Guidelines to Writing in the WoC Universe

By Jon Sleeper.

When you hit puberty did you ever feel like you were changing into something inhuman? Well, in this universe, it's true. Once you hit puberty, you gain animal characteristics (explained later). But not in the way you think. If your parents were both wolf-morphs, then it's entirely possible that you might become a cat-morph. Or a horse-morph. Or even a Blue Jay-morph. It's random. Because no matter what your parents look like, you're human until you hit puberty.

Why did this happen? One day a "furry" universe invaded a universe very similar to our own. This caused what is simply known as "the Change" on Monday, June 17, 1996. On that day, the Change started simultaneously all over the world, regardless of time zone. But respectively, it started at 5 am Pacific time, 6 am Mountain, 7 Central, and 8 Eastern (and take it either way from there). So there were lots of people caught in bed, in rush hour traffic, on subways, etc. Not to mention on aircraft and everything else...

However, before the Change this universe had several distinctive differences from our own. These are: Population 2.5 billion. Why? Near the end of World War II (in that universe called the "War Against the Germans", or more commonly, the "Plague War") there was a Plague. Not just any plague, but one that decimated most of the planet. This Plague would activate old genes, eventually turning the victim into a mass of disorganized, cancer-like cells. The cure was found in a section of Brazilian Rainforest that had been slated for slashing and burning, the tree only grew in that place. The "cure" made the Plague virus into a symbiont (one that actually helped people somehow). Once it was learned what the chemical was, in a burst of scientific discovery a way was found to make a synthetic. Progress of the Plague was slow enough so things weren't' too rushed to make the cure. So the Plague lasted from 1945-52, and lingered in some areas until the mid 60's.

The Plague was an insidious thing. It didn't just kill everybody at once, but seemed to take it's time. It stuck Europe and Asia first, killing off 15% of the population in the First Wave. The Second Wave (the first for the US) in 1946 took another 10% of the resulting total from the last hit. And so forth.

But a side result of this was what was called the "Science Boom," happening from the late 50's through the 60's, (they had Pentium-class computers by 1975.) Another reason was a huge world environmentalist movement in the 50's that would almost eliminate nearly all automobile internal combustion engines by 1985. They use hydrogen fuel cell electric motors instead, with the hydrogen and oxygen generated from seawater by solar power or other clean energy production units, or alcohol-powered Turbine-electric engines.

Other Information

Approximate morph species percentages:
Mammals: 50%
Birds: 25%
Reptiles: 15%
Aquatic: 5%
Other: 5%


  • Sorry, absolutely no insect or invertebrate morphs.

  • Aquatics includes fish, and aquatic mammals like whales and dolphins.

  • "Other" includes extinct species like dinosaurs and mammoths.

  • Degree

    This is a very simple concept. Some people Change more than others. Ex: Wolf morph A has fully wolf-like head, tail, digitigrade feet, paw-like hands, and very wolf-like proportions. But s/he retains the ability to speak and opposable thumbs. Wolf morph B has only claw-like fingernails, slightly pronounced canines, and pointed ears. The Degree you Change is also random.

    If your character's species is something like a High Degree rodent, s/he would be a giant rat. There would be a size enlargement. Same thing for an elephant morph. Just enlarged size.

    Another thing to note are bird morphs and wings. About half of all bird morphs have, legs, wings, and arms. The wings in addition to the arms so they can fly, and manipulate things. Those that don't have wings have the ability to change shape into what they resemble so they can fly (see Powers below).


    This universe was the net result of three universes being slammed together. So there's bound to be a lot of instability in the new, composite universe's physical laws. Thus I came up the Powers.

    Nearly anything you've seen or read about in comic books like X-men are possible. Please see the Powers List by Doug Linger for guidelines. But nothing outrageously powerful. Other notes:

  • Powers in general are limited to local effects only. And are by nature temporary with no lasting effects.
  • Powers like an unlimited polymorphic ability (like Coonie in the original story) are rare. Very rare. Much more common (by about 100x) are what I call "Type-Shifters" This Power is limited so say... the ability to change into any bird-of-prey, but nothing beyond birds-of-prey (like mammals).
  • The ability to assume one's "Norm" shape is very common. Probably 60% of the population can do it. So it's not really considered a Power.

  • Otherwise, have fun. :)

    Absolute Rules (not many of those)

  • NO transgender Changes except as a Power of some sort. Sorry, you're stuck the sex you're born as unless there are special circumstances that must be bounced off of me.
  • NO making everybody suddenly becoming human again fifty years down the line.
  • NO straight mythological types like Centaurs, Gryphons, or Unicorns. Except as a Power to emulate these species. Much as I like dragons, there are some limits. :)
  • NO invertebrate morphs. Sorry, some Universal Laws must be upheld. But it can be a Power to become the normal insect only.
  • NO insect morphs. Not yet, that is... I'll let you know when they don't break the rule.
  • NO Using my main characters without contacting me first!!
  • The Change IS NOT painful in any way.
  • ABSOLUTELY NO sexually explicit material! I really don't think things like this are necessary to make a good story.
  • Children and Childbirth

    Children are always born human because the vast majority of females are still able to give birth to human children, but for the exceptions below.

  • The babies of the HIGHEST Degree morphs (about 1 out of 1,000,000 Hi-D morph births) do keep some of their female parent's animal characteristics, mostly because of size differences if the person is very small.
  • Due to the hormonal changes in pregnancy, sometimes the woman will change to a lower Degree to be able to have the child normally. But she'll revert to her former Degree after birth. Also in this situation, she might also regain her breasts if she is a reptile, bird, fish, or amphibian so she can nurse the child, but that is temporary as well.
  • A few days after birth, the baby will be totally human. Then the randomness of the Change kicks in at puberty as normal.
  • Historical, Society, and Technological Notes

    In order for things to remain consistent throughout the Winds universe, I'm including this section for reference for other writers. History does differ in many ways after the Plague. Here are some notes... Not necessarily in chronological order.


  • Man's first moon landing was in 1974 by Jim Lovell and the crew of Apollo 13 (this change in history was suggested by Brian Coe, and I agree :)
  • Although space efforts were delayed somewhat, this universe is somewhat more ahead than ours. There are satellites in orbit that beam energy right to earth so it isn't paved over with solar farms.
  • Boston was the first U.S. city to experience the Plague. For details, please click here.
  • Technology

  • The "Science Boom" in the 1960s was a result of many factors. Not the least of which was to find an alternative fuel other than petroleum based products. The solution was a emphasis in solar power.
  • Thus, on the roof of most people's homes are solar cell roof tiles. Any excess electricity is fed into a common town power grid. So in effect, everybody is the power company.
  • Cars are powered by either a hydrogen fuel cell, or an alcohol burning turbine electric.
  • The Internet was created as a safeguard as a way to share knowledge between nations. That way nothing is lost if another incident like the Plague happens.
  • Society

  • Like our own universe, there were hippies, a Woodstock, and other events. Vietnam didn't happen, but they had other reasons for their actions.
  • World population in 1996: 2.8 billion. U. S. Population: 120 million.
  • Most suburban houses are constructed on large plots of land. 1/4 acre minimum. Most people have moved into smaller towns in order to escape the closed in cities. Only about half the population lives in the cities, the rest are in what we might call a "rural" setting. Small towns of no more than 20,000 are common.
  • Updates will be made to this page as more stories are written and things become clearer in my own head...