Legends of human beings that can transform into animals is as old as the race itself. The Greeks called it ‘Therianthropy’, the ability of a human to metamorphose into other animals by the means of ‘shapeshifting’. In our ‘Resonated World’ we embrace the term Lycanthrope, which has since evolved to encompass all humans cursed to transform against their will into a vicious and maniacal combination of man and animal- typically of an apex predator class.
The term is thought have been derived from the Greek king of Arcadia. Lycaon, who in the most popular version of the myth, tested Zeus’ power of omniscience by serving him the roasted flesh of his son Nyctimus. Some test. Obviously Zeus’ ability was confirmed. His son’s life was restored and old Lycaon was punished for his gruesome deed by transforming him and his offspring into wolf-like creatures. Thus the term Lycanthrope originally referred only to wolves, but through time all similar legends from varying cultures have been drawn under it’s blanket. In Russia, we commonly have were-bears, in India, tigers, Africa, were-leopards, South America has jaguars, and so on. Europe, the United Kingdom and North America tended to be dominated by the wolf legend.
All lycanthropes posses a were-form amalgamating them most commonly with an ‘apex predator’. That is a carnivorous predator, rising to the top of it’s particular food chain. Animals that a humans tend to fear.
A connection between the character’s cultural heritage and the type of Lycanthrope they become equates to most combinations. This does not mean that a person’s ethnic background HAS TO dictate the type, rather it’s their culture, the lore of the land, that tends to have the influence. Remember also, not to confuse a Lycanthrope with a Shapeshifter. In North America, Lycanthropes tend be wolves, bears or big cats. Native lore is rich in animal transformations concerning foxes and coyotes, but these tend to be 'Shapeshifters’ not Lycanthropes.
We simply ask to provide a little support for the reason behind your character's type of Lycanthrope if it's 'unusual' for their region. For example, 'A were-jaguar in New York'. Not out of the question, we just want to know why they're a little more exotic than most. Typically, the character would have originally been from South America or might have spent enough time there to be influenced by the lore of that land.
Did Lycanthropes exist prior to the Nevus event? The reality of the Resonance has allowed people to accept that in the past there might have been ‘weak spots’ in the ‘veil’ from time-to-time. Weakened magical influences could lend support to what were once believed to be far-fetched stories but the truth is the virus existed long before the Resonance. However it died out centuries ago only re-activated with the first Nevus event - therefore no characters, nor any extended sub-characters of theirs will exist prior to the Nevus Event of 2010.
The following information is extensive and for good reason. The Lycanthropes on this site deviate from what most people have come to expect. We do not follow the usual pop-culture lore and have provided a comprehensive article to avoid misunderstandings which could potentially lead to undesirable conflict.
Those infected with the lycaneximius-virus live a cursed life, forever governed by the sway of the moon. While the individual gains increased strength, durability and longevity they can never lead a normal life. When the change takes them they become a monster. There is nothing left of the person they were, no recognition of loved ones, they are replaced by a raging, murderous beast. Imagine the horror of knowing that three days of every month you will become the stuff of nightmares, that you will not be in control of yourself, that you might meet your end. Lycanthropes do not live a charmed life, the beast-within ever lurks within their psyche; haunting their dreams. It comes as no surprise that many of these creatures meet their end by their own hand.
There is a 12 hour window in which one can receive treatment by antiviral or magical means to reverse the infection. Once the transformation to an infected is complete beyond the 24th hour, the process cannot be reversed. It is permanent. Much in the same fashion as one cannot 'heal' a metahuman, the infected's physiology has changed so much that they are no longer human and therefore what is afflicting them is not a sickness. It is their new state of being. Additionally, each virus cannot infect another of the three super viruses.
This means that the Vampire Virus (nocturnaeximius-virus), Lycanthrope Virus (lycaneximius-virus) and Zombie Virus (morteximius-virus) cannot contract one of the other two superviruses. However, another supervirus entering the bloodstream of an infected person can make them extremely sick, possibly rendering them immobile and in extreme cases killing them.
The Vampire Virus (nocturnaeximius-virus), Lycanthrope Virus (lycaneximius-virus) and Zombie Virus (morteximius-virus) cannot be modified by science or magic. This is because they are a corner stone of our setting and any alterations to them would cause drastic changes to our world. Your characters are, however, welcome to experiment away so long as those attempts end in failure. It is already suspected that the super-viruses are a combination of biology and magic, so many experiments are simply trying to prove that theory.
A LYCANTHROPE IS ONLY A LYCANTHROPE
THIS IS AN ADULT WRITING SITE. THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO LYCANTHROPE COMBINATIONS ALLOWED. NO WERE-ZOMBIES, WERE-VAMPIRES, OR ZOMBIE-VAMPIRES.
When a Metahuman or Empowered Human is infected by the Lycanthrope virus, all that they were before is gone. They usually (there are special cases) retain no special powers and are only Lycanthrope.
Lycanthropes (NEVER, EVER, shortened to 'Lycan') are created by a virus similar to one creating Vampires and zombies, called the lycaneximius-virus. Unlike the other viruses, the Lycanthrope must be in shifted form to transmit the virus by bite. The host will also always have the scent of the form he or she takes, detectable only to those who have strong senses of smell. The lycaneximius-virus is spread by the bite of an infected animal or human who is in their shifted form, as well as by blood/saliva contact.
While the race itself falls under the heading of Lycanthrope the individual kinds are designated by their animal type, such as were-wolf, or were-tiger.
Under the nights of the full moon (including a day or two before), and only on this time, the Lycanthrope suffers an uncontrollable transformation into that of a monstrous predatory mammal combined with human traits. They become a vicious humanoid-beast commonly of canine or feline origin but other types can exist. They are NOT CUTE and NEVER nice and have minimum height of six feet tall. A were-rat is a giant scary rat beast, not a ferocious pygmy. As stated, Lycanthropes are large, frightening, predatory creatures.
Those infected with the super viruses are sterile, and unable to procreate.
THE CREATION OF LYCANTHROPE
A bite while in their wild animal form is what it takes, or some other direct blood to saliva or blood to blood contact. When this occurs, the infected victim will permanently carry the smell of the creature that infected them.
LYCANTHROPES ARE NOT SHAPE-SHIFTERS
Lycanthropes CANNOT shift at will. Their only form is the wild were-form (of the animal the member has chosen) and it occurs only on the Full Moon cycle. We adhere to real time on this site, and use the Lunar cycle of our current year: Lunar Calendar
THE FULL MOON — "The Turn"
During the night of the full moon, and the two to three nights prior to and after the full moon, the lycaneximius-virus infected individual will shift nightly from their human form and into the 'wild-were-form'.
During days and nights leading up to the time of "The Turn" and days after the Lycanthrope can begin feel the beast within. They become more sensitive, even slightly stronger due to the ferocity building within them. They become moody, their tempers short, feral. Animalistic thoughts invade their mind making it difficult to perform complex tasks. Meditation and herbal concoctions can alleviate the pre and post stress of the turn, every Lycanthrope develops their own methods to cope with transformation.
The change is violent. It is a physical, biological, metamorphosis. Muscles contort and bones twist and snap into place as the body aggressively and painfully morphs into a bestial form. The change takes approximately three to five minutes, it isn't instantaneous, but even in the midst of the transformation the Were can be dangerous, as they are still aware of their surroundings and capable of defending themselves. The change back is relatively tranquil by comparison. With the approach of dawn, the transformation has run it's course. The energy of the 'change' expended, the beast falls asleep and slowly returns to their Human form.
The process of the Lycanthrope returning to Human state is also a 'healing time'. The person awakes with no damage, unless the were-beast was struck by silver. If so, they will have some lingering damage. Barring this or their 'return' being interrupted, all damage will repair.
If the Lycanthrope is, at the time of the 'return' to Human form, threatened, they will not fall unconscious and be forced to endure the pain of the change once more as they deal with the danger. The reason the Lycanthrope falls unconscious during the 'return', is mainly precautionary. They are severely weakened and the self-sedation allows them to maintain steady vitals through the process. Adrenaline will keep them conscious. They can indeed defend themselves even while undergoing the change. At one point, when they are close to being physically Human again, their brain will change, and they will become lucid and aware. It is a shocking experience since they normally 'sleep' through this part of the change. If they are undamaged there will be no ill effects to them physically, other than fact they will be extremely fatigued. Of course, if the were-beast suffered damage, those wounds that would normally be healed will remain.
If a Lycanthrope dies while in it's 'were-form' the bloody body reverts to it's human-form within a few minutes.
THE LYCANTHROPIC WERE-FORM
A Lycanthrope transforms into a bipedal human-animal amalgam. They do not change into 'normal looking' animals. Lycanthropes are frightening monstrosities to behold and are not in anyway 'normal' animals.
Irregardless of the size of their predatory mammal they simulate, their transformed states are a minimum of normal 'Human' size and larger. Regardless of their species they stand a minimum of 6 feet tall. Were-wolves can grow to the immense size of 7 to 8 feet in height, possibly even larger, and the great cats and bears will surpass even this to a maximum of ten feet. Lycanthropes are supposed to be BIG. Please do not create a Were-wolf that is only six feet tall and weighs no more than an average man, they will just be rejected. Even a Were-fox, despite it's graceful form will develop into a powerful 250 to 300 pound beast. These are not slim built creatures, they are powerfully muscled not unlike apes.
Once the mutation has been stimulated by the moon and the change is complete. IT IS FIXED. During the course of the night, the werebeast will NOT slip back to human form.
INTELLECT AND CONSCIOUSNESS
During their time shifted, the transformed lycanthrope's intellect is lowered to that of an animal with no sense of self and with no human reasoning. They are for all intense purposes a vicious animal seeking to appease an endless hunger driving them to spread the Lycanthrope Virus. They are positively mad with rage, the entire night a hunt but as it is not in the best interest of the virus to kill the host the were-beast will not always 'kill' but rather 'wound'. This is completely unconscious and random on the part of the creature, although some biologists theorize that stronger and healthier individuals may be unconsciously selected as prime hosts.
THE FULL MOON
The reflected light of the full moon (AND ONLY THE FULL MOON) triggers a sudden and painful mutation of the host body by the virus. They do not have to be directly in the light, as soon as the moon rises the turn will begin and will start to end with it's setting (though this is not always case as they may remain transformed as times until the first light of day).
No other triggers other than the FULL MOON will cause the TURN. There is definitely a magical component to the stimulation of the viral change.
NO HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS — THE HOSTILE BEAST
They typically have no recollection in the morning of what their were-form did the night before. The Human-mind CANNOT rationalize the beast. They will have brief distorted recollections but it is extremely difficult to make sense of them. Their 'Human consciousness' has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on their transformed state. They become malevolent animals with an intellect between that of a wolf and an ape. They can reason as such, but are often so enraged that they are irrational. During the turn, their existence is all about the hunt, the kill, the satisfaction of sinking their claws and fangs into flesh. They have an insatiable appetite.
A Lycanthrope of the approximate size of a standard Were-Wolf is 40 to 55 times stronger than the average man in their WILD-WERE-FORM (without human reasoning). As a rule, creatures that are the same as, or larger than a wolf tend to all have similar strength. The difference in strength between a were-wolf and were-tiger, for instance, isn't too drastic. This is because Lycanthropes are viral mutations and much stronger than their animal counter parts due to supenatural strength.
A Were-wolf is used in the example below so you can do the math were other larger species are concerned. Naturally a Were-bear is going to be much larger than a Were-Wolf but realistically their strength, which is 'supernatural' will not increase that much more.
Your average Were-Wolf in their HYBRID FORM stands 7'7" tall and weighs approximately 650 lbs.
Running speed is approx. 65 MPH, either on two legs or a partial quadrupedal gate like that of an ape.
Both male and female were-creatures are of equal strength while in were-creature form. A were-wolf sized were-creature would possess these stats:
Bench Press: 4100 - 5740 • Squat: 5500 - 7700 • Deadlift: 6850 - 9590
While Lycanthropes possess the basic nature and instincts of their animal counter-part, they ARE NOT normal animals. They are violent and will kill any other creature that crosses their path with the exception of other Lycanthropes. In order to perpetuate the virus, Lycanthropes will avoid one another during the 'change'. If another Lycanthrope is encountered, animal instincts may kick in, but more powerful is the urge to AVOID CONFLICT, mainly because it's pointless for a were-creature to infect what is already infected. This is what drives them. To pass on the virus. It is one of their main purposes during the change.
CAGING THE BEAST
Nothing enrages a Lycanthrope more than containment. It drives them to insanity. A Lycanthrope will batter itself bloody, break it's bones, struggle to it's last breath before turning back to Human in an attempt to escape bonds or cage. These creatures cannot be 'domesticated'. They cannot be trained. They cannot be reasoned with. Lycanthropes are not 'normal' animals and cannot be treated as such.
Lycanthropes in their wild-were forms will either avoid or attack all others of their own kind which are not a part of their pack. In their Human forms they are all inherently reserved amongst their own kind, keeping to members of their own pack and often avoiding other Lycanthropes.
Naturally they will gravitate more toward their own specific species keeping all others at a distance. This is as much self-preservation as it is territoriality and mainly based on their were-creature instincts which are difficult to override.
The Relationship Between Vampires and Lycanthropes
In most lore, there is a natural hatred between vampires and werecreatures. Truth is, vampires are still works of fiction to most of the world. While their scent would rouse suspicion for a lycanthrope, what exactly they are may elude them. For vampires it is known that those infected with other strains of the super viruses are unable to contract the vampire-virus through bite or blood/saliva contact. Some thought for a time to use Lycanthropes as blood dolls but found soon that the blood of the infected actually causes harm, producing powerful flu-like symptoms and in many cases coma.
Typically a Lycanthrope is feared by all, and actively hunted by the VANGUARD of HUMANITY and most anyone else that has the bravery to stand up to these terrifying creatures.
MAGIC & ABILITIES
As with the Vampire Virus (nocturnaeximius-virus), the Were-creature Virus (lycaneximius-viruss) reduces or even negates the victim's abilities. It also causes a Magus to lose their magical abilities. Lycanthropes simply do not have a large repertoire of magical abilities, they are powerful enough already. EXTRA POWERS DETRACT FROM THE RACE AND ARE NOT PERMITTED.
Supernatural Strength, Speed, Endurance and Resilience
Transformed Lycanthropes are extremely powerful. They heal rapidly (within minutes -- even seconds depending on the wound). They run faster than their animal counterparts by at least twice, and have what may seem to be, endless endurance. Their regenerative abilities allow for incredible stamina needing only rest for a short amount of time to completely rejuvenate their strength.
LYCANTHROPE HUMAN STATE
For most of it's a life a Lycanthrope is Human. In this state it CANNOT pass on the Lycanthrope-Virus. The virus is inert in this form. Naturally they do not possess the incredible strength and endurance of their transformed state but they are usually twice as strong as Human of their physical size. They still possess some of their regenerative powers in that they'll fully heal most forms of damage but it is much slower. Regardless of their animal type they all have roughly the same physical stature, give or take.
An example of a 165 lb man:
Bench Press: 320 • Squat: 430 • Deadlift: 500
An example of a 125 lb woman:
Bench Press: 230 • Squat: 275 • Deadlift: 375
A Lycanthrope Human's strength, speed and endurance will increase exponentially as they near the time of the TURN. If brought to anger they could potentially double their current attributes but they are also very prone to completely losing control as well.
SENSES & TRAITS
In their Human form, a Lycanthrope will also retain (in varying degrees) some of their animal senses and traits. Often, they are not as intense, but periods of stress and proximity to the full moon will increase them. They are also perceived differently by animals, their scent and magical nature confused them and animals tend to detect what they are and treat them accordingly, often with respect.
WEAKNESSES — Killing a Lycanthrope
A lycanthrope is equally resilient both their states. As a 'human' silver is still required to kill them, that and cutting off their head.
They have an allergy to silver, some theorize due to its antiviral properties. To kill a Lycanthrope it takes an extremely high dosage of the metal in their vital organs. Wounds inflicted with silver weapons take longer to heal, and in some cases will not heal until the silver is removed. The nullification of their powerful regenerative abilities is usually what kills them.
Silver injected directly into the blood stream can sedate a Lycanthrope, of course it is difficult to know exactly just how long they will remain unconscious. It may also shift them back into human form, as it seems to kill enough of the active virus, but it is just a common for them to remain unconscious in their wild were-form. It is, however, NOT POSSIBLE for a person to prevent the 'change' by injecting silver nitrate in their bloodstream. The energy of the 'turn' is so powerful that no amount of silver can prevent it until half of an hour has elapsed. The only way to prevent the change, is by taking their head off, thus killing them.
DECAPITATION, DESTRUCTION OF THE BRAIN and DESTROYING THE HEART
In the absence of silver the only other way to slay a Lycanthrope is decapitation, completely destroying the brain and destroying the heart.
This goes for the transformed Lycanthrope and their Human form. They can both take an incredible amount of damage but if their brain is completely crushed, their head removed, or their heart completely obliterated they will die.
Consequently, if they sustain 'partial damage' to their brain or heart that's serious damage that can significantly weaken them. Even knock them out. If they are impaled through the head or the heart their regenerative ability is compromised and they need to remove the object as quickly as possible or they will eventually fall into a coma. This stasis will remain until the object is removed.
GET THEM WHILE THEY'RE HUMAN!
Naturally, the best way to kill a Lycanthrope is to get them when they are most vulnerable, which is in their Human Form. As a Human the Lycanthrope's regeneration is far weaker. Their adrenaline can sustain them for a while after suffering a mortal wound but after enough damage they will succumb to unconsciousness. Their Human state can be killed by mortal wounds inflicted by silver. Thus a shot to the heart with a silver bullet will kill them.
A Lycanthrope in it's wild-were-form can go without oxygen for a full fifteen minutes! That's if they actually considered holding their breath, which they don't. When the beast cannot breath, it will instinctive gulp for air, prematurely suffocating or drowning itself. They won't last longer than five minutes, which is commonly the maximum amount of time that their Human form can hold their breath. After that they will enter a comatose state, regaining consciousness in a few minutes once they can breathe again. Without air, a Lycanthrope actually enters a state not unlike hibernation and can remain so for months, possibly years, until they finally expire.
PARENTAGE & OFFSPRING
You will note that the rules concerning 'packs' is very detailed. We debated for some time to give into to 'pop-culture' and allow lycanthropes to form packs or family units. Overall we still prefer these creatures to be solitary and while we are accepting of the 'pack concept' are very strict about the way it's portrayed.
When a Lycanthrope passes on it's viral infection to another, a part of it is also transferred along with it. Not only does the scent of the 'parent' remain a part of the 'off-spring', but a sense of the parent's self is also transferred. This allows Were-creatures to detect those they turn, they are referred to as their 'Offspring', and they are in turn able to identify their parent.
Lycanthropes do not have a maternal instinct, they feel no responsibility for those whom they turn. The Lycanthrope, when in Human form, makes a conscious decision whether or not to mentor their 'offspring'. Those they refuse, are considered 'shunned' but this will have no implications on their life other than any psychological repercussions the 'abandonment' may cause. Offspring, in turn, do not have to abide by the rules of their 'parent', they have free will to do as they please.
MATED PAIRS & PACKS
Lycanthropes will naturally form families. There are two types of these groupings: FAMILY UNITS and PACKS. They can also have relationships and form a MATED BOND.
MATED COUPLES — THE MATED BOND
Lycanthropes that are monogamous can form a 'Mated Bond'. This means that their relationship will endure, even in their wild were-forms. They will hunt together, even defend one another. They share a powerful connection, so strong that even when separated by great distances one will get a sense of the other if they are in peril.
Mated couples DO NOT have to be of the same species, but as a rule, if a non-pack minded Lycanthrope mates with one that is pack-minded, they CANNOT form a pack. They can only develop a Family Unit (as seen below).
Members will abide by the following rules when forming a pack or family unit:
1. Only members who have been active participants on the site for over six months can start a pack.
2. They are always headed by a player member.
3. After at least two members have established a pack, one member can have one co-star in the pack.
4. No group is allowed to control a territory as large as a city.
FAMILY UNITS (The Solitary Lycanthrope)
Not all species of animals form packs and Lycanthropes adhere to these instincts with NO DEVIATION. For instance, a bear is not a pack animal, nor is a tiger. Lycanthropes which simulate a species that does not pack, will not form a pack. NO EXCEPTIONS. Instead they form a Family Group or Unit which is comprised of the 'parent', possibly a 'mate' and 'their off-spring'.
Family Units are temporary. They last FOR ONLY TWO LUNAR CYCLES.
A solitary Lycanthrope or a mated couple can have up to three Lycanthropes at a time under their care for two lunar cycles. During this time they will spend much of their time together and when they turn will hunt together with no hostility towards one another. They will do this for two full moon, after which they will part ways for come the third moon their wild were-forms would turn upon one another if they did not keep their distance.
** Please note that when it comes to determining whether or not an animal forms packs or not we are going with the majority of the types that exist within that species. We are not going to allow a member to make their Lycanthrope a rare type of a species that packs while all others normally don't just so they can circumvent this rule. We will not debate this.
These are formed by those Lycanthropes which simulate regular pack predatory animals. Either a single individual or a mated couple (who are both of a pack-minded species) can start a pack by first taking in their 'infected off-spring'.
** A PACK IS ALLOWED A MAXIMUM OF 5 MEMBERS ALL OF WHICH MUST BE MEMBER CHARACTERS. If ever a group should expand beyond this due to a population of player members we would only then consider the possibility of increasing this amount.
Usually the 'parent(s)' are the Alphas, but that dynamic can change if an 'offspring' challenges the dominant parent for leadership of the pack. Understand that Lycanthropes are relatively new species and only in their first generation so parental challenges are still uncommon. If one parent is usurped both lose their status.
This is a conscious challenge, which means it occurs in their Human state. Once the challenge is made it actually remains in their psyche so that during the change they can battle it out. The nature of the challenge is up to the individuals, it can be in Human or Wild-Were form. Note there are no alpha's of large territories - they are only Alpha over their own pack/offspring. At most they might stake claim and protect a small area like a park.
The only way a pack can take on an OUTSIDE Lycanthrope (one who has been turned by a Lycanthrope out of the pack) is if they 'mate' with a current member.
The 'MATED BOND' will ensure that the pack does not kill the individual while in their 'wild-were-forms' but these outsiders will find it extremely hard to gain status due to the fact that they are not a part of the immediate family group.
After NINE FULL MOONS the 'mated' outsider's scent will resemble their pack to a point that they are accepted as full member of the pack. They are then granted all the rights of a blood-member. Special note: If a mated outsider turns a victim and generates offspring before the six moon period, that offspring WILL NOT be accepted by the pack!
Packs can be made up of different pack-minded species. Thus you could technically have a mated pair of a Were-lion and Were-wolf producing their off-spring and forming a pack. Toss in an 'outsider' or two and you could have a typical multi-were pack.
If ever a pack member chooses to mate with a non-pack minded Lycanthrope, they are out of the pack. No exceptions. A non-pack minded Lycanthrope CANNOT 'pack' by association. Lycanthropes that DO NOT pack will NEVER pack.
What happens if people are related by blood prior to their infection by the Lycanthrope Virus? If they are turned by the same Lycanthrope then they still react to one another as relatives. If they are turned by different Lycanthropes they possess different scents and will avoid, even fight one another when in their transformed states. In their Human forms, the established bond will allow them to still function as 'family members' but their Lycanthrope instincts will put a definite strain on their relationship.