Werewolves are a species of transformed beings carrying the Lycanthropy curse. While considered monsters by most, many werewolves have managed to retain their humanity and can control their bestial urges. So make sure you understand which you’ll be fighting.
Lycanthropy Transmission and Transformation
Lycanthropy is classified by most purifier organisations as a curse, but it is transmitted through bodily liquids. Unlike Vampirism, no intent is needed to infect a new werewolf. Once bitten or exposed to the virus through an exchange of blood or other liquids, the newly infected human or other humanoid being will transform at the sight of a full moon.
Usually, a werewolf who has first transformed will lose themselves to the beast within, but if given guidance by an alpha, they will soon regain their self-awareness.
As a werewolf gains control over their bestial urges, they can come to dominate the beast within. This requires extreme discipline and concentration. Some werewolves can transform at will and resist the full moon. Very skilled and disciplined werewolves can even selectively transform their limbs – gaining werewolf claws while retaining the rest of their human shape, among other options.
There is no known cure on Earth for lycanthropy. Save the purifying embrace of death.
Werewolves, when fully transformed, resemble anthropomorphic wolves, with large musculature and limbs. The fur colour of the werewolf typically reflects the hair colour of the human. A black-haired human will be a black furred werewolf. This can come in handy when tracking a wolf in human form.
While in human form, werewolf eyes may glow a distinct gold when excited, scared or threatened. During the full moon, even controlled wolves will always have golden eyes in human form. So watch out for someone wearing sunglasses indoors.
Werewolves are social animals, and naturally form packs around an Alpha and a Beta. The Alpha is a naturally chosen position. Wolves don’t choose to be an alpha or which alpha is theirs. A werewolf who naturally becomes an alpha will have a degree of control over their own pack – almost bordering on mind control.
The role of an alpha is to help keep the pack disciplined and in control of their beast. Alphas exude a calming aura that helps with this. Betas exist to help keep the alpha under control – providing a calming influence to the leader of the pack.
The beta has no special powers, and doesn’t necessarily need to be a werewolf.
Werewolves who fail to join a pack or tame their beast within are considered rogues and are hunted down as monsters even by fellow werewolves. They’ll be your bread and butter, so pay attention.
When a werewolf cannot be reasoned with, or you find yourself against it in combat, you have one best friend – silver. While werewolves can be put down with immense damage from almost any physical source, they are incredibly hardy and recuperate from wounds rapidly.
Unless the wound is in contact with silver. As a purifying metal, silver neutralises the lycanthropy curse and prevents the werewolf from being able to control the point of contact of the silver on their flesh. Wounds will not heal if in contact with silver.
You may be tempted to use a solid silver shell, but this will be a waste of hard-earned cash. Rather, mix some silver flakes into some grapeshot and fire it into a werewolf with a shotgun. It will be harder for the beast to pick out the shot than a solid shell.
Barbed and shatter-bolt coated in silver can also do well, piercing the wolf and staying there while it regrets its nature.
If you find yourself without silver, then opt for immense firepower. A strategic and powerful blow to a vital area may put the werewolf down before it can regenerate. While cowardly, it can also be smart to ambush the werewolf while its in human form.
And when in doubt, use fire. It won’t kill them quickly, but the pain may stop them from fighting back.
Place of Werewolves in Society
Werewolves are considered monsters in Hope City and have no legal protection. While they are not hunted on sight, there is no legal recourse against a hunter putting one down. But that doesn’t mean you should go hunting the innocent ones for a new fur coat.
Back in the day, when the Vortex first erupted, almost all werewolves who were transformed by rift-borne werewolves and freak curse explosions became rogues. A few managed to overcome the curse themselves and became alphas, helping to usher in a few civilised packs.
But it was too late for the reputation of werewolves, as most Earth societies consider them monsters.
But the Last Light has different ideas. So, while you may be tempted to hunt them down with impunity, know that times change. And that what may be a monster to you, may be a friend to another.