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Werewolves and resting?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Svrtnsse, Sep 27, 2018.

  1. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    So, more questions on how you feel about werewolves.

    Let's say werewolves are very strong and have a very high level of endurance. Their wounds heal fast, and they can keep going for days without stopping to eat or rest.

    Let's also say that all werewolves were once regular humans, meaning they weren't born as werewolves.

    The question now is:
    Despite their bodies not needing rest, would the werewolves need to pause to let their minds rest?
     
  2. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

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    It's humans that used to be able to hunt by chasing after something constantly until it dropped dead from exhaustion, and we can bounce back from injuries that other species can't. Just look at what happens if a horse breaks its leg.

    If everything is bumped up to supernatural levels then personally I would go with no.
     
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  3. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    A human starved of sleep for only a few days will go fairly loopy.
    If their brain is still [basically] human I would say that some "off-time" would be essential. Maybe they have developed a split brain thing that I have heard Whales have, where they can "sleep" a part of their brain at a time and still remain aware of their surroundings.
     
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  4. EponasSong

    EponasSong Scribe

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    hmm depends on how much of the "human" the werewolf retains. Fish don't sleep per say, so maybe the werewolves do something similar?

    Side note, maybe they can go days or weeks without rest but every once in awhile they have to rest for a whole day, making them vulnerable. Kind of like a hibernation but a shorter period of time. Just a thought.

    Werewolves to my understanding aren't part of the undead family which means they are subject to needs of most living creatures. And almost all living creatures need rest of some sort.
     
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  5. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    I'm with Epona on this one. Even for all their supernatural endurance, there's usually a price for it. And while they often get lumped in with the corpse walkers, they are big beasties of flesh and blood ramped up. They'd need rest and probably a decent amount of food to keep going and dropping back into human form would probably be a way of doing it. Maybe if they stay wolf too long they go feral? You've made mention before that the beast usually wants out. And if it comes all the way out, well, maybe they get mode locked.
     
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  6. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Thanks for all the comments everyone. I'll try and explain the situation in a bit more detail as it applies to the setting I'm writing in.

    To begin with, being a werewolf (therianthropy) is an affliction - magical in nature. The afflicted person becomes physically stronger and more resilient They can heal the most grievous wounds, and they're practically immune to (most) poisons. Therianthropy enhances the afflicted person's body in a number of ways.
    However, the affliction also has a will of its own. The afflicted person is no longer alone in their body but shares it with their bestial aspect - a wolf, in the case of werewolves. The beast has its own will and priorities, and may not always get along very well with the human they coexist with.

    For the most part, the human mind is strong enough to keep the beast in check. On an average day, the afflicted person is able to function as a normal human being. When things get complicated is when the human mind gets tired. Keeping the beast in check becomes more difficult, and the beast has an easier time influencing the decisions of the human.
    All the while, the human body is as strong and sharp as ever.

    If an afflicted person stays active for too long, the beast could potentially take over at least temporarily, and cause some serious damage - if so inclined.

    In the current story, Alene is therianthrope. She's lost in the jungle, and all she knows is she needs to head due south. Being afflicted, she could potentially keep going for several days and nights without stopping. However, the beast inside her is not her friend, and it will attempt to take over control of their body any chance it gets. Without going into details, let's just say that the beast taking over would be Very Bad.
    As such, Alene will need to stop and rest her mind now and then. Sleep, meditate, do a bit of yoga, or just chill in general.

    Does this seem reasonable?
    Summary: Alene has the physical power to keep hiking through the jungle for days and nights on end, but she needs to stop and let her mind rest or the beast inside of her will take over control of their shared body.
     
  7. Orc Knight

    Orc Knight Auror

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    The only issue is probably the fact she's trying to survive in a jungle. Which is probably going to be more in the beasts favor then her own. Especially if your jungle is more killy then a normal one. Resting may be a bit hard. But hey, character challenge.
     
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  8. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    Yep. That's part of the challenge. :p
     
  9. Night Gardener

    Night Gardener Inkling

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    Question: this beast-duality thing... is it a disassociative episode? (the human is overwhelmed by beastial nature and blacks out, loses conciousness, unaware of their actions... like a multiple personality disorder) Or, are they aware of the beast's actions while not in control?

    I ask, because I'm actually more interested in the inverse of my question: is the inner beast aware of the host? Is it having a disassociative episode while *not* in control? Is it aware, but observing from a concious or subconcious place? What is the degree of sentience of the beast in a dormant state? Can the host 'communicate' with the beast in any way?

    If your character is in the jungle, lost, and base instinct is survival, Would it not make sense to actually *let* the beast come up with a survival/ exit strategy... even if the personalities didn't get along, they would both be motivated to get out of the jungle.

    Also, I agree with other posters. It might have magical influences, but werewolves are *living* things and subject to biological requirements. At some point, you need sustenance and sleep. I would think a werewolf might have the combined stamina of a human/wolf, but if you research the conditions of "Hell Week" that's at the extreme end of what some humans are capable of enduring. But, on the other side of the same coin, new parents survive raising infants on basically zero REM sleep for months upon months. If your character is struggling through the jungle, then she's struggling. Otherwise, it's just an unwanted pedestrian detour and a lot of territory to cover on foot.

    If it's grueling and exhausting, short periods of rest make sense as a survival strategy. Sometimes sitting for 10 minutes is enough. Your character might need to sleep for a few hours. It won't be deeply restorative sleep, but it's better than dropping from total exhaustion or keeling over dead. Stop while you still have energy to stop of your own accord, if that makes sense.
     
  10. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    The beast/human duality is normally not disassociative. The human is aware that the best is there, lurking in the back of their mind, and the beast is aware they're a "passenger" riding along in the body of the human.

    What can happen during a shift into animal form is that the human mind blacks out - especially during the night of the full moon where the beast is at full strength. In those case the human mind is able to hang on for a bit, but eventually disconnects/blackouts. However, even then, the memories of what the beast did will come back later.

    Alene doesn't trust the beast to actually get her out of the jungle. She doesn't have enough influence over it when in beast-form, and it might just decide to wander off and do its own thing. It'll survive just fine in the jungle on its own. It's a risk she'd rather not take.

    Indeed. There will be a time where she will need to get food and sleep to recover physically, but she'll last a lot longer than she would as a human. Chances are she'll also require quite a lot of food and sleep once she gets it. Then again, she's pretty small, and there's only so much she can put away.
     
  11. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Just a question. What importance will this matter of sleeping have to the story? is it that you want them to have some kind of disadvantage or being more relatable to the readers?

    I know that I would probably require it to sleep if I wrote a story but it also what kind of feeling you want this creature to have. A predator that never sleeps and never rests would surely have been more frightening but also alien to me.
     
  12. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    I want to establish to the reader that my main character needs to rest her mind now and then, or the beast within her will gain a greater influence over her. This will then factor in later in the story, when lack of rest starts to become an issue, and the beast starts getting her into trouble.
     
  13. Gurkhal

    Gurkhal Auror

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    Then in all honestly I would run with that she would need to rest about as much as a normal human, perhas a little less, so that you can get trouble=conflict=drama=win.
     
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    That's pretty much the plan. The reason I posted this thread to ask about it was to see what the reactions would be from others - whether I'd overlooked something obvious, or if the explanation I had was acceptable within the context of the story. It seems it is, which I'm happy with. :)
     
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  15. Volkodlok

    Volkodlok New Member

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    My apologies if someone mentioned this already, but if your werewolf can go days without stopping to eat, let alone rest their mind, how do they fuel their body? In my head, werewolves have to consume a massive amount of food to fuel both their high metabolism and the shift.
     
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