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The Wada is a dog-like mammal originally native to Wadaland, Dostofia, and Badingola. It is not clear if the country of Wadaland was named after the animal, or vice versa. It is a smaller relative of the Elosian Wolf.
There is no single species on Ristkon that fills exactly the same role as the "dog" on Earth. This position is shared by the wada and by the domesticated versions of the Elosian Wolf.
An adult wild wada is 12 to 15 inches tall, with short tan-colored hair.
Domestic breeds vary slightly in size (not nearly as much as dogs.. more like cats), and their hair ranges from nearly non-existent to extremely long. They may be white, black, or any shade of gray or brown.
In their natural habitat, Wada hunt in large packs in order to be able take down larger animals. A pack of Wada can also "march" across a field from one side to the other in an orderly manner, sweeping it of edible insects and other small prey. They are, however, a small enough animal to have many natural enemies themselves. If threatened by a predator, a pack will either band together to fight off the threat, or scatter with every individual hiding in any available hole.
A small percentage of the Wada population of the Badingolan Savannah are carriers of Wada Sickness, a disease which can kill a man but to which the animals are immune. In ancient times, some people came to regard the disease as a diving punishment from the gods visited on anyone who killed or trapped the animals. Thus the Wada came to be regarded as sacred by the Badingo Empire. This played a role in the start of the Last War.
This belief among some did not stop others from domesticating the Wada as a hunting companion, as a predator of household pest animals, and finally as a pet. Domesticated Wada have been known for thousands of years. They were brought to many other countries, where they frequently go feral. Animals found outside of their original territory never carry Wada Sickness, so superstitious awe of the animals is unknown elsewhere.
Domesticated wada were among the favored pets of the upper classes of the Giuluainian Empire. Very fancy, long-haired breeds were developed.
Because of the "marching" behavior has been observed even among feral wada far from the original habitat, there are many fanciful accounts of armies of the creatures being used in human wars. A wada army allegedly was involved in driving the Stofonian Empire out of Knarr.