FAQs on Werewolves
Lycanthropic Disorder is a mental condition in which the subject (called a Lycanthrope) believes that he or she is a werewolf. The subject does not actually change shape, but is nevertheless capable of being as dangerous as an actual werewolf. Most cases of supposed werewolfry are really the works of Lycanthropic Disorder victims.
Man to Beast
In real werewolves a physical change to wolf form does occur. The change can be voluntary (at will), or can be forced by certain cycles of the moon and certain sounds (such as howling).
Werewolves and Immortality
Werewolves are immune from aging and from most physical diseases due to the constant regeneration of their physical tissue. They can, therefore, be virtually immortal. However, they can be killed by any wound that destroys the heart or the brain, or any form of death that causes brain or heart damage (such as hanging or other oxygen-deprivation methods).
The Mind of a Werewolf
Though primarily a true wolf while in wolf form, there is some proof that the werewolf retains enough knowledge to assist his killing; recognition of victims, evasion of traps, and human cunning have all been seen on werewolf cases.
Becoming a Werewolf
There are several ways to become a werewolf. They include being given the power of shape shifting through sorcery, being cursed by someone who you have wronged in some way (called Lycaeonia curse), being bitten by a werewolf, and being born to a werewolf. In each case, the blood becomes tainted or cursed.
A person who becomes a werewolf against his will (birth, curse, or bite) is not completely damned until he tastes of human blood. Once he does, his soul is eternally damned and nothing may redeem him. Even without tasting of human blood, however, as long as the taint lays upon the immortal soul, it cannot enter Heaven, and will remain chained to the mortal plane upon death.
Like real wolves, werewolves can live alone for many years, yet the instinct for a pack often leads them away from their secretive lifestyle, into revealing their nature to a priest or close associate, or converting another to werewolfry for companionship. This is when the otherwise cagey werewolf opens himself to detection! Werewolf packs cause immense destruction. A pack consists of one werewolf who became a werewolf through sorcery, birth, or curse - in other words, his is the original tainted blood. This werewolf is called the Alpha werewolf. The remaining werewolves in the pack are called Beta werewolves because they became werewolves through the bite of the Alpha and carry the Alpha's tainted blood.
Alpha and Beta Werewolves
The relationship between Alpha and Beta werewolves is a complex one. Once a subject is bitten by a werewolf, his or her life and death are doomed to the werewolf curse. The victim does, however, have some hope - as long as they themselves do not taste of human blood, the curse is reversible. If the Alpha werewolf is killed - through some action of the Beta - the Beta's curse is broken. It is important to note that whether the Beta werewolf was bitten by the Alpha werewolf himself or by another Beta, it is the Alpha who must be destroyed - the source of the original tainted blood. It is also an interesting note that since Betas and Alphas share common blood, an Alpha cannot physically harm a Beta of his own bloodline by his own hands without inflicting the same injury upon himself. However, if a Beta is harmed or killed by another, it does not affect the Alpha.
Symptoms of Werewolfry
When hunting for a werewolf it is important to remember that your biggest clues will come through your suspects personalities. Becoming a werewolf is not transparent, no matter how the victim tries to hide it. The tainted, sub-human blood greatly alters the subject's own mind and personality, even physical appearance. Therefore, look for symptoms in your human suspects that include increasing violence, increasing aggression, unprovoked rages, insomnia, restlessness, and other bizarre behavior. Unfortunately, over time these symptoms can be brought under control, so do not rely on them exclusively. A good example of this comes from a case reported by the ancient priesthood society, Manos Del Sol, of Brazil. A rash of werewolf killings there was tracked to a high ranking officer in the army. The society became aware of the man mainly through rumors of his violent behavior and changed personality. The case was successfully resolved with the man's capture.
*FAQs based on the work of Nate Wolfe, master of St. George's Rare Books