Lycanthropy, also known as "the Hunter's Curse," is a condition or a curse that can turn a mortal into a bestial form, sometimes against their will.
Mark of the BeastThose who are afflicted with the lycanthropic curse are forced to turn into a monstrous, bestial form under the full moon. The most famous type of this is the Werewolf, a man who turns into a wolf form. Some lycanthropes learn to control this power, turning whenever they please outside of the moon's gaze. Yet it is a universal truth that even with full control, the full moon will turn a lycanthrope into their non-mortal form.
Becoming a MonsterIt is said that the claws of a lycanthrope are coated in a magical curse that can spread if dug deep enough into a target. Thus, not all scratches carry lycanthropy, instead only being wounds that are deep enough past the skin to get into the bloodstream. There are, of course, other ways to contract lycanthropy, particularly through curses from the Goddess Papatūānuku if one overhunts her beasts.
AbilitiesLycanthropes gain various abilities with their new forms. Not every lycanthrope learns this, but here are some powers gained by lycanthropes.
- Turning into a bestial form in the moon.
- Claws that can turn others into werewolves or tear apart even the thickest of metal, stone, or wood.
- A paralyzing howl that calls out to Selene and can freeze any targetted by it in place.
- Night vision so that they may see and hunt in the dark of night.
- Agelessness, as their bestial form absorbs the years that pass.
- Enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and senses.
- A healing factor that fixes up most wounds to perfect health.
- A lycanthrope generally returns to perfect health when they turn back to their mortal forms when the moon lowers.
- A lycanthrope who turns at will does not heal instantly when turning back, retaining most wounds until they have the time to heal.
- When they die, if their body is not properly taken care of, they return to life not as a werebeast, but simply as the beast that they could turn into. This is called a Revenant.
- A werewolf, for instance, returns as a wolf.
- When under direct sunlight, Revenants are said to sometimes turn back into their mortal, corpse forms.
WeaknessesThere are many weaknesses a lycanthrope will experience as they live with their condition:
- Loud noises startle them
- Electricity can temporarily halt their transformation
- The Sun, the natural counter of the Moon, can be used to prevent transformation
- Can lose control of their mind/body after transformation
- Vampire bites can't turn them, but instead harm them
The First WerewolfHelefina was a Wood Elven Huntress in the Elven Forest who lived around an area heavily populated with the predatory wolves of Papatūānuku. Often she would stare up at the moon, hearing the predators howl at the sign of her Goddess. Helefina prayed to Selene, Goddess of the Moon, for help, as the howl would oft be the sign that a pack of wolves was coming to pick at her friends and family for food. The Huntress was spurned on by her Goddess, with Selene advising Helefina to pick up a bow, the sign of her deity, and take up arms against the wolves. Helefina began to kill the wolves, using all she had learned from her Goddess's teachings to take them out and protect her loved ones. However, she took her vengeance too far. Every time the moon, her Goddess, rose in the sky, Helefina would take like the wolves and hunt for her prey. Eventually, when the lupine population began to dwindle, the Goddess of Nature was alerted. Papatūānuku sought out Helefina and warned her to leave the wolves alone. When Helefina refused, Papatūānuku decided it was best to curse Helefina for her deeds. She would feel the wrath of the hunted by becoming what she had so feared. She already had its patterns, its thirst for blood. Helefina felt her skin cover itself with fur, her teeth elongate and her wants and desires turn only to flesh and the hunt, as the Huntress took her full shape as the first Lycanthrope: a Werewolf. She would now always turn from this to herself when the moon was out, no longer able to gaze upon her Goddess with her own eyes. Soon, she feared which was herself and which was the monster. The answer was both and yet neither: both were Helefina and both the monster, yet nothing had changed. For Helefina had always been the monster, and only now had her bestial form been revealed.
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