Julio | Werewolves
Found in Chapter…
- Rough sex
More to the story…
The Norse believe they came when the great Fenrir, son of Loki, fell in love with a human woman and begat sons of her. The Greeks believed they were the children of Lycaon, punished by Zeus for serving human flesh at a meal and damned to wander as a wolf for all eternity. The Mongol people believed that their shamans held such powers as to transform voluntarily and held them in high regard. In fact, many cultures with totemic belief structures felt this to be entirely possible in one form or another. Some said their holy folk could take on the body in real physical form, others could inhabit the mind of a wolf. Perhaps there is some truth to all iterations, for in the modern era we understand that there are two types of werewolves; the Hereditary (or Gifted) lycanthrope & the Contracted (Bitten/Cursed) lycanthrope.
Hereditary lycanthrope occurs as a dominant trait in the genes. It is passed down through generation to generation with varying levels of success depending upon the mate of the werewolf in question. For example, two HL’s will produce an offspring with the HL trait 90% of the time, allowing for a roughly 10% variation which can occur, creating a dormant genetic code. This means that while the offspring carry the HL gene, they will not exhibit any traits from their parents, but will instead pass it on to their eventual offspring. An HL and a human mate stand a 60% chance of having offspring with the HL gene with 30% chance of offspring who will carry the gene as a recessive trait, passing it down through the family line. There exists a 10% chance that the offspring will exhibit no traits whatsoever, earning them the nickname of runts.
Hereditary lycanthropes have many advantages over the less favored Contracted lycanthropes. For one thing, they learn about their traits early, assuming they have a parent around with the trait. They begin learning how to control their transformations as soon as they are able. Though prone to emotional outbursts in youth, which can often trigger the state, they typically gain greater control over time till they have full ability to focus their gifted abilities in adulthood. Gifted lycanthropes maintain language skills and full possession of their human minds even while fully transformed. They also have the usually increased senses, heightened strength, and prolific stamina. Because of this, whenever a pack of werewolves is formed, you will likely find a hereditary lycanthrope in a position of authority and leadership.
But even with all of this in mind, there are few Hereditary lycanthropes left. The reasons for this are unknown. Some state that while the likelihood of producing an HL offspring is high, the birthrate is low, with many offspring not surviving. Others state that as the world becomes a smaller place, many werewolves are choosing not to breed out of fear for their secrets being exposed and their kin hunted down. Others of a more spiritual mindset say that this ability was a gift. Something given to a family by gods whose names and rites we don’t remember. Such a gift can only last so long before it eventually loses power along with the gods that gave it. But such theories are understandably difficult to prove.
CL or Contracted lycanthropes are much more common as their condition simply requires a bite or a scratch to impart to another. A CL, having not been born with the condition, often goes through a period of illness, not unlike pneumonia between their first contact and final stages of the virus. Once the virus begins to enter its final stages, the CL will find themselves feeling much stronger with heightened senses and stamina, but it comes at a cost. Not having the training and expertise of an older, more stable werewolf, they will not know how to control their transformations when they come. This puts not only themselves but anyone else around them at risk. CL attacks are often mistaken for cougar or bear victims, leaving behind very little with which to identify the body beyond teeth.
Contracted lycanthrope is, thankfully, not passed down through genetics. It must be something picked up through injury from another Cursed member. Even if two CL’s were to breed, they would stand no chance of producing an offspring with the genetic traits to become a werewolf. However, if an HL and a CL were to mate, there would be a 75% chance of producing a viable HL offspring, with a 20% chance of dormant genes and a 5% of a runt in the litter. However, there would be a much higher chance of having no viable offspring at all, making this a notable risk for a mated pair.
There are several disadvantages to being CL beyond the lack of training and support. Contracted lycanthropes often have no sense of self while in their werewolf form. They often describe the experience as experiencing sleep paralysis, where they are both the victim of the terror and the one perpetrating the terrible deed. They can do nothing to stop themselves, and some part of them doesn’t want to. Many deny what is happening, much to the detriment of the local population. Others gain a quick understanding and do their best to isolate themselves from people during the full moon.
There are two big differences between a CL & and HL that should be taken seriously. The first; during a full moon, a Hereditary lycanthrope remains in control of their transformations. Though some have described the urge as being much stronger, and the need to hunt in the forests as almost undeniable, they can still return to human form when they wish and restrain themselves if they aren’t in a good situation to change. A CL, on the other hand, has no choice. They will transform during the nights of the full moon and remain that way until the phase has passed.
The second, a Contracted lycanthrope is much more prone to a condition known to the werewolf community as ‘berserk’. One might compare it with going feral, or perhaps even rabid if the stage is advanced enough. A berserk werewolf will no longer recognize it’s own, no longer be able to tell the difference between pack or prey. They will treat everything as an enemy and launch themselves into a fight without the slightest provocation. A berserk is not the same thing as an inexperienced werewolf. An inexperienced CL will still understand that humans are meant to be avoided unless they pose a threat. They will seek out animal prey and behave for the most part like a lone wolf without the protection of a pack. A berserk CL is reckless, ravenous and brutal. And in their deranged state, it can often take the full strength of a pack to subdue them or, if no help can be found, end them. There is some folklore which pertains to medallions, bracelets or rings which are imbued with special properties, allowing them to help a berserk lycanthrope regain their self-control. But they are so rare that most modern werewolves think they are just myths.
Werewolves of both types have a strong pack mentality. While Cursed werewolves have a tendency to live alone due to simple ignorance, it is not unknown by any extent for Gifted werewolves to seek them out and offer them a chance at self-control and a relatively normal life. With time, patience and practice, most CL’s will learn how to control themselves and retain a human mindset in their werewolf form. The support of a good pack with a firm leader seems to strengthen this ability. Provided with guidance and support, a pack can live in a crowded city block and you’d never know it. You might just think the neighbors had very noisy dogs.
The pack is everything. This mentality extends any human members of your family that are willing to keep a secret. They are entitled to the security and protection the pack provides, as well as some of it’s more unusual favors.
Werewolves may choose mates. These are romantic and platonic pairings in which two or more weres are deeply in love and pledge themselves together for as long as they wish. It is a fervent emotional bond, and it is not unusual for a mated pair to break off and go form their own pack, keeping ties to their original one in case of emergency. However, most packs are polysexual, allowing for a wide variety of partners. They have no complaints about willing humans joining in, so if you find yourself as the member of a pack, try to be too shocked if your significant other is invited to come and rut under the full moon. Some have theorized that this maintains pack discipline and camaraderie. Other’s that the increased stamina of a werewolf needs some outlet, and sex is just as good as a hunt.
Because of this, looking after offspring is considered a group effort. In urban and suburban areas it is quite common for a pack to reside in different houses, but in rural areas, a pack will often keep a group home where everyone can reside comfortably. The pack is expected to work together to function and ensure everyone gets what they need. The pack is a family, and family takes care of its own. This is beneficial in many ways, but mostly because werewolves have a huge appetite, and it takes a lot of effort to keep a pack of any size well fed!
Lycanthropes have a sort of mish-moshed tradition that has come together over the last several decades. The most important hunt in a young lycanthropes life is their first “Grappel”. During this, they are expected to catch and bring in a deer (or similarly sized prey animal) without harming it. This proves to the leader that they are in control of their instincts and abilities and can be trusted not to give over to the wolf. Most HL’s are capable of this by their twelfth year. It is understandable that CL’s, not having been training since infancy, may not achieve this ability until much older, if at all.
Hereditary werewolves can live closely with humans, especially in rural areas where their unique skills and abilities can be useful. It is not unheard of for a farmer to contract a werewolf for essentially the same purpose as a sheepdog! They pay them to patrol their herds, piss on a few trees to mark territory and generally keep out real wolves, coyotes, cougars and other creatures who present a real threat. They don’t like to be out in the open as their real selves, so provided the farmers are willing to keep a secret and the pay is decent, most werewolves don’t mind the job. They do have a tendency to enter into work fields that allow them to be close to large expanses of land. It’s not uncommon to find werewolves among forest rangers, forest firefighters, game wardens and the like. Contracted lycanthropes have a much more difficult time and often choose to live in the wilderness as far from people as possible unless they have a pack and have been taught to control their change.
There is no real enmity between gifted and cursed werewolves on a large scale. They can’t afford for there to be any. If a gifted werewolf hears of problems in an area that point to someone being cursed, they will go out of their way to help, attempting to find the uncontrolled werewolf and get them away from people. If possible, they’ll remain until they can help get the contracted lycanthrope to control their changes. If needed, they’ll take them back to their pack so they can have others around to assist.
If absolutely necessary, they will deal with the issue permanently. There is just too great a risk if humans as a whole discover that werewolves exist.
As far as other ‘supernatural’ creatures go, lycanthropes seem to have the most difficulty with any other territorial species. Harpies, drayds, large wyrms and the like are libel to find difficulties if they get into a pack’s territory. Any kind of threat display will provoke a fight, and while most other supernatural entities are not prone to contracting lycanthropy, it is generally best to avoid confrontation.
On the whole, werewolves live as long as humans do, though they are less prone to many of the degenerative diseases that plague the elderly. Alzheimers, dementia, osteoporosis, and arthritis are unlikely to prove an issue for werewolves, even in their later years. They often maintain a healthy and active lifestyle well into their nineties.