Okay, by now you know I don’t subscribe to any of the SVM canon after book #8… I still get plenty of questions about ‘my rules’, so I put this together hoping to straighten things out for you. If you’ve ever had a question about the mythos of the MultiVerse, and it isn’t answered on this age, please don’t hesitate to ask.
*Often in the MV ‘Were’ is used to refer to the entire category of Shifters and Weres. Though, for purposes of this section, Were and Shifter are used specifically.
The basics of genetics…
A Were + A Were = A Were
A Shifter + A Shifter = A Shifter
A Human + A Human = A Human
A Faerie + A Faerie = A Faerie
A Daemon + A Daemon = A Daemon
With me so far?
It’s widely assumed that Weres are a sub-class of Shifters, but that’s not the case.
And as we well know…
A Faerie + A Human = A Human with enhancements
So what are the origins of Shifters in the MultiVerse?
A Faerie + A Were = A Shifter
- A Shifter is a Were with enhanced shifting ability, as opposed the idea that Weres are a degeneration or mutation of Shifter genes.
- The offspring of a Shifter and a Human can retain traits from his Were and his Faerie grandparents, giving them the ability to Shift as a Were and his familiar will revert back to the his originating ancestor’s familiar, however many generations back that might be. The offspring and his increase will be genetically Were.
- If a Shifter breeds with a Were, the offspring will retain their Were parent’s familiar, rather than being a full Shifter with the ability to use any familiar..
- A full-blooded Were can breed with a Human, but the child won’t shift. As noted above, if a Shifter breeds with a Human (because there are Fae genes as a factor) there is a possibility of the child having all of the traits of a full-blooded Were. The child of either Were/Human or Shifter/Human couplings will have physical enhancements (ie strength and senses).
- A second-born Were/Shifter can breed with a changing Were/Shifter and have an offspring who will shift, but if the second-born breeds with a Human, the offspring retains purely Human traits.
- There is no such thing as a ‘second born’ when a Faerie and Were breed. All of their offspring will be Shifters.
- A bitten Were isn’t a genetic state of being, but a viral mutation. They cannot shift at will, but only during a full moon and they have no control of the shift. The bitten cannot produce Were offspring as shifting is a reaction to being being bitten, rather than a genetic trait.
- A Were or Shifter can resist changing under a full moon, but has to avoid moonlight and force himself to remain calm. Resisting a full moon takes an incredible amount of strength (more so than actually shifting), making it nearly impossible for younger or inbred Weres to accomplish.
- In turn, a Were/Shifter who has a serious illness or injury won’t be able to muster the strength to shift. If the Were/Shifter receives a serious enough injury to threaten their life, they will revert back to their Human form.
Genetically, Witches are Humans, so the hereditary rules apply to them.
- Just as with left-handedness or green eyes, dominant and recessive genes combine to define the strength of a Witch’s ability. As in the case of the Simonette family, Price’s parents had recessive Witch traits and both recessive genes manifested as dominant. Price and his wife provided two dominant genes to each of their children. Their son, Porter, then fathered a child with yet another Witch, giving giving their son a dominant gene as well.
- After several generations of combining dominant genes (using the Simonette family as a model) their natural talent/strength could be strong enough to be inherent, instead of conjured. A specific comparison would be that while Paulette’s strength is protection, she needs to cast a charm, but the charm will be highly effective. In Chris’s case, his area of expertise is memory, but rather than casting a spell, he only needs to touch an item or individual to take a memory from it.
- Any time a Vampire brings over another being, their genetic factors need to be considered.
- When a Vampire brings over a Were/Shifter, the child won’t shift any longer, but since he was inherently stronger and possess heightened senses, he’ll have the physical edge over another child his age who was simply Human before they were brought over.
- When a Vampire brings over a Human with Faerie enhancements, that child will retain any Faerie gifts they had, possibly gaining additional gifts, and the ratio of Human to Fae genes will make a difference in their daytime condition. For instance a half-Fae will have a certain resilience to sunlight and not die for the day as a Vampire, while a Vampire with only a Fae grandparent or great-grandparent will have less resilience to sunlight or die, but not for the full day.
Note: A full-blooded Faerie cannot be brought over as there is no body left to reanimate because they deteriorate into Faerie dust upon their death.
- Blood offense: Any act of aggression, or threat of violence, towards a Supernatural being, Vampire’s pet, Were/Shifter’s mate, etc., where blood is shed or permanent damage could be inflicted.
- Morph Baaas: the European equivalent of a Packmaster, but unlike American packs, the position of Morph Baas is considered a birthright.
- Domina: The title given to the alpha-female of a pack. The Domina is usually the wife of the Morph Baaas or the mother of the heir apparent. However, the Morph Baas has the discretion to appoint any female he sees fit..
- Donor: A Vampire’s willing source of blood who is unclaimed and therefore free to donate or sell their blood freely. Also known as ‘blut hurren’ or ‘blood whore’.
- Pet: A Vampire’s willing source of blood who is claimed by said Vampire and considered untouchable by other Supernaturals. A pet is committed to said Vampire and not free to feed other Vampires. Also known harshly as a ‘blood slave’, or in less crass terms, ‘abendrot’.
- Victim: An unwilling meal for a Vampire. Either attacked or glamoured to comply.
- Blood Tie: The connection between a Vampire and his pet after the pet has consumed a small amount of his blood (not enough to establish a permanent bond). A blood tie allows for the Vampire to moniter the pet’s moods, health and location in a general sense. The tie also affects the scent of the pet, effectively marking it as owned.
- Bond: A permanent connection between a Vampire and a Human caused by the Human consuming the Vampire’s blood on several occasions. A bond provides the Master with an extrasensory link to his pet, similar to the connection he has with his child, allowing him to scrutinize and affect his pet’s emotions and actions.
- Pledge: The rarely performed commitment ceremony between a Master and their pet to eventually become Maker and child.
Hey, Angela, first off, I have to say that I love your Multiverse and everything you’ve created within it. It honestly reads better than the actual SVM books. Very, very impressive.
I have a question about the pedigree – you’ve written that a full-blooded Were can breed with a human, as is the case with Calvin and Michelle, but that their child won’t shift. First question is, you mean ‘can’t shift at all, ever’, as opposed to ‘don’t have to shift during full moon, but can shift otherwise’? Next, I’m assuming that Cal Jr and Beth don’t shift, but their brains still register as Were. In this case (since these two are second-born), what’s the difference between being first-born and second-born, if neither can shift, and second-born breeding with a full-blood can still give full Weres? Would they have been different, were they first-born? Also, from what you wrote about Shifter-Human children, I’m assuming Tina will be a Were, not a Shifter. Does the fact that Sookie also has Fae genes calculate into that somehow? Would it make Tina a Shifter instead?
I also wanted to point out that your wording about witches isn’t quite perfect. You wrote that ‘Price’s parents had recessive Witch traits and both recessive genes manifested as dominant’. After that, you refer to those genes as dominant. As I’m a student of molecular biology with emphasis on genetics, I’d like to try and clear it up a bit. Recessive genes can’t turn into dominant because there are two of them. They either manifest (when there is no dominant in the mix), or they don’t (if their corresponding gene on the other chromosome is dominant). The exception to that would be ‘incomplete dominance’ – the dominant trait can, depending on the gene, be diluted by the recessive gene (dominant=red flower color; recessive=white flower color; dominant+recessive=pink flower color). However, recessive genes are still recessive (made so by the fact that there is another allele whose expression is stronger), meaning that if a recessive homozygote’s (has only recessive genes) mate has a dominant gene, there’s a 50% possibility that their child will have the dominant, rather than a recessive trait. Typical example – cleft chin is a dominant trait, meaning that all of the children of two people without it also wouldn’t have them, but ASkars’ (who has it) children have a 50% chance of having it if the mother doesn’t have it, and 75-100% chance of having it if the mother has it also. So, like this example, I’m assuming that Porter’s power comes from the fact that his parents both passed one of their recessive genes to him (like a child of parents without cleft chins). That gene, therefore, will be expressed, but as recessive, mixing it with any more dominant gene in the future generations will lead to it either turning off or diluting the dominant trait. It won’t become dominant just because Porter has two copies of it. Connecting it back to incomplete dominance – the gradual strenth of a gene’s expression is based on how many genes are in play (called polygenic inheritance) and within that group, how many are dominant vs recessive (as gene expression often depends on environment, this is somewhat simplified from actual reality). If dominant=weak Witch powers, and recessive=strong Witch powers, then the ratio of dominant vs recessive decides how strong the Witch is, with the strongest having all of their genes recessive. After that, you can’t become any stronger genetically. However, with the increase of recessive genes comes the fact that if the other parent has even slightly more dominant genes (i.e. is a noticeably weaker Witch), the is a high probability that the child will be more alike to that parent, rather than the stronger Witch, which is why Porter’s wife has to be at least as strong a Witch as he is genetically for their children to have a realistic possibility of being as strong as Porter. That’s why, after all, very strong Witches are so rare 🙂
Phew, this has become a giant of a post. Wasn’t my intention when I started, I swear! Also, thank you for posting this little explanation about species, I think it goes a long way in clearing up certain misconceptions about them in your ‘verse, even if it’s not canon.
Eagerly waiting for new installments – Bojana
I enjoyed your explaination very much. I kinda got it thru reading your stories many many times. But it was nice to have it all laid out.