"My work may be garbage but it's good garbage." Mickey Spillane
My lycans are not the super humans that you see in films and read about in books like those of Laurel K. Hamilton. They are wolves that became men, rather than men who became wolves. They evolved in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Their ancestors crossed the void to Daverana by way of a World Gate opened by Willodarus at the request of Tala, Mistress of Wolves and the Hunt. The last clan to arrive on Daverana came as a result of the Battle of Culloden Moor, and call themselves the Culloden Clan. They are actually the survivors of a number of small scattered clans that banded together to go through the Gate Arcane. The Culloden are the most suspicious and insular of the Nine Great Clans.
The lycans heal faster than humans and often recover from injuries that would be fatal in a human, but they do not heal instaneously like trolls. If you cut off one of their limbs, the limb will not grow it back. It’s simply gone. The stub will clot faster than a human, giving them a better chance of survival. They also have a healing element in their saliva, for which reason, they will literally lick their wounds.
LYCANS AND SILVER
Their sensitivity to silver is different from most. They can handle it safely. Lycans can handle silver without having a reaction to it.
Among the lycans silver is in three forms.
However, when silver gets into the bloodstream from a wound or open sore it causes irritation to the tissues and can lead to a moderate to strong reaction. the injury frequently become infected and does not heal properly.
The lycans recognize three forms of silver.
Dead silver – plain, ordinary unaltered silver. The higher the silver content the more of a reaction it gets.
Living silver or Runed silver had been charged or imbued with power to increase its potency or effect. A runed silver wound can scar, disfigure or kill a lycan
Devil’s Silver. A human family, headed by Ethan Romilay, developed an arcane substance called Devil’s Silver to tip weapons and arrowheads in to kill lycans. The Romilays have been in service to a sa’necari noble family for generations as poisoners and creators of arcane poisons for many purposes. A side branch of the Romilays, led by the bastard daughter of Ethan, Sidera Tyrins, have further refined it.
This dangerous poison is created by dissolving charged silver in an arcane substance similar to acid. It is usually part of a blend of posions designed to strike the lycan at all levels, mental, psychic, etc. plus combining both a hemotoxin and a neurotoxin. Sometimes it will also be applied to a weapon made of runed silver like an arrow head.
Lycans have sensitive noses and it is not considered rude to sniff a newcomer.
They have no nudity taboos as such. They do wear clothes in human or hybrid form, however. A few exceptions are those who can afford a charm of changing. These are purchased from the stonemages of Iradrim, who are dwarves. The most common of these produce an illusion of being clothed. Often lycans working as scouts for other races with nudity taboos will use these. The second type is one that simply puts the clothing into a dimensional pocket in the charm, and then restores it to the wearer’s body. Nevin Scarface has one of the latter type and is the envy of his friends.
The primary arcane talent among the lycans is shape-changing. They have three main forms: human, hybrid, wolf.
The hybrid form is the strongest and most powerful. The wolf form is the fastest. However, they spend most of their time as humans.
Mages are rare among the lycans. When mage gifts do appear among them, they are usually minor talents. One of the most feared gifts is called the Evil Eye, an ability to lay curses upon people. Those who possess the Evil Eye are frequently ostracized and usually come to bad ends. One of the most famous of those is Alistar Weems.
Lycan Battle-clans are formed when a male lycan mates with Tala in her wolf form in a sacred coupling that is observed by a group of other lycans. Those lycans then form the core unit of the battle-clan. Members of the Mother Clan can then opt to join the Battle-Clan that ranges the valley of the Mother Clan and helps to protect them. In some cases, the Battle-Clans have left the valley to pursue adventure or other goals, including taking service with the kandoyarin (mercenaries) of Ocealay.
The lycans live mostly in longhouses and sheelings (woven bark huts), although some of the upper classes have begun to import human architects.
SEX, MARRIAGE, AND INTER-MARRIAGE.
The lycans don’t universally decry casual sex. The lower classes have a custom called “like the Wild Cousins” and practice a kind of pre-marital and extra-marital serial monogamy. The custom of the “wild cousins” was started during the early years of the lycan people as a way of insuring that a potential mate was not barren. They condemn people who simply must have many partners at the same time. Whether these people are male or female, they are referred to as “sluts.” If a female becomes pregnant, it is expected that the male will marry her. If it requires a Reader to prove paternity, then the clan generally looks askance at the child.
Some lycans, in particular the rich upper classes and some chieftains, polygamy is sometimes practiced, although it is rare and generally no more than two or three additional mates become part of the marriage.
Lycan females of the upper classes are expected to be virgin when they marry because they are used to seal alliances between houses. In practice, as with humans, this isn’t always the case.
The lycan gene is dominant over the human gene and the sa’necari gene. While the lycans might look askance at a human/lycan marriage, they are death on sexual alliances between lycan and sa’necari. In fact, until fifty years before the start of the Dark Brothers of the Light series, lycan female who became pregnant by a sa’necari were stoned to death.
The gestation period for a lycan female is within the range of humans.
The lycans consider a child to be an adult at fourteen, although they don’t usually marry before eighteen. A fourteen year old can sign a legal document, join a Battle-Clan, can serve in an official capacity, and is expected to fight in defense of the clan in time of war. At one time, this included marrying without parental permission. But the lycan customs are in flux as they adopt more and more human ways. Brideprice has widely replaced the custom of a male courting the female’s family, bringing gifts to her parents during courtship.
The average life span of a lycan falls between 100 and 120 years, with child-bearing lasting into their eighties and nineties. However, some lycans have reached the extremely old age of 150 years.
The history of the Nine Great Clans of the lycan race is a tale of bloodshed and struggle. Subjugated by the sa’necari rulers of Waejontor, they have long paid tribute in gold and tithes of their young, who were chosen by lot to be given to their conquerors. Eighty years ago the Nine Great Clans rebelled and were crushed. Among their executed leaders were the twin princes, Tarrant and Logan, sons of Claw Redhand.
Thirty years ago a major change happened that favored the lycans. The sa’necari invaded the neighboring realm of Shaurone. The amazon rulers of Shaurone rallied under a powerful general, Tomyris Danae de Dovane, known as the Lionhawk.
The Lionhawk turned the tide of the war and drove the sa’necari out. Then she carried the war to their home ground and conquered two thirds of Waejontor. The lycan clans secretly aided the Sharani conquest in hopes of a better life. In the wake of the conquest, the lycans declared themselves neutrals and settled into their lands, pursuing the ways of peace as far as events would allow them.
Now a queen has risen in revolt against the Sharani.
THE ILLICIT QUEEN
Tomyrilen Dovane is the bastard daughter of a slain Waejontori prince. She has no right to the throne: it belongs to the five year old Prince Wolff de Waejonan, who is currently in the custody of the Sacred King of Rowanhart, Aejystrys Rowan.
The sa’necari nobility of Waejontor have split into two factions. One faction follows Tomyrilen and the other seeks to rescue Wolff and raise him up as king. Tomyrilen massacred the heads of the faction that rejected her when they met to formulate their plans. However, some of the families are still holding out against her.
At the urging of her closest counseller, Lord Daemon (who is actually Brandrahoon. See the Three Brothers entry), she seeks to subjugate and destroy the lycan clans.
NINE GREAT CLANS
While there are dozens of lycan clans of various sizes and influence, the oldest and most powerful are those who comprise what is known as the Nine Great Clans.
These include: Red Wolf, Silverpaw, MacGregor, Culloden, Blaidd Brith (Welsh for grey wolf), Ci Drawg (bad dog),
THE LYCAN BLOOD Series
The series centers upon the Redhand family who rule Clan Red Wolf.
Alistar Weems was executed for attempting to rape the lover of a lycan prince, Tarrant Redhand, during the Lycan Rebellion of 998 AQ (Age of Queens). Tarrant Redhand and Todd Sinclair staked him out nude over and ant hill and smeared him with honey. They drove silver spikes through his wrists and ankles, and Todd put one through his stomach. As he lay dying, Alistar spoke the following words which are believed to have been a curse, since he was famous for having the Evil Eye.
THE EXILE’S CURSE
When the Serpent comes, they all shall perish,
The Redhands fall like sheaves of grain,
until only the Exile shall remain
of those who own their name.
When fireborn law breaths hot upon the root
One born of fire shall perish for the truth
The exile’s victory shall be his pardon
Those he claims will rule
The prince from shadows shall emerge
To sit a blood drenched throne
.…Alistar Weems’ dying words.
Tarrant Redhand was captured and executed by the sa’necari rulers of Waejontor, along with his twin brother Logan, shortly after that, leaving his father Claw Redhand childless until the birth of Merissa sixty years later.
Claw Redhand’s only surviving child is his daughter Merissa. She was a change of life child born to his wife Aisha at the end of her child-bearing years. When she was seventeen, Merissa became pregnant by her sa’necari lover, Isranon. Isranon was a Dark Brother of the Light; a heretical group that practiced extreme pacifism and repudiated the dark rites of their hemovore kindred. The child was named Darmyk and Claw loved him despite the fact that he was born sa’necari, one of the same hemovore race that destroyed his sons.
Neither the lycans nor the sa’necari have forgotten or forgiven the Lycan Rebellion of eighty years past. Thirty years ago the Sharani, a race of amazons, conquered two-thirds of Waejontor, driving the hated hemovore necromancers deep into the mountain fastnesses. Now a queen has risen among the sa’necari and led them to revolt against the Sharani occupiers. Because the lycans aided the Sharani in their conquest, the queen would see the nine clans destroyed.
To this end, infiltrators and guerrilla forces have been dispatched to the lands of each of the Nine Great Clans. The most dangerous of these is an operative known to the lycans as the Butchering Serpent, a sa’necari who practiced genocide in a hidden laboratory sixteen years ago. Over two hundred lycans perished in his experiments which including vivisections and the testing of toxins. None of them know his real name or what he looks like because he always wore a serpent mask while practicing his numerous atrocities.
Malthus Tyrins, the Butchering Serpent, is the bastard son of Sidera Tyrins by a sa’necari Lord Feodras. The “Serpent’s Quest” is two things: a) to find out what happened to his brother, Troyes; b) to destroy the Redhand family and subjugate Clan Red Wolf. A young guardsmon, Kynyr Maguire, opposes him without knowing that Malthus is the Butchering Serpent. Matters get ugly very fast.
The seven volumes of Lycan Blood are in order:
If Truth Dies
The Shadowed Princes
All of the titles are taken from the dying words of Alistar Weems.