2. The Fire-wolves

Io, the Sisters’ Domain, is an ever-changing world due to the sub-surface lava flows, caused by many underground volcanic eruptions. The lava and crust of the moon keep any toxic gases encased inside the globe, which in turn get recycled back into the flowing mass, churning it around for further eruptions.

The Sisters are the Firewolves. The reddish-furred wolves that ride the largest landmass as it moves its way around the moon, appearing to almost surf the waves of lava.

Due to the atmospheric pressures, lightning strikes upon the land are frequent, and these are one amongst many perils that the Firewolves need to be wary of.

When storms break, they take shelter within the lava caves; some naturally formed, others clawed out by the wolves themselves in times of desperation.

These Firewolves are reclusive. They still run around in packs, as do most other wolves, but their numbers are considerably smaller, and they always remain within their family groups.

Unusually for wolves, when they are attacked, they use a type of venom excreted through glands in their mouths, which they fire at anything they deem to be their threat. This venom can be as hot as the lava from the land beneath them, and can cause some pretty nasty burns if it touches bare skin.

Their thick red fur provides some protection from this venom, as it does with the lava, but they have to be careful as too much can singe the fur down to the roots – many Firewolves have burns on their bodies because of this.

They heal quickly from these burns, but much prefer not to be burned in the first place, so tend to keep themselves to themselves.

Just because they are known as the Sisters of Io, not all Firewolves are female, although the females are the pack leaders, hunter gatherers, and watchmen over their own patches.

Any threat they see approaching causes them to sing; a melodic, beautiful tone, totally unexpected and not at all wolf-like. Similar to the siren song from the mermaid legends on Earth, the Firewolves’ song is hypnotic, enchanting… and at times deadly. They feed on small crustaceans and snakelike creatures that skim across the lava flows, and use a different type of call to lure their pray. As soon as their target hears the song, the wolves’ pray cannot move, entranced… almost as if they are flies caught in a spider’s web.

The Firewolves feed for themselves and hunt for the others, especially looking after the older and younger members of their small groups. It’s during their hunting time that the wolves will fight with other wolves from other packs, but only if their paths cross. As they are wary of each other, they tend to know where the other wolves are, so rarely are they aggressive with each other.

Io is bathed in a red light all day and all night, once again due to the lava, which means the wolves can hunt at any time. Io is also very warm, so the Firewolves need to rest and sleep quite a lot, as although their fur provides protection from the lava, it can trap in the heat, a fact some have said may be the cause of their ‘hot tempers’, which reveal themselves from time to time.

The Firewolves’ melodic calls have been picked up by remote monitoring stations on Jupiter and Europa, although it is uncertain whether their calls have travelled through the vacuum of space, or somehow some of the Sisters have managed to leave Io and set up home on their neighbouring worlds. They have never been seen anywhere else other than on Io, but their call is unique, and, it is thought, if they can survive the climate of that world, there is every possibility they could survive anywhere.

Perhaps one day, a new legend will be passed on from generation to generation, of the red wolves who really do sing for their supper.

Next time… the Blackwolves of Mars.


Also posted for Six Word Saturday

25 thoughts

    1. These images are created in a different computer program, Sue, but it’s still adding the various parts on the screen and rendering. I do enjoy creating this kind of image, though… my blog is getting filled up with them! 🤣
      And thank you once more, Sue.

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    1. I don’t really know that much about Io, Nick, but I may introduce her into my Legendary Circles story at some point. I may not do her any favours, but I’ll be able to get to know my version of her! 🙂

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  1. Oh wow Tom! These Legends of Europa are amazing 😃 I love these Sisters if Io and their wonderfully unique way of capturing their prey! Their melodic singing has caught this icewolf too! You have created a captivating world on Io and the beautiful melody of the Firewolves blends with it into a real sense of the otherworldiness of an alien 👽 moon🔴…And I was intrigued by their firing of venom! These are true fiery, lava Firewolves in all their Sisters of Io glory! 😃

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    1. I am pleased you like these Legends, Icewolf. 🙂
      Obviously, you know all about them, and I’m just touching the surface here; but they’re great to explore! 🙂

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      1. These Legends have gone largely untold until now Tom😀The chronicles have been long hidden in the secret parts of other worlds…🌎 Only very gradually do they divulge the secret world of the star-born lupines! Who knows what aye yet surface from the hidden places on these alien words!😉😃

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  2. Those pictures are brilliant Tom! I don’t know how you create them though I was reading your comment above, and I see you use another program for it. However you do it they’re fantastic, and that 1st one in particular was actually leaping out of my phone screen looking all 3-D-ish! And very fiery and fierce too! A real fire-heart wolf!

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    1. Thanks, Icewolf. 🙂
      I create these images in a 3D rendering program called Daz Studio, which is free to download, although you do have to buy the ‘assets’ as they’re called (the animals/people/clothes/props etc) – although that said, they do give a lot of content away free, which is good for a starting point. It’s very addictive too! I have a long way to go to create really brilliant images, but the more I use it, the better I’m getting! 😊
      The wolf leaping out of the screen was exactly what I was aiming for! 😁

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      1. Ah! So it was 3-D😃It’s very cool and clever – I’ve played around with the 3-D thingy built into Windows 🪟 but didn’t get very far since I didn’t understand it too well. But it’s one of the things on a long list for further investigation 🔎 🤔 I doubt I’d produce anything blog worthy but would like to learn more about it. Looks like you’re well underway with the art of using 3-D 😀 You inspire me to give it another go!

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        1. I had a look at the windows thing ages ago, and couldn’t work out what to do with it, so I left it alone.
          If you’re interested in 3D, I suggest you take a look at Daz Studio… when you download the program you get several free assets to get you started, and then you can get more, if you like it, as time goes on. It’s basically getting the character, dressing them, putting hair on them (if needed, but recommended… clothes and/or hair!), posing them, lighting them and then rendering! It’s funny to start with, but it changes into a creator’s need! It’s all fun though, and much better than the Windows one. However, I’ve waffled on far too long about this now, so I’ll stop! 😊

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          1. OK now you’ve really got me going on this 3-D thing Tom! Found a wolf on windows 3-D once I got it online and it’s taking over! All my focus is going in the wrong direction now😄 I will check Daz Studio out too…but right now I’m trying very hard to be focused and get on with a blog post😅 It’s not going very well!

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