The Great Shucks of the Unnamed Lords
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The Great Shucks of the Unnamed Lords

Barghests, Shadow Hounds, Big Bad Wolves

Conspectus

The Great Shucks of the Unnamed Lords are a pedigree of Black Shucks that have been selectively bred1 for specific traits, most notably loyalty to a particular family Name. It's been said that if lost or abandoned, they will heed the commands of whoever they perceive as their new master, but their loyalty to the bloodline that bred them is absolute.

The threat posed by a Great Shuck is utterly dependent on the disposition of their master.

Illustration

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A highly stylized illustration of a Great Shuck plucking a legendary Dark Iris for its master.

Knowledge

Traits: Like common Black Shucks, Great Shucks resemble large, wolf-like dogs with shaggy dark fur. In addition to supernatural strength and speed, they have the ability to move silently and appear or disappear when not directly observed. Their eyes are typically either red or gold and will glow brightly in the dark or when the dog is agitated. They definitely live longer than ordinary dogs, and may even be immortal. Most unsettling of all is their howl. It's loud enough to carry for miles, and has an eerie quality to it that can only be described as someone walking over your grave.

What distinguishes Great Shucks from Black Shucks is that despite their lupine qualities, their behaviour is undeniably dog-like. They're intelligent and affectionate, and highly trainable. They're extremely effective guard dogs, as they will attack any threat to their master with a savage ferocity that can be truly horrifying to watch. They tend to go for either the throat or the head, sometimes resulting in a full decapitation in one bite. Dismemberment of limbs is also common.

Nature: It's important to note that Great Shucks aren't just tamed, they're domesticated. Someone2 selectively bred Black Shucks for multiple generations to make these things34. Though they are no doubt vanishingly rare, the fact that they are a breed means that at one point at least there was more than one of them, and quite possibly still are.

As mentioned above, the ultimate loyalty of a Great Shuck is said to lie with the family that created the breed. Clairvoyants who have encountered Great Shucks have observed that their auras indicate that they're inherently primed to imprint on individuals with a specific True Name. However, no method to date, thaumatological or otherwise, has been able to reveal what this Name is.

Those who bred the Great Shucks must, therefore, have True Names that have somehow been concealed. This is why we've taken to calling them the Unnamed Lords.

History & Associated Parties: Tales of mysterious noblemen accompanied by supernaturally ferocious yet loyal black dogs go back centuries. The Beast (or Beasts) of Gevaudan, which terrified the French region of Gevaudan from 1764 to 1767, has often been claimed as a Great Shuck.

The most recently confirmed Great Shuck specimen, known as Ol' Shock, was found by Wilson's Wildlife Solutions, who fostered the animal for two years at their shelter in Three Portlands. Its pedigree was confirmed by at least two outside consultants. In May of 2012, the animal was reclaimed by Mr. Night, leader of the Chicago Specter crime syndicate.

Very little is known about Mr. Night, but he was seen to possess an instant bond with and command over the creature. While this may have been a result of Mr. Night's unknown occult abilities, some have claimed that it's proof that Mr. Night is an Unnamed Lord.5.

Approach: Unlike regular Black Shucks, a stray Great Shuck is unlikely to harm you if unprovoked. They appear to have a strong desire to serve, and will bond with the first person they can.

If, however, they already have a master, they will not hesitate to kill on command or in their master's defence.

While Great Shucks do possess corporeal bodies, they are also spectral in nature and it's unlikely a physical attack could do serious harm to them6. Defensive measures should primarily consist of anti-spectral wards and charms, but only as a last resort. Great Shucks are incredibly dangerous, so it would best to avoid antagonizing their master whenever possible.

While the care of a Great Shuck is not very different from that of any other large dog, adoption is not recommended, as it's possible that an Unnamed Lord may try to reclaim it, and they may not be as grateful as Mr. Night was to Wilson's.

Other Detail: Up until the incident with Mr. Night, speculation on who the Unnamed Lords might be ran rampant, with no single theory rising above the others. It's now widely believed that Mr. Night of the Chicago Spectre is an Unnamed Lord, which would imply that any familial relations of his are as well.

During his reclaiming of Ol' Shock, Mr. Night specifically mentioned that the dog was a family pet who had previously been under the care of a brother. Those who have had contact with Mr. Night have claimed that he often mentions having an extended family, but so far there's no clear indication on who these might be.

It is known that the Unnamed Lords possess powerful nominative magic, which narrows down the list of candidates. Dark - of Marshall, Carter, and Dark - is known to be highly skilled at nominative magic, and there's additional evidence that he789 and Mr. Night share some kind of familial relationship, though that is outside the scope of this entry.

Observations & Stories


We kept Ol' Shock in the Three Portlands shelter for around two years, and for the most part just treated him like he was a normal dog. We fostered him out a few times, but it never worked out. Once we confirmed he was a Black Shuck, we considered sending him somewhere better equipped to care for him, and maybe even study him since he clearly wasn't even a regular Black Shuck.

That's when Mr. Night showed up, and claimed Ol'Shock as his own. At the time I didn't really question any of it, which in hindsight is definitely weird. Most adoptions are nowhere near that quick.

Whenever anyone sees Mr. Night around 3ports, that Shuck is almost always with him. There are all sorts of rumours of what Night has that dog do to people behind closed doors. I tried not to think about that.

- Selena, from Wilson's Wildlife Solutions.

Have any of you ever heard of White Shucks1011? The Jailors have a spectral white dog contained, and it acts a lot like a Black Shuck. It's fiercely loyal to its master, becomes incorporeal if you try to hurt it, and there doesn't seem to be a way to kill the damn thing.

Maybe domestic breeds of Shucks are more common than we think?

- XoXo.

My family's past down the legend of my great to the umpteenth times' grandfather's encounter with the Beast of Gevaudan. He was walking down the street on a foggy night, and there in the mist was a large dog standing at the crossroads. It howled, and he knew at once that it was a Shuck. He thought for sure that he would either die right then or in a year from the curse of the thing, but then a human figure revealed itself from the fog.

My Great Grandfather couldn't make out much in the horrible visibility, but he could tell that the man was very thin and tall. He began to pet the dog's head, soothing it to silence.

He said to my Grandfather 'Fret not, for we are not hunting Men this eve. Mind yourself though in the future, for we are both rather fond of the sport,' basically admitting he and the dog hunted 'the ultimate game.'

So messed up.

- Anonymous Duck.

Doubt


With the exception of Ol' Shock, confirmed encounters with Great Shucks are extremely rare, and are vastly outnumbered by unsubstantiated sightings and attacks. This, along with the exceptional ferocity of the breed, has made opportunities for study hard to come by.

Most accounts of Great Shucks, or Shucks of any kind, are mere hearsay. Sadly, little is known about them or the Nameless Lords they serve for certain1213 .

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