Here we go! I didn't know if I was going to be able to finish an application in time, but I read an article on a short-spine wolf and was mugged by inspiration.
Weight: 60 lbs
Build: Stocky and stunted. She suffers from short-spine syndrome.
Territory: Heyl Pack
Personality: Ružan is a blunt and practical wolf with no sense of humor. Her mother taught her young that frivolity and hesitation can often lead to death, and these lessons kept her alive on her long journey south. She is the kind of wolf who will speak her mind when she sees a better way to get something done, and freely admit when she has been proven wrong.
She is deeply superstitious. This is not in contrast with her practical nature, but rather fueled by it- gods, demons, and supernatural forces are simply a tangible part of her worldview. As such, she is still affected by the pantheon and religious practices of her old pack, in which the weak and sickly died as a matter of course. Heyl's practices come as a major culture shock to her, particularly the careful tending to the elderly and sick, and the pack's fascination with water. While she is not afraid of water, in the far north immersion in water generally meant death, and swimming for ritual and pleasure is a bit of a novelty to her.
She believes that finding Heyl on the brink of death was nothing short of divine intervention, and she wants nothing more than to devote herself to the ways of Icadorityl, whom she considers a deity. However, in doing so she believes that she will likely either be rejected by Icadorityl, or bring down the wrath of the god Rasxaoc. In her eyes, the earthquake that heralded her arrival was a sign, though whether for good or ill she is uncertain.
Ružan is determined to make herself useful to her new pack despite her deformities, as she was always a burden to her old one. No task is to menial for her, and she will work herself half to death before admitting that she cannot complete a job. She has a streak of fierceness in her, and longs to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a warrior. Though she understands that this path is simply not possible for her, she has not fully resigned herself to that fact.
In being kept away from other pups, and treated as an oddity, she is unused to interacting with other wolves on a personal level, which can lead to misunderstandings. She is curious about others, and interested in learning the ways of her new packmates, but she often comes off as cold, self-important, and standoffish in personal situations, and overly formal when addressed by superiors. This is a product of the strict hierarchy and cultural norms of her previous pack, and may wear away if she is given the space and time to come into herself.
In believing that she is the spawn of Rasxaoc, she believes that she is not fully a wolf, and thus condemned to live without ever being fully accepted in the company of wolves. She resents this, and is determined to start her life anew within Heyl’s borders, where the northern gods seem far away. Though this dishonesty pains her, she will likely keep the secret of her percieved parentage for as long as she possibly can.
Despite her many difficulties, Ružan is stubbornly optimistic about her future. After all, she is still alive.
Pre-group History: Ružan was born to a pack that ranges in the far north. Her mother, Fer-osoba, was a silver-tongued warrior who won herself high regard through cunning. Her father, Ourse, was an exiled wanderer from the south. They met once as Fer-osoba patrolled the southern borders, and never again. Subscribing to her pack's view of all southerners as soft fools, Fer-osoba assumed that he did not survive the winter.
Come spring she gave birth to her first litter of four pups, though two were stillborn and one did not live through his first month. Her sole surviving pup, Ružan, was unlike anything the pack had ever seen. Her hunched form and fixed neck gave her legs and head a grotesque, enlarged appearance by comparison, which caused some to whisper of a likeness to Rasxaoc, their diety of death and discord. These rumors were subtly fed by Fer-osoba, both to increase her renown and protect her daughter. Ružan's mother, while hardly sentimental, had as much maternal instinct as would be expected, and had come to love her fierce, perceptive daughter. And so the superstitious pack came to consider Fer-osoba the chosen mate of Rasxaoc, and Ružan his daughter.
The mother and daughter were grudgingly fed by the pack, and kept away from the other pups, to avoid incurring the wrath of Rasxaoc. This went on quietly until her third winter, when particularly lean hunting and an unfortunate encounter with a bear threw the pack's hierarchy into disarray. New leadership changed the opinions of the pack. Ružan was denounced as an abomination. It was all her mother could do to transmute a death sentence into an exile, which would likely only be a slower death. This alternative was accepted on the basis that Fer-osoba would accept the sentence and willingly remain with the pack, as their thinned numbers made her more valuable than ever. To this Fer-osoba agreed.
Come early spring, Ružan was chased off through the pack's southern borders. Remembering stories of kinder lands to the south, Ružan traveled at night and kept the north star to her back. She ate insects, rodents, carrion, and whatever else she could get her teeth on. While her mother had taught her the basics of hunting, her deformities and her solitude meant that she was always on the brink of starvation. She went on like this until midsummer, when, after circumnavigating a particularly forbidding mountain range to the east and setting her course back southward, a massive earthquake struck. Ružan managed to survive the initial quake with minimal injuries, and was fortunately on high enough ground to escape the worst of the ensuing floodwaters. Her prolonged panic and subsequent flight from the area proved too much for her stunted, malnourished body, and she finally collapsed, emaciated and exhausted. She was found by a Wahrkunihtyl, a cave-watchman of Heyl, during damage reconnaissance following the quake. She was brought back to the pack territory to recover, where she has since remained.
Her mother never told her the truth of her parentage, so she still believes herself to be born of Rasxaoc, and thus not fully a wolf.
Group History: Pending.
Other: Real-world basis for a wolf with short-spine syndrome: retrieverman.net/2014/04/18/de…