The Liberi de Lupus, otherwise known as the Silvano, are a tribe descended from humans raised by wolves. First established in ancient Europe, they migrated to Aufaniae during the Greek and Persian wars.
“Liberi de Lupus” is gratuitous Latin for “children of wolves”, or more literally, wolf’s children. This name was chosen by the tribe shortly after it was formally founded. “Silvano” is likewise Latin, meaning “of the woods” and was the name Kilroy Hamish and his people gave them.
The tribe began when children orphaned by war, famine and other hardships were adopted by various Eurasian wolf packs. As persecution grew stronger and more focused, the packs banned together as one.
From the start, the Wolf’s Children have been a race of warriors. Their survival has always counted on being able to defend themselves from outsiders either with brute force or subterfuge. Many times they have joined forces with outsider groups, acting as mercenaries in return for their land and freedom. This has also been one source of the low life expectancy of the tribe as a whole, as strangers had no qualms about wasting their lives. The wolves of the Liberi de Lupus explain this practice with a tale which echoes The Jungle Books’ “Mowgli Stories”, though given the fact that Kipling was born long after they fled to Aufaniae its more likely that the story trickled down to him from the original version. In this is tale a human boy named Wolf’s Fang by his lupine parents eventually becomes the Pack Leader, and uses his species to make arrangements with local villagers, trading his people’s skill in battle for protection from hunters and others who would harm them. The humans knew him by the name “Lycan Sanborn”, which many of his descendants also carried. His true name became the Leader’s title over the years.
The Silvano mind-set is canine in nature and thus runs with a hierarchy system that matches a wolf pack. Perhaps in the past a wolf could gain leadership, but the arrival of Hamish’s people made that impossible. Families are ranked in order of their “Pack Leader’s” rank in relation to that of the others. This shifts whenever a new leader replaces the old. Members often refer to certain groups as a “pack”; a family is a pack, as is a unit of soldiers, and the tribe itself. Family hierarchy disputes have no effect on the family’s rank unless it’s a leadership challenge. A family is often made up of a set of parents, their two children, their childrens’ partners, their grandchildren, and five wolves, two of which are mates and usually parents to the other three.
The Liberi de Lupus share their spiritual beliefs with their lupine founders and much of the non-human cultures on both Earth and Aufaniae. They believe in the Creator and the Destroyer, as well as what Christians would call Heaven and Hell. For more info please see the spiritual beliefs of wolves.
Along with “wolf speech”, the tribe’s native tongue is a mix of Latin and Greek. They also use the English brought by the Palladium settlers. These human languages were encouraged by the wolves to protect both themselves and their human children.
Tribal relations are based on an intricate web of connections that could have an outsider’s head spinning. Alliances can shift without warning. The only thing one knows for sure is that all members, human and wolf alike, swear loyalty to the tribal leader, or to use the proper honorific, The Wolf’s Fang. It is the Wolf’s Fang’s responsibility to protect his people, much as a wolf uses its fangs for its own defense. Other ranks include:
- Gray Hunter – An experienced, skilled war leader
- Black Hunter – Rank below Gray, a warrior with marginal experience and skill
- White Hunter – Rank below both Gray and Black
- First-Winter Hunter – A tenderfoot who’s completed training
- Hunter – Common warrior, a soldier
- Cub – A new recruit
- Wolf’s Sight – An army scout
- Wolf’s Ear – A spy for the tribe inside the King’s court
It is extremely rare to see one of the “Silvano” reach the age of thirty. Their lifestyle is far too dangerous for that. Members of the tribe are considered an adult at age thirteen, and expected to pull their own weight from then on. Between the risk of injury in hunting accidents, hierarchy disputes, and their responsibility to the Palladium army as front-line soldiers, most members die before their eighteenth year.
The “Silvano” population hovers around 255 – 150 humans and 75 wolves. Their territory could not sustain higher numbers.
Areas with significant populationsEdit
The Liberi de Lupus are now confined to the northern edge of Palladium in Aufaniae.
Related ethnic groupsEdit
The tribe’s human members are distantly related to the ethnic groups of Europe, due to its origins. Likewise, the wolves are related to various European subspecies.
The legends of Romulus and Remus as well as Lycan are very well known to the Liberi de Lupus, but how much they believe of these accounts is debatable. There is also their own legends, such the above mentioned Lycan Sanborn and his exploits. Much of these legends has been carried down in the wolves’ oral tradition and spread to the far reaches of Aufaniae.
Lindskold, Jane. (2003) The Dragon of Despair
Kipling, Rudyard. (1894) The Jungle Book
Kipling, Rudyard. (1895) The Second Jungle Book
The Silvano titles were inspired by the ones used in the Firekeeper Saga. Other details are a mix of the Shenandoah, Romulus and Remus, and various werewolf series. The tidbit about The Jungle Books is clearly false, and is simply the canon explanation.