The Lycans (singular Lycan, local Lyikan, local plural Lyikai) are a sapient humanoid race--canine in appearance--native to the southern region of the Feronite mainland, though known to have migrated north as well as to other planets. They, like their close relatives the Felidi, Ithzon and Thenast, evolved from a common ancestor created by the Houses of Osyrhia during Ferona's earlier years.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Physiology
- 3 Abilities
- 4 Behavior
- 5 Lore
- 6 Trivia
Lycans, as the common name implies, closely resemble many species of canine, and even some pseudocanines. They are, however, bipedal and largely plantigrade rather than digitigrade, and their colorings can range far beyond what would otherwise be natural for a regular canine. As well, they are among the tallest sapient races in the Manaverse, with average heights clocking in at around seven feet, four inches at maturity.
Lycan coloring generally follows an ordinal system, in which the primary and secondary colors make up the two primary fur tones, the tertiary color usually dictates the eye and hair color, and in rare cases a quaternary color, often being a relative shade of the tertiary color, will dictate the pad colors (hand and foot), and in some cases, the hair color. This leads to a more consistent appearance, relatively speaking, across families and groups of Lycans, even if their closest canine resemblance differs from one individual to the next.
As with their relatives, the Lycans can often be observed with wildly variable fur patterns. Brightly-colored stripes have been observed, however, this is less common than more mixed patterns such as earth-toned leopard spots overlaid on a more tradition two-tone coloring. Natural coloring and patterning, as well as exotic coloring, are equally as common among them, however in many cases fur patterning and coloring is a genetic trait whereby the dominant color overtakes the submissive color during gestation, example being the Numidius children adopting their father's coloring over their mother's, as gold is a submissive color. As with anything tied to genetics, however, there are always mistakes or mutations, and it is these mutations that lead to the more exotic patterns.
Lycans, as well as the other three Feronite races, are somewhat unique in that they possess the genetic code to be able to grow heads of hair in addition to fur. This hair usually shares their secondary or tertiary colors, or quaternary in some rare cases. Their hair, like their fur, can also be patterned, though this is less common than solid color hair.
Lycan physiology closely resembles that of many traditional canines, however, this is by appearance only, as a Lycan that resembles a fox and a Lycan that resembles a hyena are still the same species. This is more or less a more advanced version of the slippery gene found in dogs. Aside from this, many Lycans do still possess rough, grippy pads on their hands and feet, and have short, sharp, retractable claws, much like their relatives. In addition, their genetic similarities to the other Feronite races gives them the distinct ability to intermingle and hybridise with them. This can often result in Lycans with wings (often known as a perfect hybrid specimen between a Lycan and an Ithzon), or simply shorter, nimbler offspring.
As with their relative races, Lycans are known to possess many of the traits found in canines in addition to sapience. This includes naturally acute senses such as smell and sight, as well as the claws and pads mentioned in the main part of this section. However, these traits evolved along with them in ways such as truly retractable claws (meaning claws that extend from and retract back into sockets at the tips of their fingers) instead of traditional canine claws, as well as more humanlike eyes and wider variation among individuals of these traits.
Gestation and child birth
Lycans generally sire offspring as humans do, with single live births being the most common. However, despite this, the gestation period of a female is quite short, which lends itself to larger families despite the propensity to have single births.
An average Lycan is more adapted to direct combat than the other three races would be, and it manifests in their overall physique. Regardless of whether they are trained in the magical arts or as warriors specialising in the art of hand-to-hand combat, a Lycan would always have some natural muscle mass. This has led to them forming a large portion of Ferona's elite defence forces, as they are quite adaptable to many combat situations.
Lycans, being the most combat-oriented of the four major Feronite races, have a greater ability to learn the different forms of combat than their peers. This means they have a higher tolerance for menial training, and can pick up concepts a lot quicker than most. In addition, they also tend to have more pronounced Body and Soul components than the other three races, and can tame their natural ability much more effectively. This has led to Lycans making up a significant percentage of both Ferona's defence forces and the Osyrhic Legion, since they are more attuned to the realm of combat than the other three races by a visible margin.
All Lycans, due to their loyalty instinct as outlined in the Behavior section of this article, have some degree of affinity to Prana. and many harness it for Magic or other abilities, sometimes as a reinforcement aether to their Soul Phantasm, if applicable. This affinity, besides being an extension of their loyalty instinct, can be traced back to the original race's proficiency with multiple aethers, depending on community. Though their affinity is somewhat watered down compared too the Originals', it is still quite potent, and many Lycans strive to improve their affinity and usage of Prana through harsh, arduous training regimens.
Genetics and inheritance
In many cases, a Lycan child will inherit one of its parents' Domains or talents, as can be seen with the Dmitryus family line; Yarus passed his talent surrounding the use of Prana to his son Azzan, who then passed it down once again to his son Kamaron. There are many theories put forth by top Feronite scientists pertaining to why this happens so often among Lycans, the most common being that their natural affinity for combat is itself a genetic trait rather than a purely psychological one, and this manifests itself in each generation as a further "honing" of combat ability and talent. This leads to the parents passing down talents through genetics, and the children further perfecting techniques surrounding them.
Lycan behavior varies quite wildly depending on place of birth, as it has more to do with culture than instinct. For instance, a Lycan born in their native southwestern mainland region would be casual to a fault, right down to minor things such as table etiquette. This is mainly what led to stereotyping by other races, such as the Roseans of New Kuthica, that all Lycans are messy, when this is ostensibly not the case.
Reaction to negative emotion
Most Lycans, due to their early ancestry, seem to simply lack the capacity to process many negative emotions such as fear or hatred. In reality, they do process these emotions, but usually discard them as a result of their natural affinity to battle. This leads to the common understanding that Lycans are fearless warriors, which is true to a point. Lycans are indeed fearless and often carefree as a race, but they are not ruthless murderers. They are still very capable of feeling remorse and guilt, even if their mind discards fear and hatred.
As a Lycan is also extremely loyal to a person or group of people (or even an overarching concept, such as justice), the above is largely thrown out the window if something triggers a Lycan's inherent loyalty instinct. Being very combat-oriented, and therefore less susceptible to strong emotions, the loyalty trigger can have any number of implications, especially if the common loyalty of all Lycans--their homeworld--is threatened. This can range anywhere from a sudden rush of combat power to more extreme, transformative reaction as is the case with a Lycan such as Kam.
Lycan customs and culture is largely steeped in being very casual. From the north to the southwest, the casual mindset plays a differing role in their everyday life, acting as a cornerstone in daily affairs. Most are very approachable individuals, happy to be relatively open to outsiders. Lycans are also quite outgoing and like to experiment, and it shows in their local cuisine. There is no true staple food as there would be on Euthora or Terra, as the only real staple is food itself. This has led to many weird concoctions and variations on well-known dishes, almost to the point that each individual neighborhood of any given city has its own distinct style. In addition, their affinity for battle has ingrained itself as part of their culture, with many southwestern cities holding tournaments of sorts every few months to determine who is the best fighter.
Although Lycans, along with the other three non-human races on Ferona, are known scientifically to have evolved from a common ancestor, there exists a significant body of lore among religious scholars as to how exactly they came to be what they are today.
In simple terms, the communal theory dictates that, although they evolved from the same ancestor, the early peoples they evolved from were among the chosed of House Numidius, hence the resemblance to House members. This, however, has been challenged by two living lower plane-bound House members--none other than Jude and Dennis themselves--as although they usually appear as Lycans, House Numidius has many different depictions, and is overall quite fluid in how it presents itself to its followers, much like fire and water themselves.