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 Lucas, The Lotus Wolf

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Lucas, The Lotus Wolf Empty
PostSubject: Lucas, The Lotus Wolf   Lucas, The Lotus Wolf EmptySat Oct 27, 2018 5:53 pm

Name: Lucas
Sex: Male
Species: Arcadian specifically a three tailed wolf
Height: 6ft 3in
Weight: 348 lbs
Age: 500
Age in Appearance: 19
Hair Color: Turquoise, purple and silver
Eye Color:  Glowing golden yellow
Skin Color: Pale with a white tint
Personality: Quiet
Weakness: Strong smells, silver
Profession: Bodyguard/Security
Weapons: A poison on his claws that causes euphoria and slight short term memory loss, A stainless steel baton, A Desert Eagle handgun
Armor: Security Uniform, Strong skin
Items:  A small stainless steel bracelet on his right wrist that has a single bead with a lotus blossom in it, a bag of white candies that smell like the lotus blossoms
Skills: Speed (10x human), Strength (10x human), Inhanced Senses (10x human), candy making, lotus blossom tending, transformation forced by stress/health




Lucas was a very quiet child that turned into a quiet adult. He was raised on a lone island in the middle of no where that rarely had visitors. His parents were long since dead when he awoke alone and afraid on this island. He searched far and wide before coming upon a village. The mayor took pity on him and took him home where she tended to his wounds and needs. She was a kindly woman who always wanted children but never got them. She knew he was special since he sported not one, but three tails. She had read about his kind but had never seen them. She was very open about what she thought he was and shared her love of reading with him. When he became a teenager, she taught him how to fight and learned that he was immune to the lotus blossom's powers. His body seemed to be able to channel the dangerous chemicals inside them into his blood stream which he could focus on his claws. She soon taught him how to tend and care for the special flowers and how to make candies out of them for emergencies. He stayed on the island until she died of old age. He held her hand and promised her to take care of himself. He sold all of their belongings that he could not carry to a fellow villager and left heading off to find a new home. He soon got a job as a bodyguard/security officer where he was given a stainless steel baton and his desert eagle gun. He took his job seriously and did it for many years before he found himself taken forcefully by a strange group of people. They claimed to not wish him harm but he found it highly unbelievable and used his special candies to escape when the time was right.


The Story of the Lotus Eaters

About 3000 years ago, the poet Homer told a story about a man called Odysseus and his voyage home to Greece following the Trojan Wars. Odysseus and his men met up with many exciting adventures along the way, but the most relevant to us is the story of his landing on the Island of the Lotus Eaters.

The island was so beautiful that Odysseus wanted to stay there awhile and rest up. So he sent out some scouts to determine if the natives were friendly. Odysseus waited and waited, but the scouts never returned.

What had happened was this: The scouts had indeed met up with the locals, the Lotus Eaters, who turned out to be very friendly. The Lotus Eaters even shared their food with the scouts. But the food—the lotus—was a kind of dope, and the scouts got wasted from it and forgot all about Odysseus, their mission, getting back to Greece…everything. All they wanted to do was hang out, eat lotus, and get high.

Lucky for them, Odysseus came and dragged them kicking and screaming back to the ship. He tied them to their seats and ordered the crew to row like hell, in case anyone else might eat the lotus and forget the way home.

The story of Odysseus is about more than just a Greek guy in a boat. It's about the journey people take through life and the obstacles they meet along the way. The Story of the Lotus Eaters speaks particularly to us dopeheads. As addicts, we were stuck in a Lotus Land; we forgot our mission; we forgot the other adventures that awaited us; we forgot about going home.

Luckily, we each had within us our own Odysseus, our own Higher Power, which grabbed us by the collar and threw us back into the boat. So now we're rowing like hell. We may not know what's going to come next, but we're back on our way through life again.

The wolf play an important role in Greek religions. But his/her role varies enormously. The wolf is often related to the Greek gods Zeus, Apollo, Artemis and Leto, as we shall see below. Wolves seem to act as divine messengers of the gods, notably of Apollo. A particularly well attested wolf cult can be found in the more remote, mountainous region of Arcadia, on the Peloponnese, notably around the Mount Lykaion, the alleged birthplace of Zeus (for which cf. e.g. Mt Lykaion Survey Project; click here for overview), from which we also get the earliest 'werewolf' stories. Here and elsewhere, we need to piece together the ancient evidence for this wolf cult.

King Lycaon - Before we discuss 'wolf deities', let us focus on the ancient stories of humans being transformed into a wolf, most of which relate to Arcadia and seem to relate directly to the worship of a god called Zeus Lykaios, 'Wolf-Zeus'. The story of King Lykaon's transformation into a wolf might therefore just be an explanatory myth to explain the 'wolf cult' in Arcadia; there might also be other symbolic meanings attached to this myth. At the same time, we have to bear in mind that these stories were not written by Arcadians, but by outsiders who lived in cities, like Athens and Rome, and therefore quite detached from nature and also having a certain agenda for mentioning these stories (most notably in Plato - see below).

First, we have to remember that these early myths do not relate to "werewolves"; the term itself did not exist: Greeks usually just used the word 'wolf', lykos  (but see Latin versipellis below). Also, the typical medieval and modern 'werewolf' attributes, like the full moon, are usually missing in Antiquity. In the case of the famous story of King Lykaon, we can see that we are dealing with divine punishment by Zeus who was betrayed by king Lykaon, not some 'werewolf curse'. Moreover, Lykaon stayed a wolf! (For the various accounts cf. e.g. Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.209-243; Plato, Republic VIII, 16, 565d-566a; Hyginus, Scholiast on Caes. Germ.).

Ovid, writing around A.D. 8, provides a rather colourful depiction of Lykaon's transformation: "His clothes became bristling hair, his arms became legs. He was a wolf, but kept some vestige of his former shape. There were the same grey hairs, the same violent face, the same glittering eyes, the same savage image."
Already 400 years earlier, Plato provided the earliest mentioning of a myth relating to Zeus Lykaios: in his Republic we are told of "the legend that is told of the shrine of Lycaean Zeus in Arcadia (...) The story goes that he who tastes of the one bit of human entrails minced up with those of other victims is inevitably transformed into a wolf.” (Rep. 565d-e). This is important to understand some of the sacrifices and rituals that took place in honour of Zeus Lykaios in Arcardia (for Plato, of course, the story was only mentioned in passing, as a metaphor for contemporay politics, i.e. the tyrant turning into a "man-eating wolf").
Tasting human flesh is a recurrent theme in the cult of Zeus Lykaios. We also should not forget that there are many accounts of King Lykaon. And in many stories a transformation was not mentioned at all (e.g., Clement of Alexandria, Nonnus, Eratosthenes, Arnobius). Instead Lykaon is even said to 'maintain his father's institutions in righteousness', and it was his sons who upset Zeus:  'they sacrificed a child and mixed his flesh with that of the victim'; in return Zeus killed the murderers (cf. Nicolaus Damascenus, Frag. 43 (Fr. Hist.Graec. 3.378; Suidas, s.v. ??????).

Wolf worship in Arcadia

In any case, ancient Arcadia certainly seems to be have been an important centre of wolf worship. The story of king Lykaon leads us to Zeus Lykaios (another Arcadian "wolf god" was Apollo Lykaios, see below). Zeus Lykaios is the "Wolf Zeus". In his honour, a religious festival called the Lykaia was celebrated on Mount Lykaion, the "wolf mountain" (see overview and 2015-paper of recent excavation by David Romano and Mary Voyatzis, suggesting ritual activities on Mount Lykaison since circa 3,000 BC).

Regarding these sacrifices during the Lykaia, we are also having the incredible story of an Olympic boxing champion that Pausanias (6.8.2) tells us: "Damarchus, an Arcadian of Parrhasia, (...) who changed his shape into that of a wolf at the sacrifice to Zeus Lykaios, and how nine years after he became a man again". He allegedly was turned into a wolf after he ate the flesh of a boy that was sacrificed to Zeus Lykaios by the Arcadians; are we dealing with a regular (annual?) event by which one member of the community was cast out (or sacrificed?) as a wolf. Pausanias, writing in the Roman period, tell us that he "cannot believe what the romancers say about him [i.e. Damarchus]".
But several accounts of this story have survived; in other accounts Damarchus' name was Demaenetus, like here in Pliny's Natural History (NH 8.34): "Agriopas (...) informs us that Demænetus, the Parrhasian, during a sacrifice of human victims, which the Arcadians were offering up to the Lycæan Jupiter, tasted the entrails of a boy who had been slaughtered; upon which he was turned into a wolf, but, ten years afterwards, was restored to his original shape and his calling of an athlete, and returned victorious in the pugilistic contests at the Olympic games." (also cf. Scopas FGrH 413 F 1; Varro in Aug. Civ. 18.17; cf. René Bloch, "Demaenetus", Brill’s New Pauly; N.B.: 10 instead of 9 years here). This story is one of many pieces of evidence for 'wolf worship' and transformation that probably originated in earlier times in the Bronze Age and continued, in one way or another, into later times in this rather remote region of Arcadia, and which authors like Pausanias and Pliny, writing in the Roman period, obviously found rather odd.

Later in his work, Pausanias specifically mentions wolf transformation during a sacrifice to Zeus Lykaios:

"8.2.6 - All through the ages, many events that have occurred in the past, and even some that occur today, have been generally discredited because of the lies built up on a foundation of fact. It is said, for instance, that ever since the time of Lycaon a man has changed into a wolf at the sacrifice to Lycaean Zeus, but that the change is not for life; if, when he is a wolf, he abstains from human flesh, after nine years he becomes a man again, but if he tastes human flesh he remains a beast for ever."

Pausanias' account might suggest a particlar form of ritual by which one man was selected (or rather, cast out) as an annual(?) sacrifice.
A complimentary story on the Arcadians was reported by Euanthes according to Pliny the Elder's Natural History from AD79 (FGrHist 320 = Plin. NH 8.34):
"Euanthes ... informs us that the Arcadians assert that a member of the family of one Anthus is chosen by lot, and then taken to a certain lake in that district, where, after suspending his clothes on an oak, he swims across the water and goes away into the desert, where he is changed into a wolf and associates with other animals of the same species for a space of nine years. If he has kept himself from beholding a man during the whole of that time, he returns to the same lake, and, after swimming across it, resumes his original form, only with the addition of nine years in age to his former appearance. To this Fabius adds, that he takes his former clothes as well. It is really wonderful to what a length the credulity of the Greeks will go!" (Again, Roman scepticism about Greek myths!) All this seems to suggest a kind of initiation ritual, rite de passage, coming-to-age ritual: a boy (not a man, as in Pausanias' account), selected by lot, going out into the 'dessert', living like a wolf (cf. the kypteia in nearby Sparta or the Lupercalia in Rome). But why? Is this a curse on the local community? Or is the 'wolf', having been cast out of his community, a kind of sacrifice of the community, or a 'scapegoat' - the boy who was cast out for a number of years might be important to guarantee the well-being and suvival of the community.
(Cf. e.g., W. Burkert, Homo Necans, p.87; also see below for the 12th-century AD Irish story of a wolf transformation lasting seven years of a man and a woman chosen by lot every seven years.)

The story of king Lykaon has been interpreted in various ways: it was considered an etiological myth that explained a 'brotherhood of men-wolves' and the worship of a 'wolf god'. Others, like Burkert (1983:84-93), consider the metamorphosis to be 'equivalent to a symbolic death' during a 'tribal' initiation rite (or rite of passage). We also see certain symbolic contrasts: human vs. animal; civilisation vs. wildness, etc. Lykaon as king and as wolf show the king as 'civiliser' (urbanism, human society, institutions) versus 'wildness', as well as Lykaon's impiety and transgression, resulting in Zeus' punishment: the god might also reject the 'commensality' with men.  (Cf. M. Jost, 'The Religious System in Arcadia' in D. Odgen, Companion to Greek Religion, p.275). Apart from the symbolic value, we also should not forget that all these texts somehow seem to refer to some kind of human sacrifice taking place in Arcadia for Zeus. But we also should not forget other possible interpretations of the myth, and we must take into account the nature of our sources: we do not actually have Arcadian sources, but an Athenian philosopher (Plato), a 1st-century AD natural historian from Rome (Pliny the Elder), and a 2nd-century AD geographer from Lydia (Pausanias and his Description of Greece). The Arcadian rituals and myths probably come from much older times: with people living in a rural area, in harmony with nature, their relationship with animals might have been much more positive compared to Plato, Pliny and Pausanias, but unfortunately Arcadian accounts have not survived.

The story of wolf transformation spread more widely and seems to have become quite popular during the Roman period. We learn about the entertaining story of Niceros who, during Trimalchios' fantastic dinner party, told this story about his friend, a soldier, who transformed into a wolf in a graveyard: "He stripped himself and put all his clothes by the roadside. My heart was in my mouth, but I stood like a dead man. He made a ring of water round his clothes and suddenly turned into a wolf. Please do not think I am joking; I would not lie about this for any fortune in the world. But as I was saying, after he had turned into a wolf, he began to howl, and ran off into the woods. At first I hardly knew where I was, then I went up to take his clothes; but they had all turned into stone..."; and later he became a human again, returning to Nicoros' house (Petronius, Satyricon, 61f, c.AD60).

This story is probably based on the myths from Arcadia, but they now reveal a certain common belief in 'werewolves'. There still is no demonising, no monsterous creature in any of these reports - unlike medieval and modern werewolf accounts - just a normal wolf... Nicoros' friend is described in Latin as a versipellis ('turning grey'), which means a shape-shifter (see the short account on the 'versipellis' in Pliny's Natural History 8.34).
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