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A harsh, unforgiving landscape divides Xassa from the rest of the Domain. Stony badlands protect the territory on all sides but one - the north, dominated by miles upon miles of dry badlands. On the vast, semi-dry prairie, herds of bison, the lifeblood of Xassa, roam. The mighty Araxes River thunders through the territory towards the sea in the southeast.
The wolves of Xassa have lived here for generations, braving the extreme weather and learning how to navigate the canyons, to leave their native lands and reach diplomatically to the other packs of the Domain.
As long as stories and living memory can tell, wolves have lived in this region. They have followed the laws of Xerxes Peace to the best of their ability, with some generations being quite peaceful, and others more chaotic. But the title has always, without fail, passed from one leader to the next.
The lofty goal of the Xassans is known as Xerxes Peace. Xassa wants to establish a world where wolf packs do not quarrel over resources or religion, but work together and thrive as a larger community, where travel is free and aid is generously bestowed. Xassa became known for its skilled diplomats over the generations. But the pack would retreat into an isolationist period, known as Hassan's Silence, and Xerxes Peace was shattered.
While a diplomatic party led by the Cyrus traveled towards a pack far to the south, they were ambushed by members of the pack who distrusted Xassa’s policy of open travel and Xerxes Peace. They fell upon the party with ferocity. It was a small party, and all but the youngest of the wolves were killed. They spared this last wolf to bring a message back to Xassa: this southern pack was closed. If they returned, there would be war.
This messenger fled back to Xassa, and tearfully informed her packmates that the Cyrus was dead. The Cyrus’s son, Hassan, was next in line. Mortified by this news, Hassan announced that Xassa would no longer attempt to enact Xerxes Peace. “From now on,” he announced gravely, “Xassa protects its own.”
And the isolationist period known as Hassan’s Silence began.
For two generations, Hassan’s Silence continued. His daughter and her son continued this policy. And when Zagros became the Cyrus, he had no intentions of changing this policy.
Under Zagros’s rule, disease struck Xassa, causing the number of wolves to dwindle considerably. The pack was at its smallest, and weakest, when Zagros himself contracted the sickness.
In the fever-dreams on his death-bed, Zagros was tormented by messengers of Xerxes, who cursed him for his failure to return to Xerxes Peace, insisting that they had asked the same of his father, and his grandmother, and Hassan himself, with the same results. Fearing that his predecessors were being forever tormented in the afterlife by their failure to follow their god’s wishes, Cyrus Zagros called his heir to his side, and as he died, breathed his last wish.
Open Xassa once more.
Having been isolated for so long, the wolves of Xassa are uncertain of what to expect/believe of other packs. Diplomatic parties are being sent out frequently to get a feel for the situations with other packs. These diplomatic parties are encouraged to introduce themselves to the With a supreme goal of uniting all wolves under one empire, Xassa views all packs as eventual “satrapies”. Satrapy is the Xassan term for another governing body outside of Xassa, led by the Satrap. The goal of the Xassans is for all packs to be satrapies, allowing for wolves to travel the Domain without fearing crossing borders or being attacked by their own kind.
That being said, the Xassa know sometimes the only way to establish such a widespread peace is to wage war on the dissenters.
And they welcome the fight.
- Chandor: Ally
- Aryn: Ally
- Fellfang: Ally
- Vektren: Ally
- Riverfell: Ally
- Mhor: Ally
Xassa is a noble pack which has lived in considerable isolation for generations.
The wolves of Xassa seek a united Domain, where warfare between packs doesn’t occur and wolves may travel freely. However, they know this is an unrealistic goal, and will not hesitate to engage in battle in order to achieve their goal, by removing dissenters.
These wolves possess a keen interest in sciences, particularly natural sciences. They are most proficient in meteorology, having had to learn to read the weather and keep tabs on the time of year in order to predict annual flooding and avoid being disrupted by dangerous weather. These wolves understand even the subtle warning signs which precede weather phenomena and have trained themselves to react accordingly. They have additional keen interest in stars, under
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of Xassa culture is their development of recordkeeping. In their remarkable underground system of caves (called The Caves), they have created a means of record-keeping which allows easy reading for the Melchior.
The wolves of Xassa are passionate and enjoy entertaining and being entertained. They have a variety of ceremonies which they perform with regularity, special chants and songs to go along with them, and festivities like feasts, ornamental decoration, and games for ‘prizes’.
For more information on the Sacred Caves and Records, click here!
Pack LifeXassa is a pack which is just now emerging from over a decade of isolationism to return to its core belief of embracing wolves of all packs and cultures. In this time, Xassa became an even tighter-knit, family-oriented pack. Though there are many rules to be followed - several with critical punishments - it is for the spiritual and physical good of the pack that these laws are followed. Beyond their set-in-stone rules, the wolves of Xassa are a loving community which encourages diversity and offering assistance to all wolves in need, even if they are loners.
All wolves are taught from birth in several key facets of life: Xerxes Peace, the Sacred Caves (and the history within), and how to read the stars and weather. Because of the extreme weather phenomena which plague the region, it’s crucial that even the pack’s youngest members know how to pick up on even the slightest atmospheric changes so they can properly prepare for the weather that is soon to follow.
A sense of interest in the natural world and sciences is fostered in this pack. Beyond their deep studies into weather and the changing night sky, individual wolves’ interest in other sciences (botany and anatomy, for example, with healers) is encouraged and, indeed, earns great respect from even the Cyrus.
LawsLaws in Xassa apply to all wolves of age equally, from a lazy omega to a devoted Melchior or Cyrus. Age and rank play no role when rules are broken. Beta Marduk are expected to administer the appropriate punishment at the word of the Cyrus and the Council. Should there be no Beta, or the beta is the one who performed the infraction, the next-highest ranking Marduk will administer justice.
- The Law of Xerxes’ Peace: “We are One.” Treat all equally.
- The Law of Retaliation: “Blood paid in blood.” (also, “An eye for an eye.”)
- The Law of Combat: “Fight when necessary, fight when fair.”
- The Law of the Natural World: “Respect nature.”
- The Law of the Cyrus: “The word of the Cyrus is final.”
- Laws Concerning the Caves: Only wolves with tasks may enter the Caves. Punishment for breaking this rule is DEATH.
- Laws Concerning Courtship: You must have a task to have a mate.
- Laws Concerning the Cyrus and Royal Family: The title of Cyrus falls to the next oldest in the Susa bloodline.
For a more in-depth description of Laws and Punishments, click here!
ReligionDiversity in religion is welcomed, even encouraged, in Xassa, as long as Xerxes is worshipped as well. Xerxes is the creator god, who created all other gods to govern different aspects of his creation, the world. When wolvenkind went to war against itself at the beginning of time, Xerxes bestowed the white wolf Susa with divine wisdom, in order to guide the wolves to peace in a single pack. Though she died before this goal could be realized, every Cyrus from Susa to Hassan continued to exercise this goal, offering kindness to loners and often absorbing or allying itself with other packs. Only after Hassan did isolationism occur (see History).
All wolves of Xassa are expected to believe in Xerxes. Should they believe in other gods and goddesses, that is perfectly fine. Rituals and ceremonies that are linked to different gods and goddesses may be performed as long as they do not break the pack’s rules.
TasksIt is expected by the Cyrus (and, indeed, the rest of the pack as a whole) for wolves who are of age to have a task. To be without a task is to fail to contribute to the greater goal of the pack’s welfare. To not take a task is to not be dedicated to Xerxes Peace.
PLEASE NOTE: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A NABU TO JOIN DIPLOMATIC PARTIES! Please read up on diplomacy by following the link below!
- MAGI: [Demand: Mid] Priests and spiritual leaders. The Magi are the spiritual guides of the pack, who lead ceremonies and guard the sacred caves. Though a wolf does not need to be a Magus to enter the Sacred Caves (they need only hold rank), the Magi are responsible for taking care of the caves. This includes simple tasks such as removing dried, dead flowers from gravesites, and removing bats and vermin from the premises, along with tasks of higher importance such as keeping records.
- There isn’t a set body type for Magi. Instead, those who take this task are driven by a spiritual force and desire to serve Xerxes - and other gods and goddesses, if they so choose. However, they must also worship Xerxes and perform his rites and rituals. Those who don’t believe in Xerxes cannot take this task. It’s encouraged that Magi stay fit and healthy, however, because they are expected to be able to defend the Caves from intruders until reinforcements arrive.
- MARDUK: [Demand: No.] Warriors and guards. Their name comes from the Babylonian god Marduk, a fierce dragon-like figure and defender of Babylon. These are the muscle of the pack. These wolves are highly trained. The best Marduk are able to render their opponents virtually helpless without bestowing major injuries.
- Though muscular wolves are naturally suited for the task, it can take the form of lean muscle or brute strength.
- NABU: Diplomats. [Demand: no] Their name comes from the Babylonian god Nabu, “The Announcer”. This is an important task which is usually the greatest desire of many young wolves who want to get away from home. It is one of the most respected and coveted ranks, as they are actively pursuing Xerxes Peace.
- Though there are few physical characteristics needed in a Nabu, there is a demand for certain traits. A Nabu must be observant, with superb tracking abilities and cordial mannerisms. It is preferred that they have the ability to play “good cop, bad cop” with wolves, so wolves know what to expect if they disobey.
- GULA: Healers. [Demand: High] Their name comes from the Babylonian goddess of healing. The Gula have an intense focus on the art of healing, from a scientific point of view. They do not rely on rituals in their healing - there are no chants or prayers when they administer medicine or treat wounds, except the silent prayers on the breath that their patient will pull through. They understand healing not as the will of the gods, but as the effectiveness of their own abilities. The more spiritual of the Gula, when losing patients, will often try to console themselves with the idea of fate and the rejoining of the gods, but they know it was the patient’s body or the failure of their medicines that cost a wolf their life.
- Those with a sharp mind who aren’t afraid of blood are well-suited to be Gula. There are no physical requirements.
- SU’EN: Hunters. [Demand: High] Their name comes from the Babylonian god of cowherds and the moon. The Su’en are responsible for organizing pack hunts, particularly of large prey like pronghorn and, most importantly, bison. Their responsibility is to strategize before the pack attacks its prey, and they are generally sent in first to cut off a member from its herd and tire it out. Large hunts generally occur at dawn or dusk, when snakes are least active and the grazers are either grazing or resting.
- Su’en are generally fleet-footed and sharp-eyed. They are expected to have high stamina for running down prey.
For more information on Tasks and Duties, click here!
ALPHA | CYRUS | The leader of the pack. Regardless of gender, they are called the Cyrus. Referred to as “Cyrus Nineveh” or “My Cyrus” in conversation, or “the Cyrus” if being talked about.THE GREAT SCRIBE | MELCHIOR | The leader of the Magi. Referred to as “Melchior NAME” or “My Melchior” in conversation, or “the Melchior” if being talked about. May live in the Caves. They are a part of the Council, but are a step above other members.
THE COUNCIL | The highest-ranking wolves in the pack, hand-picked from the betas. They are in charge of their factions. May enter the Caves. Take part in decision-making with the Cyrus.
ZARII | Singular ZARR. Highest-ranking wolves, leaders of their tasks. May enter the Caves. (THETAS)
Marduk: Issa, Nouri, Mekhit, Renae
Nabu: Wick, Odin, Caldera, Anshar
SIGLOSI | Singular SIGLOS. Midrank wolves, teachers of tasks. May enter the Caves. (GAMMAS)
ASMANI | Singular ASMAN. Wolves with tasks, generally responsible for the more medial tasks. May enter the Caves. (DELTAS)
Gula: Charlotte, Nebula
OMEGAS | The lowest-ranking wolves, wolves without tasks. May not enter the Caves.
Xochipilli, Raziel, Io, Narciss, Blythe, Boaz, Wynchester, Solan, Fausta
JUVENILES | Wolves too young to take a full task, as they are not fully grown. May not enter the Caves.
PUPS | The young of the pack. Too young for tasks. May not enter the Caves.
GUESTS | Guests are treated with the highest levels of respect, as diplomats expect to be treated the same way. They are forbidden to enter the Caves on punishment of death.
HONORED DEAD | Wolves who have died and are honored for their service to the pack and Xerxes.
Zarina (killed by the Hive)
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