Do all Optime have long manes? Is it possible for an older Optime Luperci to lose their mane as they grow older (think male pattern baldness) without losing the rest of their fur?
Length of manes varies between individuals, though in most cases, manes in Optime form are significantly longer than in Lupus form. It is possible for some to lose this length in Optime mane as they age without having much affect on their Lupus forms — we’d liken this to the fact that many Luperci cut, style, and otherwise shorten their “hair” in Optime form while having no effect on their Lupus forms. It isn’t 100% scientific, but we have always allowed it. ;)
What was the deciding factor to make the age of first shift at 6 months for those that are born luperci? Why not earlier, born being able to shift? Or later, when reaching sexual maturity?
With Luperci age equivalents to human maturity levels in mind, their sexual maturity (18 months = ~21 years) doesn’t really coincide with puberty (10 months = 15 years). As such, the age of their first shift serves as kind of a “first puberty” that coincides somewhat with mental maturity, while actual sexual maturity is a “second puberty.”
We went with 6 months over 8-10 months because we figured “half a year” would be easier to remember.
How long does it take for someone to change from lupus form to both secui and optime?
The shift from Lupus or Optime to Secui is quicker than the shift from Optime to Lupus or vice versa. The Secui form is kind of a “midway” between Optime and Lupus, so it generally takes about half time to shift into Secui from either form than go from Lupus to Optime or vice versa.
As for exact and specific times — this depends entirely on the canine shifting. Some Luperci are good at shifting, whether it’s through natural talent or lots and lots of practice. Some Luperci are bad at shifting, perhaps due to a traumatizing shifting experience or plain old personal discomfort. It depends entirely on the individual. A young Luperci would probably be a slower shifter; a more mature Luperci would probably be capable of shifting faster.
The fastest time for a shift could be about three minutes; the slowest time may be as long as half an hour to forty minutes. Again, this depends on the individual in question.
At what age would pups begin to be able to learn languages other from their home tongue?
Technically, puppies can grow up simultaneously learning two or more languages. It may be easier, however, for a new language to be introduced after they’ve mastered the basics of their first language around 2-3 months of age.
How come some Optime luperci are depicted with breasts in posts and images when wolves normally have many nipples covering their belly? Why would shifting change such an integral part of their body, such as the number of nipples and their placement?
Aesthetics, mostly. We really don’t think it’s necessary to patrol images to ensure complete realism because that wouldn’t be much fun for the artists. Even if wolves’ fur would normally cover these areas, artists do take license — or they just don’t realize it. Moreover, since ‘Souls is based on werewolves of literature, most do not have more than one set of breasts. Although we do try to adhere to realism, there are some things that we do assume otherwise.
Grey/white hairs can technically happen at any time, but would most commonly begin in Luperci around 7-8 years. Physical deteroiration depends largely on the individual, how active they are, how well they eat, etc. Luperci that maintain active, healthy lifestyles may well retain full capacity of their senses and good physical strength into their tenth or eleventh birthday. Many will not show overt signs of weakness until a year or so before their natural death. Some may not show signs right to the moment of.
Since some humans had natural immunity to the virus that caused the Luperci, would it make sense if a character also had natural immunity? For example, a non-Luperci gets bitten by a Luperci, but doesn't contract the virus due to immunity. Would this be possible? I understand it would be extremely rare.
Yes, this would be possible, though you’re right that it would be very rare. If you are interested in playing a character immune to the Luperci virus, please clear it with us first. Thank you!
How can shifting kill a pregnant Luperci? Isn't that like saying a Luperci will throw up every time they shift because it upsets their stomach, which doesn't happen?
Their body is moving/shifting/changing, and the uterus position changes as a female Luperci shifts from one form to another. When the puppies are small, this is less dangerous, they don’t weigh a lot and don’t take up a lot of space in their mother’s womb — they can be compared to a Luperci’s digesting meal.
However, as pups develop, they increase in mass and volume, making it easier for their moving around to cause uterine tearing or prolapse, among other complications. This is why it’s acceptable for a mother to shift for the first two weeks of pregnancy, but later shifting can cause spontaneous abortion, and extremely late-stage shifting can cause both spontaneous abortion and maternal death.