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On the Lines of the Werewolves

Lines are indicative of the particular bloodline/culture that a werewolf is from. There are seven lines and the separate Line of the Hekatoi. As Lines also indicate culture, Lines can often tell something about the beliefs of a werewolf, at least in the old days; less so now that most werewolf populations are so scattered. Lines are inherited through the mother, though even at the height of werewolf civilization, Lines rarely interbred.

In the beginning the werewolf Lines had no spoken human names, only scents and werewolf names. But as werewolves mingled with men, and interbred, and their children grew up in human societies, the need for equivalent human speech names grew. The Hekatoi chose names for each line from the language they thought sounded most fitting (often from the Line's preferred territory). And, it is true, not all werewolves spoke the werewolf tongue... But the Hekatoi went to all different Packs, no matter what they spoke, and had a human speech and wolf speech equivalent for all the aspects of werewolf history.

Line rankings/hierarchies were always shifting, but there were four Lines that maintained the greatest respect and power holds. The Hekatoi teach these Lines as the two Alpha and two Beta Lines; often other Lines would automatically bow down to a werewolf of a higher line, but it was not always the case. Respect was still largely given on an individual basis.

All the information listed below relates to general trends, of course, and there were always individual variations.

Line of Lycaon
from the Greek legendary first werewolf

Range/territory: almost everywhere that werewolves were. All other lines respected the Lycaon as one of the eldest Lines.

Famous Lycaon werewolves: Lycaon himself, who was not actually the first werewolf.

Coloration: solid colored, most often black, white, or brown.

Common traits: historically the "Alpha male" position line. The Lycaon are natural leaders, fairly intelligent as well as good warriors. They are concerned mostly with their own kind, tending to ignore men and true wolves. Lycaon tend to be self-possessed, brave and dominant. They claim to be able to trace their roots back to the first werewolves descended from the union of a demon/fae, a wolf and a man. Historically, the other lines have accepted this without challenge. All other lines are said to descend from the Lycaon.

Root mythology: The story of Lycaon and Jupiter; Lycaon was a cultist who would not believe Jupiter was a god, and tried to feed him human flesh to test him. Lycaon was punished by being turned into a man-wolf.

Characters from this line: Lucius's mother was originally of this line before she became Hekatoi.

Line of Cicatri
from the Latin for "scar" (thanks foxy)

Range/Territory: Predominately the Middle East/Rome/Greece

Famous Werewolves: Romulus and Remus, Mark Antony, Several Roman Emperors

Coloration: tawny, sometimes cinnamon or golden.

Common Traits: Once the Omega line, or least respected/powerful line, the Cicatri went through great struggle to achieve their status as the "Alpha female" line (the second most powerful). The Cicatri were highly intelligent, sometimes to the point of madness. They were famous for being brilliant strategists, and had a great love for meddling in human affairs. Many of them interbred with, lived among and ruled Humans. It is a long-standing belief among the other lines that the Cicatri were wiped out around the time of the Inquisition. Whether this is true or not is unknown.

Root mythology: The myth of Romulus and Remus

Characters from this line: none yet.

Line of Brenin
from the Welsh word for grey, referring to their color and their fondness for the mythical underworld king Brenin Llwyd. (Thanks Jennio)

Range/Territory: all over Europe, especially Wales, England, Germany.

Famous Werewolves: there was a werewolf who often masqueraded as the Grey King himself and helped the spread of the myths.

Coloration: typically grey, and more rarely, a grey, black and white combination.

Common Traits: most often the third most powerful line, the "beta male" line. The line of Brenin is largely responsible for most of the werewolf legends/stereotypes in immediate today (werewolves as monsters). They were infamous for their scorn of humans and wolves alike. The majority of Brenin werewolves were deadly playful, tricksters with a taste for blood. They often killed for sport and held werewolves as the superior race. They enjoyed making trouble for both the tribes of men and true wolves. The Brenin are by far the most dangerous warriors and the most bloodthirsty. They are probably the second oldest line.

Root mythology: English/European/German werewolf myths, as well as the Welsh underworld king myth.

Characters from this line: Peter.

Line of An Huen
from the mandarin Chinese for "peaceful spirit" (thanks, Ashura!)

Range/Territory: Asia, North America

Famous Werewolves: most often represented in myths of animal spirits.

Coloration: red, white or mottled.

Common Traits: the line of An Huen is the fourth most powerful line, despite being one of the smaller lines. Quite rare, these werewolves were playful lovers of man, magicians and philosophers who enjoyed studying their human counterparts. Unlike the Cicatri, they preferred not stay among men, but to study them from a distance. They occasionally appeared to the humans in the form of animal spirits. Their magic was great enough to allow them to assume other forms besides man and wolf. They are closely related to, and once were the same line as the Aker.

Root mythology: General myths about animals who can become men at will, or demons who could take on either shape.

Characters from this line: none yet.

Line of Se Los Reyendos
from the Spanish for "Those Who Laugh" (Thanks Pere!)

Range/Territory: Spain/Portugal, and later South America

Famous Werewolves:

Coloration: mottled, brown and white, or all brown.

Common Traits: Se Los Reyendos werewolves tended to be of one of two minds in regards to humans. The first took an attitude more like the Brenin, tricksters who enjoyed killing their victims at the end of their play. The second faction enjoyed harassing/frightening humans but had no interest in killing them. Some even enjoyed living among humans despite continuing to play pranks on them. They had little to no interest in true wolves. They enjoyed wolfish speech however, and were famous for their bawdy songs in true wolfish. Even in the worst times, they were friendliest with the Hekatoi due to their shared love of songs and song-stories. The Se Los Reyendos were the most playful of the lines.

Root mythology: The Mexican werewolves (nahual) who were said to "suck the blood" of their victims and deform unborn children, and the Portuguese lobis-homems who were either cursed men, gentle creatures who changed at cross-roads and ran the night howling, or evil warlocks with human eyes in their wolfish faces.

Characters from this line: none yet.

Line of Aker
from the Egyptian for "trustworthy" (ikr)

Range/Territory: Egypt/Ethiopia/Africa/etc

Famous Werewolves: Cleopatra (who joined the line of Hekatoi)

Coloration: mottled or striped, some even spotted. Gold brown and black.

Common Traits: the Aker, much like the [Asiatic werewolves], shared love of wisdom and philosophy and magic. They too, loved to study an aspect of their own nature, but they preferred to examine their animal nature, studying wolves and their cousins. They also often appeared as animal spirits, and while they did appear so to humans, they more often did so to the animals who they cared for, guided and protected. They were often disinterested in the politics of werewolves, though they enjoyed the company of the Hekatoi, sharing knowledge. Many Hekatoi are originally of this line.

Root mythology: General myths about talking animals/animal spirits/animal-headed gods.

Characters from this line: none yet.

Line of Plachuyushiye
from the Russian for "those who weep" (thanks Tima; original concept suggested by a fanfic by Jux)

Range/Territory: Estonia/Finland/Russia/etc

Famous Werewolves:

Coloration: pure white, grey and white, black and grey

Common Traits: the Plachuyushiye were great magic users as well, focusing on a shamanistic/ritualistic type of magic inherited from their human/animal nature rather than their fey. They loved both wolf and man equally. They were great practitioners of old fey, wolfish, and human ceremonies, their eyes often turned to their past. Before the Hekatoi, the Plachuyushiye were the sole source of history for the werewolves. It is often said they looked towards the past since one of their great shamans saw a vision of the werewolves' doom while looking to the future. This same vision is said to be the cause of their name. Just before the general decline of the werewolves, the Plachuyushiye took up a great lament, and went among the other werewolves spreading a message of doom. Many then chose a fate for themselves, changing one last time into man or wolf form, and disappearing among them. The line of the Plachuyushiye are also known as the "melancholy werewolves." The few that are left who still embrace their line and werewolf nature are quite shy of humans, wolves and werewolves, living in solitude.

Root mythology: The Russian werewolf, which involved a human casting a ritual and planting a copper knife into a tree; and the Finnish werewolf, a melancholy creature who either just accidentally became a wolf, or was cursed into a wolf, and had to stay in that shape until someone recognized him and called him by name; at which point he returned to his human shape but forever had a wolf's tail.

Characters from this line: Anya

The Hekatoi/line of Hecate
from the Greek for "children of Hecate" (thanks to Larathia)

Range/Territory: where ever werewolves went

Famous Werewolves: Cleopatra (originally from the line of Aker)

Coloration: all colors.

Common Traits: the Hekatoi are not a true line, that is, not one of descent; but certainly one of culture. The Hekatoi are the storytellers, the secret keepers. They are the historians and teachers of the werewolf race. The Hekatoi are gathered from many lines, and are the only one of the lines to study the werewolf history and werewolf culture itself. They travel from pack to pack, spreading old knowledge, reviving old stories, and keeping the werewolf ways true. It is the Hekatoi who named the lines, who kept the origins of the werewolves and the memory of their ancient otherworldly heritage fresh and alive. The Hekatoi also practice magic, but it is neither human/animal shamanism nor fey magic/wizardry; it is a purely werewolf magic driven by the phases of the moon and werewolves natural power.

Additional Information:The Hekatoi are a Line pulled together from the other Lines. Their bloodline becomes unimportant in the face of the duties they assume upon joining the Line of Hekate. The duties can be passed from mother to child, or lover to lover, or simply by calling. They are the werewolf historians, the ones who Keep the Secrets of the werewolves. Werewolves did not choose to write their history, for many reasons, and the Hekatoi were an important part of maintaining and remembering werewolf culture.
Hekatoi Packs are very small, usually the immediate family and very nomadic. The Hekatoi may marry into other lines and then choose to stay with that other Pack, enriching it with history and story and secrets, but most often they visit many Packs and come and go among them as they please. They are traditionally highly honored with good choices of the meat and good company so long as they choose to share themselves with a Pack.

In Germany the Hekatoi were the Wächter (watcher/keeper) or the Geschichtewächter (storykeeper) to the werewolves there, and in Wales they were ystorïwyr, the storytellers, and in England just the Keepers or the bards or storytellers. But the Keepers themselves called what they were the children of Hekate, Hekatoi, of the Line of the Hekate.

Root mythology: Hekate is a complex and mysterious goddess of crossroads and magic; and sometimes the keeper of the secrets of life, nature, death and the netherworld. One of her many symbols is the moon, and also entrances, keys and gateways. She is said to appear when the ebony moon shines, which is why the Hekatoi revere the new moon most of all.

Characters from this line: Lucius, Jessica.


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