Alpha is the title given to the lead werewolf (or married pair of werewolves) in a pack. They are natural leaders, and the only werewolves capable of assuming the Anubis Form. A newly turned werewolf can display characteristics of an Alpha (such as the Anubis Form, displaying leadership qualities, settling disputes between pack members, and having a commanding tone). If this is found, the new werewolf is either reared to be the pack's next Alpha, or cast out as a loner, who can then form a pack, if the loner wishes to do that.
An Alpha's mate is given the same respect within the pack as the Alpha, even if of a different species; Alexia Maccon, a preternatural, was considered the Alpha female of the Woolsey/Mayfair Pack, with her husband Conall Maccon having held the position of pack Alpha.
Female Alpha werewolves are rare, as females are less likely to survive the metamorphosis. It is considered an honor and an accomplishment for an Alpha to have successfully turned a female Alpha.
For reasons not entirely explained, Alpha werewolves tend to go mad; slowly delving into insanity and thus shortening their extended lifetimes. The former Alpha of the Woolsey Pack was infamous for his particular blend of abusive madness. A Beta (and other pack members) may outlive multiple Alphas with no signs of deteriorating mental health; Professor Lyall stated that he served three Alphas. It is implied by Lyall that perhaps an Alpha's tethers might need to be stronger than those of an average werewolf, because he believes that he could hold Biffy back from madness through the strength of their bond.
Pack Dynamics Edit
The Alpha is the official head of the pack. They are usually one of the larger, stronger wolves in the pack, and command the respect of all other pack members. Pack members and loners may contest the position of Alpha by submitting a formal petition, then if accepted, fighting to the death or grievous injury. Should the challenger best the Alpha, they become the new Alpha of the pack, and the previous Alpha (if not dead) is cast out.
Submission to the Alpha is shown by pack members baring their neck (rolling over to show off the neck in wolf form, or pulling aside shirt collars and neck accessories as a human). This behavior may be required in situations in which the Alpha feels his or her authority is being contested.
Second to the Alpha is the pack's Beta, whose duties entail helping the Alpha manage pack responsibilities and overseeing pack relations (both internally and externally). The pack's third in command, the Gamma, is in charge of discipline within the pack, and oversees the pack's military responsibilities.
List of Known Alphas Edit
Anubis form: A special form that only Alphas can take, in which only the head is transformed into a wolf's. This is the form that an Alpha uses in the creation of new werewolves.
Alphas can sense pack members. Described by Lord Maccon as "that sensation you get when there is someone else in the room, even if you cannot see them."
Protocols for Challenge Edit
Challenge could be issued many ways, usually with words written in blood, occasionally with the slap of a bloodied glove in the old-fashioned dueling manner. A bit of blood on the back of a calling card could also suffice. Years ago, it was the slaying of a deer in contested territory. This is called "weregild". Thaddeus Monday's weregild was leaving human infants on the London Pack's doorstep.
A pack cannot interfere with a challenge between Alphas, save to hold the circle around the fight to contain it. The only one allowed to interfere is a pack's Beta, who can fight on behalf of their Alpha if needed. The pack as a whole will follow the winner of the challenge, regardless of personal feelings.
The challenge ends when one of the participants either submits or dies.
- The ancient leader Boudica was a female Alpha werewolf.