New Salem, Witch Island
The River Ridge Wolf Preserve
Aspect: Here there is only predator or prey.
A small population of Eastern wolves (Canis Lycaon) was brought to the Island in the early 1800s to use in an archaic rite of manhood practiced by some of the Bloodlines. A male Witch coming of age would be set to hunt a wolf separated from its pack. After killing it, the Witch would cut out its heart and drink blood from it.
In a terrible lesson in environmentalism, around the turn of the twentieth century, a family of minor Native American wolf deities followed the lay lines to the Island to escape industrialization in their home lands. Though mightier than normal wolves they proved mortal to Witchly hunters. The blood from their hearts bestowed great prowess and their fur and teeth were easily fashioned in to powerful fetishes. They were hunted into extinction by the 1920s.
After that, the Bloodlines slowly abandoned this barbaric ritual, though the practice sporadically continued for decades with the normal Eastern wolves also nearly going extinct over several winters. Finally in 1993, at the urging of newly elected Mayor Barnabas Grey, the US government declared the New Salem Eastern wolves an endangered species and lands in the River Ridge Pine forest west of Mount Yaanek were funded as a wolf preserve.
After two decades of protection by two (human) rangers station, the New Salem Eastern wolf population has stablized enough to be taken off the endangered species list. The River Ridge Wolf Preserve however has become a local favorite charity and is not likely to go unfunded anytime soon.
Some that live close to the Skoria River say the wolves have grown bold and figured out how to cross the river. Other (Witch) naturalists say they have observed wolf spirits in the deeper forest, the “young” versions of deities once lost.