This post is entirely my own opinions, experiences, and observations.
When most people run into Hellhounds they see large black dogs with red eyes. While there are many like that out there most do not seem to fit this description and the reason people seem to see them in this form is because it is what they expect to see (something that all Spirits in general tend to take advantage of.)
Hellhounds come in various sizes, shapes, and breeds. For example the first three that I encountered were a Great Dane, a Pharaoh Hound, and an Afghan Hound with their pack leader being the latter. “Breed” wise I have seen them range from chihuahuas to mastiffs and even breeds that do not exist physically I’ve even run into some that closely resemble/are wolves.
Size is another variation between them, and not just by breed. The more powerful they are the bigger they get and as far as I can tell they don’t stop growing. The largest that I have met so far is roughly the size of the Chrysler Building when he’s not trying to fit into a room… Even then he can’t adjust his size to anything smaller than a Jeep Cherokee. This being said there is always the chance that the chihuahua can be bigger than the mastiff, though they still seem to grow to scale.
Personality seems to differentiate more between them like it does between humans. The Afghan Hound, for example, has been known to be quick to temper while his Beta, the Great Dane, is more of an observer than a doer. When I first met him, the Pharaoh Hound was very curious and naive and now he prefers to immerse himself within the pack and helping it’s members in s many ways as he can.
Another thing that I found is that Hellhounds have a “human” form that they can take as well as an “in between” form. I actually have an artist’s rendition of my Alpha (the Afghan Hound) that I got from the lovely @fire-canvas that is both his canine form and his human form. Most prefer to not use this for, though, as there are many limitations to their “human” form that they are not used to having in the canine form (I have been told that their sense of smell suffers, for example. It’s still better than a human’s by far but not as sensitive s their canine form.)
Structurally each region seems to have an Alpha that looks after all the packs in that area as well as their own so while pack leaders run their own packs they have to go through the Alpha to do certain things… The closest I can think of to describe it is a corporate management setup. The pack leaders are like the managers of the individual stores and the Alphas are the District Managers. As far as I know there is no “king” but they have all united under one Leader before and while afterwards they went back to the same system they still show him a tremendous amount of respect.
Politics among the packs seem to vary. While my Afghan Hound can have a quick temper he also has a mind for politics and as such he has contacts with several different types of Spirit clans and is knowledgeable about how to approach different political situations. Other packs prefer to keep to themselves, living only for themselves and each other instead of mingling with those outside their circles.
The first time I ran into Hellhounds I was Astral Traveling and walked into… Something. I’m still not sure what, exactly, all I know is that I was in a house and there was a person at a desktop with a figure looming over them. When I walked into the room two hounds, the Great Dane and the Pharaoh Hound, both charged me and knocked me down. Instead of panicking I just kind of stared at them because at the time I still had my own notions of what a Hellhound was supposed to look like so that’s what I saw, two large black dogs with red eyes and wounds that exposed bone. My first reaction was kind more or less “doggies” and I reached up and placed my hands on their muzzles. Tbh I think I’m lucky it was them because if I did that to any others they probably would have bit my hand but these two became more curious than anything. I mean they just attacked a random stranger and said stranger’s first reaction is to pet them. The figure was curious as well and asked them to accompany me home (this was not their pack leader but someone that the leader had a contract with.)
After they brought me back they kept visiting constantly. The Great Dane was very quiet and just hung around but the Pharaoh Hound was extremely hyper and playful. While I can’t remember the exact moment that the Alpha (Afghan Hound) decided to visit I do remember him telling me his name. He decided to visit to see why two of his pack members kept disappearing and liked me enough to stay. He took his self appointed job of protecting me very seriously, almost too much so. He was aggressive towards anyone who approached me that he did not know or just didn’t like the feel of. I eventually got him to the point where he wasn’t constantly on alert and felt he could relax (though I feel that mating with him had something to do with it. It’s easier to keep tabs on a mate than someone that you don’t really have an actual connection with, if that makes sense.)
When he came the others did as well… The group started out relatively small but has grown to well over 500 strong, with even lone Hounds showing up and choosing to stay. They seem to recognize me as the Alpha’s mate and come to me with requests if he is otherwise occupied. They also come to me for permission to go out on the… irregular hunts.
Every time I go out on a drive, especially in wooded areas at night, I can see them running alongside the car and chasing away whatever may wish me harm. They are all fierce protectors and will do anything and fight anyone to the death for the ones that they care for.