On this page... (hide)
- 1. Appearance
- 1.1 Essentials
- 1.2 Images
- 2. Personality
- 3. Connections
- 3.1 Pre-'Souls
- 3.2 In 'Souls
- 4. Property
- 5. History
by yours truly
Gerulf Voznik is a big-nosed mongrel whose life has been shaped by the gospel of a long-gone child's personal fantasies. Though he values hard work for the sake of the in-group, Gerulf's personal interests, short temper, and devotion to beliefs he's reluctant to share have continually driven him away from places he called home.
In early spring of 2017, Gerulf fled eastern Europe in search of a new life across the Atlantic. Though he has no intentions of self-reinvention, he hopes to make a better name for himself among the residents of 'Souls. Ideally this will be a good name, a noble name, and his sins will quietly rot overseas. However, the older he gets, the more desperate he becomes to ensure his impact on the world doesn't die with him - fate may have other plans.
His first name is derived from German words for "spear" and "wolf". His surname is a made-up mishmash of the Russian words for romp and traveler; coincidentally, it's the Slovenian word for "person who drives a motorized vehicle, such as a car or bus."
(Still a WIP. To complete: pixels & optime reference, detailed history.)
Plot Potential & OOC Assumptions
A dog hybrid with a broken tooth who looks larger than he normally acts. Though by default Gerulf speaks and carries himself with confidence, his near-constant bone chewing indicates a less composed individual. His scent currently varies based on location; he covers huge ground on the best days and doesn't stop to wash. The scar on his face was gained within the season and stings when touched.
He boasts a sturdy frame, built to deal blunt trauma in concentrated, well-aimed blows. Stealth and agility, however, are not his fortes. In his secui and especially optime forms, Gerulf can likely be heard lumbering along from a distance; he makes no effort to lighten his step. As of late, he's been keeping his food intake to a minimum and lacks the solid muscle he might otherwise have. He is by no means starving, however, and come warmer days he expects to settle down and regain his best physique.
Gerulf currently uses his optime form by default and carries a rotting satchel. His mane is an unstyled mess and he doesn't wear clothing. When hunting or resting, he shifts to lupus or secui and keeps his satchel concealed nearby.
base fur (#51555A)
light markings (#B3BDC0)
nose & paw pads (#151516)
3 ft 1 in (37 in / 93.98 cm)
4 ft 1 in (49 in / 125 cm)
7 ft (84 in / 213.36 cm)
- Speech: Low-pitched, gruff, but rarely aggressive. Attempts not to speak out of turn. Above average volume by default but may be voluntarily softened depending on context (talking to puppies, being submissive, etc). Very loud "laugh."
- Scent: Currently varies due to frequent travel. Does not place high priority on personal hygiene but will wash or lick off any bloodstains from hunting to avoid being tracked.
- Quirks, Gestures, Etc.: Chews bones as stress relief, whether using small ribcages as toothpicks (typical) or gnawing on a deer leg (rarely).
- General Posture and Body Language: Moves with weight and purpose. Subtle changes depending on presence of superiors or subordinates, but generally tries to hold self with composure and understated dignity. Darting eyes, rigid tail, and clenched teeth or aggressive bone biting may betray ongoing anxiety, however - a solid build can only do so much to conceal an uncertain individual.
For a canine whose life has been shaped by troublesome affairs, Gerulf values a simple code: stay in line and everything will run as it should. He takes a subservient role by default, not speaking until prompted, but in the presence of equals or lower-ranked canines he lifts his chin and tries to exude strength. Though he won't attack without provocation, strangers would be wise to note how deep the toothmarks are in whichever bone he's chewing. He cannot always hold his tongue as well as he'd like.
Although a sociable dog, Gerulf isn't much for wasting time. He'll exchange small talk but not while standing around; ideally something is being accomplished during the conversation, something lasting and tangible. Even if it's just a walk through the woods, Gerulf is satisfied if they can part in a different place than they began. His current travels have been taking him northward and he is not keen on looking back.
In this regard however he has two weaknesses. Firstly, Gerulf believes pups are innocent and will do his best to ensure they are not led astray, no matter what it takes. He would advertise himself as an excellent caretaker, though rowdy youth and a short temper do not mix well. And second, having been raised on stories, Gerulf maintains his fascination with human remains. He has been known to detour towards places in desperate need of upkeep, and if convenient, will call exploration a purpose in and of itself.
Overall, Gerulf seeks to make a lasting impact on the world. Ideally, he will be remembered on a pedestal engraved with glowing praise. He fears, however, that his prime has passed. The older he grows, the more willing he may become to twist his morals for the sake of memorability.
In three words: does not care. Gerulf would only have sex for procreation and doesn't understand the appeal of recreational intercourse. Finding a partner isn't high on his to-do list. If it happens, it happens, but the other canine would need to make the first move because Gerulf is unlikely to act on any attraction he might have.
While not technically a religious belief, Gerulf attempts to live by assorted codes extrapolated from an old human journal. Elias is making these up as he goes along but they include misinterpreted idioms such as kicking trees for good luck ("knock on wood") & a peculiar relationship with the beings known as cats - they bring bad luck, especially if not contained ("don't let the cat out of the bag"), are prone to disappearing and without warning ("Schrodinger's cat" + cats being cats), and attempting to learn more about them may be fatal ("curiosity killed the cat"). The writer also spoke adoringly of birds, whether her own or those outside, and Gerulf has resolved never to kill one under any circumstance.
Though he not believe in an afterlife or any sort of god, Gerulf has been enlightened to the long-ago existence of a few all-powerful beings that were definitely not some child's superpowered ocs. He also carries a doll head which, depending on the day, he may regard as a friend, an idol, a good luck charm, or any combination of thereof. Regardless, he thinks it's charming.
On some level, Gerulf is aware his beliefs are odd; he keeps his system secret and would never attempt to convert another. In fact, he's almost thankful the original texts have been lost to the ocean depths - no one else can read them and mock him for his devotion.
Gerulf may have been persuaded to try some type of recreational substance in the past but he's never been particularly interested. If anything, the idea disgusts him - there seems to be no real purpose to such habits, and he doesn't care to be around those who engage long enough to learn otherwise.
- Speaks both Russian and English (or at least the modern luperci equivalents) fluently; has been using English by default since embarking to 'Souls. Scattered awareness of Ukrainian.
- OOC note: Player is monolingual and does not understand other languages for beans. Any Russian use will be written in English with different formatting. If your character speaks Russian in a thread with Gerulf, translations would be strongly appreciated!
- Decent but deteriorating (for lack of practice) ability to read.
- Cannot write. Lacks dexterity to hold a writing utensil and lacks desire/patience to learn.
- Capable of descriptive storytelling but has the imagination of a brick wall.
- Hunts and fights best in lupus and secui, awkward in optime. In a fight, relies on blunt force and physical durability.
- Aware of how to be stealthy and charming but has tried in vain to accomplish both.
- Keenly aware of structural instabilities, especially from the scent of mold.
- Although not a medic, can set broken bones and dislocated joints. Generally knowledgeable about how a skeleton comes together.
- Vocally composed but significantly less aware of body language cues.
3.2 In 'Souls
- Sexual partners: Gerulf doesn't give a darn about recreational sex.
- Violent encounters: He also doesn't go out of his way to get in fights. He might've stolen from a few unwary canines on the way here but he made sure they couldn't follow.
A description of the residence! Where it is, layout, what have you.
Gerulf and one littermate, a sister who didn't survive the winter, were born to an exiled wolfdog who made sure he grew up knowing what his life should have been like. Although raised in the forests of eastern Europe, they occasionally visited the outskirts of a city-dwelling pack where Gerulf's father resided. If Gerulf was lucky, his father would tell him stories of the pack's history and culture, which gave the pup a deep fascination with what wonders lay beyond the pack's borders in the crumbling city.
Shortly after shifting for the first time, Gerulf came upon an object a person from bygone days might recognize as a time capsule. It contained (among other trinkets that were later lost) a journal and a doll, both of which he still holds dear today. Upon his discovery, Gerulf was more determined than ever to learn about the vanished species. When his mother was out, he ventured into a human house - only to fall when the floor gave out beneath him. His father came to his rescue, but before the boy could be on his way, one of the city dogs attacked. Gerulf fled unscathed, knowing his father would not be so lucky.
He didn't return to his home den, fearing the pack would track his scent to his mother. Instead, Gerulf wandered alone for a time. As summer gave way to fall, he found himself entangled in a guild of traveling thieves who offered him companionship in exchange for his manual labor. Gerulf was never sure whether they truly valued him or his physical power; he couldn't manage their stealth, but they lacked the strength needed to repair crumbling shelters. And he had to admit, it was fun being the only one able to swiftly incapacitate canines who chased the guild down barking for items that were no longer theirs.
That winter was harsher than ever, and the ruffians began to starve. When Gerulf met a merchant who offered him piles of prey in exchange for "something interesting," the dog hybrid gave up all but his book and the doll's head to feed his family. Unfortunately, the food was not as fresh as anticipated, and before long the guild's weakest members grew ill. One of the wolves who seemed to care about Gerulf most advised him to leave while he could; if the group survived, she feared they'd turn on him for treason.
He took her advice. Gerulf ventured further westward, and when he caught word of a thriving community overseas, he embarked on a voyage with a trading caravan to North America. Only then did illness catch up with him. He spent a majority of the trip below deck silently begging for death. Although Gerulf survived, his book was not so lucky. It was tossed overboard, mistaken for rotting scrap, and when he found out he dueled the offender on deck. Before either could sustain major injury, the crew broke up the fight. At the first opportunity, they threw the rowdy wolfdog onto land.
Gerulf has been traveling alone again since, trekking northbound towards Nova Scotia. Gerulf has caught word of several thriving packs in the area, and if fate is in his favor, he'll finally find a place to call home.
timeline & WIP history, to be detailed in subsections
- 27-29 Apr, 1986: In the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, humans evacuate Pripyat. Several abandoned dogs band together for companionship and to defend their homes from unscrupulous intruders. However, local hunters shoot many animals left behind, and within two days those who did not flee are left dead in the streets.
- 1988: When the Luperci virus obliterates humanity, the surviving dogs (and affiliates) are infected in short order. They quickly establish themselves as a pack, InsertPackHere, and claim the city for themselves. Thanks to both tight intrapack bonds and firsthand experience taking advantage of human remnants, IPH thrives.
- 02 Dec, 2013: Gerulf is born to a wolfdog mother and a hound mix IPH father.
- ???: Gerulf finds a buried time capsule containing a journal, doll, and other trinkets. Because of the relatively decent condition of the objects, he instantly covets them and regards the journal's words as scripture.
- ~Jun 2014: During late adolescence, after a brief period on his own, Gerulf joins a loosely-connected group of fellow who steal to survive. Though at times he feels he's being taken advantage of for his physical abilities, Gerulf enjoys the company of his fellow ruffians.
- 2015-2016?: A harsh winter drives the thieves to near-starvation. Desperate, Gerulf trades several objects from the time capsule (not including the journal or doll, the latter of which is now just a head) for food from a passerby. The food ends up poisoning his comrades and he flees.
- 2017: Gerulf learns of exploration & community opportunities and sets sail for North America. During the voyage, a sailor discards his book, mistaking it for scrap leather. Gerulf fights the sailor on deck and is kicked off the ship at the first opportunity.]
Born to a lone wolfdog alongside one littermate who didn’t survive to winter, Gerulf was raised on stories. His mother said little about herself and filled the gaps with aesops that taught the pup how life was supposed to go - your pack loved you from birth no matter what your heritage, and if you fell for someone beyond the border, your kin would see the error of their ways and welcome you both with wagging tails. She loved him dearly and he returned all affections, though Gerulf wondered what became of the sister he remembered less each day. When the curiosity escaped him, his guardian’s expression was that one unreadable face he had only seen when she attacked intruding males the day before yet another move. Gerulf did not ask again.
Sometimes, after a romp in muddy rivers, his mother would take Gerulf to the border of a place with tall aboveground dens and smooth stone underfoot. Most times he hid and she paced and they made sure to leave before her worry-scent permeated the area. But on occasion, her love welcomed them with hushed pleasure. The trio would run deep into the forest, through paths so twisted even Gerulf lost all sense of direction - and when at last they settled long enough to speak, the hound man told his son about Pripyat. No, not this city, another one west of here. That was where his pack, Sim'ya[*], was founded, after all its founders and other local dogs were abandoned by their masters. See, times were different back then, and–
He couldn’t stay long. Mother saw to it he didn’t. Can’t fill the poor boy’s head with ancient nonsense, she’d say. He won’t make it if he worships history. But when she wasn’t looking, Papa introduced Gerulf to books and reading. The activity seemed a waste of time and Gerulf adored it.
One day, while the Gerulf was testing the efficiency of his new bipedal form, he found a peculiar object buried by a creek. It seemed crafted just for hands like his, if a tad too small, and when he pried it open he found a wealth of trinkets. Among the alien objects were dry leaves depicting hideous snoutless creatures, a book with text just legible enough to make out, and a deformed shell of one of the creatures. Human artifacts, Papa said, and that’s a doll not a shell, and then he picked up everything and ran.
At the edge of the city, Papa pleaded for Gerulf to stay behind. Sim'ya’s love for one another was matched only by their hatred of the uncivilized fiends outside, and not even a mostly-dog lineage would help the naive boy. In exchange for Gerulf’s compliance, Papa returned the artifacts. He warned, however, that Sim'ya would kill for materials in such condition.
Being a wise adolescent, Gerulf read the forbidden law whenever his mother looked away. Enthralled, he strode into a house near but not within Sim'ya’s territory. He stepped on a floorboard less stable than it looked and soon was convinced he would die writhing among musty rubble, his left arm more twisted than the doll’s. His whimpering summoned his father - ah, if only it was always that easy - who wrapped up his wounds in washed hide and vulgar scolding.
This lovely reunion was soon interrupted by Papa’s mate, as he told her the pack, and upon seeing her love’s eyes in the unfamiliar youth, she attacked. Gerulf fled and did not return, lest she have his scent tracked back to Mother. By some miracle, however, he was never followed. Gerulf likes to think his father saved him; oh, the man died, undeniably so, but perhaps the female only had enough killing energy for one.
The lad was alone.
Though he knew his family was long gone, Gerulf couldn’t help but feel as though the commander of his beloved book sat beside him when he read. She introduced to him worlds he could never know inhabited by people he might have befriended. And when he resorted to theft, wondering if the Robber Boy would deem it a desperate enough time to warrant such behavior, the doll met his gaze and said nothing. He wasn’t sorry, not truly. She didn’t demand a confession.
Gerulf soon learned he was not the only robber boy to trawl central Europe. The others too were misguided troublemakers, depending on who was speaking, and the one who swiped Gerulf’s idol wasn’t a boy. When he finally chased her down, her friends reopened Gerulf’s old wounds and offered him an ultanium: stay and join them or die here and now. He answered with perhaps too much enthusiasm, but they needed a stocky soul to protect what storage they had and couldn’t turn down a fellow thief. They even allowed him to keep his gospel and his guardian - though the latter had been reduced to a head, following careless treatment in its stealer’s paws. Gerulf didn’t care. Broken as it was, at least some part of it had remained.
And so he learned to optimize his optime form, though he always did prefer quadruped movement, and the guild was happy. At last Gerulf had friends who spoke back. This was how it should be, he knew. The outsider had been accepted as one of their own and it had nothing to do with their lean, agile bodies not being able to intimidate nosy strangers as effectively as the wolfdog’s. Packs always had subordinates doing grunt work, yes?
If nothing else they trusted him with hunting duties, during the parts of the cycle in which locals knew them just well enough to send out their strongest guards but not enough to begin driving them away.
- harsh winter
- swaps (most of) doll for food from a quirky merchant
- surprise! it’s poison
- not harmed, possibly thanks to size. guilty and blamed, on advice of girlthief flees again. (she loved him like a bro and swore she’d defend him if they got better enough to seek revenge.)
- more lonesome traveling! hears about North America and, after killing a bird in desperation, sails off - and gets sick most of the trip.
- journal tossed during cleanout towards end of journey; no one wanted to touch the doll head. cue fight on deck, lupus (not strong enough for secui), thrown overboard not far from land but WAY not intended destination
- wander to souls!!
5.1 Post Log & Archives
~100-200 word paragraph summarizing the key events of the month in your character's life.
~100-200 word paragraph summarizing the key events of the month in your character's life.
~100-200 word paragraph summarizing the key events of the month in your character's life. Maybe don't write it or add the Hide button until the end of the month!
the future is out there