One of the most notable parts of Lupa society (especially in relation to Human society) is their use and understanding of dominance. It might be seen as an extension of the instinctive dominance used by animals, but augmented by a sentient species. Social dominance is a completely different concept from what other species usually equate with dominance, with a fluidity of its own, and that is what will be addressed here.
Lupa consider themselves, on a whole, more dominant than Humans (due to their more instinctive nature), and people with high dominance are leaders of some sort. All Lupa learn to use their own dominance and how it ebbs and flows between people, usually by the time they're adults.
One of the main differences between Lupa and Humans in respect to dominance is that Lupa generally view it as positive, a guiding force which can shape groups and people for the general good. Their lives would be quite chaotic without it, as there would be no way to curb the Lupa proclivity for squabbles and fighting. The combination of this with social dominance is that Lupa know how to fight and argue socially, enjoy the conflict, and let it go. They’re not afraid of conflict or challenging each other, are often competitive, and enjoy watching a good fight. Anything that goes so far as to threaten the harmony and cohesion of the community, however, is dealt with by the Leader—a place you don’t want to find yourself in, as it may be met with intimidation and force.
There are two types of dominance in Lupa society, normal (xchamat), and forced (xcha).
This term is used to express dominance in most circumstances, including most Leadership dominance, anything that is considered "normal." This includes situational, leaders of other groups like businesses or gardening teams, social order, etc. Leadership skills like inspiring trust, organizing a chaotic event, or even giving orders are considered normal.
Xcha is the term used to describe hard use of dominance, which is the ability to force another individual to do something through sheer force of will. It is very difficult for Lupa with lower base dominance, as it requires both temporarily high dominance level and the will to control someone else. It is most practical and easy when in use with children when they are in danger; dominating a Leader to your will is extremely difficult.
However, one would rarely ever see this form of dominance in use, as it is usually reserved for situations of danger, emergencies, or to subdue violence. Using it in inappropriate situations is punishable (especially if it involves other species or children), and any Leader doing so may quickly find himself dismissed.
Xcha sometimes has different underlying elements, such as intimidation or fear if one is attempting to control violent actions or criminal intent. Used with children, it will likely contain strong feelings of protection and safety, and encourage a rush of Adrenalin. When used consequentially between mates, primary underlying elements involve love, pleasure, and a great amount of trust.
Pack Leaders, if not the most dominant member of a pack, are given higher dominance as the members of the pack will willingly submit to them. Leaders have and can attain great skills in using it to create stability between the various members of their pack. A good Leader can use their dominance to inspire, create trust, calm tension, encourage others to reveal things they’d rather not, or determine the right moment to call up fear when necessary.
It is required that all pack members acknowledge the dominance of the Leader; everyone must know that when an emergency occurs, only one person is giving the orders, and they will be obeyed. All parties in a pack have a vested interest in the stability of the pack structure and leadership; Leaders are given the trust of the pack to make decisions in their best interests, and members are entrusted with the support of their Leader. No one joins a pack without intending to allow the Leader to dominate when necessary, and a Leader will usually only use forced dominance when there is no other choice. This is a basic and understood concept of membership in any pack, although it is much more strictly enforced in Terran packs.
Between individuals, dominance is much more fluid than with a Leader, as each person has some kind of dominance, whether high or low. Naturally, the higher one’s dominance, the greater the likelihood of people listening to that person. People’s dominance levels are usually seen on this factor. Individuals learn between themselves who is dominant to whom, and sometimes two people with similar levels of dominance when put with someone else will have one less dominant and one more dominant than the third person (i.e., A and B are both 4. C is 5. A is less dominant that C, and B is more). This may occur for any number of reasons, or sometimes in particular circumstances.
People of similar dominance are more likely to fight than those farther apart on the scale, and people rated 6 or higher are more likely to fight than talk things out in general. Someone of lower dominance is likely to go along with what a dominant person decides or wants to do rather than start a fight. However, when it comes to things like fighting for fun, everyone generally likes to get in on it and challenge each other.
Things that are normally fought over are usually mundane, daily things, or matters of opinion. It can be anything from what's for dinner, whether to do this or that activity, or a disagreement over ideas or philosophy. Generally, whoever wins the fight makes the decision. Ongoing differences in ideas are usually more hairy matter, which after a few fights the participants will agree to disagree to keep the peace.
Adding new people to a group usually brings about a brief period of flux. Lupa like to know where everyone stands, and the new person or persons will be a point of interest. Once minor conflicts and challenges have occurred, everyone will usually settle down quickly into the newly modified structure. Members of a group may be uncomfortable and a bit tense until this is settled.
Speakers generally don't fall in any particular range of base dominance, but will often gain a somewhat higher dominance over the course of their lives as they are one of the more important members of a pack and are given respect in this capacity. However, they do not usually have a very high dominance level as a Leader would have, and tend to a more quiet type of dominance brought on by their ability to understand people and use a few meaningful words in a situation.
There is very little difference in how dominance is used between males and females. However, males are likely to give you fewer chances or warnings before using it, and definitely likely to react more violently and give less leeway. However, women with babies or very young children are the most likely to go off on you. The reason Leaders are male has little to do with dominance itself, but their physical strength and higher aggressiveness.
While children are not usually judged as far as dominance until placement age (11–12), the precursors of what they will be can often be seen, especially in their interactions with those their own age. While people will often cater to babies, some will be able to get more out of adults than others. Some will also push very non-dominant adults to see how much they can get away with or for extra attention.
In order to help organize the dominance of characters, we can use a scale of 1–10 to determine each person’s base dominance, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. Pack Leaders will usually come in somewhere between 7–9. Taking a sweeping average, people with a base dominance below a 5 are non-dominant, while people above 5 are dominant. The vast majority of Lupa fall somewhere between 4-6. There are examples throughout the scale as played in box, with Miara being the highest (10) and Vilya the lowest (1).
Base dominance is how a person comes across normally in daily life, and may perhaps be an average including both their high and low points. Key factors are how likely a person is to become tense or nervous, their level of confidence, and how likely they are to follow versus leading socially (outside of something they are particularly good at or knowledgeable about).
The immortals, while they shouldn’t be measured on this scale, when in full use of hard dominance would come across as 14 or 15. Normally, they display a much lower dominance, or can hide it all together. The Tokyo Lupa normally consider other immortal or immortal-like members of The House more on this scale, such as Time Lords, Vainamoinen, and other such characters.
Lupa in Chat
Miara has an extremely high base dominance, and when she wishes to use it fully and in combination with her ability to astrally connect to people, could control just about anyone. She's had no trouble using force dominance when she's had to in the past. This means that she is mostly free to do as she wants, but also makes it difficult for others to help her when she needs it unless she chooses to recognize it. Taki, though their bond, does not have this problem, and can impress upon her to listen to certain people at certain times, such as during mating season. This most likely stems from her upbringing and life exposure to the immortals, as well as her own abilities and powers.
Edar is your average guy, with average dominance. It does, however, give him a bit of an edge over Eiry and his sister.
Eiry has rather low dominance, but as the head of a business is in charge of the Lupa on her staff. Kai and Edar, who have a higher base dominance than Eiry, recognize her higher dominance in this area, while socially she is more likely to listen to them. Her confidence can swing from high to low, and tension tells on her rather quickly. Eiry is a prime example of someone whose base dominance has changed over time. Previously somewhere around a 3–4, losing someone she was bonded to severely shook her, lowering it to 2-3, and while her sister stayed strong in the pack and gained a bit of dominance once the two were separated, Eiry’s isolation away from a pack during contributed to the lowering of hers for quite some time.
Kai is a pretty sweet girl, with average confidence, but isn’t particularly dominant.
Nima Tsewang: 5
Vilya’s dominance seems to have suffered greatly from growing up mostly isolated from other Lupa and rather sheltered by her parents. She also seems to be extremely sensitive to the dominance of others (which is not related to her upbringing), to the effect that when she first arrived in Tokyo any amount would unnerve her, rating nearly a 0 on this scale. However, the others have been working with her to discover her Lupa nature and become more used to the dominance around her. Not only is she a bit happier, she’s raised her dominance level.
Examples in Writing
Some different examples of dominance can be found in the following stories or chapters.
Leader Problems deals with Leaders and force dominance.
This chapter of Eiry's novel deals with more normal dominance as used by Leaders, as Guyver attempts to understand it.