So I’ve always known that the werekin in Dakota’s universe lived in groups they called packs, but which we might call tribes, complete with drumming rituals:
Drums beat, strong and primal. Fire blazed from burning barrels. And on the broad floor of what had been a warehouse, a crowd of nearly-human shapes cheered on as a huge wolf the size of a tiger faced off with a stag the size of a Buick.
I started to think that maybe this job wasn’t worth it.
Ragged young boys ran the outer perimeter of the werehouse, human in form but snapping and snarling at each other with the voices of dogs. Wolves padded back and forth around the largest and scruffiest single group of men; both wolves and men stared at me with hungry eyes. There were other groups—tall, proud men I took to be werestags, another group crowded around a werebear, and many others. Or perhaps there was no relation between their human forms and their beasts—I had not seen any of them change yet.
Recently, working on a Cinnamon Frost book, I discovered the original group behind that community was indeed a “tribe”, the Modanaqa people, “the people who lived here before the Americans and the Europeans, the Cherokee and the Creek”. Historically speaking, that would make them a remnant of the Moundbuilder culture, ruins of which can be seen at nearby Etowah.
And now I’ve given them a language based on Mvskoke (Creek) and a script (pictured up at top) based on khipu (Incan knot writing). Amazing what I didn’t know about my own story!