Lupus Nocturnus, the Orisian Shadow Wolf
One of the more fearsome mystical creatures of old Atitlan, the shadow wolves’ origins predates even the eldest of the island’s vampyres. Like they vampyres themselves, they too are creatures born of the abyss, given shape by the Dark Father, Tenebre, himself. It is from these primordial ties that the wolves have developed a somewhat intrinsic bond with the Orisian vampyre, who they have followed to the Summer Isles of Valucre. The vampyres can exude a certain level of control over the beasts, with older vampyres being able to possess both higher numbers and larger, alpha class wolves.
Because of the magical nature of their existence, the wolves possess a wide array of unique abilities tied to their shadows, natural shadows, and the abyss. The first and most notable power is their ability to change their state of being from entirely physical, to partially (effectively half corporeal, half incorporeal), to being entirely shadow. These transitions are instant.
Now, while one might assume the default state of their being is fully corporeal, it is the in-between that the wolves favor most in their day to day lives.
Researchers have determined that the typical shadow wolf will spend only a quarter of a standard lifetime in their corporeal form (a standard lifetime being roughly ninety years, as the wolves’ lifespan far exceeds that of a typical wolf. No one knows how old these beasts may become, with some wolves, like Lobo, being rumored to be as old as some ancient vampyres). From what has been observed thus far, the creatures only become wholly physical during times of feeding/digesting, mating, and birthing. In most other instances, their partial form is most common.
The preferred state of being for the wolves, the creatures appear to be an imposing mixture of inky shadows and lazy-trailing smoke. While in this state, they are capable of physics-defying feats, including but not limited to: running up walls or walking across water, appendage manipulation, immunity to the elements, and dramatically increased speed. Older, larger wolves have been witnessed demonstrating these abilities in the extreme, such as opening their mouths wide enough to devour at least half fully matured adult with a single bite.
The final of their three phases, the fully shadowed states is used almost exclusively as a means of travel. While in this state, the wolves are capable of traveling through both natural and made-shadow, including the shadows of others [for “allies,” this requires attuning their shadow to the wolves and vice versa]. While this allows for unbelievably fast travel, covering miles in mere seconds, the wolves cannot teleport. They are likewise incapable of interacting with the physical world while in this state.
Regardless of their state, shadow wolves are immune to standard weapons and munitions. While a blow that might kill a regular wolf will efficiently disrupt and disperse the creature’s physical state, it will reform itself shortly after. Banishing/expelling magic can remove the wolves from specific areas, but not from the ruling plane, due to the duality of their existence. The only way to properly kill a shadow wolf is with a weapon that has been imbued with shadow magic or forged from the shadows, themselves.