As in the past, werewolves remain the most powerful kind of Shifter-kin, though they now bear a unique and horrifying curse. Their power varies with the type of werewolf the individual becomes, as well as the power of the individual himself. Regardless of this, they are among the most powerful and feared monsters in all of Midgard.
Werewolves vary in size, power, and even in degree of wolfishness. They are unique on the individual level and also vary in appearance according to the level of power of the werewolf who infected them, but there are also different levels of wolfishness to which an individual may transform. The most powerful werewolves undergo an extensive transformation, becoming enormous beastmen with the head, legs, and tail of a wolf. More commonly, however, werewolves will transform less dramatically, gaining only a few wolfish features, including bestial eyes, fur, sharp teeth, pointed ears, and claws. Whatever degree to which a werewolf transforms, all werewolves are referred to as "werewolves," "wolfmen," "lycanthropes," and other, less specific names that are branded upon many different monsters that are not understood by men. Though not a separate "type" of werewolf, per se, there also exists the Six, who retain full control over the degree to which they transform.
Every lycanthrope’s werewolf form bears some resemblance to their human form.
The coloration of the werewolf's eyes remains the same, though they turn far brighter than in their human form. Some eyes, such as shades of brown, will turn golden, orange, or even red. Though some eye colors undergo stranger and more dramatic changes, this similarity is one of the most certain methods to determine a werewolf’s identity.
Clothing and HairEdit
The clothing and hair style of the person in question may also aid in identification of them, though many werewolves - partiuclarly the larger, more powerful ones - shed or tatter most, if not all, of their clothing during the transformation. Hair style generally remains more intact after a transformation than clothing choices. For instance, a werewolf's mane will retain braids and other hair styles from the human form, and facial hair can still be seen as slightly thicker fur around the werewolf's muzzle. Obviously, these changes are less dramatic in the more man-like of werewolves, resulting in more obvious similarities between man and beast.
While all werewolves grow far larger and stronger than ordinary men during their transformation, there remains a variety of sizes and strengths among werewolves as well. If a man is short, he will grow much larger than an ordinary man when he transforms, but he will remain short in comparison to other werewolves. However, this also does not depend entirely on body size: a very powerful individual can also result in a larger werewolf form.
All werewolves share these various abilities; however, as with most creatures, the level of a werewolf's power varies from individual to individual.
All werewolves bear strength, agility, and senses far superior to an ordinary man's. In both forms, werewolves are physically "better" than humans in every way, including strength, speed, and senses, although obviously these advantages are not nearly as extreme while in human form - but they are still present. Also, in spite of the claim made by some legends, werewolves cannot instantly sense whether or not another individual is also a werewolf.
Werewolves heal exceptionally fast in both forms, and they are legendary in their ability to shrug off most all wounds, though the latter applies doubly to their werewolf form. They can quickly recover from nearly all types of injuries, including those that would be fatal to an ordinary man, which has helped them earn their place among the most feared of all monsters. However, a wound inflicted by silver inhibits all of these healing abilities. The regenerative powers of werewolves are so great that they can only be killed through the use of silver.
It is noteworthy that werewolves retain full intelligence after they are transformed. Though they do not speak, they are not mindless monsters, and they will not foolishly walk into traps or overstep their own incredible abilities.
Howls and OtherEdit
Werewolves also have the ability to summon wolves to their aid with a howl, and it is said that the Six themselves can summon vargs and other werewolves in the same way. There are many other abilities that men have claimed werewolves possess in both or either form, but many of the specifics remain a mystery. Werewolves may have far more abilities than it seems, as most people who encounter a werewolf do not live to tell the tale.
Shifting and the MoonEdit
The greatest god of the ancient wolf shifters was a lunar deity, and thus the gods apparently saw fit to enslave werewolves to the influence of the moon. If the moon is weak or hidden, werewolves may be able - in some cases, with some difficulty - to control the beast within, but if the moonlight touches them, their urge to transform increases. On nights of the full moon, the transformation is impossible to resist, even if the moon is not visible. Some very unstable werewolves will even give into the beast even during the day, usually in times of extreme emotional stress, such as rage. All werewolf transformations are extremely painful, and many say that witnessing - or even just hearing - a werewolf undergo the transformation from man to beast can be very traumatic.
When a werewolf returns to his human form, the man has little or no memory of what he did while in werewolf form the night before. Most werewolves remember nothing of their transformations, and many can go their entire lives without even realizing that they are werewolves. A werewolf that knows he is infected with lycanthropy will remember the terrible, unbearable pain of the transformation, but little else. Some might recall very vague visions and sensations from when they were transformed, but these are strange and difficult to understand, fading quickly after they awaken, as if it was all a dream.
A deceased werewolf will transform back to his human form come daybreak and remain that way as long as the body exists. Any dismembered body parts also shift back to human shape. For instance, fur skinned from a werewolf becomes mere human flesh, and a werewolf body part taken for a trophy will transform into a human part by sunrise the next day. It is, in a sense, true that the only real cure for lycanthropy is death.
A werewolf's curse is spread by bite. Any human bitten by a werewolf who manages to live through the attack will become a werewolf on the next night of the full moon unless some action is taken to cure them (other races, such as elves and dwarves, are immune to the curse). The infected individual will transform to the same degree of wolfishness as the werewolf who infected them. After an infected individual transforms for the first time, they can no longer be cured of lycanthropy.
If a werewolf has a child with another infected individual, that child will be a born werewolf and will begin transforming upon reaching puberty. All born werewolves have heightened senses even while in human form, as well as improved strength and speed beyond that of an ordianry human, even more so than do bitten werewolves. Rumors claim that half-werewolves exist, but any truth behind this - as well as any properties of half-werewolves themselves, including whether or not they ever transform - remains a mystery.
Biting in Human FormEdit
Although werewolves in human form have no special desire or instinct to bite others, if another human was for some reason bitten by a werewolf in human form, the bitten individual would suffer from odd blackouts and mood swings at night, as well as slightly heightened senses after sundown. These effects are temporary and can last anywhere from a few nights to several months, depending on the power of the werewolf and the severity of the bite. However, the full extent of effects from a werewolf in human form biting another human remain largely unknown, particularly as it may vary depending on the power of the werewolf itself. Some individuals may even contract lycanthropy and begin transforming.
Werewolves are beings of a split personality: man and beast. These two personalities are separate entitites sharing the same (transforming) body, and may even hate each other, depending on various factors. One personality has no control over the other.
Despite common belief, werewolves are not all inherently angry and violent creatures. Ultimately, werewolves vary in personality depending on the individual, just as humans do; some werewolves may be aggressive, while others behave more as ordinary wolves and prefer to be left alone. Whatever their personality, werewolves - although just as intelligent as humans - are driven by their animal instincts. They are neither good nor evil, but unpredictable and extremely dangerous beasts, and human has no control over their werewolf side. Also, it is noteworthy that werewolves will never eat another werewolf, no matter how hungry they may be. Like wolves, werewolves communicate with various sounds, the most famous of which is their howl. Unlike wolves, however, werewolves are capable of roaring; also, werewolves do not bark. Some werewolves live in packs, but lone werewolves are more common; werewolves that manage to find one another while in werewolf form will often hunt together, rallying around the strongest werewolf in the group, but since their human and werewolf personalities are split, the humans generally have disagreements, and packs often disband after daybreak.
A man becoming a werewolf will have no bearing on the human's personality, besides how they react to the fact that they are a werewolf. Just as a werewolf's human side is dormant and has no control over his actions in werewolf form, the werewolf's beast side has no control over the man's actions while in human form. In spite of some tales, a werewolf in human form is no angrier or more violent than anyone else, whether he was born or bitten: their temperament depends entirely on the person in question. However, an individual who is emotionally unstable will be more likely to give in to his transformations, regardless of the moon phase.
Like all descendants of the Shifters, werewolves are sensitive to silver. Anyone infected with lycanthropy or bearing lycanthropic blood will recoil from the touch of silver and become burned if it is pressed against their skin for too long. Wounds caused by silver take longer to heal, are far more painful, and are capable of being truly mortal wounds, whereas wounds inflicted with any other type of weaponry will eventually regenerate. Other than silver, werewolves bear no particular weaknesses. Rumors about werewolf sensitivity to plants like belladonna and wolfsbane are largely untrue, although it is claimed that plants may be used to mix potions that can help a werewolf control his lycanthropy for short periods of time. Whether or not these potions exist remains largely unknown, save by a select few very knowledgable individuals.