Encyclopedia Venatoria: Werewolf

Werewolves, or “true lycanthropes,” also known by a variety of other names in various cultures, are humans with the ability to transform into wolves. Unlike in much fiction, the transformation does not have to do with the Lunar cycle, but rather occurs at will, or can be triggered by nearly anything if the werewolf is unaware of his condition. Their ability is essentially a use of magic, distinguishing them from vampires who are beings of magic. Notably, any practitioner of magic could enact the same transformation, however they would require a the use of a fetish, generally the pelt of the animal they were becoming, or some sort of potion, while actual werewolves do not need any such implement, due to their souls actually having taken the form of the animal, hence their qualification as true lycanthropes.

This same set of descriptions is not limited to a wolf form, but could work with any animal.

Abilities

There are three primary forms which lycanthropy can take. These are not so much species devisions as skills, and any werewolf can learn to use all three.

Bodily transformation

Here is the most common and widely known form. The human body reshaping itself into the form of a wolf. Note that the wolf form has certain distinguishing features through which one can tell that is is a werewolf rather than a normal animal: it is almost always slightly larger than a normal wolf, owing to the shapeshifter’s inability to alter its own mass and the fact that wolves, on average, weigh less than humans, and the fact that the werewolf has no tail, a trait that is common among shapeshifters.

Astral Projection

In this form, the wolf has the same appearance as in the bodily transformation, but it exists as an entity separate from the human. Like the Strigoi Viu, the werewolf can separate its lupine soul from its human body, allowing the two to work independently. Often, however, the astral wolf will have physical and even visual form, able to interact with the wolf as easily as any wolf. The distinct weakness of this form is that the two forms remain connected, so if one is injured, the other suffers the same.

Berserker

Here the wolf soul exerts its will upon the human without drastically altering his or her appearance. The person gains the strength, agility, and supernatural fury of the wolf, but, aside from a few secondary characteristics that exert themselves, such as claws and some fur, the werewolf retains their human form. This is considered especially dangerous.

Reproduction

The quality of werewolf cannot be transferred by simple bite. It is a corruption of the human soul, not a simple disease. A pack of wolves is rather like a cult, with an alpha who has convinced others to join him, and made them undergo a ritual to alter their souls as his has been.

The alpha may come about in a number of ways. They may have been born of werewolf parentage, or cursed by a practitioner or higher entity, or have engaged in a sort of spiritual self-mutilation, or simply split off from another pack.

Weaknesses

Though they do heal slightly faster than a normal human, werewolves are, at their core, physical, organic beings, and can be killed as such. No specialized (silver) tools are needed.

WARNING

(THE FOLLOWING IS A SPOILER FOR LIVE PREY, EPISODE NINE)

Although no unusual measures are needed to ensure the death of a werewolf, taking extreme measures that one would use on a Vampire are recommended, for, if left unchecked, without decapitation or staking, it is possible for the corpse of a werewolf to rise again as a Vrykolakas, an extremely dangerous quasi-vampiric entity.

 

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