Werewolf Social Roles
Hierarchy of Rage
For many years, biologists attributed pack roles to wolves, based on the packs they'd observed. These roles - alphas, betas, and omegas - were so codified that assumptions about how they functioned not only influenced zoologists, but general culture as well. Before too long, though, biologists realized that these designations were artificial - they were the roles that wolves in captivity evolved to cope with their imprisonment. Like humans in prison, they developed violent and antagonistic pack roles as a response to the psychological stress their captivity inflicted.
So while these dynamics are not natural to wolves in the wild, they do develop among wolves in captivity...including those wolf-spirits that are imprisoned within the souls of humans by the Curse. As such, werewolves do develop these roles, which have come to impact their society.
Considered scavengers, half-feral, and generally all kinds of trouble, omegas are usually shiftless wanderers. Because their lack of a pack makes for a tempestuous relationship with their Feral Wolves, they often have a hard time avoiding trouble. An Omega that is accepted into a pack becomes a Beta. These werewolves all have the Omega Condition.
Most werewolves are betas - members of packs, with the kind of control over their Feral Wolves that both Harmony and the presence of a pack can grant.
Alphas are the potent leaders of packs. Not all packs have alphas (though the majority do), and not all alphas have packs, even though alphas gain significant power by leading a pack. Alphas have stronger relationships with their Feral Wolves, often finding them to be easier to control, and they are more skilled shapeshifters. It is even said that the Feral Wolf of an alpha is not the same as the Feral Wolf of a beta or omega - they are changed in some way, becoming part of what is called an Alpha Lineage. These werewolves all have the Alpha Condition.