Verrinae

Description:

kayndred

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Verrinae
« on: November 05, 2020, 06:12:06 PM »
Verrinae
Inspired by: Foxes and Watership Down
Written by: Kayndred





Average Lifespan: 8 - 15 years

Average Height: Most physical differences are not due to sexual dimorphism but regional adaptations. Common Varrinae are the longest and the heaviest, while Desert Varrinae are the smallest and lightest.
   Common Varrinae -
        Shoulder: 14 - 20 in
        Length: 30 -  57 in with tail
   Snow Varrinae -       
        Shoulder: 9.8 - 11 in
        Length: 28 - 39 in with tail
   Desert Varrinae -       
        Shoulder: 8 in
        Length: 16 - 28 in with tail

Average Weight:
   Common Varrinae - 5 - 31 lbs
   Snow Varrinae -
      Males: 7.1 - 20.7 lbs
      Females: 3.1 - 7.1 lbs
   Desert Varrinae - 1.5 - 3.5 lbs

Origin:
Verrinae are a versatile and crafty species, appearing across almost all terrains in both realms, although they are easiest to spot in farming communities, small or rural towns, and cities with wooded parks. Where small game is, one can typically find a family of Verrinae side by side with the non-kindred foxes.

Oral history for the Varrinae changes from region to region and is typically influenced by major seasonal changes or environmental factors. Varrinae found in Glacia, upper Askavi or upper Dhemlan, for example, have tell of a First Kin born from the ashes of the first fire lit by the Darkness. Varrinae families in these regions generally have white, ashy, or sometimes black fur, depending on the makeup of area they live in. More barren mountainous areas tend to house grey and black Varrinae, while the snowfields of Glacia support white or pale grey fur. Meanwhile, Varrinae adapted to the sands of Pruul hold that the first of their kind was born of the Darkness’ first breath moving across the sands, and are almost all dune colored themselves.

The one consistency between all Varrinae origin stories is that ‘The First’, be it referred to as ‘Kin’, ‘Daughter’, or ‘Son’, is always born of some action taken by the Darkness, which always has some physical ramifications. The gender of their progenitor typically ties in with whichever caste is viewed in highest regard for that region, if there is one.

Appearance:
As a highly adaptable species, Varrinae come in many colors and shapes. The three most common are as follows. 

Forest and Grassland Varrinae:   
Typically red or rust colored with a white underbelly and muzzle, ‘Red’ Varrinae tend have black socked feet and large black tipped ears, the insides of the ear and the tip of their tail typically being white. They are the largest of the Varrinae species, with long bodies and faces and short limbs, their tail being almost 70% of their total length with little difference between sexes. Variation in color is relatively common, and seasonal changes see a shift from their fur being bright red to a more subdued, darker rust color. 'Non-standard' fur colors are seen more frequently in Warlord Princes and Priestesses. Although unusual, these genetic differences are more apparent in Common Varinae than the other two species, due in part to the differing dangers of the environments. Most black, ashy, silver or grey Varrinae are offshoots that have lived in an area long enough to have adapted permanently to their environment.

Although most associated with areas that have little seasonal variation, Red Varrinae tend to keep the same color fur almost their entire lives even if they live in more snowy climates, greying with age and shedding hair at relatively consistent rate year round. Their fur is thicker and longer than their Southern siblings, but not as long or as thick as their Northern cousins.

Snow Varrinae:
   Generally smaller than the Varrinae found around regions suitable for farming, White or Snow Varrinae have long, thick, pale fur, smaller ears, and rounder bodies. They are the Varrinae with the most obvious sexual dimorphism, as some males may grow to be significantly larger than the females, although they are typically of similar sizes. These are also the group most frequently hunted for their fur, as snow Varrinae have the softest fur of the three primary species, their ability to eat better with Craft meaning that the closest competition is normally the non-Blood foxes they live near. Their fur is their primary and best camouflage, making their pelts all the more rare since they are exceptionally hard to hunt.

There is typically little variation in color for these Blood, although various shades of light grey can be found if one looks long enough.

Desert Varrinae:
   The smallest of the Varrinae species, Desert or Sand Varrinae are the only type of Varrinae that is almost entirely nocturnal. All Desert Varrinae are patterned like sand, their fur an active camouflage while they roam the dunes. They have the largest ears of the Varrinae species and the shortest fur, aspects that help them keep cool in their harsh environment.

There is little to no melanistic variation in Sand Varrinae.


Behavior:
Varrinae families are as different between species as the species themselves.

Common Varrinae families, or ‘hanha’, are typically a mated pair and their immediate relatives who have not left their group due to age. Kits of mated pairs stay with their family for about three years before leaving the group to find a new hanha to join or to strike out on their own. Common Varrinae have little formal court system, as a female, no matter her caste, will normally pick only one mate her in lifetime. A Warlord Prince will attach himself to a Queen to serve, which normally means pledging in to an existing hanha of her family until she leaves or takes over.

When Queens interact, which is rare, their courts, however structured or unstructured they may be, normally keep their distance from each other except for what is polite. Common Verrine outside of their family units are typically snarky before they’re civil, and don’t make close friendships easily unless one or both are unattached to a hanha.

--

Snow Varrinae hanha are highly affected by the abundance of prey and predators in the territory. If more predators are present in an area, the larger the numbers and less monogamous the pairs within the family. In these situations there are also typically a group of non-mated Varrinae that do the hunting and den protection while mated pairs take turns with their kits. When predator and prey numbers are low a den may consist of as little as one mated pair, since resources are scarce and other hanha’s present competition for the survival of their pups.

White Varrinae Queens are exceptionally hostile toward one another, as any direct contact with another hanha is typically seen as coup behavior. They are the most likely to fight between themselves for land, dens, and food rights. Snow Varrinae Queens are more likely to have a rotation of males attending, and have a rough 'first circle' comprised of past and current consorts in addition to their Seer or Priestess. Weather or not a Queen has a triangle depends on how established she is in her territory.

--

Desert Varrinae are the most social of the three and the ones with the largest family units, as continued survival in the desert doesn’t allow for extensive isolation. While Snow Varrinae can stake out territory over a wide range of land in the North, Desert Varrinae families are typically more isolated due to predators and harsh environmental factors. Due to prolonged contact with such a large number of neighbors, Sand families are the most structured and carry the most similarities to the courts of human Blood.

Sand Queens frequently have both a triangle and a first circle, although instances of two positions being filled by one male or one female are common. A Sand Queen is likely to keep a consort for several years if their pups prove strong before she appoints him to a singular roll within her court. Desert Queens are also the most likely to foster Queens from other families. Desert Queens seeking to strike out on their own are also frequently sent out with a mix of members from their home den as support and foundation for the new ruler.

--

All Varrinae have a mixed fascination and wariness for humans in general, as they are normally mistaken for non-kindred foxes by sight and treated accordingly. Varrinae that have dens neighboring farming communities may try to make peace with the people who live there, but they are often working against the perception perpetuated by regular foxes. If a family does create a truce with their Harraf neighbors the arrangement can be beneficial for both sides: Common Varrinae can be better than cats at keeping rat and rabbit populations low, protecting gardens and pantries, while Desert Varrinae are adept at hunting and killing all manner of desert insects and reptiles, including scorpions and dangerous snakes. Snow Varrinae are the least likely to partner with human communities, their histories tainted by the hunting of them and their non-Blood kin. Those families that do build bridges with the human communities typically benefit from stable territory borders, while the humans gain very diligent guardians. Snow Varrinae connect most easily with human children, and those partnered to a human family can be frequently found with babies and toddlers. A Snow Varrinae hanha watching over a family is so rare that it is seen as almost unreasonably auspicious.

Castes:
The most common castes across all three species are Priests, Priestesses, and Black Widows. Although held to different standards of importance depending on the hanha, no family likes to be without at least one member filling the roll of Seer or Priest/ess. Priest/esses and Black Widows are seen as being the most in tune with the Darkness, and, regardless of gender, are typically less civilized than the rest of their families. Hanha’s actively encourage communing with the Darkness or spinning webs, and it’s not unusual for members of these castes to be allowed freedoms that other members of the hanha are not. They get fed first and are typically situated in the most easily defensible den besides the ones for the young.

The second most common caste is Queens, as all Varrinae families do their best to secure dens in areas that are stable, but all may potentially lose those dens due to natural disasters or infringement by people. Queens frequently partner with Priest/esses or Seers to look out for the future of the hanha together.

Third common and of equal importance to Snow and Desert families are Healers, as their homes are frequently subject to dangers both animal and environmental. Priest/esses, Black Widows and Queens are usually healers to a degree as well.

Warlords, Princes, Warlord Princes, witches and hearth witches are 'intermediary' castes, and their numbers fluctuate frequently. Some Snow hanha may prize Warlord Princes above other castes in an effort to bolster their ranks and increase their territory; Desert families may uplift hearth witches for their ability to maintain stable dens during harsh weather conditions. Regional changes affect the inter- and intra-politics of family units as much as the pervasiveness of human Blood.

Names and Naming Traditions:
Varrinae names are flowing, like their language, and majoritively gender neutral. H's, R's, S's, and W's are common consonants, while all vowels are used liberally, although one vowel is often used to the exclusion of the others in a name. Varrinae names may also incorporate growled R's or tonal changes that are unable to be replicated by other species.

Ruha
Hahra
Rerehe
Weherweh
Shahar
Ahwah

Glossary:
Terms:
Hanha - the term for a family unit; may be one mated pair or a chain of pairs and siblings living in one territory
Harraf - all humans
Harrafow - Blood humans
Hruff - non-Blood foxes
Row - Blood
Rogor - Any predator that eats Varrinae or Varrinae kits regularly
Yoro - A killing done unnaturally; typically referring to an animal acting against what it’s expected to; an animal that’s diseased
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The Darkness

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Re: Verrinae
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2020, 04:44:46 PM »
Approved
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