|Common Name: Forest Wolf / Pădure Lupul|
|Scientific Name: Silva lupus|
|Subspecies: s.l. cornu, s.l. aureus, s.l. cruentus|
The common name "pădure lupul" ( literal english translation, "forest wolf" ) is mainly derived from their original habitat in the low-lying forests of Romania. It is unknown when they shifted from their original areas to the Carpathian mountains and elsewhere, but the name remained.
The scientific name has the same literal meaning, although they can also be referred to as the "woods wolf".
There are three known subspecies of this demon. The first is cornu, meaning "horned", to which Ciprian belongs. The second is aureus, meaning "golden", and the third cruentus, meaning "bloodthirsty; bloody".
The adult males of this demon species can stand approximately 4 ½ to 6 feet tall at the top of their ears, and depending on the size of a litter of pups or number of pups altogether in the pack, the females will grow larger in order to be able to compete with their siblings. The ears are usually long, ranging from 4 to 6 inches and their tails can grow to be anywhere from 3 to 3 ½ feet. Their weight can be anywhere from 130-200 pounds, depending on the amount of muscle and bone density that varies within the subspecies.
Like the native Grey Wolves of Romanian, their coats are shed and regrown for the winter and summer. The pădure lupul summer coat is still shaggy and thick compared to most creatures, but it is lighter than it appears so as to survive both the higher temperatures of the summer and the cool nights on the mountains. Their winter coats are significantly thicker, usually forming a solid mane of fur around their neck and the front of their chest as well as the rest of their bodies. The cornu subspecies is the only one of three variations of this demon to develop antlers like the surrounding deer populations, though they are brandished by both males and females and they continue to grow antlers well into old age, getting larger and larger as the demons both age and fall into positions of power within the packs. What’s more is that the cornu and aureus subspecies also closely resemble the Romanian Raven Shepherds that originated from their homeland. It is unclear if the demon’s adapted to look like their canine cousins, or if the dog breed simply resembles the demons.
Most of their skeletal structures are relatively dense and sturdy, so as to allow the demons to easily maneuver around the mountains without a great risk for injury and for the purpose of avoiding broken bones when hunting their larger prey. They also have a great amount of muscle mass for running and jumping from mountainside to mountainside, as well as a very strong set of teeth and jaws that can snap the bones of anything they get their paws on.
Pădure lupul packs can vary in size from small family groups to packs of nearly 50 demons or more. The cornu subspecies usually has the smallest packs averaging about 8 to 11, while the cruentus usually have the largest at upwards of 30 to 40.
The demons are known to be omnivores with a high amount of vegetation in their diet due to their elemental abilities, but they are known to hunt animals like wolves, small bear cubs and red deer as a source of protein. Their species is capable of consuming most toxic plants either without fatal after effects, thanks to their passive immunity to natural poisons and hallucinogenics.
Maturity is usually reached at about the age of 150 years old and the average age of death ( most often through unnatural causes ) is about 550 to 600. It is unclear exactly how long these demons can live because of the high frequency of their being hunted for their antlers, fur or for sport by natives. One rumor stands that the oldest living demon of this species is a pădure lupul of the cruentus subspecies, known to his kin as Vladimir, who is believed to be nearly 900 years old.
As far as their mating, it is usually common to see the pădure lupul find a mate and stick with them through their entire lifetime, but there are often exceptions in cases of extreme circumstances such as a mate’s death or if one is separated from the pack.
Like in other species of animals, alpha and beta based hierarchies are built in naturally to these demons. The strongest male is typically assumed to be the alpha in the pack, and these males are often easily distinguished by their larger body mass or larger set of antlers. Unlike normal species of animal, these demons rarely ever battle one another over the position of alpha because of their scarce population. The hierarchy is more for a position of leadership than mating rites. In the cases of packs that are essentially only a small family group of the demons, the two parents assume the position of an alpha pair, with the occasional instance of the oldest male and female pups taking on beta positions.
When these demons encounter humans, either through traveling too close to a village or having lost wanderers slip into their territories, the pădure lupul are usually docile and calm until provoked or fearful of a threat from the human. Alphas and betas of the pack have been reported to hunt down and devour humans that endanger their pups or any other member of their packs, and their wrath is known to be inescapable once they have decided to seek revenge.
The pădure lupul are plant demons, therefore they posses a multitude of abilities relating to plant life, particularly that which involves plant growing in and around their natural habitat in the mountains, but it is not limited to such flora. Their abilities include but are not limited to: altering the rate at which plants grow, manipulating their shape, cause plants to sprout at the slightest touch, releasing spores with either hallucinogenic or poisonous qualities, and creating their own hybrid plants with dangerous effects on humans and other animals to defend their territory from invaders. Because of the two infamous variations of toxic plant that grow in the Carpathian range, Monkshood- otherwise known as Wolfsbane- and Belladonna, these demons are fond of these two plants. In the elders of the species, it is not uncommon to see such a plant growing from their antlers or in other parts of their body.
With their plant abilities mainly used as a way of poisoning those who trespass or possibly ensnare humans or prey, they must also have a great deal of physical strength in order to defend those who wander too close. These demons have developed a good amount of skill in running through hilly terrain to escape those who hunt them, as well as a deadly grip on anything they sink their teeth into. If their spores don't kill something, it is likely that their bite will.
Within the pădure lupul species there are three subspecies, all known by both their scientific names and a Romanian title. The packs of these demons are determined by both their title and a second name that succeeds it, given for what is considered the center of their territory.
The cornu subspecies of the pădure lupul, which Ciprian belongs too, was once thought to be the sole variety of this demon. They are well known for their dark brown, nearly black fur and antlers resembling the red deer and elk of Romania and surrounding European countries. Their title is the Dimitru, and the only known pack is the Dimitru Apuseni, though there is believed to be two packs total.
The aureus subscpecies of the demon are the most commonly spotted of the three varieties considering their close proximity to a number of villages on the lower altitudes of the mountain range. There fur is considerably lighter than most of the other demons of their kind, almost appearing to be a medium brown or golden color for which they are named. They are known within the species under the title Aurel, and it is guessed that there are at least three or four traveling packs.
The cruentus subspecies, the largest population of the three and the most violent, are widely known for living dangerously close to Borgo Pass and being the largest accumulation of the demons in their entire country. These type of pădure lupul earn their scientific name from the blood red tint of their eyes and the rusty color of their fur. This subspecies has one single pack currently numbered at around 29 or 30 demons, and they are known by others as simply the Dracul.
- Some natives living near the mountains claim that these demons are the distant cousins, or origins of, werewolves. They use the cruentus subspecies and their close proximity to the home of the fictional character Dracula as evidence to this rumor.
- The pădure lupul often learn human languages in order to communicate with other demons that travel through or around their territories, but they also have their own language mainly comprised of barks, chirps and cooing noises.
- Romanian, Russian, Ukranian, French and English are among some of the human languages they adopt, depending on the pack.