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Snow Pups

Summary

The Snow Pups are a number of pup-shaped entities which manifest in and around the Pass regions (Greater, Lesser, Wide, and Low), either alone, in groups, or with their apparent father, the Snow Warrior. They may subdivide into groups, and three are known to have specific jobs (those being Fire, Migration, and Hunter). The others tend to invade settlements, breaking into homes and generally causing havoc on par with mortal, flesh-and-blood pups. Members of Pass clans hold a series of beliefs regarding these apparitions, including that they wish to partake of the fun their flesh-and-blood counterparts get to enjoy and that it may be a sort of test. This may be an extension of the common Stenza practice of allowing pups to go about their affairs, but making sure that they survive doing so.   Some believe that the pups have, or had, a role in protecting children or assisting in childbirth, due to the rare sightings of Snow Pups on and around the Ice Flats and the somewhat rarer sightings of them monitoring the actions of mortal pups. (The latter has also been explained as a sort of behavior analysis, as if the Snow Pups (and consequently the Snow Warrior) belong to a different species and are studying the Stenza.) Even though modern medical technology has progressed since ancient times, and pup mortality is lower than it has ever been, sometimes something happens. Occasionally this incident is associated with the silent witness of a Snow Pup. This may be connected to their father's similar tendency of standing witness over the deceased so that they will be remembered.

Historical Basis

There are a variety of schools of thought about the origin of the Snow Pups, including that they always existed but were in a vastly different form in ancient times, but the scholarly consensus is that they were eventually hived off or developed into separate entities from the Snow Warrior, and may retain qualities that make them aspects of the original. However, many theories about the origins of the Pups exclude Fire, in part because the discovery of fire (the entity and the phenomenon) by the Stenza is heavily documented in oral tradition, written records, and Sandibari oral lore. It is widely considered, then, that Fire was a later addition to the lineup, and the origin of the others is thoroughly in the "fog of ages", as it were.   There is no hard evidence for their existence despite the host of sightings, so like their father many consign them to the realm of myth and fantasy, and prefer to focus on more "rational" things. While one can make the case that war is just as irrational as belief in a semi-corporeal entity, the fact remains. However, in spite of both of these, Pass region locals maintain traditions that were practiced by their ancestors, that are thought to maintain right relationship with these entities. This is widely looked at from the angle of "these entities may or may not exist, but I would be a fool to act as if they don't", and many practices are engaged in widely out of "common sense".

Spread

Snow Pups are widely known, and an object of intellectual curiosity and study, but if pressed, only those from the Pass regions are likely to seriously suggest their reality. Many others share the opinion that the idea of their existence descended from ancient myths and stories, and sometimes consider, say, Migration to be fun or snazzy trivia to tell one's clan mates during High Winter. (Even so, pour one out for safe passage.)

Variations & Mutation

The most commonly-held belief in Pass regions is that Snow Pups will visit your home, and it is best practice to provide them with food and shelter for the duration of their visit. Doing this is widely considered to bring good fortune for a period of time, most commonly a year (although visits can be much more frequent than that). Not doing so is the most common attribution for an extended period of misfortune. (Related to this is the notion that seeing a Snow Pup near the Ice Flats is lucky, especially for the pups that are soon to be born.)   The most common names for the Pups are Snow, Ice, Wind, Mist, Cold, Fire, and Migration, although in southern passes (Low and Lesser), Hunter joins the "line up", so to speak. Fire, Migration, and Hunter are fascinating from a study perspective because they are known to have specific jobs. Fire, for example, is well known to smiths, miners, and other workers in the Frozen Wastes, and Migration is commonly sighted on old migration routes starting at the Low Pass (and sometimes aboard clan ships). Hunter is still encountered and honored during Hunting Season, to the point where it is still part of the rules.   However, the most commonly known piece of lore about the Pups is the proclivity of Snow and Ice to get into fights. They are in an almost constant state of wailing on each other over something. This something varies a bit from telling to telling, but the consensus in certain areas is that they are competing for the attention of their father, and each believes the other is the favorite. (It is unknown if the Snow Warrior actually has a favorite child.) Unless they are encountered individually or each distracted, they are likely to get into a destructive fight. No counter to this is known.   When Ice and Snow aren't fighting one another, Ice spreads frost across the land, and sometimes walls and windows, as well. The world is their canvas. Snow, meanwhile, races across the landscape, a host of storms in their wake, kicking up the snow already on the ground to add to the effect.   It is not lost on most anyone that one of the Pups is named Wind, and one of the Snow Warrior's ancient epithets is "Whose Voice is the Wind". Although the Snow Warrior is not known to speak (or at least, not in a way that Stenza or anyone else would immediately recognize as speech), this little detail points to a possible connection with old linguistic distinctions between the everyday wind which shepherds around the clouds and other ordinary weather patterns, and severe winds which often come with extreme storms. The former is commonly assigned to the Pup Wind, and the latter to the Snow Warrior himself.

Cultural Reception

The legends of the Snow Pups are highly important to Pass clans, to the point that some Greater Pass clans, such as Jal'sa, are famous for their customs pertaining to these legends. 'Elokh was also once such a bastion, and appeared to be favored by the Pup Migration before the Clan Killings. Outside those regions, these beliefs are sometimes viewed as backwards, although the recognition that they can be lost forever has begun to seep into the general public consciousness.
Alternate Names
The Ancient Ones
Related Species
Related Locations
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Articles under Snow Pups


Comments

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18 Oct, 2019 12:00

My fave of your legends so far!

18 Oct, 2019 17:41

Thanks! :D

6 Dec, 2020 22:09

I love the Snow Pups! <3 I enjoyed reading all their individual articles, so it's nice to read an article that ties them all together like this.

7 Dec, 2020 12:32

Thanks! :D Everyone's favorite supernatural beans <3