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Southern Winds Weyr

Author Topic: Info Whers  (Read 8240 times)

Offline Southern Records

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« on: January 25, 2014, 04:16:10 PM »

This is the watchwher basics for Southern Winds.

Art by Christina Weinman, commissioned for use on SWW only.
The Basics
Watchwhers were modified from fire lizards, just as the dragons were, so they share many of the same basic characteristics.  They have six limbs, four legs and two wings.  They also have smooth skin, and the same colors as fire lizards.  They are able to eat Thread, a fire lizard ability that dragons don't have, but are unable to chew firestone.  They have tridactyl claws, like the original fire lizards, though their feet are reversed, with two articulated toes in front of one fixed claw.

Beyond that, there isn't much resemblance.  Their head knobs are so short as to be barely noticeable.  They are short and hunched, and weigh 600-800lb.  Their skin seems too tight against their bulging muscles.  Their feet each have only a single pad, yet they can move somewhat fast.

Watchwhers are nocturnal, to the point that they can't even go outside during the day.  Their wings are so small they're useless for the wher's bulk, so they cannot fly.  Their eyes are large and see mostly in the infrared range.  Wind Blossom had attempted to give them simple eyes, and partially succeeded, but the lenses remained faceted.  This caused all light to be focused on the fovea, which made it extremely painful for them to be out during the day.  Nuella asked the Smithcrafthall to create sunglasses so watchwhers could fly Thread during the day, but the first ones made were only dark enough to work as the sun was setting.  Their hearing and smell are also excellent.

They are also well-suited to their secondary job as guards.  They can recognize everyone in their hold, and are territorial enough to attack anyone who isn't introduced to them by their handler.  They are also commonly used in mines.  They can smell explosive gas or stale air long before it can kill a human.  They are also strong enough to carry loads twice their own weight, which makes them very good at digging out trapped miners after a cave-in.

Like firelizards, a wher does not age, but they can die of exhaustion and overuse over time.

Wher names will always end in an -sk. Their actual name is indicative of the bond they have with their handler. The closer the name is to their handler's name, the stronger the bond. For those whers that are inherited, or have had a previous handler, they may change their name or they may retain the old one. It largely depends on how close the wher is to their handler.

Gold whers are 4-5 meters long, Bronze are 3.5 - 4.5 meters long, Brown are 3-4 meters long, Blue are 3-3.5 meters long, and Green are 2.5-3 meters long. Whers, as a general rule, are 1/3 tall as their length, and their height is measured from the shoulder.

Watchwhers are more empathic than telepathic, but they can still communicate telepathically with images.  The only time they "speak" is when they communicate their names with their handlers, and even then it's somewhat less clear than when dragons speak telepathically, and some handlers may think the name is their own idea.

They are also able to go between, but it is not an instinctive reaction.  While dragons and fire lizards will go between if restrained or to avoid a collision, watchwhers will not go between unless trained to do so by their handlers.  Since they see in a different visual range than humans, it is difficult for humans to visualize their destination in the same way the watchwhers see it.

Watchwhers' bonds are more like fire lizards' Impression than dragons'.  If they do not bond with a human after hatching, or their handler dies, they will not go between.  In fact, they can bond with a second handler if their first dies, or even switch handlers without their first one dying.  "Wild" watchwhers who have never bonded with a human are able to bond regardless of age.  Aleesa theorized that queen watchwhers needed a human handler, and would go between if unable to bond immediately after hatching or the death of their current handler.

Watchwhers are not known to have ever used telekinesis, but according to AIVAS, any creature that is capable of telepathy and teleportation should be capable of telekinesis.

In regards to Hunters as of 9.10.2589, wher are able to detect when Hunters are approaching. Green and Blue wher are especially sensitive to the mental presence of Hunters and are quick to alert their Handlers with mental impressions or images of the beasts while Brown, Bronze, and Gold wher are slower to become alert, become immobile longer, and aren’t as communicative as to why they are tense and angry. But all wher will eventually react to the presence of a Hunter – fearlessly defending their handler and attacking a Hunter outright if need be.

If they do not bond with a human after hatching, or their handler dies, they will not go between.  In fact, they can bond with a second handler if their first dies, or even switch handlers without their first one dying.  "Wild" watchwhers who have never bonded with a human are able to bond regardless of age.  Gold watchwhers need a human handler, and will go between if unable to bond immediately after hatching or their current handler dies, but they are the only color to do so.

Upon hatching, to initiate the bond, the Handler of the Gold wher for the clutch will escort someone to a newly hatched wher where they will cut their palm and allow the newly hatched wher to lick or taste their blood. This blood bonding ‘impresses’ the wher to the handler.

The same can be done for any ‘wild’ wher, if they can be made to calm down enough not to eat or attack whomever approaches them.

As of 20.5.2590, a phenomenon in response to the Hunter’s presence on the island, two wher will now bond to the same Handler. This is true for all colors except for Gold as a Gold wher is too territorial and too aggressive to allow for this bonding. All other colors, however, will accept the presence of another wher to bond to their handler.

Wher Run dates are listed here. Watchwher mating Runs have a similar effect on humans to those of dragon Flights, but to a lesser degree. Regardless of color, whers only Run once a turn, and only Golds produce eggs. Once a Gold has had her Run, she will lay her eggs in about four months; two months after that, the eggs will hatch. Wher clutches number between 10 and 25 eggs, and rarely contain duds.

Watchwher eggs are smaller than dragon eggs.  They are also wrinkled, rather than smooth.  Occasionally, an egg will have a ringlike fold around one end.  This is believed by wherhandlers to be a good sign, though some see it only as a superstition.

Unlike dragons, where the hatchlings choose the rider, most Queen watchwhers choose who can take their eggs.  Anyone who wants a watchwher egg must attempt to approach the queen, and if she allows them, they can take an egg. This does vary somewhat by individual, as other Golds are less territorial over their clutches, and may allow prospective handlers to approach the eggs they want during a hatching.

Please note that on SWW, our eggs have a rather natural appearance. Some faint mottling, stripes, spots, or gradients are fine, but we don't allow patterns that look as though they've been painted on.

There are no wild whers on Fort Island. These beasties were never able to travel, and so, all the whers on the Island have been tamed and bred within captivity. Should one be released to the wild, for whatever reason, the odds they will be able to survive the Hunters is highly unlikely.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2018, 01:40:30 PM by Southern Records »
This is the admin account for Southern Winds Weyr. All records, notes, and items of import come from here.

If you have questions, shoot us a PM @ Southern Records!

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