Group: Qu'ellar of Ikal'daka
General Info: Ikal'daka are essentially hulking and highly intellectual lupines of Drow ethnicity. Barring the far superior size and intelligence of Ikal'daka, they are similar in structure to their earthen wolf counterparts. Translated into common, the term "Ikal'daka" means "wolves." Like wolves, they roam in packs; even when impressed, Ikal'daka tend to prefer the pack life. These packs contain generally from three to seven Ikal'daka, but may accept more if the season is particularly prosperous — there is, of course, little that can pose a threat to a full-grown Kal'daka besides another Kal'daka, as full-grown Ikal'daka range anywhere from just over five feet to just under six. Usually the higher up in ranks one is, the bigger they are. For this very reason, it may be unprofitable to form groups of too great a size. Their packs employ a strictly matriarchal hierarchy, in that a male's place depends on the femme to whom he mates. Ultimately, the alpha female alone has the authority to keep the pack in check, and it is wholly her prerogative to choose how she leads it.
Ikal'daka are easily distinguished from one another in terms of their rank, as each has a different and quite distinct set of markings. As for personal identification, Drow wolves enjoy heightened senses of smell and hearing far exceeding that of the wolves of earth and certainly surpassing the common humanoid's. With their keen senses, they can discern events in their entirety by the scent that is left behind. As the Drow race has adapted to living in subterranean cavern systems, Ikal'daka have especially thick fur and are more readily able to see in the dark than in light. Furthermore, all Ikal'daka are able to invoke heat-vision. Depending on their rank, they may also utilize other special abilities.
Ikal'daka sometimes learn Common, sometimes don't, but only the Valsharess and Zanjur are born knowing it. They mindspeak fluently in Drow and other languages if they learn them, and can snarl aloud in Drow.
Mating Info: Beginning at the lady's summoning howl, the chase takes the form of a vicious hunt. Although the suitors pursue the lady through challenging terrain of her choice, the lady is, in fact, the huntress. Leading on her prey, she evades their attempts to arrest her and goads them into fighting one another. More often than not, she will inflict harm of limitless degree upon the hunted males, all while observing their strength and tact in the struggle against her and the other hunted. Ultimately, she will come upon her choice and, after battering him for good measure, lead him away; the rejected suitors are left to limp off and nurse their own wounds. The ritual is not highly ceremonious, but rather a clash of furious, raw and writhing emotions that unfolds with untold violence — the males may not even know that they are the ones being hunted until the cunning lady's ambush.
Bonding Info: All Ikal'daka are born knowing fluent Drow. Inlul Ikal'daka are about the size of a house cat when ready to bond, but will grow swiftly and reach their full size within a year. Appeasing the pups can be prove difficult. Reception of trinkets can vary depending on their personality, but it is generally advisable to avoid bringing particularly breakable items, for it is rare that keepsakes remain intact. Food is welcome as a general bonding-goer's accessory, but keep in mind that even Inlul Ikal'daka are self-sufficient. Their baby teeth can splinter bone, and even well-intentioned edible offerings may be found insulting. The pups will find themselves most attracted to humanoids of a mindset similar to their own. Once bonded, they will only accept a name in Drow, and will not suffer to be called a name whose meaning is ill-suiting. Acceptable names can be found using Eilistraee.
The undisputed Queen of Ikal'daka, the Valsharess almost always stands the tallest among all her subjects. Her coat is glossy and pure black. She is born knowing fluent Common, and holds power over all other ranks; if a pack has a Valsharess, she is surely the alpha female. She may invoke faerie fire at will, and also orbs of shadow. Furthermore, she is able to levitate a maximum of ten feet off the ground. The Valsharess hunts rarely, and births around fifteen Inlul Ikal'daka.
Notably a bit smaller than the Valsharess, the bitter Qu'essan will not suffer to share a pack (or a bonded humanoid) with the senior queen or vice versa. A bristling pride like hers could never tolerate a position of anything below the first. She, too, may invoke faerie fire and shadow and levitate, although she can only muster a height of about six feet. Her eyes are violet, her fur purest white. She may command all but the Valsharess. The Qu'essan hunts rarely, albeit more often than the Valsharess, and can have up to ten pups.
Called the Chosen because he is most often selected in the hunt, the Detholusin has stunning gold eyes and black fur, save for white markings running from the forehead, down the back of the neck, and across the shoulders like a cape. As a lord, he commands all common males. If chosen as a mate by a common female, he is marked her equal. If mated to the Valsharess, he is made equal to the Qu'essan; if mated to Qu'essan, he may command all fellow Lords, save for another Detholusin who is mated to a Valsharess.
The Faern has blue-violet eyes encircled with black markings and white fur with black rings around his legs. He can invoke faerie fire of any color, shadow of any size, and levitate up to twenty feet, for he is not Faern for nothing. He is cunning, perfectly willing to make and break alliances for his own gain. As a lord, he commands all common males even when without a mate; if mated to the Valsharess, he may command all fellow lords and be marked the equal to a Detholusin with a Qu'essan. If mated to the Qu'essan, he will take orders only from the queens and their mates.
A relatively trustworthy ally for his aboveboard tact and preference for straightforward brutality, the Sargtlin is all black, save for white bands around his legs and around his blue-purple eyes. Stockier than the other two lords, he is often considered the strongest fighter, but although the most powerful he is not necessarily the most successful in battle. If mated to the Valsharess, he is made equal to a Detholusin with a Qu'essan. If mated to the Qu'essan, he answers only to the queens and their mates. Without a mate, his authority surpasses all common males; if chosen as a mate by a common female, he is marked her equal.
The Rahwenress is charcoal gray with black circles around her legs and tail, and with green eyes. She obeys all ranks above her, but the Zanjur and the Kyorli are hers to command should she wish. The Rahwenress serves as a handmaiden to a Phorrah, whom in the wild is generally Valsharess or Qu'essan, but the choice is hers to make when she finds someone she wishes to devote herself to. While she may bond a male humanoid, her loyalty will always belong to a female Phorrah. Although obedient to those above her, she refuses orders that may compromise the welfare of her charge, for whose safety she is paranoid and protective. She learns the language of her Phorrah immediately upon choosing one. The Rahwenress hunts when she will, but only bears a single Inlul Kal'daka or twins after each Hunt.
The Zanjur is the smallest rank of them all, always slighter than the others and terribly bitter. Her gift is that of language: from the moment she is born, she knows every language, modernly spoken or traceable now only in ancient runes, and is able to speak and understand them fluently. She is also knowledgeable concerning the culture behind these various tongues. Her eyes are murderously turquoise, her coat a light, misty gray with silver bands around her muzzle. Often sullen and wrathful, with jerky, unpredictable movements, her full beauty and grace are only revealed when running at full speed. She hunts the most often of all the females, but never bears a single pup.
Generally dejected and quiet, the lowly Kyorli commands none and is thoroughly obedient to all other ranks. His gift, a blessing and a curse, are his eyes: the Watcher never forgets what he sees. Nor can he keep hidden what he finds ingrained in his memory, for his eyes unfailingly betray his emotions, despite what means he might take to hide them. His eyes are pupil-less so that their entirety take on silver for happiness, black for sorrow or pain, pink for anger, and a certain tint of blue during the hunt. More mild-mannered than all the rest, the Kyorli makes a good match for the Zanjur. His pelt is charcoal gray, and a silver mask surrounds his eyes.
Aptly named for his ability to be what the pack requires, the brown-eyed Jalkhel is the soldier of the Sargtlin, the guardian of the Messenger, perhaps even the assassin for a jealous Qu’essan. He spends youth rotating apprenticeships beneath all ranks until earning recognition as a proficient warrior with magical talents just weaker than his Princess. Jalkhel tend to be tall and lean, swift and quiet as moonlight. He wears a handsome white coat speckled with grays along his neck and back that trail into a long tail. He might be mistaken for a lord, were it not for his desire to be commanded rather than to command. Should he chose to, he could direct the Rahwenress and those below her, but often defers out of respect to his favorite mate.