Meet the Wolfhound – Worldbuilding Wednesday

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I only have one universe currently that lends itself well to the concept of pets, and that is Blood of Trees (which I haven’t touched in over a year, wow). 

The main character, Ysabel, has a companion that journeys with her from the frozen northern lands to the regions further south where she is to marry a nobleman.

Her companion is a wolfhound. I’ve always envisioned it as a hybrid between an Irish Wolfhound, and a true wolf. It would have the size of the Wolfhound, but more the features of the wolf.

The only thing Ysabel knows about this wolfhound is that he’s always been by her side, from the time she was very young. But he’s not just a wolfhound. He’s actually her uncle.

Okay, bear with me here. I know that sounds really creepy, but it’s probably not creepy in the way you’re thinking.

See, Ysabel herself is a creature who should not exist. Though I’m not going off on that spoiler-filled tangent in this post.

Her wolfhound was created because of threats her father greatly underestimated.

Ysabel’s mother and uncle were murdered in the same incident. Her father was not there in time to save his wife. Technically, he should not have been able to save his brother, either. But when you are a practitioner of blood magic, well… those things can be bent a little.

So the wolfhound was created by binding the soul of a human to the body of animal.

No one batted an eye at the idea of a child ‘having’ a wolfhound as a companion, at least not in the harsh, northern lands. Nearly everyone there has some sort of semi-tamed predator as a companion, though they are usually not quite so magical. I like to think some of them have arctic foxes or polar bears, maybe even seals if they’re near to the coast.

Further south, though, they will not be as understanding about Ysabel’s wolfhound. Animals are tools, not companions, and especially in the household Ysabel ends up in, affection for lesser beings is seen as a great weakness.

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