Chapter 1 : The Rith
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The rith is a domesticated form of the werewolf, much as Muggles domesticated dogs from wolves. They were originally bred to ease the collection of werewolf blood and hair which are powerful magical substances, especially in dark magic. This practice often proved fatal to those who attempted to collect it from wild werewolves during the only time it is useful – at the full moon when the werewolf is fully transformed.
Unlike its moon-obsessed ancestor, the rith is of no extra threat during any phase and it does not possess a werewolf’s terrible bite. If bitten by a rith it will hurt a lot due to the rith’s crushing jaw power, but there is no threat of turning into a werewolf.
Since its appearance the rith has been more widely bred and has become a popular pet amongst wizarding families due to its loyal nature and easy trainability, especially when a gifted few learn to talk.
Clubs hold regular shows worldwide in order to judge their riths against specific breed standards. Since its original development over 600 years ago three markedly different types have emerged, the Canrith, the brimstone and the Thor’s rith.
Common or Can-rith
This type is the most variable out of the three coming in many different shapes and coat types, these have been subcategorised into different breeds by various rith councils although new breeds are always surfacing. For a full list of canrith breed see the NERO (National English Rith Organisation) manual.
The canrith is not so easily recognised by looks but by the fact that they possess no extraordinary magical qualities besides being the most common to learn to speak.
The brimstone was first developed in 1665 by Reginald Sullivan, a keen rith enthusiast. When at full strength a brimstone can spontaneously erupt into flame. Reginald’s first brimstone, pedigree name Elora’s Firebrand, is believed to be the cause of the Great Fire of London when he first discovered the brimstone’s unique ability.
Brimstone’s often sleep upon flames or embers without ill effects during cold weather to conserve energy.
The colour of brimstone’s can vary between light gold and rusty brown with ash-coloured markings on belly, legs and face.
The brimstone should be thickset and stocky with a dense coat and yellow or opal coloured eyes.
The rarest and most valuable of the three types. The Thor did not appear until 1927 when Celia Fenworth’s canrith bitch gave birth during a freak thunderstorm. One of the pups, a male, was unfortunately struck by lightning, but instead of being killed the pup turned a mottled electric blue in colour and grew up stronger than the rest. This rith, Bluescar Thunderbolt, became one of the most famous riths in history and is the father of all known Thor’s riths.
Thor’s riths are easily recognisable by their dappled blue-black colouration, striking white markings and large ear tufts. They need to be regularly struck by lightning and will become unpredictable, lethargic or aggressive if not struck at least once a year.
This type of rith hearkens back most to it’s monsterous ancestry by becoming exceptionally aggressive and violent, not during the full moon, but on the approach of a thunderstorm it will readily attack anyone who hinders its passage into the tempest. It needs firm handling to keep in check as it can be rather headstrong and wilful.
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by Brin Summers