A Werewolf is a powerful shapeshifter which metamorphoses from within its human body into that of a bipedal lupine creature; all in accordance with the appearance of the full moon. A popular game-of-choice for paranormal slayers, werewolves are endangered; hunting in urban areas.
As a race, werewolves are largely regarded as myth and fiction. This is to their benefit as it allows them to live and hunt anonymously; their kills written off as animal attacks. Only professional monster hunters as well as any number of occult societies know of their existence.
The precise genesis of lycanthropes as a breed remains unknown. All that can be discerned is their atavistic connections between homo sapiens and canis lupus; undoubtedly a paranormal force of nature which bridges these two radically different species into one effective predator.
A popular myth among occultists if that of the Navajo skinwalkers; Native American witches who took on the form and attributes of animals by skinning them and wearing their pelts. According to the lore, these witches took on the shape of wolves to become the first pack of lycans.
One of the earliest historical cases of lycan attacks occurred in the 18th Century in a province of France known as Gévaudan. The creature - a loup-garou called La Bête du Gévaudan, the Beast of Gévaudan - claimed over two hundred victims before being hunted down by Jean Chastel.
Known more clinically as hominus lupus or lycanthropes - also called lycans for short - werewolves are territorial predators which instinctively form packs in the same manner as natural wolves. Like wolves, these packs are organized into a hierarchy; the alpha, betas, and omegas.
The alpha leader is the most aggressive and most experienced of the pack; having garnered both respect and trust from his packmates through their skills of reliability and intimidation. The alpha is first among equals; they hunt prey first, eat kills first, and breed mates first.
The pack betas constitute the body of the pack; usually numbering four in total. Betas are the followers of the alpha; protecting the leader and offering up either themselves or their own mates to be bred by the alpha. Most Betas became werewolves after being bitten by the alpha.
Finally, omegas are at the bottom of the ladder. These lycans may either belong to a pack or they may be lone wolves. Within a pack, omegas tend to be subordinate to the betas; numbering roughly two or three at most. They are seen as weak due to social ineptitude or poor control.
Although they can be born from at least one werewolf parent, most werewolves are created from the bloodied bite of another werewolf; the blood and siliva and the lycan mixing within the bloodstream of the victim to create a kind of venom or infectious mutagen to begin the change.
The first shift for a bite victim is triggered by the following full moon. During the meantime, they will experience headaches and massive boosts of energy and appetite accompanied by fevers and joint pains as their anatomy slowly changes in accordance with the shift of the moon.
Psychological changes are also prevalent as the victim becomes more aggressive and more driven by base instincts. Although in most cases they are still very much in-control, some victims experience severe tantrums. Nightmares involving wolves and sexual fantasies are also common.
Powers & Abilities
- Canine Shapeshifting: Werewolves are bound to the sway of the full moon. This triggers the shift in their anatomy which transforms them from human to lupine. Even when not in the presence of a full moon, werewolves may call upon their inner beast; eyes glowing yellow and bearing their fangs and claws.
- Increased Strength: A fully shifted werewolf exhibits raw strength far in excess of any man or canine; able to easily challenge large land predators such as lions or bears. Even when unchanged, a werewolf may brutalize a strong man easily. As a pack, werewolves may take down nearly any large animal.
- Accelerated Healing: As a side-effect of their bodies's supernatural capacity to shift between forms, injuries from most weapons - even bullets - simply knit themselves back together in a matter of seconds. This ability also renders them resistant to infections and poisons short of aconite or silver.
- Decelerated Aging: As a byproduct of their accelerated healing, their shape-shifting abilities also endow them with a degree of longevity. While not immortal, werewolves enjoy a generous lifespan; their aging slowed upon their first change. A young lycan may live up to several centuries at longest.
- Heightened Senses: Werewolves possess the same superior senses of hearing and smell as that of a canine; capable of listening to a heartbeat from up to a mile away or tracking prey just by their scent alone across similar distances. Their wolf eyes are color-blind, but also able to see in the dark.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Werewolves are endowed both with quickened reflexes and a heightened precision of movement which enables them to sidestep bullets and perform daring parkour feats. Their toughness and precision also allows them to fall from several stories and land on their feet without injuries.
- Canine Empathy: As they are partially of the canine genus, werewolves possess some innate degree of instinctual empathy with other canines. They can flash their lupine eyes or growl and it will calm any agitated dogs or wolves in their presence. Their howls also draw in any canines that hear it.
- Scent Tracking: Like many canines, werewolves are natural bloodhounds; able to track scents from up to several miles. Once they have a creature's scent, it's for life; able to recollect the fragrance instantaneously. In addition to their sense of smell, werewolves can track heartbeats for miles.
- Silver Weapons: The most reliable weapons against a werewolf is one infused with silver. Lycans suffer from a severe genetic allergy to silver; causing them severe burns and blisters upon direct contact. Silver nitrate is the most effective poison to them; either injected or utilized in bullets.
- Animal Instincts: Although they possess the intelligence and willpower of a human, werewolves are still partially animals driven by primal instincts. They are naturally aggressive and easily angered is provoked. Their sexual drives is also noticeably heightened as well as an appetite for red meat.
- Aconite Poisoning: Parallel to their allergenic susceptibility to silver, aconite - or wolf's bane - is severely more poisonous to lycans than it is to humans or other animals. Like silver, it rashes their skin on contact and can poison them from the inside out if introduced into their bloodstream.