Sonic Wolf

The sonic wolf, better known colloquially as the banshee wolf or just banshee, is a shadebeast resulting from toxic shade corruption of the common wolf , "native" to the shadowscars of the Akelan Wastes. They are particularly common in Three-Fifteen and the Barren Outlands.

The banshee utilizes strong sound waves to paralyze its prey, hence the name.

The sound was piercing, unbearable. A loud, almost inaudible, but omnipresent sound. Like a heavy blanket of noise. Carla couldn't move. An icy feeling rushed through her body, as if her blood vessels froze from the inside out. She couldn't move. Her muscles, tightly bound in cramps.

— An encounter with a pack of banshees

Appearance

The sonic wolf retains most of its body shape from its natural counterpart, but the fur turns a dark purple shade that seems particularly poor at reflecting light. The fur is striped with teal, bioluminescent pigmentation, forming stripes that look like lightning, across the wolf's sides and face.

Biology

Similarly sized and about as durable as the common wolf, the sonic wolf poses a significant threat to travelers on foot and on mounts. Vehicular travelers are usually safe if they are in armored or enclosed vehicles. Open vehicles, like buggies, are prone to attacks when in and near grounds where sonic wolves hunt.

The sonic wolf fights primarily with sharp teeth but they also possess much sharper claws than regular wolves and can easily tear through basic combat armor with them.

Procreation

The sonic wolf (álfr grímrs) is a genetic corruption of the regular wolf (alálfr) believed to have been caused by exposure to large quantities of shade. Now belonging to the overall class of shadebeasts.

It is not known if the sonic wolves are capable of breeding among themselves or if their numbers are replenished by mutation alone. It seems unlikely as most shade toxification is fatal in in all species. Their numbers cannot be explained by random mutation, so most scientist believe the banshees are capable of breeding either amongst themselves or with the common wolf.

Pack animals

Like their natural counterparts, sonic wolves appear to be pack animals, banding together in groups of 5-15 individuals, centered around a single "alpha". It is unclear if this alpha is the de facto leader or just holds a specialist role in the group.

The Alpha

The alpha is the one that gives the species its name. Only the alpha variant of the sonic wolves is actually capable of emitting the sound-waves used to paralyze prey. The alpha is roughly twice the size of a regular sonic wolf.

In order to attack, the alpha will charge a powerful bark with energy, presumably shade, and direct it at a single target in a high-energy sonic blast. The resulting blast is so energetic it can be seen as a teal light in the mouth of the alpha.

Effect

The sonic blast disrupts the motoric nerves, preventing muscles from reacting to stimuli, freezing up in cramps instead. It makes movement incredibly difficult and fighting impossible.

Behaviour

Sonic wolves in packs with the alpha being the key component. The alpha is used to paralyze individual targets in a group of prey, or even singular prey. The wolves have no qualms about attacking groups or animals or even people.

They're smart enough to identify primary threats in their prey and recognize firearms as a priority target. Alphas have been observed prioritizing people wielding firearms when packs attack groups of people as well as taking out vehicle operators in order to stop vehicles dead in their tracks.

In popular culture

While Marek Accoutrement claim that the core inspiration for their WOLF-359 COMBAT DROID was based on the ancient gimroan plainswolf, the similarity between it and the banshee is striking.

Mood music

Scientific Name
Álfr Grímrs
Origin/Ancestry
Common wolf
Lifespan
Unknown
Average Height
85 cm
Average Weight
40 kg
Average Length
160 cm
Natural habitat
Shadowscar (Primarily Three-Fifteen)

Related Reading

Shadowscar
Geographic Location | Jan 21, 2021

A shadowscar is an area of the Shadowmark that is particularly nasty. It is usually strong in shade energy, radiation and often covered in a thick, dark purple mist. It's inhabited by corrupted and mutated monstrosities.

Relay Station 315
Geographic Location | Jul 13, 2021

Relay Station 315 was a major science, energy and communications hub in the western peninsula. It was utterly destroyed in the Cataclysm and its shadow power plants spread Shade all over the area. It is a dark, desolate and haunted place today.

Shadowmark
Geographic Location | Dec 2, 2019

The wastelands outside the cities. A toxin-ridden desert, populated only by the exiled, monsters and mutants.



Cover image: Creative Commons (Neon Wolf) by Unknown

Comments

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Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
13 Jul, 2021 10:38

The idea of sonic attack is interesting. Would that make damages even if people protect their hears? I know that we use sonic waves in the lab to dissolve stuff, so I presume that's the case. It's also interesting that it's only the pack leader that can use sonic waves. Then if they die, al the other wolves need to go find another leader, right? Or would they stay together and just be less effective while hunting?   Anyway, they seem really nasty :D Nice article!

13 Jul, 2021 10:48

Yes, it would affect you even if you had hearing protecting. It doesn't actually attack your hearing, but your nervous system.   And yes, I assume a pack would try to find another pack to "join up with" if they lost their alpha, as their ability to tackle larger prey and groups would be severely diminished without the crowd control of the alpha's sonic attack.

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
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