in Creatures

Lycanthropy and its Spread

Lycanthropy is a horrifying disease to many – a way of life for a few outcasts. It is spread through the bite and saliva of a mature werewolf – though such a bite often incurs extremely painful death before the lycanthropy has a chance to lodge itself in the victim. There are stories of people who are born as werewolves – although most magical scholars dismiss this as the fanciful tales of werewolf dynasties attempting to rebrand themselves in the public consciousness. To most witchards, it is quite clear that lycanthropy is only spread through the bite.

Lycanthropy has the potential to incur in its victims a frenzy come full moon. The beast takes over and gorges itself on anything it can get its claws on. Most new lycantropes are created this way – from the few individuals lucky (or unlucky) enough to survive the bite. The peculiar thing about this is that it does not happen on every full moon – indeed, while it is easier to change shapes (which werewolves can do on any other night as well, but with more difficulty) most full moons do not bring the lunacy – but when they do it’s a sight to behold.

Werewolves are killing machines, tanks of muscle and fur and claws. Their only known weakness is silver – even touching silver burns their skin as if it was acid. Silver weaponry cuts through werewolves as a hot knife through butter. There is also evidence that werewolves are repulsed by belladonna.

There is only one way to permanently stave off the frenzy that comes with the moon-lunacy, and it is through the administering of Liquid Silver, once every night before the full moon. This is an effective remedy, although it is exceedingly uncomfortable for the patient in question – many report a sort of hollow, sinking feeling in their guts. There is also evidence to suggest that this dramatically lowers length and quality of life, with depressions and early deaths quite common for users of Liquid Silver. Still, to many it is preferable to the uncertainty.

Anti-Werewolf Sentiment

Prejudices die hard, and in most confluxes werewolves are unwelcome to say the least. Even though lunacies are so rare, they are so frightening to behold that they tend to scar a populace for many decades. Therefore, even in the confluxes that are more open to werewolf citizens, werewolves tend to keep their nature to themselves, hidden from their neighbors. Many who are found out are subjected to extreme displays of bigotry and public scrutiny.

In the New World Magimundi across the Atlantic Ocean, lycanthropy is considered an “European problem” that is not native to the Americas. Werewolves are considered little more than beasts, and a werewolf from the European Confluxes would not be allowed to emigrate to the New World Magimundi.

Wolf-Blooded Dynasties

Some (usually old-blood) hexborn dynasties have a history of lycanthropy in the family. These so-called “wolf-blooded” families build up a big part of their identity around being associated with werewolves. Wolf-blooded dynasties usually claim that theirs is a special kind of lycanthropy which runs through the blood and was not in fact incurred through the bite. Since most magical scholars agree that lycanthropy is spread only through infection, these families are considered eccentric at best and abusive at worst – subjecting their own children to infection to keep up a facade of uniqueness.

Wolf-blooded dynasties tend to be a rural affair – more common in the less-populated confluxes on the margins of mundane society. Age-old mansions and manor houses displaying heraldry bearing proud wolves dot the landscape of the magical world. Some of these families claim origins before the signing of the Treaty of Avalon in 1490, and consequently almost all of them claim to be the purest kind of hexborn while being simultaneously “blessed” by the wolf-blood. Quite a few active confluxes have attempted action against the practices of the wolf-blooded, so they seek out these pockets of quiet and dormancy.

Created on November 16, 2022 by Laura