The Kantaran, or Shemarrian Wolf, has been a part of Shemarrian culture for a long time.. one of the first creatures our warriors befriended, along with the Monst-rex. Over the centuries, not only has the bond between Shemarrian and Wolf grown stronger, but several new breeds have evolved, including some from the newer fringe Tribes.
Professor Gren, Whisper-Speaker, male Shemarrian Unattached, guest speaking in a Xenozoologist class in a major CCW university.
“Ever been trapped inside a tank surrounded by wolves? I’m not talking your garden variety feral dogs, or woods varmints, or even shadow-beasts...I’m talking pony-sized animals with fangs the length of your forearm. Shemarrian wolves. Big, nasty, SMART beasts. Smart enough to know how to ambush and surround an armored vehicle and hit it from all sides. Smart and tough enough to bite away the side armor and chew through the road and bogie wheels, and break the treads. Smart enough to stay down out of the arc of fire from the turret guns. Mean enough to let us know the moment we tried to open the turret hatch and make a run for it that they were out there waiting. DAMN smart and nasty critters. I can still feel their growl echoing up and down my spine. Subsonics, the bastards; you remember that growl in your sleep....They just kept us there canned up until their masters came up, ordered us out, and ran us out of their territory. I wasn’t about to argue; I’d had enough of the damned Shemarrians and especially their damned wolves by then!”
- 1 Shemarrian Wolf Breeds
- 1.1 AA-10SW/A-009 (EShe-10SW) Shemarrian Wolf
- 1.2 Wolf’s Path-bred Shemarrian Wolves/Kantaran
- 1.3 EShe-11SW Kantaran Schillga
- 1.4 EShe-12SW Kantaran Madghar
- 1.5 EShe-13SW Kantaran Scarnus
- 1.6 EShe-14SW Kantaran Lumnis
- 1.7 EShe-15SW Kantaran Vox
- 1.8 EShe-16SW Kantaran Toxos
- 1.9 EShe-17SW Kantaran Pyranine
- 1.10 EShe-19LE Kantaran Gorgona
- 1.11 EShe-20LE Kantaran Velocus
- 1.12 EShe-21CSh Kantaran Nocturnus
- 1.13 EcoS-AA-11 Kintori
- 1.14 Hellhound
- 1.15 EShe-18SW Kantaran Phalanx
Just as the explosive growth of the free sentient Shemarrians has led to individualism, a greater variety of random traits among them, and a proliferation in various sub-class forms (both among the Shemarrians and their WarMounts), the Shemarrian Wolf has seen a growth in variety of forms. Even though ARCHIE-3 and Hagan already allowed for some cosmetic variation among the Shemarrian Wolves, in different patterns and length of fur, with the use of Progen-related Assembly Forge technologies the Free Shemarrians have gone even further, ‘breeding’ more substantial variations into the basic design.
While all Tribes have Shemarrian Wolves among their number, some Tribes have more than others, depending on their Tribal ways and philosophies; the Horrorwoods and Blood Riders have many, while the aerial- and space-based Hawkmoons and Darkwaters have very few. The recognized Wolf-breeders, with more variants to their name than any other Tribe is the Wolf’s Path, who have created dozens, if not hundreds, of permutations on the original design. The Shemarrian Wolf is known as ‘Kantaran’ among the Wolf’s Path, and the name has begun to catch on with other Tribes as well. The various breeds may serve special purposes, or may be the individual development of various separate warbands and sub-tribes. For the most part, variations are cosmetic, or may grant only small advantages (a slightly larger paw may increase speed over swampy ground or climbing speed by 10%, slightly protrudant eyes add a +1 to Perception, etc.), but a few variants are more substantial, even radical.
The following are some of the more radical observed variants, most sighted among the Wolf’s Path, but individual animals of any breed may wind up in other Tribes owing to trade and personal preferences.
AA-10SW/A-009 (EShe-10SW) Shemarrian Wolf
The original design; it appears with all Tribes.
Wolf’s Path-bred Shemarrian Wolves/Kantaran
Virtually all Wolf's Path bred Kantaran have the following additional systems, no matter their subspecies:
In teams of five or more Wolf’s Path kantaran, they enjoy a +2 to Initiative, +2 to strike, and +3 to Perception as long as they are in line of sight of each other.
This is identical to the SNARL System deployed as a gunsight by the Rifts Earth Japanese military. Slightly more sensitive with a PPE trigger threshold of 40 PPE. Effective range of 200 ft, with 50% margin of error beyond that out to 500 ft.
Integral Laser Designators
ALL Wolf’s Path members have optically-integrated laser-illumination systems built into their eyes for ‘painting’ targets for attack with laser-guided weaponry. Effective range of the eye-laser designators is 4 miles.
EShe-11SW Kantaran Schillga
aka ‘Shemarrian Dire Wolf’, ‘Skulleater’. The Schillga breed has a slightly larger head and much heavier jaw, with greater bite strength, a full strength bite does 4d6 MD, and a two-attack power bite does 8d6 MD. Schillgas are especially popular with the Skullcrusher Tribe.
EShe-12SW Kantaran Madghar
aka ‘Badger-Wolf’, ‘Mole-Wolf’. The Madghar breed has a more blunted, rounded head like a pitbull or bull-terrier, blunter incisor teeth, and noticeably larger forepaws for digging and tunneling. The Madghar can dig through dirt, mud, or sand at a rate of 8 ft per melee, or tunnel at 4 ft per melee.
EShe-13SW Kantaran Scarnus
aka ‘Quillback Wolf’, ‘Spark-Wolf’, ‘Firestarter’. The Scarnus breed has a pronounced ridge of quills or upright hairs standing up right between its front shoulders. The Scarnus breed is much more difficult for an unprotected person to ride on account of the spine-hairs. The Scarnus also generates electrical charge running, and in addition to its bite, it can deliver a powerful electrical shock equivalent to a Coalition Shock-Prod. A bite or claw-strike, restrained or otherwise, can also be used to do 6d6 SDC in shock damage, with a 65% chance of stunning humanoids and smaller animals (only a 20% for larger, giant, or inhumanly powerful animals). Victims must roll versus stun, with a successful roll meaning they suffer only half damage and lose initiative and 1 APM for the round. Failure means the victim is -8 to strike, parry, and dodge, plus speed and number of APMs are reduced by HALF for 1d4 melees. Effects and damage are cumulative.
Under the right circumstances, the electrical shock can also set tinder and other other sensitive combustibles on fire. Scarnus are popular ‘pets’ among the Blood Riders.
EShe-14SW Kantaran Lumnis
aka ‘Moon Wolf’, ‘Silver Wolf’, ‘Royal Wolf’. The Silvermoons don’t have many Shemarrian Wolves, but the few they do have are distinguished by a thick silver mane and lustrous fur with polychromatic highlights. In fact, the Lumnis breed is covered in a laser-reflective coat, the many metallic hairs scattering laser light and blunting their coherence. The fur isn’t as effective as smooth plate, but nevertheless reduces laser damage by 25%.
EShe-15SW Kantaran Vox
aka ‘Howler Wolf’. The Vox-breed has a smaller, narrower fox-like head, and jaws that do HALF as much damage on a bite, but they are able to project a devastating short-range sonic attack that has a range of 400 ft and does 2d6 SDC or 2d6 MD to a 10 ft wide area, or a concentrated attack that does 4d6 MD. Furthermore, unprotected personnel must roll versus nonlethal poison (16 or better) or be stunned for 1d4 melee rounds. People in sealed body armor or power armor must only roll an 8 or better.
EShe-16SW Kantaran Toxos
aka ‘Venom Wolf’. The Sapphire Cobras may have adopted the snake as their totemic animal, but they haven’t neglected their faithful Shemarrian Wolves. The Toxos breed has injector fangs that can inject drugs, poisons, or nanites (including the trademark ‘Serpent’s Kiss’ nanovenom, does 3d6 MD damage per melee, for 1d4 minutes. These disassemblers ONLY work on inorganics (metals, ceramics, plastics) and not on organic/living flesh) into a victim. The Toxos have reservoirs for 30 doses of up to 4 different chemicals before needing to restock.
EShe-17SW Kantaran Pyranine
‘Redjaw’, ‘FireWolf’. Notable immediately for its red fur, the Pyranine breed can apparently breath fire, actually a short-range plasma projector firing through the mouth. Range is about 500 ft, and does 3d6 MD per shot. The Pyranine can also ‘leak’ hot plasma-excited gas out of its mouth, adding 1d6 MD to a bite and giving it a fearsome ‘flaming mouth’ look, with glowing flames and smoke wafting from its jaws. For obvious reasons, the Pyranine breed is very popular with the Blood Riders.
EShe-19LE Kantaran Gorgona
“Ever seen a Gorgon-Hound take on a shikima? It’s all tentacles, flying blood and poison, and lots of screaming and growling. Besides sanctified incendiary depleted uranium vibro-buzzsaw discs and impotency spells, there’s nothing that will maim a shikima like a Gorgon-Hound. “
aka ‘Anemone Dog’, ‘Gorgon-Hound’. One of several breeds of Shemarrian Wolf exclusive to the Lost Eclipse, the Gorgana breed looks like a cross between a saber-toothed wolf and a dreadlocked sheepdog, as the body and head are buried in thick curls. Close inspection will reveal, however, that the curls are not of hair, but are hundreds of short tentacles sprouting from the skin of the wolf. This realization can be quite horrifying, seeing the hundreds of tendrils twitching and tensing. These short tentacles can do little more than curl and straighten out, but each holds a hollow tubule leading to a chemical reservoir in the main body. Brushing up against the ‘wolf will lead to contacted tentacles suddenly going rigid, pistoning to make hard contact and deliver a dose of skin contact drug or toxin. Effects vary by the sort of chemical used, but effects are generally DOUBLED if worked into an open wound on the victim. Use the drug/chemical types from the Cyborg Chemical Spray and Drug Injector systems for quick reference. A standard nerve toxin will require a save versus non-lethal poison or the victim will be beset by delusions (-1 APM, -3 initiative, -3 dodge/parry/roll/strike, -20% to skill performance and speed, for 2d6 minutes). A mild acidic spray does 1d6 SDC, and victims are -4 to dodge/parry/roll/strike for 1d4 melees. More concentrated acids do 4d6, 6d6, 1d4x10, or 1d6x10 SDC, or 1d4 MD, burning for 1d4 melee rounds (the Gorgona is shielded against its own acids by special laminated coatings on its skin).
Worse yet, the mass of tentacles conceals four longer squid-like tentacles that can uncoil and reach as far as 5 ft, have 20 MDC, a Robotic P.S. of 25, and add the following bonuses: +2 attacks, +1 disarm, +2 parry, +3 entangle, and +15% to Climbing skill. Damage-wise, the tentacles do 6d6 SDC on a restrained punch/slap, 1d6 MD on a full strength punch/stab, and 2d6 MD on a power punch (takes 2 attacks). The Gorgana typically uses its tentacles to grapple an opponent and trap them while it savages them with claws and teeth.
The tendrils can also act as a sort of ‘active velcro’, grabbing loose debris and vegetation to disguise the Wolf. This can be further assisted by the longer tentacles. The Gorgona is programmed with the Camouflage skill of 80%.
The Gorgona Hound is sometimes mistaken as having the spell Armor Bizarre cast on it (optional Horror Factor of 10 for those who make this misinterpretation). The Nightmares don’t discourage this mistake.
EShe-20LE Kantaran Velocus
aka ‘Rollerdog’, ‘Studridge’. Another Wolf breed exclusive to the Nightmares. This variant breed can curl itself rightly up in a ball and extend a series of short spikes from its backbone. The ‘wolf can then roll like a tire at speeds up to 200 MPH. The Velocus can perform a high speed ram doing 4d4 MD with a 60% chance of knocking down man-sized targets.
EShe-21CSh Kantaran Nocturnus
aka ‘Batwolf’. Essentially a Shemarrian Wolf fitted with bionic wings in place of its forelegs. The Nocturnus has a 15 ft wingspan and each wing has 110 MDC. The Nocturnus’s running speed on all fours drops to a meager 20 MPH, but it can fly at 100 MPH (maximum altitude 3 miles) and is +2 to dodge in flight. Fringe Tribe Clan Shelley introduced this variant, and it’s been shared with the Lost Eclipse/Nightmares as well.
This is a smaller, puppy version of the Kantaran, favoured by the Lollipop Clan.
A larger breed of the Kantaran bred by the Lost Eclipse with the ability to phase through solid matter like a ghost.
EShe-18SW Kantaran Phalanx
Modified Kantarans that in groups of 6 can combine into a giant humanoid robot. A variant version turns into a set of exoarmour frame for a Shemarrian.