Exotic Non-Canine Companion and Creature Guide

Table of Contents (hide)

  1.   1.  Questions to Ask
    1.   1.1  Plausibility
    2.   1.2  Care and Keeping
    3.   1.3  Raising & Taming

There are a few main ideas you must consider when thinking about a NPC companion for your character. Evaluate each of these ideas with regards to your specific NPC animal, and you should be able to come to your own conclusion as to whether or not you can have it as a pet. If you're still not sure and you need clarification, as always, feel free to ask us in the Questions and Help forum.

This is also useful when considering playing a Creature on 'Souls.

1.  Questions to Ask

1.1  Plausibility

Are there precedents for tamed creatures of this sort?

An easy way to figure out whether your character can have a companion species is whether or not others have done it before you. Look around -- everyone has a horse! :) You, too, can have a horse, if everyone else does! Conversely, no one has ever had a pet Gorilla -- it's likely they would prove too intelligent and uncontrollable as adults.

How rare is the animal?

Check the creature's Wikipedia page -- you should be able to see in the sidebar where the animal stands on the IUCN Red List Endangered Species scale. Checking out where your desired species stands on this scale is a great way to determine just how hard it would be to find in the wild. PLEASE NOTE: the 1988 standing of the species is most important. If a creature was reintroduced in the wild after 1988, then it's probably totally extinct the 'Soulsverse. At most, it would exist in hybridized form, if it was capable of interbreeding with a closely related species.

IUCN Red List

IUCN Red List Endangered Species scale describes the level of extinction endangerment a species faces.

Not Allowed

  • Extinct: These creatures are no longer present in the wild or in zoos. You may not keep these characters as NPC companions or play them as creatures.
  • Extinct in the Wild: These creatures are no longer present in the wild, but may exist in zoos and breeding facilities. You may not keep these characters as NPC companions or play them as creatures.

Sometimes Allowed

  • Critically Endangered: This species has an extremely low population and is very likely to become extinct. It is unlikely a canine would be able to have a pet in this standing as a companion, but it may be allowed with a backstory plausibly and thoroughly explaining the creature's existence.
  • Endangered: These creatures are clearly threatened with low population and faces a high risk of extinction in the near future. It is likely a creature in this status would be difficult for a Luperci to obtain as a companion.
  • Vulnerable: These animals are becoming threatened and stand a risk of becoming extinct in the medium future. It is likely a creature in this status can be kept as a companion, but stocks of these creatures may not be commonplace.

Generally Allowed

  • Near Threatened: These animals may become threatened in the distant future. It is likely a creature in this status can be be kept as a companion.
  • Least Concern: This species has no immediate threats to its survival and is likely to be kept as a companion or played as a creature, other concerns nonwithstanding.

Do these companions perform a function? If they don't, how costly/difficult are they to capture, raise, tame, and keep alive?

It might be awesome for your character to pick up an Eclectus Parrot, sure -- but even though these parrots are frequently kept in captivity and gained their popularity in the 1980s, they're not very "functional" pets. By this, we mean that they perform no task other than sitting and looking pretty. They're incapable of hunting, don't assist with many Luperci tasks, and would be difficult to keep alive in many climates, as they are exotic or tropical or otherwise not adapted to surviving without special care by Luperci.

The cost of keeping a companion or pet such as Eclectus Parrot is very high, with little benefit to Luperci. It's highly unlikely Luperci would keep these animals as pets. It's even more rare for these animals to be transported out of their native habitats and across great distances. Animals that are not very useful or lucrative would be very unlikely to be traded. No one is going to go through all the trouble of hunting down a rare bird that just sits and looks pretty -- let alone the trouble of transporting that rare yet useless animal far, far across the sea.

If the species is abundant and not very dangerous, they should be relatively easy to capture. Rare animals that are also dangerous would be very difficult to capture, especially alive! Again, younger animals should be easier to capture than adults, but they require time and patience to train and be allowed to grow.

Where did this creature come from? If it is not native to the area where my character acquired it, how did it get there?

If your character is also from the area where the creature is native, you needn't worry about this.

Trade

Another alternative is for a Eurasian character to trade your character this companion, although note that large animals would be impossible to transport (no elephants, sorry!). Also remember: traders are unlikely to deal in exotic animals with little to no purpose: they would deal with animals in high demand, such as horses, donkeys, livestock animals, domesticated prey, hunting or messenger birds, etc. They have the largest turnover and movement possibility and the greatest profit.

Zoos

Many exotics were kept in zoos during the humans time. However, it is not a perfect solution for all creatures or companions origins. For one thing, zoo populations are generally not a large enough gene pool to support a large population. Many zoo-kept animals would have been forced to hybridize if they wished to reproduce (e.g., an Asian-native eagle breeding with a North American-native eagle). For some animals -- especially those animals without any viable hybridization opportunities on North America -- this is not possible at all.

It's also important to evaluate whether or not the creature would survive the conditions in their new habitat. Birds that were kept in heated tropical enclosures will have died off, for example, if they couldn't or didn't migrate back to their natural habitat.

1.2  Care and Keeping

Why is the animal following my character?

Tamed

In some cases (horses, smaller cats, birds, etc.) it's plausible to break and train the animal to obey commands. This is especially true of "dumber" species, or species that were previously domesticated to obey human commands.

Intelligent Friends

Some creatures are very intelligent and may choose to follow a Luperci of their own volition: for example, a Barbary Macaque monkey or an African Grey parrot. While these creatures are so intelligent they're not likely to appreciate being kept as pets, they might well form friendships with a Luperci!

Will the animal survive in eastern Canada?

Another major consideration is how easy the creature is to keep alive. For example: a desert-living lizard would find Nova Scotia's winters quite cold, and without a heat source, would be very likely to die out over the winter. Another example is a bird with a very specific diet of worms and grubs -- if the grubs aren't obtainable in Nova Scotia, is it possible for the bird to survive on a different diet?

Interacting with Other Canines

Still another example is whether or not the animal is an animal that would be perceived to be a threat to the other canines in 'Souls -- if it's a large bear companion, other Luperci may attack it if it gets too close, even if it's perfectly friendly! Note that no character in 'Souls could actually harm your NPC without your permission, of course -- you'd have to be present in the thread and the player can't powerplay your NPC any more than they can powerplay your character, but it is something to think about for plausibility's sake!

Temperature

It's important to figure out whether they can survive in Nova Scotian temperatures or not! Although Nova Scotia has a mild maritime climate, the winters can get quite cold, and the summers are also pretty hot! A jungle-born animal would find it hard to survive in winter without freezing, and an arctic-born animal would have difficulty surviving in summer with their added protections to the cold -- they would be more susceptible to heat-stroke and more likely to die off!

Food

You should also consider food -- if your desired companion only eats the particular bark of a tree found in one small part of the world, sorry! You'll have to consider another animal.

1.3  Raising & Taming

Generally, Luperci will want to capture young animals and raise them by hand -- adults are more difficult to tame, generally, and even when tamed may retain some of their wilder behaviors. You will want to evaluate just how difficult it is to raise these animals -- their diet, especially if it undergoes various changes from childhood to adolescence to adulthood to provide maximum nutrition, may require special care.

Additionally, you must evaluate how easy it is to tame your desired companion animal. Look for a human precedent: if people were able to tame the animals, Luperci may also be able to do this. It is important to remember, however, that some animals viewed humans as prey and others as predators: the same could easily be said for Luperci, and the perceptions may be different. Domesticated horses, for example, don't perceive humans as a threat, but they may think of Luperci that way -- and, as aforementioned, a Luperci who has no experience with horses might look at one and think about dinner!

Is it possible to train or tame the animal? Did your character dedicate the proper amount of time?

This is an important consideration when capturing a native animal: you must dedicate the proper amount of time to the training of the companion before it acts domesticated. Your character simply cannot catch a hawk in a trap and have it flying messages around the next week. Capturing a stallion and riding it around the next day is not possible; these animals take time to break and train.

Bucking Horse

It takes time to train a horse and make it understand what you want it to do! jdan@Flickr.com

Some animals also require more skill to train than others. There are also various disciplines of skill: teaching a horse to carry a rider is one thing, pulling a cart is a different skill, and charging into war is another thing entirely. Taming a horse does not necessitate that the horse will do everything you ask of it: it may balk when ridden toward an enemy Luperci, or it may find horseback hunting too stressful!

Will the animal be controllable when it is grown?

It's perfectly plausible to think a Luperci might be able to obtain a lion cub for an extremely high price in the northernmost cities of Africa as a rarity and a commodity, but if your Luperci had visited the area, they might have noticed none of the locals with adult pet lions, and perhaps even the snickers as they paid for their new pet. Why? Well, when the lion grows up and weighs anywhere from 330 - 550 lbs (150 - 250 kg) as an adult male and just a touch less as an adult female, it's very possible your Luperci will end up killed by their new pet!

Cats are capable of understanding and speaking High Speech in particular, though the feline dialect is different from the canine one, and they may not like being treated as a pet so much. Cultivating a friendship with these creatures is possible, but even then it's a danger, as the adult members of these species would be able to overpower a even a Luperci, and they would likely be regarded as a danger to other canines.