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History of the Lupins

by Giampaolo Agosta


This article aims at describing the origin and development of the Lupin race, on of the more common near-human races in Mystara.

Lupins are canine humanoids who made their first appearance as monsters in the X2 Castle Amber module [15], and where later described in greater detail in the Voyage of the Princess Ark series article ``A glass of wine and a shaggy dog story'' [14] by Bruce Heard, appeared in Dragon Magazine 179, in the Red Steel book [9] and in the Savage Coast Campaign Setting [10]. However, the most detailed source for the Lupin race is Bruce Heard's article ``Campaign Classics: Lupins of the Mystara Setting'' appeared in Dragon Magazine 237 [13].

Lupins are divided into many breeds, resembling real-world dog breeds of course, with different abilities, ranging from Halfling-sized Wee Folk breeds such as the Bouchon to massive Guardian Lupins such as the Ostland Stövare (a.k.a. Ye Great Dogge).

The description of the various breed is beyond the scope of this article, but an overview of their geographical distribution will be useful to understand the evolution of the race and the migrations of the various Lupin clans. Therefore, Section 2 provides a summary of the known Lupin breeds classified by their region of origin. Then, Section 3 details the timeline of the Lupin race and Section 4 provides an overview of Lupin presence in modern societies.

Geographical Diffusion

The Lupin race is only present in the continent of Brun, from the Savage Coast to the Known World to Norwold. Some northern Lupins, the Norwold Malamutes, make the cross to the frigid Nentsun Plateau, but no Lupin settlement can be seen in the rest of Skothar or in Davania, though adventuresome individuals can be found everywhere (including the Flying City of Serraine!)


The Renardois Folk is the most common breed in the ``Royaume de Renardie'', but the Bouchon, Blue Bandit, Bloodhound, Papillon, and Beagle are also native of the region.

Eusdria & Robrenn

Foxfolk, Eusdrian Bulldog, and Ye Great Dogge make up most of the Lupin population of the Barbarian Kingdoms.

Gulf of Hule

The Slagovici Gonic, Zvorniski Gonic, and Nova-Svoga Borzoi, are native to the Traladaran City-States, while the Ispan Pistolero, Narvaezan Maremma, and Carrasquito are indigenous to the western coast of the Gulf of Hule.


The High Shar-Pei, Ochalean Crested, Ogrish Chow-Chow, and Ochalean Houndling are all native of Ochalea, which, after Renardy, has the second highest concentration of Lupins.


Das Hund, Doggerman, and Torreoner Pit-Bull originally come from the Empire of Thyatis, where sizeable populations of these Lupins can still be found.


The Nithian Rambler and the Fennec are native to Ylaruam.


Cimarron Hairless, Glantri Mountaineer, Hound of Klantyre and Flaem Shepherd are the native breeds of Glantri, another major Lupin settlement, though here Lupins are somewhat less active in the human society than elsewhere.

Heldann, Norwold & Northern Reaches

Ye Great Dogge, Foxfolk, Norwold Malamute, Heldann Shepherd populate the colder regions of Brun.


The Burrow Bandit, Basset Hound, Blue Bandit, Retriever, King-Mastiff, and Long Runner are present almost everywhere in the Savage Coast and in the Known World.


For different reasons, the Gnomish Snoutzer, the Shag-Head and the Wolvenfolk have no known region of origin. Most members of these breeds are wanderers. However, the Wolvenfolk was likely created by Saimpt Loup from Lupins of the Savage Coast, while the Gnomish Snoutzer lived with Forest Gnomes, so it is likely that their origins should be located somewhere in the Known World.

Historical Overview
The origins of the Lupin race are all but well-known. Human scholar believe the Lupins to be an offshoot of the barbaric Gnoll race, while Lupin scholar believe their race to be descended from the cultured Hutaakans, but Lupins such as the Cimarron Hairless clearly predate both Gnolls and Hutaakans.

The Aardovai

A Proto-Lupin race, the Aardovai, was first proposed on the Mystaran Mailing List by Sharon Dornhoff. In this article, the Aardovai is assumed to have existed in the Yazak Steppes after the Great Rain of Fire and up to circa 1000 BC. The Aardovai was a small Lupin, similar to modern Hunter and Vermin Hunter breeds, but much more primitive. It survived by hunting rabbits and small rodents in the great plains, on the fringes of the emerging civilisations of that time, the Huleans, the Oltecs of the Savage Coast and the Rakasta of Plaktur.

Several hypothesis can be made on the origins of the Aardovai:

A Beastman offshoot

It is possible that the Aardovai were originally a sort of Beastman race. However, no proof of this exist, except the fact that the Kobolds themselves are dog-like creatures. Indeed, this seems to at least suggest the possibility that Kobolds have some Lupin blood - which could be possible, since the Kobold tribes derive from the Wogar migration, which spent a significant time in the Yazak Steppes.

Natural Evolution

Several lupine races evolved in the Yazak Steppes: Dire Wolves, Lupasi and Caniquines all live in the Steppes. Most of these races evolved naturally from the common wolves, so it is possible that Lupins themselves evolved naturally, over a long time, in the Yazak region. In this case, in addition to the Lupin (Canis Sapiens Sapiens), Aardovai (Canis Sapiens Yazakensis) there would be prehistoric races (Canis Habilis and Canis Erectus), now extinct. These ``Lupinids'' would have lived before the Great Rain of Fire.

Radiance Mutants

The Aardovai appear soon after the Great Rain of Fire. It is possible that their evolution (from some other type of creature, Beastmen, humans or wolves) was accelerated by Radiance poisoning, or even by Blackmoorian genetic engineering experiments.

A Lupin Timeline

This timeline extends from the Great Rain of Fire to the present times. Footnotes and citation specify what information comes from canon or non-canon sources.

3000-2200 BC Stone Age

The Aardovai1, a Proto-Lupin hunter/vermin-hunter type lives in the Yazak steppes.

First migrations of Aardovai towards Sind and then Taymora.

2200-1700 BC Taymoran Age

The first breeds were created as Aardovai tribes fell under the control of the Taymoran humans: the Taymoran Hairless2 and the Taymoran Hound3.

At that time, the Nosferatu Kings [8] had created servant races4 that merged human intelligence with animalistic ferocity and a weak will that made them easy to control, the Mythic Lycanthropes [11]. The Necromancer Kings who were not willing to become undead themselves tried to defend from their powerful neighbours by employing the Aardovai tribes as guards and Lycanthrope hunters. They used their own powerful magics to instil useful abilities in the Lupins - a special ability to recognise werewolves, and a racial hatred of these creatures, as well as heightened strength and a larger body frame.

1700-1500 BC First Goblinoid Invasion

In the Yazak Steppes, goblinoids overrun the Rakasta civilisation, forcing the Aardovai to move away from their path5 [10].

The Foxfolk and Long Runner developed in the Yazak Steppes as the Aardovai where forced to enter the woods or to assume a nomadic lifestyle to escape the goblinoid horde. At the same time the ancestors of the Renardois folk were forced to move south towards the central Savage Coast [10].

Korotiku, or ``Saimpt Renard'', also begun taking an interest in the Lupins at this time.

1500-1300 BC Early Nithian Age

During the age of Nithian, the Hutaakan civilisation influenced the early Lupins, and the Nithian Rambler and Fennec breeds were created.

Soon after the destruction of Taymora, some Taymoran Lupins moved to Ochalea. Other moved north, and entered the caverns under the Broken Lands. These Lupins, now known as Cimarron Hairless, fell under the shadow of Atzanteotl, and became his temple guards among the Schattenalfen6 [13].

1300-1100 BC Quest for the Blue Steel

Wogar's Tribes [10] and changes in the pantheon of the Temple of Chaos in Hule [12] forced many Lupins to move south to the Savage Baronies and City-States area.

Meanwhile, Atzanteotl betrayed the Cimarron Hairless, and they fled from Aengmor, settling in what is now eastern Boldavia [13].

1100-900 BC Gnoll Invasion

During this time, the Nithian wizards created the Gnolls. This hardy and rebellious ``copies'' of the Hutaakans fled from their masters, and rampaged across the Traldar Lands. The influx of Gnoll blood into the eastern Lupin tribes led to the creation of the first Guardian breeds, the Pitbull and Great Dogge. These tribes entered the Known World more or less at the same time as the Gnolls, originating the common misconception that Lupins are Gnoll/Human crossbreeds.

Some Gnoll and Hutaaka blood also reached the western tribes as the Gnoll tribes migrated to Sind and then the Savage Coast.

900-500 BC Dark Ages

In Ochalea, the Foo Dogs interacted with the Ochalean Houndling (direct descendants of the Taymoran Hairless), resulting in the birth of the Ochalean Crested, and the Ogre Magi breed the Chow-Chow from Houndling and Shar-Pei (derived from the Taymoran Hounds) slaves. The Ochalean culture, an original mix of Cypric, Rakastan and Lupin culture was also created at this time, also under the supervision of the benevolent Foo Dogs.

Meanwhile, the original Aardovai had disappeared, breaking into the Bandit, Basset and Beagle groups in the central plains of the Savage Coast.

Many Lupins migrated from Darokin north to what now is Glantri, Heldann and Norwold as Mealiden Starwatcher's elves destroyed their habitat in central Darokin by creating Canolbarth. This led the Heldann Shepherd to emerge as a distinct breed.

500 BC-100 AC Fall of Nithia

In the Fall of Nithia, the Ramblers were involved in Thanatos-worship: as consequence, Pflarr withdrew their Hutaakan bloodlines, leaving the Ramblers to a centuries-long quest for expiation or revenge [13].

Elsewhere, the first permanent settlements where being established by the Renardois folk. On one of these sites the Renardois capital, Louvines, was later built.

100-0 AC Goblinoid invasion

A new wave of Goblinoids from the Yazak Steppes prompted the ``Five Tribes'' to form an alliance to fight the invaders. During the war, the Lupin leader became the Immortal known as Saimpt Loup [6]. After the war, contacts were established with the mages of Herath, and shortly after that ``Lupin'' mages started appearing in Herath [10].

0-100 AC Foundation of Thyatis

In Ochalea and Thyatis, Lupins became citizen of the Thyatian Empire after Empress Valeria's proclamation.

100-400 AC

Around this time, Saimpt Loup created the Wolvenfolk, a new breed of powerful Guardian Lupins, strongly linked to the Immortal of Death and Life [13].7

New breeds also emerged as the tribes of Renardy adapted to their environment. Most modern breed of Renardy trace their bloodlines to this time.

400-500 AC Lycanthropic wars

At this time, the Five Tribes finally united. King Loows (Louis I) was chosen by the tribal chiefs as the first king of Renardy.

Shortly thereafter, Saimpt Malinois8 and Saimpt Mâtin9 became Immortals.

This was also the time of Alphatian Lycanthropy, and Lupins fought against the werewolves in all of Brun, utterly purging the Savage Coast of the lycanthropic threat. The lycanthropic epidemics prompted the development of specialised werewolf-hunting breeds, including the Borzoi.

In Glantri, the Flaem Shepherd breed was created due to the interaction between local Heldann Shepherds and the human Flaems [2].

500-900 AC Modern Era

During these centuries, several colonisation attempts were performed, more or less officially, by the Thyatian Empire. Thyatian Lupins10 followed the human migrations to Glantri and the Savage Coast. New breeds the Glantri Mountaineer and Hound of Klantyre developed in Glantri, as the result of interaction with the humans, influx of new blood, and a radically changed environment.

Later, local Lupins11 in Averoigne and Linden were approached by Sire Claude d'Ambreville, who obtained the recognition of citizenship for the Glantrian Lupins. Many of these Lupin followers of Sire Claude d'Ambreville were guided by Clébard de Clairvault [3] to Renardy after the sudden disappearance of their leader.

900-present AC The Clairvault dynasty

In the last century, Clébard de Clairvault and his descendants Gaston and Louis IV brought Renardy from the Middle Age to the Modern Age. The Renardois Lupins acquired the Sylaire culture, with some Espa influences, from the Glantrian Lupins and the Torreóner Pit-Bulls. Clébard married the Renardoise Princess Ralon [7], became King, and initiated several reforms. Both monarchs later became Immortals, and are now part of the established Renardois pantheon.

The Brotherhood of Vintages was also formally established by Queen Ralon, while new trade routes were opened with the Savage Baronies, especially with Torreón.

The Baronial Lupins12 had meanwhile acquired the Espa culture from the Thyatian colonists, both human and Lupin13.

Lupins Today
Nowadays, Renardy is a strong, modern kingdom, cultivating alliances with the Barony of Torreón and the Kingdom of Eusdria, two major military powers of the Savage Coast [10]. The main source of instability in Renardy is the so-called Heresy of Pflarr [13,1], the belief that Pflarr should be the only Lupin Immortal and that nobility is in one's ability to prove ties to an Hutaakan bloodline.

Thyatis, with the Hattian, Thyatian, and Ochalean Lupin populations has the second largest Lupin population, followed by Glantri and the Heldann Freeholds. In Thyatis, Lupins are recognised as citizens, and many Hattian Lupins serve in the Hattian Legions, while in Ochalea Lupins can be found in all strata of the society, including the Mandarinate.

In Glantri, there are no Lupin nobles, and most Lupins live outside the cities and fiefs. The Cimarron Hairless are basically enslaved by the Boldavian vampire barons, but most other Lupin breed fare much better.

In the Heldannic Territories, Lupins are found both among the Hattian conquerors (especially Das Hund and Doggermen) and the Heldanner natives (especially the Heldann Shepherds)

Nations of the Savage Coast also hold significant Lupin communities. Especially, in the Traladaran City-States of Zvornik and Nova-Svoga Lupin noble clans have equal status with the local human aristocracy.

A small but respected breed, the Fennec or Fanaq, lives in the Emirates of Ylaruam. Most Fennecs are followers of the Eternal Truth.

Minor Lupin communities are found throughout the Northern Reaches and the Norwold14, while nomadic Lupins travel the less populated areas of central and eastern Brun.


Renardy and Nouvelle-Renardie.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Lupins of Glantri.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Saimpt Clébard.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Saimpt Malinois.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Saimpt Mâtin.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Saimpt Loup.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Saimpt Ralon.
Giampaolo Agosta.
Taymoran Timeline.
Tim Beach.
Red Steel.
TSR Inc., 1994.
Tim Beach and Bruce A. Heard.
Savage Coast Campaign.
TSR Inc., 1996.
John Calvin.
A Treatise on Lycanthropy.
Christian Constantin.
Hulean timeline.
Bruce A. Heard.
Campaign Classics: Lupins of the Mystara Setting.
Dragon Magazine, (237):70-81.
Bruce A. Heard.
Voyages of the Princess Ark 26: A glass of wine and a shaggy dog story.
Dragon Magazine, (179).
Tom Moldvay.
X2 Castle Amber.
TSR Inc.


... Aardovai1
This breed is now extinct
... Hairless2
This breed is now extinct
... Hound3
This breed is now extinct
... races4
They created a magical disease, Lycanthropy; it is not known whether Aardovai blood was used in addition to the Kings' Nosferatu blood to create the infection agent.
... path5
First canon reference to Lupins.
... Schattenalfen6
This is the earliest canon reference to a Lupin breed.
I set the date for this event arbitrarily; any time after Saimpt Loup's ascension could be chosen.
... Malinois8
Saimpt Malinois was one of the heroes involved in the fight against lycanthropes in Sind and in the Known World as well as in Renardy; he was originally a Glantrian Lupin [4].
... Mâtin9
Saimpt Mâtin hailed from Renardy; he was the head of the clergy that created the secret Lupin defences against the amber lotus flowers [5].
... Lupins10
The Torreóner Pit-Bulls, mostly, but also the Das Hund breed
... Lupins11
Of the Flaem Shepherd breed
... Lupins12
Carrasquito, Narvaezan Maremma and Ispan Pistolero
... Lupin13
Torreóner Pit-Bulls
... Norwold14
Ostland Stövare, White Foxfolk, Norwold Malamutes and Heldann Shepherds