For every animal species, there is a single ruler or lord, looked upon by those animals as a minor deity of sorts. The animal lord is the master of that species; for example, there is a fox lord, mouse lord, and a cat lord. Each animal can assume two forms: human and animal. Its animal form is always of a member of the species it represents.
Animal lords are seen as protectors of nature and animals. They may step in and prevent hunters from destroying a race of animals or foresters from completely decimating a forest. They do not, however, interfere with nature itself (i.e., animals die, they are killed for food or clothing)—such is the way of the universe.