Lupine creatures bred for size and sociability as companions to orcs -- but not necessarily brains.
Orc vargar were bred to be companions to Balorian scouts. Initially they were bred for loyalty and friendliness, but not brains. They are smart enough as far as orcs are concerned. What they weren't was big enough. So the orcs asked the goblins to breed them a larger varg, one that would be intimidating to the wildlife on Elatha, and the result; the orc varg. Standing 1.8 m (6 foot) at the shoulder and weighing 900 kg (about a ton), these immense wolves, are big sucks. They seek to please their orcish masters and will do all sorts of antics to get their attention. They are bright as far as caninids are concerned, but the jury is still out on sentience. They have logic and reasoning, but it is not great. For example, they can tell that their master is hungry, but can't understand why he won't just kill and eat the bovine that lives in the yard (his milking cow), so they logically conclude that the master has no sharp teeth with which to kill the bovine, so being eager to please, they tear out the throat of the cow and bring the carcass to their master, tail a wagging.
Orc vargar stand 1.8 m (6 foot) at the shoulder and weigh about 900 kg (2000 lb). An adult male stands about 2.9 m (10 feet) from the tip of his nose to the base of his tail, females are slightly larger, like in all canis lupus. They can be white , red, brown, grey or black, can have multicolored fur, usually in the form of patches on the face, chest, belly, feet and/or tail. Colors within a pack tend to have some regard to generativity with all blood related members of a pack having similar markings. Orc vargar are often specifically bred for certain colors to match those of the unit to which the varg will be attached. Their eyes run the rainbow, with intelligence seemibly correlating with bluer eye color, red eyed vargar barely more intelligent than wolves and blue eyed orc vargar being so smart they might be sentient.
Genetics and Reproduction
Gestation is a period of 100-105 days and orc vargar average 17 lb at birth, they are born in litters of 4-14 with the females getting unluckier with age. They generally go into heat about late winter after midwinter.
Growth Rate & Stages
Orc vargar are 14-20 lb at birth, and increase size 30 times in the first 4 months to about 500-600 lb. Their eyes open 9-12 days after birth, and their milk teeth erupt in about 5 weeks (1 month). By winter they are big enough to hunt with the pack.
Ecology and Habitats
Left to their own devices, orc vargar will inhabit areas just outside civilization and hunt megafauna (and the occasional cow), generally keeping the city safe from such near-apex predators and gigantic herbavores.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Left to their own devices, orc var will hunt on a particular day of the week, gorge themselves until they can hardly move and then go hungry for a week, while they wait for their hunting day. If "domesticated" in so much as to say, adopted into an orcish unit and given a rigorous routine, they are quite happy and quickly become accustomed to regular meal times. Though omnivores, they prefer a meatier diet, and will hunt everything from rabbits to Tyrannosaurus Rexes. They like sweets, spicy, and beer.
Orc vargar live about 60 years and remain fertile throughout their lives. Females will generally stop breeding after a few litters, unless the pack is small. Males will breed at every opportunity, if not cowed by the females, and spats over breeding rights are common in mating season (starting around Yule), even though females decide who breeds and to the casual observer, these fights seem to have little, if anything, to do with their breeding choices. Orcs allow female vargar a great deal of agency when it comes to mating, as they have found that the female vargar seem to desire the same things in offspring as their orcish masters, whatever that might be.
Orc vargar dwell in extended families, with a mother and father in charge, their siblings and mates and the pack children, and often an elder and adopted juveniles from other packs. All members of the pack, except the adopted ones and the mates, bear a similar fur pattern.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Orc vargar are common throughout the Fomorian Empire, though they prefer the clans Bloodaxe (whom they perceive as most powerful), Bloodfist (whom they see as friendliest) and Rageclaw (who are fiercest).
Orc vargar average intelligence is about an IQ of 40 to 60, so perhaps the intelligence of a small child, with some no brighter than dogs (red eyes) and others rivaling fomorian intelligence (green or blue eyes). Bolvi's "pet" varg Goibnu has bright blue eyes.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Orc vargar have excellent senses, with eyesight able to see into both the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum. Their noses are 25-50 times as acute as the fabled bloodhound and can taste subtle differences in two biscuits from the same batch.
Civilization and Culture
Orc vargar are content with the names their masters give them, and their name in their own language is usually indicative of this.
If their mating patterns are any indication, orc vargar prefer big and powerful mates, sleek, healthy coats, and fierce teeth and claws.
Orc vargar pursue relationships as wolves do; which is to say, a complicated process of heats and selection based on a variety of factors, not the least of which is how a worg treats a mate, and how effective of a leader they might be.
Common Dress Code
Orc vargar think clothes are stupid. From time to time, little orc girls try to dress them up in cute things. After clearly mocking the afflicted for a while, the rest of the pack will tear the offending clothing off. The one exception is barding. Orc vargar seem to understand the purpose of armour, and will tolerate it if it doesn't pinch their fur.
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Canis Lupus Gigantus
1.8 m (6 feet)
900 kg (2000 lbs)
2.9 m (10 feet)