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Second Pass Weyr - AU Canon Pern

Author Topic:  Wher; General Information  (Read 765 times)

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Second Pass

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Wher; General Information
« on: 27 May 2013 at 08:57 AM »
Second Pass Weyr - AU Canon Pern

It should be noted that the wher of Second Pass is entirely designed solely for this site, and does not follow a lot of the regular fandom-canon in regards to the creatures. We also use very little of the material supplied by Todd McCaffrey. If you wish to RP a wher, or recognise them in your character's history, please read this information carefully. If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact Honey Love or BlueDragon through the HelpDesk.

More information will be added when and if needed, as requested by members or prompted through questions asked. Update posts will be added for such things.

 

The Basics;

In much the same manner that the dragons were created from firelizards by bioengineering, so too were the whers. Unfortunately for the creatures, Wind Blossom did not have nearly the skill at such a task that her mother portrayed. Her results came out ugly, malformed, photophobic and flightless.

Like their much better looking cousins, the wher comes in the five original colours of the firelizards; the queen bee in gold, and her mate in bronze; following are the brown, the blue and finally the green. As with the engineering that went into dragons, green whers are infertile and as such, incapable of producing eggs. Colour ratios also follow the same mechanics in egg production, but the living ratio is heavily manipulated by human hand.

Please see breeding for more information on wher lifestyle, and colour control.

 

Abilities;

While dragons posses a wide selection of abilities, whers are incredibly lacking. Below, their abilities - or lack there of - are outlined and detailed.

  • Telepathy; Telepathy is how a wher communicates with his or her chosen human, the leader of their pack, or with other whers. While it is entirely probable that a wher can speak to both firelizards and dragons - no dragon has been known to take the time to speak to a wher, and firelizards are usually eaten by them if they stray too close. Unlike the telepathy used by dragons, however, whers don't speak. They can - they just never do, and there is no human recollection of a wher ever speaking. Instead, they use incredibly complex combinations of emotions and images, as well as being no stranger to manipulating the thought process of their chosen human until they understand exactly what it is the wher wishes to communicate, without the creature uttering so much as an actual word. There will never be a case of a wher actively speaking to someone.

  • Teleportation; Whers are not capable of the trick referred to as 'between'ing. Wind Blossom's tinkering removed such a tallent from their abilities.

  • Telekinesis; As with teleportation, the wher of Second Pass is also incapable of telekinesis.

  • Flaming; Once more, Wind Blossom's meddling affected the wher's ability to do as the dragons do. They are incapable of processing firestone, and as a result, completely incapable of producing a flame. Those few who try puke it back up and often end up rather cranky with their handler.

  • Flying; Whers cannot fly - under any circumstances; no matter the time of the day or night, no matter how "heavy" the air may be - even if they were launched into the air like Buzz Lightyear, they would not even manage to fall with style, and would probably explode on impact. Their wings (those that have them) - short, stubby and malformed - are far too small for such endeavours as flying, while their body mass and bone density make them entirely too heavy to get off the ground, even if their wings were of a size to fly.

Memories and Intelligence;

Unlike their dragon and firelizard cousins, whers are incredibly intelligent, and are in fact as often than not more intelligent than the average human and many are more intelligent than their handlers. Whers as a whole have a deeper understanding of humans and their behaviours than either dragons or firelizards, and often a better grasp on the human action and reaction process than humans themselves. However, due to the wher's inherent arrogance, and their lack of ever taking the time to speak 'properly' with their bonded, whers are unanimously considered incredibly stupid creatures. Trainable, but no more so than a firelizard.

Whers use their intelligence to convey what it is they want, how they want it, and why they want it through the use of intricate images, emotions and a heavy talent for manipulating their bonded. Instead of answering a handler when they ask if the wher wishes to be bathed, a wher may twist and manipulate the human's thoughts and emotions until they are overcome with the irrefutable desire to bathe their bonded. The subtly with which whers are able to do this has vastly been responsible for keeping their intelligence out of sight of human comprehension, and indeed, it could be argued that the wher enjoy bending the human to their bidding, without the human even realising what it is they are doing on a deeper level.

Wher have very good memories, alongside their intelligence, their memories are also comparable to that of the average human. They are capable of remembering events from the moment of their Hatching, and strongly emotional ties will stick with them for life. Mundane things may be recalled, but are not typically worthy of being retained.


Breeding;

In a domesticated setting, gold and bronze whers are exclusively sought after by breeders, who will usually go out of their way to gain the one with the best possible lineage. Wher lines are kept carefully recorded by those in the upper end of the trade, and while it is in no way a craft or follow craft ranking, wher breeders take themselves extremely serious. Gold whers are almost impossible to get outside of a breeding set up, and cost a fortune both on the black market and to purchase from a breeder for breeding purposes. Most gold whers are traded between breeders in order to bring in new lines to their existing stock. It should be noted that a gold wher will not share her human with another gold, and new bonds require either the previous gold to have passed, or to be culled before the new gold hatches.


Bronze whers, like the gold, are almost exclusively kept for breeding purposes. However, they are available for purchase at a slightly more affordable rate than the gold, and while they will never be common property or available to the ‘average Joe’, the bronze wher can be obtained by most rich, well connected or well ranked individuals. Bronzes are almost entirely preferred for training, as they do not possess the more dangerous nature of the gold, who comes into heat and is possessive of her territory, but are generally considered ‘better’ than their blue and brown brethren.


Brown and blue are the colours made regularly available to the Mining craft, and to the Handlers of Holds and Halls. Only those that have been trained to be a Handler are given permission to obtain a wher outside of the black market, and wher breeders are known to be notoriously picky about to whom they hand over an egg, and how much they charge for it. While they are ridiculously fussy about how well trained someone is; if they aren’t able to pay the price or the breeder doesn’t feel they will be of any political use, it is not uncommon for the breeder to refute a bonding opportunity.


Unfortunately for the green wher, she has only two options in her life; sexual relief, or leather. Green whers are kept in very careful moderation. While they are the most commonly clutched colour, they are almost never allowed to live beyond their first heat. Carefully selecting the more mellow of greens when previous greens are getting old, wher breeders keep on hand any number of the small female to be paired up with a male when she comes into heat. Like a green dragon, a green wher can come into heat anything from every other month, to once every few turns. Those most commonly kept by breeders follow a 4 month roster. Wher breeders will charge a fee for the handler of a male wher to mate his beast with a green, though the price may be low if there are several breeders within the vicinity, or outrageously high if he is the only wher breeder within a decent hike.


Green whers that are not so kept, are culled for the tough and high quality leather their hide makes. They are most often kept until the two year bracket, by which point they have reached their full growth. Usually occurring in large quantities, the unlucky greens are overdosed Felon's Fright, a sedative drug in their meal that causes full body paralysis, and slaughtered so their hide can be used as protective clothing. The carcass is then gutted, and fed to other whers.


Impression;

Wher impression is vastly different from that of dragons, but not so much from that of firelizards. Unlike either of their cousins, wher eggs come shelled in the colour of the contents; so while a gold wher will be contained in a gold egg, similarly will a green wher be in a green egg, or a brown wher in a brown egg. While there can be some ifs buts or maybes about an egg colour, breeders have developed their own talents for determining if an egg is green or bronze or brown or blue when the shades linger in the regions of either-or. Very rarely is an experienced handler wrong, and those few times they are lessons quickly learned from.

Like with firelizards, whers Impress based on food, not whatever aspect it is that a dragonet seeks upon hatching. Instead, whers will bond upon each other as willingly - if not more so - as they will upon a human. Food is an important part, and human hopefuls are given buckets of sloppy blood-porridge with which to feed the hatchling until it is old enough to begin chewing chunks of meat for unlike dragons and firelizards, whers are not born with teeth - likely a protective measure against their vicious and quick-to-attack nature. Baby whers regularly bite, and while they have strong jaws and can break bones, for the first three months they do not have teeth to tear or pierce skin.


A wher may not share his or her name for the longest time, and most overcome this obstacle by simply naming them whatever it is they want, until the wher's name 'comes to them'. Wher bonds come in various strengths, very similar to that of dragons and firelizards; some are exceedingly strong, while others are fickle and the likelihood of the bond falling apart is far greater in such instances, as is the chance of the wher attacking either the bonded human, or another human in a fit of rebellion or simply because it can.

 

Naming Style;

Clearly, the wher is intelligent enough to choose its own name upon making it into the world, and will often decide upon a name for itself whether it ends up with a bond or not. In the case where a wher does not bond, a human often dubs some random name upon the creature without any care for what the wher named him or herself. This, for a start, is a large part of unbonded wher attitude, and why they believe they are quite a level above humans. Whether a wher chooses to bond to a human or not, however, it should be noted that his or her name will still always end in the '-sk' noted by those with bonds.

A bonded wher doesn't have to honour their chosen human by taking on a part of their name, though many freshly hatched whers will do so, and should a wher come to decide in later life that they are particularly pleased with their human, they may opt to change their name almost out of the blue, to better reflect their opinion of the human in question. As a result, it is generally considered by the human population that the closer a wher's name is to that of his or her human, the stronger the bond and the better the human in question is as a wher handler. A breeder may well decide to request the training rights of a Journeyman who has become bonded to a work wher that has taken on the vast majority of their name, for that to a breeder indicates they have a 'talent' for handling whers.

While it is possible for a human to lie about what their whers name is, it is usually made abundantly clear by the very cranky wher that their name has been lied about, and records will quickly be set straight in the case where anyone actually cares.

 

Culling;

Green whers are almost unanimously the only colour which is culled. However, it is not uncommon for others to also fall victim to the demands of human greed. If someone is willing to spend enough money, and waste enough time, other colours can be gained by the black market, and bonded to until such a time as they are old enough to be worth the effort of culling. Despite greed, however, the original and main reason for culling whers is to keep their numbers at a regulated level, while also removing the dangerous aspect of proddy green whers.

Breeders almost always take care of their own seasonal culling, though they may call in speciality trained beastcrafters to assist. The Master Healer who is responsible for the allocation of drug Felon's Fright will often make rounds between the wher breeders during culling season, to make sure the expensive and highly dangerous drug is not exploited. Meat is heavily dosed with the drug before being fed to the greens, who are usually starved for several days prior to be sure they will eat enough for the drug to take affect. Felon's Fright is a paralysing drug, and while it doesn't destroy the consciousness of those affected, it does completely remove the ability to control one's body. Whers are similarly affected, and humans, believing the creatures to be incredibly stupid, take little measure to ensure peace of the creature's mind before she, too, is slaughtered. Death is granted with a swift slice of the throat, to bleed the animal out with minimal damage to the hide.

The whers will be skinned, and their hides are literally sold to the highest bidder in auctions that take place following the event. The carcass is usually fed to other whers, and while the drugs are still in the system of the deceased wher, there has been no side effects recorded by breeders - or none they have felt worthy of reporting.

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