The Alphas are the most dominate and respected wolves of the pack. If these two Alphas are not given the respect that they deserve, they will demand it, and if it comes to fighting, so be it, for disrespect will not be tolerated. If these two Alphas see that another wolf is not getting respect that they deserve, then they will see that that wolf does get the respect that he or she deserves. The Alphas try to know what has been going on between members of the pack and, moreover, between members of other packs; they try to "keep up with the times." Alphas have the final say in all decisions, and it is their duty to do what is good for the pack. Even in personal decisions, they must do what is best for the pack. This includes hearing the opinions of all the others and making a decision based on all circumstances. They usually decide what goes on at any given time in a pack: hunting, exploring, meetings, etc. These two are the most responsible and reliable wolves of the pack. The female is in charge of females, and the male is in charge of the males; however, both Alphas will be equally respected by all wolves, regardless of gender, age, pack, etc.
The Betas in a wolf pack play a very similar role as the Alphas. Betas are usually looked upon as second in command, taking over while the alphas are not present. They are able to make the same decisions and have the same amount of respect as the alphas. They answer to no one but their Alphas. While the Alphas are present, Betas are mostly used to settle minor jobs or disputes. They also assist the Alphas with any conflicts within the pack and enforce the rules, keeping peace within the clearing. They have the right to kick and ban a wolf from the clearing, after fair warning of wrong actions, such as fighting. Betas may also call hunts, deciding when and where to hunt, along with the Hunters. In pack meetings, the Betas' answers and suggestions are the second most important, being trusted advisers to the Alpha, only thinking for the good of the pack as a whole.
The Deltas of the pack often serve as buffers, handling all of the disputes that are unnecessary to bother the Alphas or Betas with due to the fact that they have a lot on their plate. Deltas are the first wave of correction and discipline and therefore have to know and understand the workings of the pack, especially Pack Law. When a Delta cannot solve a problem or dispute, it is then moved up in rank. There will generally be four to six Deltas in the pack at one time. Deltas are vital to the pack because they often serve as the mediators between any of the ranks, their primary goal is to keep peace and preserve the ways of the pack. Deltas do not, however, have the authority to call a hunt. Simply put, Alphas and Betas handle decision making while Deltas enforce their decisions.
The Elders of the pack are usually the oldest, wisest, and most experienced wolves in the pack. The elders are usually wolves that have the ability to be high ranking. They are constantly looked to for advice, even by the alphas and betas. They are highly respected wolves. The elders know the packs history and are often the storytellers. Their job is to keep records of all the recent events going on in the clearing, along with getting their hands on any pieces of art, poems, stories a wolf might come up with and keep a log of it for future reference, or just to keep as part of the heart of the pack.
The Guardians are a larger branch, usually consisting of a few wolves. Their job is to watch over the clearing, and the wolves in it. They are usually the bigger, stronger, and more loyal wolves to the pack. Their job is to greet visitors, as well as chase them away if there seems to be a threat. Guardians are the protectors and most skilled fighters of the pack.
The hunters are very similar to the Guardians being the larger and stronger wolves. These wolves have been given the job of hunting for food to feed the pack. Usually they bring along other pack members acting as mentors, teaching and helping them to hunt. This is one of the most valuable positions as these wolves keep the pack alive and healthy.
A wolf that shows interest and skill in caring for weakened pack mates. The Shaman of the Pack ensures when any wolf is wounded, they recover properly not putting too much stress on their wounds. They also watch over the older or ill wolves of the Pack. They serve as a doctor, and try to keep the pack in a healthy state. Shamans make sure that no wolf over exerts themselves before, during, or after hunts.
Scouts are responsible for warning the Pack of dangerous territory outside the clearing, if any. Scouts are mainly wolves known by neighboring packs and visit around often. They stay in touch with other packs and keep friendly relations. They are to report any important changes to the Alpha and Beta. These include: if a new Pack is formed; Scouts are to find out who is the Alpha or Alphas and if the Pack is peaceful. Another change includes the banishment of a certain wolf; Scouts are to find out who was banished from where and why.
Gammas (Pack Members):
Not all wolves hold positions, either for being new additions to the pack or not having defined their abilities yet. The Alpha(s) take great care in selection of which position a wolf will be allowed to maintain. As the pack members gain time in the pack, their actions will dictate if they are to be advanced.
The Omega of the pack is lowest ranking wolf, only higher than the pups. The Omega is usually a wolf that is either very new to pack life and still learning or a wolf that has been lowered in rank due to wrong actions. They are usually given the responsibilities of 'puppy-sitter', watching over the cubs during group hunts and making sure they don't wander into the forest. The Omega may even growl or nip at the learning pups, teaching them the Way of the Pack and their place within the hierarchy. Ironically, other adult wolves may growl or nip at the Omega in the same manner for the same reasons. Still what seems to be 'bullying' is much more complicated than it appears. If a pack's survival depends on the acceptance of hierarchy, then it is crucial to learn this well and early.
Normally, only the alphas will mate and produce pups. Packs often will adopt pups that wander into a clearing. Many lone pups have become lost from their packs, wandered off, or due to packs fighting each other have lost their parents. Others have been burned out of their clearings all adult pack killed or hunters killing them off. Some escape from human captivity to return to the wild and will wander into a pack's territory. Some will be allowed to remain while others will be chased off or killed. Pups are not allowed on hunts until around 6 months of age and then only when accompanied by the packs hunters or their parents.
Assessments are wolves that have wandered into a clearing often searching for a home. These wolves must prove themselves worthy to become a part of a pack. Some wolves will never make it into assessment and others that have been accepted as assessment may end up being driven from the pack and the clearing. Each pack has its own requirements for being accepted. The assessments for our pack are referred to as Probates.
Some packs will claim another pack as a part of their extended family. Each is a separate pack guided by their own alphas and betas. These packs will come together when one or the other is in danger or needing help. Often these packs will be seen visiting in each others clearings, helping with pups, hunting, giving guidance and assistance where needed. Both packs will help the other defend its home when necessary. The alphas and betas are given the respect befitting their position when visiting.
These are wolves who are trusted friends of the pack, or members of the sister pack.
- Deltas, Elders, Guardians, Hunters, Shamans, and Scouts have a leader of their particular branch that is referred to as the Ace. The Ace is the wolf to go to in order to receive answers to questions that pertain to its rank.
- Pups that show particularly promising abilities can often be taken under the wing of an Ace of a particular rank to begin a sort of apprenticeship. They will be referred to as A-Pups and will be permitted to eat and partake in events before other pups to ensure their continued growth and development both physically and in their particular area of study.