night Guards in shifts to maintain their health without risking to loose the Wher, who doesn't get the same attention either way. Healers often suggest that true Wherhandlers spend at least half a day per sevenday out in the sun or take a break every once in a while, leaving the Wher to the hands of someone they trust, often another future Wherhandler who has yet to learn how to treat them properly, a lesson that is easily taught by the sharp teeth of a free Wher.
Hah! Myths, I say!
Another thing besides their amazing intelligence that has been lost during the long Intervalls is the fact that Whers can in fact chew firestone and belch flames - including Queens - their thick hides providing a much better defense than the soft skin of a dragon or firelizard. There is only one true problem to this fact and that is their fear of both fire and light, something that will erupt from their maw and not just scare many young Wherlets but also temporarily blind them, turning everything in front of them into a wall of heat. Again thick, wet clothes can solve the danger to their eyes for a limited amount of time by the cost of their entire sight or much rarer a set of large googles that does lower their general sense of sight but does not cut them off completely without putting their eyes into any danger. The moment they belch flames, they will however always be completely blind for a few seconds, their sight returning quickly if their eyes have been shielded in some way, even if it were just by their eyelids. Only a very few, very daring and of course very stupid Whers would keep their eyes open unprotected when burning something to ashes and risk loosing them forever, a tiny flame being enough to damage a good part of their huge eyes, their most vulnerable point.
Are you crazy? They are not that closely related to dragons and firelizards!
But in fact, they are. Belonging to the same family Whers only lack the power of speech and none of their other natural features. Whers in general do not between, however, and this power is almost completely forgotten by even the most caring Handler. Not many Whers themselves know of this, their instinct guiding them in the times of great need, allowing them to Between if it is crucial. They usually jump, putting as much distance between themselves and the ground as they can, before crossing through space and cannot recieve coordinates the same way dragons do, using images of heat rather than regular sight. Only in emergencies a Wher will ever go between, risking its very life everytime they do and seeking a way around it before they even consider doing it.
Two types of Whers?
I saw a strange creature last night... I'm not sure if it was a Wher...
At the Southern Continent there seem to be two different types of Whers, the one being your usual Watch- and Mining Wher while the second type is rarely ever seen unless killed by dragon or feline. They are in truth not two different types but rather two individual bloodlines that developed alongside each other, one being the Mining bloodline, sporting heavy Whers with short legs and broad shoulders whose wings do not allow for anything but a short glide but sport high endurance and enormous strength. The second bloodline are the Jungle Whers or Wilds, those Whers who ran off or escaped in some way into the wild, establishing their own little space in the ecosystem and developing without much human interfierance. While not seen often around holds, their numbers are much larger than the hold-bred Whers, their much slimmer shape and larger wings granting high survivability in the Jungles. Watch-Whers are often mistaken to be either mixtures of the two Bloodlines or of the Wild line but truely are nothing but poorly developed Mining Whers, the Wild Bloodline prooving to me much harder to 'tame' than the Hold bred one. Crossbreeding between the two Bloodlines happens on occassion and is usually successful, the two different kinds really not being much more than two different clans.
And then there were five...
(Base done by khiitan)
Colored like their larger cousins the dragons, a gold Wher is the largest among them all, usually a little more slender than a bronze but not by much, her female shape clearly made to carry eggs and support them while they are inside their bellies. Golds are certainly the most dominant and the most territorials among the Whers, not allowing any un-related gold to stay within their territory and sometimes even scaring their own golden daughters away. They are even rarer than golden dragons and there are usually not more than one or two of their color under human watch, Hold bred Whers often balancing on the rim of extinction, one old gold often being the only thing that makes the difference between keeping Whers alive or not. In the wild golds seem to be a little more common, but yet again wild Whers overpower the tame ones in sheer numbers. In the wilds they run large groups of Whers, sometimes called 'Hunt', gathering many males around them and a couple of closely related Greens. They are the most intelligent among the Whers and can rival many dragons in wit, their mindspeech being slightly more useful than that of other Whers and their commanding power being superior to any other color, especially if being the Senior Queen of a Hunt which contains one or more other Queens.
They mature at around two turns of age and prefer bronzes as mates but will consider any other male color too.
Bronze Whers are slightly smaller but also sometimes bulkier than Queens, sporting nothing but brute strength and being only a little less territorial than Queens. They often fight over their females, establishing a very strict pecking order among themselves but allowing other bronzes in the same Territory if led by a Queen. They seem to be rarer than bronze dragons or bronze firelizards at least under human watch, being more common than a gold but still a quite rare sight. In the wild they usually follow a Queen or wander around in a large area sometimes followed by a few other Whers of the lesser colors. They are able to form smaller Hunts and if there is no Queen present they will hold the absolute command or follow another bronze that does. Bronzes are usually bearing the most scars from battle among the males, picking a fight quite easily and being much harder to control than blues and browns. This might be one of the reasons why they are rarer among the Whers than the should be, many bronzes getting their wings clipped early in their life or being killed off if they prove to be too dangerous, only a small number being kept to insure future breeding.
They mature at around one Turn of age and chase both Greens and Golds, prefering the latter.
The workers among the Whers, Browns are quite commonly seen in Mines where a strong hand is needed. They lift boulders heavier than themselves and are much more common than Bronzes. They do not possess the same territoryial sense and are usually perfectly fine by keeping other males at distance rather than picking an open fight. They are fierce fighters once provoked however and are seldom found guarding a hold, for the simple reason that they are not as easily controlled as a blue. They are perfect partners for Miners, however and in the wilds make up a good part of the general Wherpopulation.
Browns mature at around one Turn of age and chase both Greens and Golds.
Blue Whers have even less say in Whersociety, oftentimes found running from Browns and Bronzes when the larger males bully them around. They are not the most clever but usually quite sensitive much like blue dragons are, their senses being highly priced for Watch-Whers, a duty that is most commonly theirs. They seem to find it easy to sense ill-will in strangers and oftentimes spend their lifes in chains guarding a hold or serving in a mine. In the wilds, they vastly outnumber Browns and are almost always found around a Wher of a larger color, obeying their orders and following them if they wander, hunting together rather than alone, lacking the urge to fend off other males but still protecting their Territory.
Blues mature at around one Turn of age and chase both Greens and Golds, rarely winning the latter.
Green Whers are the smallest among the Whers and not the brightest when compared to Golds. Their shoulders can still reach up to the height of a man and carry their handlers around with ease. Their strength is much less than that of any other color though and they are more often used as trackers or in smaller mines than other Whers. They do prove to be difficult to handle on occassion and it's much less rare to see a Green Wher without wings than a Blue without. They are only decent Watch-Whers, remembering their Holders but being too unreliable for a good guard. They are, however, rarer than one might expect from a Green of any kind, sometimes not even outnumbering Blues in certain regions. Maybe it is due the fact that they are always among the smallest in the clutch and thusly easier turned into duds than other colors or just a general distrust towards Greens that causes this but unlike one might expect from their mating urges, Hold bred Greens are fairly rare for being Greens. In the wilds their percentage is a little bit higher but they are often the first to die against a pack of felines or when a clutch is attacked by Wherries. The fact that they can be quite solitary and wander off on their own quite often helps keeping the ratio low. Unlike Green Dragons, they do lay small clutches with many duds, being decent mothers and caring for their eggs.
Greens mature around one and a half Turn of age and are chased by all males, prefering Blue and Brown over Bronze.
Mating and Clutching
Dead, they are all dead...
Lacking the ability to fly, Whers have runs rather than Flights, the female calling out to her males and leading them through a sometimes quite dangerouns chase through the surrounding area. It's not rare for a male to get wounded during a run, either due the chosen path or by another males, especially bronzes spilling each other's ichor to prove their strength to the female in question. Sometimes she is caught by suprise or due her own exhaustion but some clever females prefer to choose their mate among the chasers, their strength not always being the only thing they judge their worth on. The other males usually drop out of the run after the female has chosen but it has been recored that a male tried to confince the female to choose him over another by attacking her initial choice. They rarely succeed however, the female often helping to protect her mate once chosen.
Handlers, if the Wher had a true bond to someone, do not share the emotions of the Whers to the same extend of a dragon and may thusly choose to flee any interaction with other handlers, but they do get their share of the whole issue. They end up sharing the mating more often than not if other handlers are present but at least Holders are rarely if ever dragged in by a lusting Wher. Otherwise using them as guards would have proven to be quite difficult.
After a successful run, the female will lay a small clutch when a few sevendays passed, usually choosing the early night as the time to lay her eggs. The Hunt they belong to is oftentimes guarding the eggs that have been layed at a warm place rather than the individual father of the clutch. In the wild clutches are either burried deep in the sand of beaches no human has stepped onto for many Turns or hidden in warm volcanic grottos. A human stumbling over one of these wild clutches would surely not life to tell about it, the same spot often serving several generations of Whers.
Unlike dragoneggs, those of a Wher often have many wrinkles and are not at all smooth, some even quite oddly shaped and clearly malformed. Duds are highly common and many eggs die long before anything can hatch from them, especially Green clutches sometimes not holding a single living Wher, the ratio of dead eggs vastly exceeding anything one would expect from a healthy clutch.
Hatching and Impression
Bond by blood and fate...
Compared to dragons, Whers do not seem to be picky at all, randomly choosing the first face they see, bonding to whomever managed to obtain their egg, be it by money or by swaying their guaring mother. In fact, they are much less pickier than dragons and do choose more freely than dragons do but they are also able to go completely unbound or break up a forged bond later on.
It is believed that blood is forming the bond, the blood of their handler spilled by a knife or claw and offered to their future partner to taste and to memorise. Indeed blood helps speeding up the bond but before licking the wound, a Wher has already made a choice, deciding whether the human in front of him might be suitable. Whers might even go unbound at first and bond later on but these Whers seem to be harder to handle, less willing to understand a human being. Whers might even choose to ignore the blood that is pushed into their face, turning on their heels and leaving without forging a bond after licking up the blood of a human. There even is one record of a young Wher following its future handler around until the human finally made up his mind and gave in, offering the Wher the blood it had been waiting on for so long.
Wher do not choose based on gender, or at least not mainly so, neither seem they to be chosing based on personality but their names will always reflect how successful the bond was, a Whers name being the name of its handler with an -sk added to the end if it was a perfect match. If they get along only decently, the Whers name might contain only a single letter of its handlers name and neglect can often cause a bond to break.
Other circumstances may lessen the bond aswell, the name of a Wher sometimes changing during its life. A rebond might also change the name of the Wher, not necesarily because the old handler died. An unchained Wher might also go wild when the bond breaks up, leaving its old home behind and only keeping the name if it was caused by death.
OOC: Here at Sylvan, an Admin might some day step up to you can request you to shorten or lengthen the name of your Wher if there has been some kind of change in their relationship. All Whers of inactive characters will also either go wild or bond to another character again when adopted.
You usually get to choose which egg your character wants to take, thusly it is up to you what color you recieve, admins will provide the color, appearance and basic personality of your Wher along with the name - depending on how well the Wher you have chosen matches your character.
Impression-Chart: (Eggs are usually picked by the user)
Gold: Women, rarely men
Bronze: Men, rarely women
Brown: Men, sometimes women
Blue: Either gender
Green: Either gender
'Dead' indicates the number of Eggs that are naturally unable to hatch - excluding Wherrie and Tunnelsnake attacks or other outer influences.
Sired by Bronze
Clutch-Size: 3-15 Eggs
Common: Green, Blue, Brown
Very Rare: Gold
Sired by Brown
Clutch-Size: 2-10 Eggs
Uncommon: Dead, Blue
Very Rare: Bronze
Sired by Blue
Clutch-Size: 1-8 Eggs
Common: Dead, Green
Sired by Bronze
Clutch-Size: 2-8 Eggs
Uncommon: Dead, Blue
Very Rare: Bronze
Sired by Brown
Clutch-Size: 1-5 Eggs
Very Rare: Brown
Sired by Blue
Clutch-Size: 1-3 Eggs