Monster Essays: Werewolves

I've been pecking at a story for a werewolf girl but it felt like laying some groundwork. It's not anything that unique, but it sets up that lycanthropes are generally more open, aggro and chummy than your basic human. Comes with being kind of immortal and having a personal Hulk button. Should be an easy out for a future "caring but intense gf" story


 

Dylan Eywind

History of Interspecies Relations II

Beast Mode. The History of Werewolves

**A+. A very good look at the social stigma and psychology behind their condition.**

Werewolves were noted as a unique species upon their discovery, recognizing them as a direct offshoot of humans rather than their own evolved species. Lycanthropy is technically a genetic condition, if one that seems to run on as much magic as virus. The rapidly self-replicating cells aggressively protect themselves by breeding at a seemingly impossible rate. This appears to be the cause of werewolf regeneration and how they survive their transformations, though the exact science is naturally hard for even experts to define. The virus can only spread to mammals close to humans, with even orcs or ogres being too difficult for the specialized virus to get attached to.

Werewolves have been a part of humanity for centuries. Given the fear associated with them, werewolves quickly learned to keep their condition under control and secreted away. They are able to transform at will into a bestial, humanoid wolves with incredible strength and size. Around the time of a full moon, werewolves will feel more energetic and excitable. By the night of the full moon, they are required to transform and stay in their wolf form, whether or not they can even see the moon. The majority of werewolves describe the transformation as painless, if mildly uncomfortable during the change. Some derive a sense of pleasure from it while fewer still describe any real pain.

The most notable thing about them is their condition. When werewolves realized the acceptance of other species, they organized their revelation and many agreed to undergo medical treatment. While incurable, research found ways to help manage their conditions and instincts, but most notably limiting the spread and prevention of the disease. Werewolves have compared it to being diabetic or carrying any other blood disease; with mild caution, they can live full and normal lives.

Studies show that in the last decade, most lyrcanthropy is either voluntary or genetic. Romantic partners may choose to engage in sharing their lover’s condition out of convenience while others report preferring having someone with fully functioning thumbs and a clear head come the full moon.

In their humanoid shape, werewolves are essentially basic humans. Their skin reacts violently to pure silver, leaving anything from light rashes to clear burns that heal at a much slower rate than their usual. Slightly sharper canines and thicker fingernails may be minor side effects of the condition, likely to ease their changes from wolf to human form.

As mentioned, their mindsets change in the full moon. While they are not necessarily aggressive, “lunar” werewolves maintain much simpler and short-sighted trains of thought. They are their own thoughts, but seen through the filter of an animal. Being near a fond friend may result in them hugging or rubbing against someone they would normally wave or shake hands with. They may eat food before paying if especially hungry or instinctively pursue someone who flees from them.

During a “controlled” change, werewolves report a much lesser change in their mentality. They become slightly more impulsive, confident or outgoing, voicing thoughts or taking action that they would not in their mortal form. This appears to be some result of the adrenaline and hormones involved in the change, but psychologists report that much of this is simply a side effect of their physical change. The added height and musculature empower them to do what they would normally only consider. Some even choose to remain in their wolf form more often than their human shape. Others attempt to minimize their time in this form, considering it a private practice. This may have to do with the fact that few clothes can survive the transformation, with only specialized forms of elastic withstanding the expanding bulk.

The life of a werewolf is difficult but manageable. Several werewolf-exclusive communities exist, such as the Corner Settlement in the mountains of Canada. These exclude silver, allow space for their lupine forms to move and exercise out their urges, and don’t need to worry about exposing others to their condition.

More and more werewolves, however, disapprove of this lifestyle. Just like orcs, goblins and the like, they wish to bridge the gap between species and intermingle with mundane humans. According to the article Tastes Test on Understandings .com, werewolves list the smell of uninfected humans as among their top 10 favorite smells. This appears to be a mix of canine nature to seek companionship and the idea of smelling uninfected blood, whether to find prey or recognizing their own former scent. Many humans enjoy the idea of being with a werewolf, appreciating their free spirit and the option of their large, furry forms. Fortunately, most pharmacies carry “Wolfban” or other diluted doses of wolfsbane pill form. The toxin wipes out early lycanthropy within one hour, so it can be used as a sort of morning after pill in the case of accidental scratches or bites. The cure must be taken before the night of the next full moon, but those living with a werewolf may simply take them daily to maintain their uninfected state.

Werewolves broke new ground as being recognized as their own species while still directly originating among humans. The fact that their DNA changes almost completely between transformations had lead to some debate, but given the ambiguity between demons, orcs, gorgons etc, they are officially listed as a new form of “trans-species.” Both sides seem to have settled into the fact that neither is a threat to the other, to the point where the show Moonlighting (a sitcom about a husband unaware that his wife is a werewolf) was recast to have an actual werewolf play the leading lady. With these accommodations, werewolves show just how far humanity is willing to go to make their fellow creatures feel welcome.

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59
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27
Writings