• Published 7th Sep 2013
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Courage - scion



Evil has come to the Everfree and Ponyville. The Elements must stand against it... but they will not be alone. The mysterious blue-eyed wolf will aid-or hamper- their efforts to bring harmony back to Equestria.

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Intermission: Wolves

Extinct Species
by
Careful Watcher

Overview: Wolves

The wolf is a creature lost to time, which I shall explain later on, but suffice to say they are dog-like in many attributes- pointed muzzle with prominent canines, four clawed padded paws, a fur coat of varied coloration (though usually dull as opposed to the bright colors of ponies), pointed ears and a thin, furred tail. A predator and carnivore, the wolf ate meat, and was well adapted to its role. A very social animal, they would travel and hunt in groups of between 5 and 20 called packs, making quick work of any animal that was alone, be it pony or other prey.

In the days of our ancestors, wolves were possibly the greatest threat to ponies, and the most feared as well. Even ponies today will instinctually seek companionship upon hearing a howl; safety in numbers, as they say. In the time of our ancestors, it is without a doubt that many ponies met their end in the jaws of these extremely efficient pack predators.

It is also around this time that we see the first signs of dogs, of the domestication of wolves. Ponies, ever empathetic, would often adopt wolf pups when circumstances orphaned the poor creatures, and would raise them, often as though they were their own foals. Those who did found that these domesticated wolves identified the ponies as their ‘pack’, and proved to be extremely loyal, caring, and helpful companions. And so, the great partnership between ponies and dogs was born, which has continued to this day; but I digress.

In the ancient world pre-Unification, it is thought that wolves in their many variations inhabited many forests in respectable numbers, ranging from the icy tundras of the Crystal Empire down nearly to the lush tropics of the Lacandon Rainforest. Seven different species of wolf have been identified, each uniquely adapted to their chosen environment, be it the cold and icy tundras of the Crystal Empire or hot and humid jungles that dominate the land past the Macintosh Hills.

Perhaps the most terrifying canine during this time was the Direwolf. It bears special mention here; whereas the wolf was a relatively normal, if predatory, animal, the direwolf was a creature twisted by the evil of Tartarus into something more monstrous. Larger than a pony, strong, supernaturally fast, the direwolf was a true terror in the ancient world, having been twisted by the likes of Mephasm and Tirek to serve as their minions. It is said that Princess Celestia fought against entire armies of these creatures to defeat the likes of the Lords of Tartarus; from the oral stories and myths of that time, we should count ourselves fortunate that the Princess has sealed them in Tartarus along with their masters.

The rise of true pony civilization in the Tribal Era brought about great changes to the wolf’s way of life. With the advent of the written word, we can begin to trace the path of the wolf through history.

Wolves slowly became much more cautious of ponies during this time; part of it was no doubt fear, for the early ponies in those days would organize hunts to slay the wolves out of a sense of self preservation. The result was that wolves moved away from population centers, and it is theorized that wolves began to actively avoid what they considered a dangerous species— though this did not stop them from attacking lone ponies when they were hungry.

The Windigoes brought the wolf to near extinction, as it did with everything else in the world. Evidence and fossils suggest that the species of wolves that were not adapted to cold climes died at this time, as so many other species did. However, wolves that lived in the icy north, most notably the species known as the Grey Wolf (or by their more common nickname, ‘Timberwolf’), found the change of climate dramatically expanded their normal hunting range, and the populations increased.

The Grey Wolf was a species nearly as large as a pony. With thick, typically off-grey coats, they were well adapted to the cold and were one of the few species that increased in number during the time of the Windigoes. With the Unification of the pony race and the defeat of the Windigoes, the Grey Wolf found itself with an extensive range of temperate climate, and became the primary predator of Equestria, living in the woods of most of Equestria. With the advent of true civilization, and the beginning of true record-keeping, the Grey Wolf became synonymous with the term ‘wolf’, and the majority of depictions of wolves today are based upon their look.

The Grey Wolf survived and thrived up until the time of Discord. The tales of Discord’s reign outside of those who fled to the Everfree are fragmented, but there is enough information that was remembered after sanity was restored to the land to learn of the fate of the species.

It appears that Discord heard the name ‘timberwolf’, and decided to see if it was true. When the Grey Wolves he met were not to his liking, he decided to make the name literal, and turned the species into wood. We recognize these wooden wolves as the timberwolves that haunt the woods of Equestria to this day.

Sadly, it would appear that Discord was remarkably thorough in his transformation, and additionally did not distinguish between the Grey Wolves and wolves of other species. It appears that no real wolves survived the troubles of Discord; there have been no accounts of a live wolf since the time of Discord, and no fossils of flesh-and-blood wolves since that time.

At this time, the wolf, and all its feral family, are extinct. The only remaining member of the wolf family is the domesticated canine, the dog.

Author's Note:

Bonus chapter.