What is a Haunt?
Haunts are individuals who have a black dog form that are distant cousins of werewolves. They are also direct descendants of Kulanin, the God of Shapes, though they are good-aligned beings. This connection to Kulanin makes them the next closest kin to the Calenwolves. They were presumed to be a rare and dying breed with very few numbers that were still dwindling, but recently, many Haunts have come out of the woodwork to join up with the pack formed in central Karchan.
You can usually tell Haunts apart from other shapeshifters for a few reasons.
- They have glowing eyes in either form. Males have red glowing eyes and females have blue.
- Another thing is their fangs. They have long, thick canines that drip with what looks to be saliva. It is a really very potent poison, making a kiss or bite from a Haunt a likely fatal mistake. These fangs are not the source of their venom, however.
- In Haunt form, they look like excessively large, black malamutes, which makes it sometimes difficult to differentiate from a wolf or a Haunt - save for their glowing eyes.
- Female Haunts in their "human" form have stained black lips from their venom. The males do not suffer this physical trait as it is completely hormonal.
Some Haunts do not have the ability to shift at all except for the hour at dawn, but remain in their dog form the rest of the time. This is a direct result of being in their dog form for too long. This can sometimes be fixed by an Aylia-line Haunt.
Where did they come from?
The mother of the first Haunts was named Pela, and she was born to a dog-shifter mother and an Angel of Karn father. She was kind to all and received traits from both parents - her mother's dog form, and her father's strong sense of justice and benevolence.
When she was freshly eighteen, she had the growing desire to become a mother, but her attempts at becoming pregnant were fruitless. She tried for ten years, unsuccessfully. It was frustrating...but that is when she met Kulanin, who was presenting as the very first Haunt.. He desired her, and told her that he could give her the children she had always dreamed of. She gave into him and their coupling did indeed produce offspring. She gave birth to five children: Allistrio (male), Revera (female), Lowen (male), Aylia (female), and Kent (male). These children grew fast and produced offspring with humans until there were many Haunts and generations. Their special abilities were given by Kulanin, especially their physical traits. The dog form of Pela was much larger than hers, and their eyes glowed ominously. They also had poison in their bites and black stained lips for the females.
Rumor has it that Pela still exists somewhere, as there are other Haunt lines slowly emerging and letting themselves be known, such as Illorn (male), Kavarelle (Female), and Ieelril (Female).
Society and Culture
Packs are always run by the alpha female. Unlike werewolves, it is a matriarchal society. Women are the ones who give birth to Hauntlings, and since they carry life within them, they also bring hope to their packs. There is a male alpha too, but he is considered secondary to the female.
Haunts normally will not tell their name to others unless that person has earned their trust somehow. However, they will allow other Haunts to know their name immediately in their language. More often than not, they will simply refer to themselves as "The Haunt" when asked for their name, though some have been known to take on aliases. Amongst the packs, they will refer to themselves as Haunt name. (ex. Haunt Constance, Haunt Chester, etc) In public, they will usually just refer to whoever they are talking to that is family as 'Haunt'.
Once a Haunt has taken a mate, it is frowned upon to leave or abandon that mate. If an individual is abandoned or cheated on (as well as various other reasons), is it then socially acceptable in the Haunt's familial circle to take another mate. However, in order to officially depart from a mate gone astray, the alpha female must deem it true abandonment or agree that the reason from parting with that mate is worthy of a split. Mating is supposed to be for life, but that is not always within reason. Those of Aylia's line, the healers, are the ones who perform handfasting ceremonies for couples who would like to celebrate with a symbolization of their union. Every pairing is different and not all opt for this route.
Haunts have a difficult time conceiving outside of their race. They have the easiest time breeding within their race, but numbers are so drastically few that there have been no Hauntlings reported for close to three hundred years save for a small handful (note: More Haunts have been showing up, and there seems to be an increase in offspring as well). When a Haunt breeds with any other race, the child will always be a Hauntling. It doesn't matter if the other race is elf, vampire, human, or anything. It will be a Haunt through and through and have the same instincts as the Haunt parent. They do not hybridize.
Can they change people?
Haunts can change people, but it is another thing that is uncommon.
In order to be changed into a Haunt, you have to survive it's poisonous bite. If you do not die, you become a Haunt. The problem is, 9/10, a bite from a Haunt will kill rather than change. The only exception to this rule is a bite from a Lowen-line Haunt, where the odds are 50/50.
Haunts can only change humans into Haunts. For some reason, that is the only compatible race that can be turned. They can still bond to anyone, however.
It is very difficult for werewolves to be changed into Haunts. Most werewolves are actually immune to the Haunt's poison due to their shared bloodlines. It isn't impossible however. For werewolves to become Haunts, they must consent to the change, making it an even rarer occurrence since there is a social stigma amongst the werewolf population concerning the breed. They also lose their wolf form, which is changed to the large, black dog, completing the change.
Changed Haunts will feel a pull to join nearby packs or individual Haunts depending on the numbers in their region. The sense of 'family' is very strong.
Haunts can bond to mortals and become their companions. It means that there is extreme trust between the pairing, though there are occasions where a Haunt and another person will bond upon meeting. It is a sign of high compatibility, though the bond is much weaker starting out than other bonds. Some Haunts bond with mortal lovers, children they want to protect, upholders of justice, and in very rare instances, corrupt individuals.
It is possible for a mortal to break the bond between him/herself if they wish to release the Haunt for various reasons. Bonding makes it extremely easy to find the other half. If anything, it is nearly impossible for a Haunt not to find it's bonded anytime it wishes. When a Haunt bonds with a mortal, a white hand print appears on it's fur that is unique to the mortal bonded. The mortal receives a paw print that marks them as well. Mortals bonded to a Haunt become immortal for as long as they are bonded to their Haunt. If a bond breaks or the Haunt dies, the person begins aging normally again.
It causes physical and mental anguish for a Haunt to break a bond. Sometimes it even sends the Haunt into a depression that takes anywhere from months to years to recover from. The physical pain is nagging, and the emotional trauma of a broken bond is not easily soothed. Haunts have been known to die of heartbreak after breaking a bond in some instances. It is not something that is done lightly or frivolously.
When a Haunt bonds with an evil person, it will sometimes make the Haunt evil. The only way a Barghest can return to its family is to break the bond (which is physically and emotionally painful/devastating). If a barghest Haunt's bonded dies, then the Haunt will remain barghest until it slowly reforms and returns to normal. This can be a long, tedious process.
Do not be fooled though, even Barghest Haunts hate evil people.
Barghest Haunts are a bit different, as they have certain abilities that are altered to suit their new presence.
- Any Haunt who has gone Barghest will have gray nails. The more evil-infested they are, the darker the nails. A Haunt who has gone fully Barghest will have jet black nails. As such, any Haunt exhibiting both strange behavior and gloves will be viewed with suspicion.
- Haunt venom changes when the Haunt has become Barghest. Not only will it be dangerous to regular people, but it will now be dangerous to other Haunts. Normally Haunts have a natural immunity to the bite or venom of another Haunt. That is not the case with Barghest Haunts.
- The longer a Haunt is Barghest, the shorter its lifespan will be. Being Barghest is unhealthy for a Haunt, and it not only diminishes their lifespan, but also their powers.
- The longer a Haunt is Barghest, the weaker their abilities become. Some have even been unable to traverse The Spirit Realm until they were made healthy again.
- A Barghest Haunt is a sick Haunt. As such, other Haunts will do their best to reform the Barghest Haunt, sometimes even by force. It is done out of love, sometimes taken to extremes, while other times it is more natural because the Barghest Haunt wants to be healthy again.
- Part of being Barghest involves a Haunt becoming more reckless or erratic. These behaviors usually tip off other haunts that know them well.
If a Haunt dies despite their immortality, then they are forced to remain in their dog form for the rest of their afterlife. Some can be physically touched by other Haunts or the person the spirit bonded with in life.
- Haunts can change from the physical to spiritual within seconds, making them difficult to catch.
- Haunts have heightened senses, especially their hearing.
- Haunts eat curses. They are like the food of the gods to them. No, really. They will not eat curses from evil people without good reason.
- Haunts can take the recently deceased souls to the afterlife so that they can be reincarnated if the deceased calls upon them.
- Haunts can never get lost and neither can their bonded.
- Haunts can be called on to help lost individuals.
- Haunt venom is highly poisonous to everyone. If you are bitten by a Haunt, you have to have the poison magically purged or you will die. Chances are low of turning into one.
- There is only one cure in all of Kuri that can negate a Haunt's poison, but only those of Aylia's line are aware of it. At least, those in the line who have had the knowledge passed down to them from over the years. Haunts never give out the recipe to make the cure. If someone needs to be treated, they bring it to them.
- A Haunt's venom is always unique to them. No two Haunts have the same exact strain of venom. As such, only their bonded and other Haunts are impervious to that poison. All Haunts are immune to all strains of the venom.
- This poison is a healing agent to The Haunt, however, and they have been known to lick each others wounds if a member of Aylia's line isn't present. Sometimes Aylia's line lick wounds too, as their poison is more potent, making it a stronger healing agent to other Haunts.
- Allistrio's line have red or orange hair. This line has a Hauntman form similar to that of the wolfman form of werewolves. This is because they are physically stronger than other Haunts.
- Revera's line has blackish hair and they are summoners. They can delve into the spirit realm due to their connections with it and raise anything they find there. The spirit can be banished at will and can be destroyed. The older a Haunt in this line is, the more summons they can juggle at one time. For every one hundred years of life, a descendant of Revera can summon one spirit. (ex: A Haunt has lived three hundred years. That Haunt would be able to summon any three spirits and maintain control of them at the same time. Any more than that is usually a disaster.)
- Lowen's line has blond hair and can more easily change people into Haunts. It is a 50/50 chance.
- Kent's line has brown hair. They are seers. The ability can depend on the Haunt. Random Visions, Emotional feelings, Clairvoyance.
- Aylia's line usually has a good variation for some reason, but it leans more toward wild colors. This line is a line of healers, and about one in ten of them can actually raise the dead within a certain time limit.
- Illorn’s line has silver hair, a color previously untouched by Aylia’s Line. His special power is the ability to bring spirits out of The Spirit Realm and make them of the living again. His eyes are still red.
- Kavarelle’s Line have pointed ears like elves. Her line’s special ability is when she is in a room, any Haunts in the area cannot use their powers if she wishes it to be so. She can turn this ability on and off, as can her descendants.
- Ieelril’s Line have a birthmark on their wrists that looks like three black concentric circles of varying sizes. Her special ability is she can turn Haunts into other lines. For example, her line could turn an Allistrio Haunt into a Revera Haunt, complete with physical changes to their appearance.
- Saiph is a new Divine Haunt, the product of a Haunt Kulanin and a Reaper of Osnodon. She has no descendants yet as she is young, but her bite and her descendants bites can turn a Haunt into an ordinary mortal/strip them of being a Haunt.
To join, contact Victoria or Constance.
© The Land of Karchan | Nettie Bell 2020