English (main) / Body language [universal: werewolves mimic an adapted form of their wolf body language as humans]
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First Pack: 67
Second Pack: 63
Third Pack: 63
Fourth Pack: 61
Fifth Pack: 58
Barter system (informal)
The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack
~ Rudyard Kipling, The Law of the Jungle (Jungle Book)
Since werewolf packs are formed from a mix of family groups who were born into the lycanthropic state and outsiders who have been bitten and drawn into the group, packs form which mimic the hierarchies observed in wolves in captivity.
Naturally, wolves don't have an "alpha" - this behaviour is only observed in unrelated groups put together artificially in captive conditions. However, because werewolves are also human most of the time, and human behaviour is to create structures and hierarchies within social groups, this dynamic plays out in the lycanthropic communities too.
Therefore, werewolves do have either an alpha or an alpha couple, but the structure below them is more fluid and based on the factors affecting the usual social dynamics.
Every time the pack Turns together at the full moon, it is understood that as humans, lots of things shift and change and there are multiple grievances and tensions which may need to be worked out. Before the pack can run together, all of this needs to be worked out. After the group Turn, challenges are brought among the family groups and/or between individuals, and challenges are made to the alpha/alpha couple. There's a brawl, essentially, where the human side and its grievances are championed in the wolf form, and then the pack spends time grooming each other and submitting to each other, reinforcing the status quo or accepting changes in the heirarchy if challenges are won rather than lost.
The packs then run together when all these issues have been satisfactorily resolved, even if it's to the death rather than to submission.
In a region with multiple packs, regardless of how big those packs are, the alphas/alpha couples sit together on a Council. The chair or chairs are elected, and where there is an alpha couple, both sit on the Council with 0.5 of a vote each. They are expected to vote together, but they do not have to. They are meant to represent their pack in matters that affect the region, so if the pack is split on an issue, the alpha couple representing them may well vote in opposing ways to fairly represent the whole pack if a 'majority' isn't clear. A majority = 30% or more.
Barker Crescent is home to the Five Packs, each made up of a mix of family groups and unrelated individuals, some born lycanthropes but others newly Turned.
The Council is made up of 5 couples:
~First Pack alphas, Raynard and Lottie Carter
~Second Pack alphas, Shona and Edward Wade
~Third Pack alphas, Johnny and Felicity Baxter
~Fourth Pack alphas, Uma and Thelma Briggs (f/f)
~Fifth Pack alphas, Coren and Gina Jünker
These Councils are not self-regulating: every Council has one or two Loners depending on how many packs are represented. Barker Crescent used to have two Loner positions but in Randall Blake's time as Loner this was reduced to one. Benito Silvestri was supposed to be the second Loner but the Blakes were always territorial.
Benny Silvestri took a position as Loner in Cheltenham instead.
The Loner is the equivalent of Internal Affairs. They live apart from the packs, audit the accounts, and act as Judge, Jury and Executioner in matters where the alphas are partisan.
Barker Crescent's Loner is Meredith Blake, Randall Blake's daughter.