Waheela (Amarok)
Canis lupis gigantus
Family: Mammalian
Classification: Non-sapient
Manifestation: Corporeal
Pronunciation: wa-HĒ-la (AM-a-rok)

The waheela (wa-HĒ-la) or amarok (AM-a-rok) is a very large variety of wolf indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, the northern territories of Canada, and as far east as the upper peninsula of Michigan. A fully grown waheela can stand up to 8 feet high at the shoulder, and weigh over 1,750 pounds.

Waheela closely resemble arctic wolves in shape and coloring, but are much, much larger. They typically have sleek white fur and extremely large and prominent fangs. They are solitary and ferocious hunters; a single waheela could take down a bear or moose with no difficulty. Waheela have a strange way of taking down a beast: they decapitate their prey with a single bite.

Waheela are extremely persistent hunters. They have been known to track their prey for days, even weeks. There is a well-known story of a Mage from the north coming upon the cubs of a waheela and killing them. When their mother returned with a freshly killed reindeer and saw her cubs dead, she tracked the man relentlessly for two months and some 400 miles before she caught him and ripped his head off. She is said to have died of grief afterwards, though hunger and fatigue were more likely to have been the culprits.

A mother waheela will birth a set of 2-3 pups each spring, after mating season. She will raise them for one year, after which they set out on their own. Waheela are solitary creatures; they neither live nor hunt in packs. It is very rare to see a group of waheela, with one singular exception.

Every so often, at a time and place understood only to the waheela, they will come together in a group of least 20, called a tribunal. The largest tribunal on record numbered 57 waheela at once. The waheela will howl to each other and bat at each other, and the younger ones will play fight. However, on some signal the waheela will turn on a member of the group, hunt it and kill it. The reason for this odd behavior is unknown, although there is speculation that it has to do with controlling the spread of disease. The dead waheela is never eaten.

Because of habitat destruction caused by global warming, the waheela is considered to be vulnerable. They are not yet considered to be endangered, but most cryptozoologists fear that its status will change within a matter of years.

The howl of the waheela can cause feelings of angst and loneliness in those that hear it; a bottled waheela cry used as a weapon has been known to terrify and even cause its victims to pass out.

A juvenile waheela is called a cub. A mother with her cubs is referred to as a family. On the rare occurrences that waheela gather together, it is called a tribunal.

Habitat

The waheela prefers northern areas, from the Pacific Northwest of the United States up to the Arctic Circle. This range encompasses parts of both Thunderbird and Mishipeshu Province. It requires a habitat with a good amount of prey and also some covering.

Biology

The waheela is, essentially, a very large wolf, with the same biology as an arctic wolf.

Diet

Waheela eat large mammals, such as moose and muskoxen. They are exclusively carnivorous. Unlike smaller wolves, waheela will not scavenge through human garbage. Waheela have also been known to attack domesticated animals such as cows and horses.

Magical Uses

The pelt of the waheela may be fashioned into a cloak that resists cold and allows camouflage in the snow or ice. Waheela fur and internal organs may be used for spells, charms, and potions. The howl of the waheela may be bottled and fashioned into a sonic attack. The teeth of the waheela can be harvested and used in a spell where they are scattered on the ground to form a pack of spectral wolves that can attack on command.

Attempts have been made to domesticate the waheela with mixed success. Some communities in the north have used waheela for transport, riding them bareback. It is possible, although difficult, to turn a waheela into a familiar. The main problem is one of size; the waheela is not an indoor animal.

Defense

Waheela attack with their claws and teeth. They tend to go for the head and neck for a decapitating attack, so protect those areas. Waheela are relentless and will track their prey for days or weeks. Never assume that you have escaped from a waheela. Waheela are resistant to cold-based spells.

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