Wendigos, the Algonquin cannibalistic spirits of legend. As settlers appeared in the new world, these creatures were filed down with all manner of other cryptids right in along with Werewolves and Vampires. But Wendigos are more than just a legend or a warning of harsh winter famines. These beings have been around since the dawn of man in the Americas. And with them have grown and developed as a constant intertwining species. There are two ways to becoming a Wendigo; you're either turned into one by another's influence, or born as one. Humans that cross paths closely with Wendigos have the ability to slowly turn over through their influence, culminating in the consumption and obsession to eat human flesh. Stories of men giving in to weakness in the harsh winters up north and eating their families are the most common origin of the species, but that was from a long time ago. A lawless time, or at least a time where the law was harder to uphold and people lived miles, even days apart in the open wilderness.
Wendigos are at first glance impossible to tell apart from ordinary humans when they are blending in to the world around them. In any case where one gets to know more about wendigos, they may be able to see the differences between them and humans. Most times the eyes are a dead give away. Mainly gold or red with rare cases of other colors, eyes look like they may be shining or emitting their own light. This is especially noticeable when the wendigo is looking at them. The other case would be in sharp shapes to ears, and thick fingernails, but the dead kicker is the teeth. The first front teeth look distinctly human, although with a sharper edge. Past the canine teeth the premolars look far too sharp. The molars look like they were transplanted from a canine's skull. The most noticeable difference is when they have changed and lost their human guise. Eyes that were once gold may become a sickly yellow color on a red sclera. Red irises look bloody against a black sclera. The whites of the eyes will always change to either red or black, unless the wendigo has a skinless Skull Face. These have glowing irises that appear to float about in the dark eye sockets of their host. Wendigos are hulking beasts, towering over humans easily in their thin forms. The limbs look stretched out and elongated, spindly and slender. It is unbelievably rare and uncharacteristic to find a well muscled wendigo. After all, these beings are a symbol of starvation and famine as much as they are representations of anger, greed, gluttony, and revenge. It's easy to find a wendigo standing over eight feet tall, but one that has been eating humans for a while may be exponentially taller. Records claimed some were as tall as trees. Appearing as a mishmash of creatures, Wendigos typically come with antlers of any kind in both genders, and sport some rather canine like features in their faces. If the face has any fur and skin still attached, its pale white with black markings around the muzzle and eyes that give it a skeletal look. The more humans a wendigo eats, the more gaunt it looks and ultimately it will begin to lose fur and skin on its face until it is a bleached white exposed skull. This is echoed in their overall appearance as well if they've been too indulgent in eating humans. With a Wendigo that has fed on more humans, their torsos will also begin looking more skeletal with ribs shown beneath the skin. In intense cases the ribs may even puncture through the skin to be exposed as well. Fur may come in many colors, typically ashen or dark to black, with white rib markings, or lines along the spine in a few cases. Some may come with dark elk like markings around their arms, legs and neck in darker fur. Tails are long and shaggy for weight counterbalancing, skinny with long hair. There are many renditions of body parts for legs, feet and claws. Paws, eagle talons, hooves; depends on the orientation it seems. But one this is constant; their hunger.
The older or stronger a wendigo is, the more spikes or tines will be visible on their antlers. Wendigo sport a long row of guard hairs along their throats with the longest strands along the spine that can be raised up to show aggression. This is commonly referred to as a crest.
Genetics and Reproduction
Wendigos do not have a strict code when it comes to who, or even how many they decide to be with. Species seems to be more of an opportunistic grab bag for them as they'll mesh with anyone of any race that they can, and that even includes gender wise. Wendigos may completely reverse their own gender to fit the whims of those they fancy. However wendigos must remember that even if they have no issue in multiple mates in the relationship, that may not be the same for those in the same relationship with them. Monogamy is a rather hard line to sell to them in most cases. Whichever sort of construct it may take on, a wendigo will bond significantly with its partner to the point it dulls their unending hunger. In the case of their mate being unable to defend themselves should they ever go under attack, the wendigo will fly into a rage the likes only seen when it is deeply injured. They will do everything in their power and more to protect their partner up to death, ignoring logic and sense of self preservation. It's as if the wendigo as simply tossed out the notion of fleeing from fight or flight. With a partner that can protect themselves however, a wendigo will wait on the edge, and attacking at any openings it's presented. Tripping, harassing, harrying and pushing, the wendigo makes it impossible for the enemy to recover or gain any sort of upper hand in the fight, ensuring the odds stay tipped in favor of their mate. There is no honor here. Wendigos with other wendigos may forgo all the human aesthetics of courtship for their species' own. Hunting is a bonding and favorite past time between two wendigos, where it's not so much about getting the kill as it is to mesh on an instinctual level. The couple may bump, knock antlers, brush against or run alongside hip to hip with one another. Touch is extremely important in these relationships. Jaw biting and nipping the air around each others necks is both playful and flirtatious. Vocally, both will use deep slow rattling sounds to one another like purrs, or rattle their teeth together to one another. Another act of courtship for males is bringing food to them, even if its a whole deer to the horror of the human mate's parents. Antlers are important. The larger and more spikey the better, and not just for the off chance of looking good. There's a lot of pride when it comes to their antlers, specifically in the men of the species. Yes, antler envy exists, but they do double time for impressing. More feral males may adorn themselves in bits of underbrush and leaves along their antlers. They may scrape them loudly on branches, twisting them up in the forks to shake the tree wildly. And much like crows and ravens, they may adorn shiny finds as well on them. It's not uncommon for females to wear thin gold or silver chains draped from their antlers too. Regardless, there's no issue of infertility among them. The only other way to create another wendigo without changing a human into one is to give birth to a wendigo. This seems entirely simplistic in nature; a wendigo will take over completely no matter what. There is no half wendigo here. Wendigo, male or female, will have a wendigo. But who can is important. As the case is that a wendigo can change gender, so does their reproductive ability. Wendigos born female can still sire young as a male after a given time of maturation into the gender, usually around three months. However, male born wendigos are unable to bare any young without intervention via medical aid. As vampires cannot have children, wendigos cannot bare any. The old world werewolf with its transformation limitations leave only the males able to have children, and so only female wendigos can bridge the gap. With humans there is no issue, but the calorie requirements pose a different obstacle for the parents; wendigo psychosis. The gestation for a wendigo "whelp" is as basic and human as you could ask for. A forty week long endeavor of endless hunger. This is the hardest symptom of the ordeal, and the hardest on human mothers. Completely under the influence of a wendigo 24/7, and in need of significant levels of protein and calories, humans may find themselves staring longingly at cuts of beef, preferring to eat it as raw or rare as possible. They may avoid other foods a wendigo would avoid such as bread or baked goods. If a human isn't careful, she might give in to the urge to eat human flesh. Without the proper protein intake, the urge becomes maddening. It's easier on wendigos, especially those that are feral and already cannibalistic. Mom-to-be wendigos prefer to curl up in a single spot, their den, -or for the domestic life, their living room- with food on hand. Whether it be corpses or take out boxes and perhaps a giant bag of jerky, the mate is in a constant roam to find and bring back food. Nothing is too small. Even mice count for the earth den dwelling wendigo. You're more likely to see a mountain of pizza boxes in one's arms as he heads home in this day and age however.
Growth Rate & Stages
Congratulations, it's a wendigo. These tiny babies, usually called whelps, are born just like any human. They look just like any human too. Their ears may have a sharper look to them, and eyes may be a bright red, blue or gold that can look like they are glowing, but for the first two months nothing different is noticeable besides their large apatite. They eat every three hours just like their human counterparts. And then by two months, teeth. They may come in singles or pairs, but a welp will normally have teeth cropping up no later than four months. By six some may have a full mouth of teeth much to the dismay of mom. At this point their protein requirement will double. Welps will need a pureed blend of meat to supplement their diet 'til they are old enough for solids. Welps are quick to crawling, but may be slow to walking and standing. It isn't unusual to see them prefer more animalistic sounds rather than speech. This can be curbed by talking a lot to them, or perhaps not buying them a puppy just yet, or you'll find them ordering it around like they are an alpha wolf. By five whelps will begin to exhibit traits of exclusion. They prefer to be alone and play separately where they can exhibit freedom in their play without rules or others dictating them as children will oft times do. They have a fixation on deep woods, so keeping an eye on them is a near full time job. Their quiet and skulky stance to remain unnoticed by others will sadly cause other children to notice the difference in their peer and open them up to bullying. They should all be lucky a whelp is incapable of their race's traits just yet. Regardless, a whelp won't see the emergence of their abilities til they have it puberty. Their healing ability will kick in including delayed aging, as will all manner of hormones. Teens will be voracious eaters, and quick to anger and fighting. Their strength will begin to crop up due to surges of hormones, making it increasingly worrying if they finally turn on a long time bully. They may begin to change gender, found as they begin to wonder about their own identity and how it can shift. By age 16 15% of whelps have learned to change their whole bodies to their feral form. By 19, all wendigos have learned this ability. It may be so long to develop due to the maturity of the wendigo's brain for critical thinking. The rest of a wendigo's life may be slightly longer than your average long life human, spanning up to 150 years. In extreme cases of a wendigo selectively hibernating for years at a time, they may span several centuries in age. A well lived life for a wendigo generally reaches two hundred years as their regeneration begins to slow down. By the end they may get a sense to go into hibernation that they can't get rid of, curl up to enter hibernation, and pass.
Ecology and Habitats
Normally spanning the northern parts of the North American cotenant, modern age has enabled travel around the world. These people still have an affinity for wooded, rural and cold climes however, as any place that fits the criteria is a possible location for them. You must wonder how many now roam Europe and the boreal forests of Russia, or any place within the Arctic Circle.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Wendigos are always hungry, even right after they have eaten. It is described as a very easy to ignore ache, but others that have consumed humans claim it will never go away, urging them to consume more. The more corrupted by eating humans a wendigo is, the worse the hunger gets. They may become a mindless eating machine, devoid of memories and will even attack those it once knew freely. Wendigos love to be outdoors. They love their freedom to roam as they please, and any threat or attempt to take that away from them is met with rage and violence. A wendigo in captivity will do the one thing no one expects of it; refuse to eat. They will starve themselves out and die rather than live in containment. this urge is built around the predatory instinct to hunt. Roaming the woods, even if the hunt is just a fake one, is critical to a young wendigo's development early on in curbing their aggression and hunger. Such roaming allows them to learn how to find taken territory, claim their own territory, and hunt on their own. A wendigo's territory is dictated by their dietary needs. The large a wendigo, the more food it will need, and thus a wider territory. Some may chose to overlap their territory with others mostly for reproductive reasons. Others choose to have large stretches of no man's land between them to allow safer space for their prey, and a buffer from meeting. Wendigos may become hostile to one another if they cross territories. However, it isn't rare to see them merge either. While wendigos are primarily meat eaters and will eat anything, they will eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Baked foods and processed foods are off the menu. A wendigo can eat them, but their stomach will fail to digest it. Pasta is another big no. Such inedible foods cause cramping and discomfort in the digestion stage, hitting different levels of indigestion depending on how much was eaten. Sometimes its cramps, other times vomiting. If it gets really bad a wendigo will be violently sick to try and void everything from its system in a span of three hours. It's not pretty, so do not pressure them into eating a slice of cake if they say no. Wendigos can become intoxicated, but it requires a high volume to do so in part of their metabolism and size.
Different Types of HungerAside from being living warnings of cannibalism it seems, wendigo can show the warnings of excess as they feed off of other senses and activities. Wendigo can always take in the sense of fear around them from others, enough so that it can dull the hungry ache that constantly plagues them. It isn't uncommon to find one sitting in the middle of a theater for a horror movie, fully enjoying themselves. Some state it feels like electricity. Others claim it almost as euphoric or arousing. Violence and an urge for a fight have similar effects, though generally that drives from their adrenaline, and as such may confuse them between the two responses due to their similar sensations. Some wendigo hunger for their own dopamine reaction, chasing after acts of lust or excessive amounts of goods purchased to trigger their chemical release. More feral type wendigo may hoard items that they may find or take, usually jewelry to adorn their antlers with. Though all wendigo will always hunger for food and feel the temptation of cannibalization, not all wendigo will feel a hunger for a much less physical, chemical diet.
Feral wendigo may become aware of the oncoming of fall and winter by their fur becoming thicker. This has some looking absolutely puffy, hiding some of their emaciation. The fur along the neck and crest is the most dense. In human form, this may result in their hair looking fuller and much healthier. And sadly, once the cold climate has passed, all that extra fur has to come out.
Wendigo tend to keep to their families, usually consisting of their partner and any young children. Contact typically will continue even when the young have grown old enough to move on. In more modern settings, wendigo are capable of passing each other as friendly as human counterparts so long it isn't within a territory. At some point in the past Wendigo lived in tribes similar to their native ancestors, sharing treaties with one another til colonization came marching in. Many were swept into collective marches and reservations which, akin to prison, saw entire family lines and tribes die and disappear from the face of the earth. Those that avoided the marches and round ups split as free territory shrank so as to avoid detection. As territories closed and modernization settled in, causing the worst case of deforestation for a culture, wendigo split into small family groups and watched their heritage die. As of currently one tribe is attempting to pull together as many wendigo as possible, starting with those of native bloodlines in order to pool what remaining knowledge of their culture there is together to preserve it from being lost to time forever. They will never go fully back to how things were, and must modernize as well. Thus those surviving are voting in their own new traditions to fill in gaps. Given how jaded, and violent many have turned towards the thought of the civilized world, some new traditions may come out extremely archaic.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Wendigo blood like other supernatural blood can greatly enhance a vampire's abilities for a short time. Thus, wendigo should be careful around vampires to avoid being hypnotized to their bidding and turned into a living blood bag.
Wendigo tend to pimarily have red or gold eyes, but may have a mutation for bright blue or aqua. Front teeth are sharp but human shape. After the canines molars are more that of canid creatures than humans in human form. Ears have a sharper shape to the outer shell of their human form ears.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Originally northeast North America. Now varies across the world. Due to shrinking free space and crashing economy to face their caloric needs, Wendigo have not been doing well. Split apart by their needs, you may not find one for hundreds of miles, worse if the state is densely populated. The harshness of trying to afford food in the Americas has seen a massive drop in birthrates that continues to worsen as adults refuse to bring children into a world they will starve in. Even if the diet is focused on human consumption, the numbers needed would draw instant attention, and thus families have gone in separate directions, making the need for space worse. The race is in a sharp decline.
85 - 115 IQ
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Wendigos have exceptionally sharp sight stymied by their sensitivity to light. In the world of technology, eye strain is a constant pain for them due to bright lights and the high definition screens of the modern day life. Not even a high blue light filter on tablets or computer screens can help enough. Noon is a bane, leaving them squinting and light from the sun angling just right into their vision or reflected off snow and water can even push them to shedding tears from eye irritation. At night however, a wendigo has near perfect vision. They can distinguish colors, shapes and distance of objects in total darkness 95% better than a human could. Their eyes seem to emit an otherworldly soft glow from their irises. They are immaculately perceptive to motion and can allow the wendigo to track the items in the room and people around them from their peripheral vision. This sharp sight makes them very accurate, especially in activities such as painting, marksmanship, and sewing. They are that random person that can easily thread a needle on their first try every time. A wendigo's sense of smell is higher than a human's and just about on par with a dog's. Not the greatest sense on them, they may complain that too many smells are dulling their nose from picking out familiar ones. The more often a wendigo can smell and label a scent, the better accuracy that nose may have, but it isn't good enough to track just anyone or anything. Instead their nose seems more readily to pick out the delicious scent of blood and rot. If there is a dead body even a few seconds old a wendigo can find it. They are the cadaver dogs of the supernatural world. Hearing for a wendigo is a mixed bag. They can pick up some higher frequency sounds that humans can't, but this seems more for ingenuity than evolutionary. They can detect lower frequencies more readily, and can claim they even feel the low vibrations pass through them. This is due in part some of their calls may turn to these low frequency ranges, all the better to stalk human prey without detection. Loud sudden sounds without warning may stun them. It may not be that they have a more sensitive hearing ability but that they are more acutely aware to what they are hearing. Wendigos are also highly disease resistant. With such a low body temperature, many of the illnesses that humans fear today cannot hope to reproduce and multiply in the wendigo's body. Bloodborne diseases are frozen out and healed from, including lycanthropy and vampirism. Inhaled ailments such as TB and gas may cause them to cough until their regeneration has healed the damage. The same is applied for cancers, their bodies healing the sickness as fast as it can grow. Surprisingly, wendigos are infectious to the common cold and the flu, their bodies going into hyperdrive for twenty four hours or so upon infection to cleanse it from the body. It is not a pretty sight as hypersalivation, and excessive mucus is generated to flush the system. As nasty as it is, they have seen the end of many disastrous diseases once it reaches their ranks. They are the plague enders. The race of Wendigo is legendary for being impervious to cold. They embody winter, and can melt out of detection during a night time snowfall. Their love for the snow sees many modern day wendigo avoiding living where no snow lands, with a favorite activity simply being going out during a snowfall. Like the myths say, Wendigos are able to conjure cold fronts if they are very strong. Some can create ice. Others can start up icy winds. There was once a story of one creating a hurricane and a blizzard, but no one alive today seems to be that capable.
Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms
Wendigo are subject to the same parasitic blood suckers that humans are plagued with. Wendigo may become an instant target of vampires if they are discovered due to their blood boosting the overall abilities of the vampire like any other supernatural that the vampire can feed from. In malicious cases, a wendigo might become an abused battery, fed off of into hibernation and kept as a living blood bag. In more positive cases, pairs of a wendigo and their vampire partner may hit a symbiotic relationship of boosting the abilities of the vampire through their blood, all while taking advantage of the vampire's hypnotic abilities over humans.
Civilization and Culture
A return of a tradition from naming themselves once they've grown in age to adulthood is a feature of the Burning Lands tribe. However, these names may sound quite morbid or deadly, standing far apart from other older traditions from human native tribes. Naming things in such a fashion extends to Clans and Territory lands. The name Burning Lands may seem ominous itself, but it's describing the area of Centralia that they now reside at.
Burning Land Tribe is the first wendigo tribe seen in the states since the last one dissolved during the great removal acts by the US military to round up and put natives into reservations. In total there is no more than 26 members currently.
As far as normal, wendigo share many views with humans about what is attractive and beautiful, seeing as they do come from humans. However they have their own additional niche as well. Feral wendigo will see larger and more tines on antlers as impressive. They may adorn them in jewlary like fine gold chains, or anything else that they may enjoy. It may be small bones, it may be flowers or something fragrant. It may even be red clay to change its hue. Whichever, these are ways to express individuality, especially in skull faced wendigo.
There is a noticable lack of harsh gender rolls between wendigo, in part because they can change their gender or become intersex or lacking in any gender. Some family groups are matriarchal while some are patriarchal, but even that isn't set in stone.
Wendigo courtship can be hard to grasp in some aspects if they are courting outside their race. One common practice is the gathering of food. Because of their diets, food is very important. They will not share with strangers or others they have no preference for or family ties with. They may offer to share food, bring food, or suggest looking for food, the human equivalent to hunting. Nipping at, mock bites, and generally fitting their mouth over a part of their partner even in human form is flirtatious. Most are almost always done to the neck and ears. It's more inappropriate to do in front of other wendigo than groping, because it tends to lead to a back in forth that ignores those around them. A quick snap and a return bite is fine. A constant play like tennis of this is just rude to others that gotta sit and wait for the end. Wendigo are very touch oriented when courting, as they generally don't like being touched by strangers. Cuddling and other forms of affection including petting and combing is shared, and can be performed with any race. Touch might be easily the first sign of attraction, aside from being in close vicinity of one another. They may follow or watch each other closely, giving quick touches that aren't at all unlike how humans may show interest. Despite being cold, wendigo may be the clingiest of races when it comes to affection, and it piles on very quickly due to the speed in which they can become fully infatuated. Outside their race, some may even think they're coming on too fast. Not a courtship activity to share outside their race besides werewolves is hunting. Wendigo may go on mock hunts to wander the territory. During hunts they will stay close to each other, usually touching, bumping or nipping. Fake hunts and runs are more a way to flirt than do actual hunting, though every now and they they may chase down something to share after all. All this hunting and eating leads to another bit of courtship. Bone gathering. Anyone partaking in vulture culture would be very happy. Instead of flowers or small gifts expect bones to be given in lieu. For ferals it's a sign they want to build up for a "nest" to share. For more modern takes, it's a sign they are a good provider from so many successful hunts. Although not a prerequisite, wendigos can and may decide to marry in an ultimate form of devotion. That devotion may come into question in cases of polyamorous relationships, but ultimately in the long run those relationships turn out healthier as all familial tasks are shared, including child rearing.
Wendigo fall hard and fast. From hundred of years of hunting, persecution and violence to retain territory, they've learned to pick someone rather quick, and work towards courtship. What you may suspect as a quick summer fling may be an attempt for a full on relationship leading to a unionization. Intercourse is treated as a more casual aspect of the relationship, not necessarily being the first step either. It is a way to build a stronger bond rather. In fact, actual romantic types of affection such as kissing is less casual than the act of sex, flipping the whole algorithm for many races such as humans entirely on its head. The more time and the more courtship opportunities one can express with anyone, the faster they get attached to whomever they are in a relationship with. Cementing a relationship has no hard rules or set standards. In many cases, they simply stick with each other and take up family roles. They may follow other race traditions such as marriage as well, but seeing as even the act of sex is casual between a pair, it may feel like they are unable to commit to one another. This lack of a physical identification of commitment to one another can quickly turn away partners outside their race, much to the depression of the wendigo in question. Because wendigo build trust and affection so quickly, along with gaining a slight dulling of their hunger around their partner, a sudden break can be very detrimental to their health and mentality. To this extent, high levels of affection *are* the physical identification of commitment, since a wendigo cannot simply break it off without much pain to themselves. When they get involved, it is for very serious relationships.
Common Etiquette Rules
In feral instances it is common for children, even adult aged, to greet their parents with a lowered head or stance, and calm tail wag when in feral form. This is so the parent has an easy instant way to bring their forehead to their child's, as well as hold their antlers if they so wish. Parents may even inspect their faces by holding their children's antlers to direct their head with if the separation has been a long one. With human forms they simply grab their children's face in order to inspect and greet. It should be a no brainer: do not steal their food. Do not take it without asking. Do not touch, or even look if they are mid meal, even for a single potato chip.
Common Dress Code
Currently there is no dress code for those within the tribe. There are none for those outside the tribe.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Their culture has all but been erased due to colonization.
Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals
Children FirstBecause of the importance of children to wendigo, they may quickly step in to adopt children or others found lacking parents. This bridges over races, and species. It is very common in the case of parental death for the sibling of said parent to step in and resume the roll, including the relationship with the surviving parent. It is very rare, but rejection of a biological child still can happen, and in every case a sibling or even the grandparents have swooped in to fill the parental roll.
Rite of CombatAt any time two feuding wendigo may call down a challenge for combat. It may be over territory, a switch in leadership in a family unit, between siblings for inheritance, the right to court a shared love interest, food, or simply over a disagreement. This may be claimed verbally, or with a display of roaring and posturing. Fights almost always happen in feral form. Both combatants fight on equal terms for the most fair outcome after the challenge is agreed to, although a first strike before the challenge is called isn't uncommon or, oddly enough, called as foul. A common tactic right from the start is breaking a jaw to avoid being bit. Sometimes these are ripped clean off to regrow later. Despite the severity of wounds and the overall violence of the fight, Rite of Combat more times than not end without a fatality. One usually yields and limps off in retreat, or runs away quickly. In other cases, fights go on until the loser can no longer move from exhaustion, or falls unconscious. To receive help during the fight, even from a mate is frowned upon including the combatant getting the help. It is a high affront to interrupt or block a Rite of Combat from commencing.
In the rare occurrence of a marriage, quite a display is put on for both attending families, and at times even the whole tribe. Because they are so rare, everything not only is discussed weeks even months in advance, but planned to be quite excessive. In fact, quite a lot goes into the "unnecessary" invocation of love, not to mention into the wedding ceremony itself. However this is only reserved for those within a tribe such as Burning Lands. Outside a tribe, marriage follows the standards of human marriage. Announcement
Usually the first to know are the kin of both of the partners engaged. Regardless of the genders of the two marrying, roles need to be established between bride and groom due to tasks and rituals each are assigned to. Grooms and their family are expected to provide all the food for the ceremony. The bride and her family are in charge of negotiations for the ceremony. Second to learn is the leader of what group they are in, and then lastly the Great Stag. From here plans can be made to decide on what time, which day, where and how large the celebration intends to be. In the case of a leader or the Great Stag being one of those marrying, they may take over all negotiations as well. Rituals
Similar to the tradition of normal weddings humans partake in, wendigo weddings in a tribe restrict the two from seeing each other the entire day before the ceremony. That is the only human tradition familiar to outsiders. For the bride, the entire day is spent with their family, keeping their mind off of their partner for the entire duration. This is an echo of the bride leaving their family in order to join their partner to create their own, and thus they want to spend as much of the remaining time with them. For the groom, it is very much the opposite. Grooms spend the entire day away from everyone, exiled outside of the tribe from all contact. Opting for solitude as once married, they no longer have to live a solitary life. The groom also spends the whole day fasting, a personification that life alone is harsh and lacking in aid or companionship. On the day of the ceremony, the bride will leave their family in order to go and bathe as a cleansing ritual. Similarly the groom will as well, though notably he does not need to shun being near others. Attire
No suits or bridal dresses here. Instead the couple, and vastly anyone in attendance, turn to a more primitive style of attire, including those in constant feral form. Antlers are important, and for feral form wendigos, they adorn them in their best. Flowers, jewelry, or bones. Much of what ferals may wear are usually constructed of bone. For those in human form, a circlet affixed with antlers is worn. Some made of wood for a custom fit and sturdy mount for them, but more common are thick leather ones. Both genders wear antlers, with the kind worn showing their distinction in the tribe. Two prong "jackalope" style is commonly worn by everyone with three point being worn by clan group leaders. Four tined are reserved for the Great Stag. Like with ferals, these antlers can be adorned with various types of items, or not at all. Men typically are bare chested, where as women may use linen shirts, leather bands or anything to cover modestly. Body paint is a common accommodation for both genders, with designs and colors ranging wildly depending on taste. Pants usually consist of linen trousers bandaged tightly around the calves with a designed breech cloth, a belt or both. A fur mantle is also usually worn, though may be opted out of by the bride. The higher in ranking, the larger and more meticulous the pelt. Jewelry and weapons may be worn as well, and normally are constructed of bone, sinew and wood. Silver and iron are strictly prohibited. The two will forgo any footwear, opting to have connection to the earth for such an important moment. Those not of the tribe do not need to dress in formal regalia even if they are marrying someone in the tribe.
Family and friends of the groom's side are the first to arrive and assemble, and typically include a line of their closest allies lined near the front. They are expected to show as a line of protection and force for the groom much like personal guards, and can be any gender. Considered to be the most ferocious looking of the patrons, expect to tell these apart by the weapons they wear. Because firearms are prohibited, they prefer primitive weapons such as knives, spears, axes and even clubs made from jaws. Second to arrive is the bride's family and contingent. As opposed to the groom's weapons bearing friends, the family of the bride stands closest at the front instead. With both families and friends assembled, the bride is introduced and lead down by her own closest ally similar to the groom's line of guards. Lastly the groom is introduced.
Ceremonies are often very brief, barely the focus of the whole ordeal compared to the following celebrations, but always held outside. Vows are typically made by both partaking in the ceremony first, a sort of renewal of their declarations. Following that is a trade of gifts between bride and groom, a very important kind. Grooms are expected to give their soon to be spouse a weapon made of a jaw bone; their jaw bone. The larger and more simpler ones are clubs where smaller may be as handles for knives, but the most common are jawbone axes. The act of giving something made from their own body is a symbol of their commitment to their mate even in result of extreme pain, and that in some way he will be there to defend and fight with them. "If you're not willing to bleed for your partner, then you aren't willing to marry them." The bride may give anything from weapons, to a skull, or necklaces of possibly teeth, claws, or other bone, but is not as necessary as the groom's need to give a gift. Once the exchange has been performed they must answer to an oath given be the Great Stag, their clan's leader, or even a well respected tribal elder for them to complete the public declaration of love and loyalty, which once done they will consider the ceremony complete. Then comes what everyone was really interested in; the celebrations.
Not needing to be held outside, it is still common occurrence to do so because of how rowdy festivities can become. You're introducing a feast to hungry wendigos, it is expected some things may get too out of hand to be kept indoors, so plan at your own discretion. All the food that is going to be served is first brought before the couple, allowing them to take what they need or what they want first before it is shared with the rest of the celebration revelers. Food is usually brought up continually due to how much is needed to feed so many patrons, but many might be too preoccupied with dancing or chatting instead. While others may mingle, the two are expected to remain with each other at all times. Don't be surprised if they disappear from time to time.
Even then, violence on some grounds is still expected. Challenges may be passed around wildly between family members both in and outside of their own family to settle any bad blood between the two for the sake of the union. The groom is not exempt from being challenged, but the bride may choose to have the groom fight any challenges towards the bride as well. A wedding celebration without at least two challenges is considered to be full of dishonest people hiding their true feelings. Celebrations last all day, but are not excluded from going on for multiple days, so long the groom has enough food and drink supplied to them all.
They're Your Own ChildWendigo will never harm their children. In the cases of humans doing this with their children, a collective outrage over the cruelty can be seen. They will express an intense want to impose punishment or harm on the perpetrator, especially if it was the mother that abused her children.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Wendigo will willingly date and build lasting relationships with any race of humanoid, even demons and vampires.
120 - 160 years
Currently regulations to provide protections to the race for all members in the Burning Lands tribe are being negotiated.
6 ft 4. human form; 11 ft feral form.
100 - 290lbs depending on diet
Lithe, skinny and with few possibly able to be described as athletic. Muscled is rarely seen.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
In feral form all wendigo that are not skull faces will have pale white fur across their faces, broken up by black rings around the eyes and markings on the muzzle to give it a skull look. Wendigo may sport "elk" markings such as darker furvaround the lower forearms down, from the knee down, and around the throat. Some wendigo may come with a dorsal stripe that can be white, or any darker shade than their body. Some wendigo may have white vertical strikes on their torso that look like ribs.
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