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Opinions on werewolves

Discussion in 'World Building' started by ScaryMJDiamcreep, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. ScaryMJDiamcreep

    ScaryMJDiamcreep Troubadour

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    I'd like to hear various opinions on how werewolves work. I know svrtnsse has the werewolves in their world be a separate entity residing within the host, but I'd like to hear other opinions.

    The way they work in my world is similar to in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, where the werewolf is able to turn into wolf form at any time, but gets forced if exposed to the full moon, and the longer they're in wolf form, or if it's a full moon, the less control they have and the more the wolf instincts come to the surface.
     
    Casie likes this.
  2. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Staff Leadership

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    Our wolves (and rabbits and sharks and horses and lions, etc.) are called therian and are basically animals that turn into people. They don't think entirely like either side of their personas, they are creatures unique in the world. Most of them have half forms, the traditional wolf-man you see in movies, but are not bound to moon cycles for their changes. Some types are exclusively hereditary, some can be made through biting. Some are solitary, and some live in groups.

    Wolves are ruled by powerful kings and queens, and dominance fighting is common. The higher up the dominance fight, the more lethal the consequences. Wolf packs can get extremely large. One of the largest is in our fictional city of Seahaven, Washington, and numbers in the hundreds.
     
  3. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    This is correct. :)

    It's sort of inferred from the above, but for clarity I'll just point out that no one in my setting is born a werewolf. Rather, it's an affliction you catch from someone else who already has the condition. I haven't nailed down the specifics of exactly how it's done, but it's probably some kind of blood borne thing.

    Like A. E. LowanA. E. Lowan I've got more types of animals than wolves, and they're collectively named therianthropes, or terries for short. Another, more derogatory term is dog, but that's also the kind of term that can be used affectionately between therianthropes.
    Unlike Lowan, the therianthropic affliction can only by associated with predatory animals, so the are no werehorsese or such.

    Over time, the therianthropic affliction starts to affect the physical appearance of the subject even their human form. Ears become more pointed. Teeth turn into fangs. Hair and beard becomes thicker and shaggier. Stuff like that.
    Werewolves who reach old age will start to become very wolf-like in their appearance.
     
  4. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Werewolves in Bellringer have varying views on whether their lycanthropy is a curse or a blessing. Those who revere Luna as goddess of the moon believe they are humans granted their wolf side as a blessing; the forced change under the full moon, where they lose their human consciousness, is the drawback. Others worship Hekate as a goddess of darkness, and believe they are descended from wolves who were blessed with the ability to think and transform into humans; the full moon change occurs when Hekate's power is at its weakest and they are forced to revert to mindless wolves. Hekateans have a self-imposed duty to bite as many humans as possible to show their superiority over the "lesser" people, while Lunites understand that this is often unwanted and some have started to search for a way to restore victims to their human state. In both cases silver is associated with Luna, either as a reminder to pay her homage or as punishment for not doing so.

    The Church, meanwhile, says that the first werewolves are the result of the dogs who fed on the corpse of Judas Iscariot later biting humans and turning them into wolflike beasts; they associate the full moon change and the burning effect of silver with Judas' betrayal of Jesus (the payment of 30 silver coins coinciding with the 28-day lunar cycle plus the duality of man and beast). Jewish werewolves trace their heritage to Benjamin son of Jacob, who was famously compared to a preying wolf by his father in Genesis 49:27.
     
    Svrtnsse likes this.
  5. There's only one werewolf main character, named Mika, in one of my books, which hasn't been written yet. :D She falls in love with a female kitsune, and the two become partners. So far, I haven't given much thought as to what differentiates Mika from most interpretations of werewolves, but it'll come.
     
  6. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Eld's werewolves are legion. From the standard shapeshifting bunch and wolfwere's and a variety of other lycanthropes about to putting on a wolf cloak and becoming one. Or just general werebeasties. And with some corrupted magic, the change becomes permanent. Kind of. But it's how one ends up with gnolls and minotaurs and the like. Gnolls are the single most powerful former were's about (I like hyena's, therefore dote on them) and tend to easily overpower a lot of other beings about (the fact elves rarely mess with them is fair warning).

    Gnolls also tend to go my go-to werebeasts and they also have a running feud with Eld's version of vampires (the Bloodthirsters). A feud in which they are winning, especially since they can start to take on their human forms again. The other werewolves just tend to hang out with Red Riding Hood and are ruled over by a wolf named Gold (formerly the Big Bad Wolf and formerly Nightmare Wolf, who once ate a moon).
     
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  7. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Sage

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    I only mention were-creatures as a failed attempt (ancient magic) for practioners to master shape-shifting. I have a lot of 'flawed' primordial magic systems that either were forced underground because of how essentially evil they were, or were ways that simply fell out of fashion once a better way was perfected. Shapeshifting in general however, is frowned upon.

    I rather prefer the exposure to a full moon being a transformative experience. In my WIP, total transformation is a voluntary act, but behavior in human form is influenced severely. And I think other transformations at other moon phases should have different effects on the person. If the full moon makes the person more mentally wolf than human, then the new moon should be the opposite, and waxing and waning moons should be different as well. This relationship to the moon would culturally make these people completely lunar-calender obsessed. I have it were eclipses and certain moon phases are/were very dangerous times for transformation.

    I'm not using a bite as something that 'transmits' the were-ness. It's by ritual or by birth, and both parents have to be shapeshifters of the same creature, more or less with how hybridization works IRL. There's sadly a historical account of two totally disalike parents and during the newborn's first transformation, it died. Complications like that is what helped the were-creature method fall out of favor.
     
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  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    I have Shapeshifters in my wip but they are becoming closer to the Navajo idea of a Skin Walker than a more traditional [European?] werewolf.
    So it's a skill that can be learned, and the one that learns it is usually someone not to be messed with but is someone who might mess with you...
    I've toyed with the werewolf idea earlier, but I think Terry Pratchett's take is pretty good and I find myself going back to that as a template if I'm not careful.
     
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  9. ScaryMJDiamcreep

    ScaryMJDiamcreep Troubadour

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    That sounds interesting. How would that even work? Is it symbolic or what?
     
  10. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Archmage

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    Not even a bit symbolic. At least the moon eating part. One of Eld's many moons (which is also an old Titan like god too, called the Elder, which goes for all of them) got tired of all the war that was going on and decided to come to the planet and force them to peace by having a common enemy. This is in what amounted to Eld's Bronze and Iron age too, so a god moon coming down, taking a massive humanoid shape and forcing everyone to fight it's armies that it could create at will did spark a lot of cooperation.

    The Nightmare Wolf wad displeased that the moon was on it's hunting grounds and gathered it's pack and took on it's sky form of a midnight black monstrosity with stars for eyes and a maw that split the sky and ate the moon. Then several of the armies and gave warning to the rest of the moons in the sky, should it happen again it would eat them too. So, yeah, the world got more or less saved by a deus ex machina. The current age most the Elder actively avoid doing such things because there are mortals far scarier then the Nightmare Wolf about.
     
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  11. Chams

    Chams Acolyte

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    @ScaryMJDiamcreep I agree with your opinion on Werewolves, I learnt a true werewolf is a human being that transforms uncontrollably during a full moon. Werewolves lose control of their human minds and can be dangerous, when they wake up and transform to human being, they cannot remember their activities while in Wolf form.
     
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  12. ScaryMJDiamcreep

    ScaryMJDiamcreep Troubadour

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    Because werewolves are not a real thing, as far as can be proven, there can be no such thing as a "true" werewolf. There can be "fake" werewolves within an author's setting, but that's entirely up to them.
     
  13. Ewolf20

    Ewolf20 Minstrel

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    In my urban fantasy setting, therian as they're called were the results of the fiddling of a sorcerer who fell in love with a wolf. he turned her into a human so they may truly love each other, but this was seen as a law against nature and gaia punished them both to shift between the forms of man and beast. the curse spread throughout the world until it evolved into what we know as werewolves.

    therian can't bite people and expect them to become therian. instead, they must undergo a ritual requiring the use of creating a mark on the person's shoulder and letting the full moon bask over them. the change doesn't kick in until the next visable moon.
     
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  14. Chessie2

    Chessie2 Staff Article Team

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    I absolutely LOVE werewolves. Love, love, love.

    Unfortunately, it seems that they aren't as favored as vampires, so with a few urban fantasy exceptions I have not found any good medieval fantasy books featuring these awesome beasts. I enjoy the lore from various cultures on werewolves and think them to be underdone in the fantasy genre. As we inch closer to NaNo, the thought of resurrecting an old werewolf tale idea that I never wrote is tempting. Currently planned is a book for one of my series but damn, it's NaNoWriMo, the only time of year when writing outside of my designated genre is acceptable. So, who knows, I might be writing a werewolf romance for November. The original idea entailed a ritualistic entrance into lycanthropy, with it being a curse as well as an honor to attain.

    And by the way, the greatest werewolf movie of all time is Ginger Snaps, which also has a sequel that is hard to track down for some reason.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2018
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    You might like Bellringer then, Chessie -- it's set in England in the 1500's, and there are lots of werewolves, as described above. ^^ The MC is also a werewolf who falls in love with a mage, both female.
     
  16. ScaryMJDiamcreep

    ScaryMJDiamcreep Troubadour

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    I think that werewolves in my world would not be able to be powerful mages, as I've now imagined the lycanthropy as being a very agressive set of signature magic that will kill off the signature magic an infected might have beforehand. I also think that lycanthropy would be the only magic that is not scared of divine magic, but devine magic is strong enough to defeat lycanthropy and does not appreciate its presence.
     
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