The Definitive Guide On Lycanthropy

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    My first encounter with Lycanthropy came at the age of seventeen. I was naught but a young lad living on a simple farm in the auburn forests of the Rift. My mother, a simple woman, a widow, and parent of three, was out working the little farm our late father had left us. Mother was old, and tired, and most days I would help her out in the fields. On one particularly gloomy day, I stood in the high grass that rose up to my knees, swaying in the morning breeze. Mother worked across from me, harshly grabbing carrots and various other vegetables out of the ground for our table. I helped her, feeling the course skin of the carrot brush against my hand. A harsh howling sound split through the morning birdsong, and mother dropped her carrots. I rushed to pick them up, but she stopped me with a hand. 'S'just the wolves, son. No need to worry.' I trusted mother, of course, so I dropped the subject, continuing on my work. Two minutes later, a gurgling sound echoed in the back of my head. I turned, expecting to find mother, but in her place was a great black beast. Mother lay in a pool of her own blood on the ground. It howled, and with a single swipe of it's great dark claw, I was sent flying and then my vision turned dark as the beast's fur. 

    I heard the cries of my brothers as they died at the hands of the beast through the thickly forested woodlands. I heard the howls that echoed throughout the night. I never returned to the farmhouse, you see. I never buried my mother, and I never saw my brother's again. Marvelling at my own survival, I made my way through the woods, following a path my father had taught me, until I came to Shor's Stone, a small mining community my father frequented before the Great War ended his life. I made my way inside the inn, and ordered a tankard of mead. I sat down at a small table, content drinking away my bad memories. A man sat down next to me. 'What's your problem, stranger?' he said. I responded gruffly. 'Don't got a problem.' The man laughed. 'I'm good with people. You've got a problem - don't think me an idiot, stranger.' I couldn't be bothered holding the tough guy act up any further. I explained what had happened, and the man looked at me grimly, his face a mask of pain. 'Ah, stranger. That be no beast you faced. They speak of it in hushed tones. They call it a Werewolf.' 

     

     

    Lycanthropy is the condition of oneself being infected with beastblood, allowing the infected to turn, or shift, themselves into a beastlike form. By some it is considered a disease, something contracted from allowing contact with a Lycanthrope, however it is in fact a Gift (Or curse) from the Daedric Lord Hircine, Prince of the Hunt, and the Daedric Lord is often considered the Guardian of the Lycanthropes, hence his name - The Father of Manbeasts. There are an increasingly large amount of Lycanthropes - in fact, Lycanthropy is not even the correct name for the condition - Lycanthrope means Wolf-Man in old Aldmer tongue. The correct term is Theiranthropy, which in the ancient Aldmer tongue means Animal-Man. However, common use has led to Lycanthropy referring to each branch of the tree. Lycanthropes are often referred to using the prefix 'Were' followed by the beast they so commonly resemble, such as 'Wolf' creating the common name for Tamriel's most common Lycanthrope, the Werewolf. Lycanthropes, once transformed, are believed to have increased strength, increased speed, lengthened arms, an elongated skull, and hunched legs that resemble haunches. They are also believed to have an increase sense of smell, as well as heightened senses. Other common misconceptions of the condition are that races can only transform into certain Werebeasts. This is false. If the condition is inflicted upon an Argonian, that does not mean he transforms into a 'Werecrocodile' it simply means that said Argonian would transform into whatever Lord Hircine willed him to, or that he would be transformed by whichever Werebeast inflicted the condition upon the Argonian - for example, if a 'Werelion' inflicted it upon the aforementioned Argonian, that is what he would become. A 'Werelion.' Hopefully this brief explanation will help you in the following chapters.

     

     

     

    There are varying species of Lycanthrope that inhabit the plane of Nirn, and there may be even more that inhabit the demonic plane of Oblivion - but for that, we do not know. The species of Lycanthrope you encounter would most likely depend on which continent you find yourself in - I, however, am an inhabitant of Tamriel, and as such, cannot speak for the other continents such as Akavir and the like. Each independent province in Tamriel has it's own Lycanthropes, just as each province has it's own Vampire Bloodlines. Of course, the 'Werewolf' is found throughout every province, being the most common, but in this Definitive Guide On Lycanthropy, I will do my utmost best to list the varying species that you will encounter on your travels. 

    The Werewolf: The Werewolf, or the original Lycanthrope, is the most common Werebeast found throughout Tamriel, and can be found in ever province, and it even believed that it can be found on Akavir as well. Werewolves are Hircine's favoured among his vast army of Lycanthropes, a fact proven by the fact that the vast majority of Hircine's Artifacts bear the symbol of the Wolf - his Ring, the Saviour's Hide - and that his chosen on Nirn are known as the Hounds of Hircine. Werewolves take the form of Wolves, and often form groups known as 'Packs' and have a heirarchy that many have not deciphered. I will be going into more detail on the Packs in a later chapter. Werewolves have an increased sense of smell, and a largely elongated snout, as well as the ability to control their 'Brothers' or Canis Lupus, the Wolf. 

    The Werebear: The Werebear is said to be the second most common of all of the Lycanthropes, and is known to be the strongest due to it's thick, trunk-like arms and powerful muscles. The Werebear is said to make it's home in Skyrim, and it is common folklore to smear canis root on your doors, a sign of warding off the great, bearlike creatures that roam the harsh tundras of Tamriel's northernmost province. In the Fourth Era, however, during the Dragon Crisis, it is believed that Werebears have been wiped out of Skyrim, due to the alarming lack of them, although this could simply be hibernation - if they behave like their cousins do - or perhaps other, more inexplicable reasons. However, during the Miraak Crisis, it is revealed that they are still in abundance on Solstheim - a location of great importance to the Lycanthropes - and have eradicated most of the Werewolf Packs on the island. 

    The Werebat: The Werebat is a creature of intense argument - in that they are undoubtedly real, but no-one is sure what exactly they are. They could, even, be a form of Vampirism. The Volkihar Bloodline of Skyrim are known to be able to shift their forms into a batlike creature that possesses the power of the Night, but it is not sure whether the Werebats are in fact, these creatures. Another myth is that they are from Valenwood, and serve as guardians of the Vampire Bloodlines in Valenwood, and this is backed up by the fact that they can be found in dark, gloomy areas as guardians of the Shademist Vampire Bloodline during the Second Era in the Molag Bal Crisis. 

    The Wereboar: A strange creature, Wereboars are known as incredibly violent and aggressive creatures, much more so than their other Lycanthropes. Found exclusively in the province of High Rock, home of the Bretons. Wereboars differ to their fellow Lycanthropes in that they are overcome with an intense Bloodlust - not that other Lycanthropes do not possess this, but purely that other Lycanthropes do not get affected in the same way. A Wereboar who resists the Bloodlust would be put under immense physical pain and stress, which is said to be a punishment from the Lord Hircine. 

    The Werelion: Werelions are most commonly found in Elsweyr, and are usually Khajiiti in origin. The Werelions can also be found on the border of Cyrodiil, most likely because of the close proximity to Elsweyr, the neighbouring province. Werelions are predatorial, and stalk the dusty deserts and rainy forests of Elsweyr, looking for their meal. They are quite rare, and none have been recorded, but this may have been because no-one lives to tell the tale of the Werelion. 

    The Werevultures: Werevultures are another creature, like the Wereboar, that have varying evidence pointing to their existence - the only problem is that they don't have any idea whether the creatures believed to be Werevultures, are actually Werevultures. The creatures in question are Hagravens - twisted creatures of bird and woman, a conjoining of the two to create a vile beast. They are usually priestesses of Hircine, which would cement the point that they are in fact, Werevultures, but, Werevultures are said to live in Valenwood, and Hagravens are found exclusively in Skyrim. Not much else is known of the mysterious airborne Lycanthropes. 

    The Werecrocodile: The Werecrocodiles are similar to Werevultures and Wereboars - they have a creature that is commonly mistaken for them, and this creature is known as the Daedroth. Daedroths are beasts of immense size and strength, and are covered head-to-toe in scales, as well as the ability to control the elements. It is known that Daedroth's are not Werecrocodiles, but they are still commonly mistaken for them. Werecrocodiles are exclusively Argonians, but theoretically if an Argonian Werecrocodile infected a Dunmer, it would become a Werecrocodile, but this isn't proven. Werecrocodiles are found in Black Marsh and the border to Morrowind. 

    The Wereshark: Ah, the legendary Wereshark. Nothing is known of these mysterious sea-dwelling creatures, other than that they spend their lives submerged under Tamriel's blue seas. The only known evidence of their existence is the word of M'aiq the Liar, and well, he has been known to, well, lie. 

     

     

    Our studies take us next to Hircine, Daedric Prince of the Hunt. After all, The Prince is the Father of Manbeasts, their guardian and their keeper. It is him who we must aim our studies towards, and as so, to every aspect of this strange Daedric Prince. Hircine, Daedric Prince of the Hunt, is the Lord of Lycanthropy, Father of Manbeasts, Daedra Of Hunting and Sport, Hircine is different to his omnipotent peers in that he isn't naturally destructive - nor malicious. In fact, he is fair, cunning, and charming, and is known to reward those who survive his Hunt grandly. Not many encounters with the Lord are recorded, save perhaps the earliest of them all - The Battle of the Beasts, a poetic take on a duel between the Hunt and the Lord of Madness, Sheogorath. It is said that the two Lords met on the highest peak in existence, and Sheogorath challenged the Hunt, saying he could come up with a creature more dangerous than Hircine's own creation. The Hunt laughed, grinning under his deerskull mask. He replied, simply answering 'Aye.' Three weeks and Three days later, they met on the same highest peak, where they presented their creatures - Hircine's was the first Daedroth, and it stood in all of it's evil glory. Sheogorath simply held a little bird, that chirped to the melody of the wind. 'Let us begin.' The Daedroth lunged, swiping at the bird, but missed, embedding it's claw within a stone. It wrenched it out, shattering the hand. The Daedroth simply continued, swiping madly. The bird flew, dodging every attack. When the bloodhaze ended, the bird stood atop the nose of the defeated Daedroth, who lay in a pool of it's own blood. It had killed itself in it's anger. Hircine knew he had been beaten, and skulked back to the Hunting Grounds to plan his revenge. The Hunting Grounds are Hircine's realm of Oblivion, his own little plane where he can do as he wishes with no consequence to Nirn. Hircine has been known to capture the souls of Lycanthropes and, whence they die, they do not go to Aetherius, nor Sovngarde - they would eternally hunt with their Lord Hircine in his forested realm of Oblivion. To most, this was no problem, but some did not wish for this ... Either way, the Hunting Grounds was the way for the Lycanthropes. Hircine is known to hunt there with a pack of his most trusted Lycanthropes, known as his Hounds, during the nightfall.

    The Bloodmoon is Hircine's Great Hunt. An ancient Prophecy of the Skaal People, natives of Solstheim. It tells of a Great Hunt that will come once every Era. The last recorded Bloodmoon was in the Third Era, and was, for the first time ever, stopped by a hero known only as the Nerevarine. The Prophecy tells us of the Four Signs, a warning that foretells the coming of the Hunt. The First Sign - The Coming of the Hounds: Werewolves begin to prowl the island of Solstheim in packs, and leaving houses and fortifications becomes dangerous, as the night fills with Hounds of Hircine.  The Second Sign - The Fire on the Eye of Glass: A pillar of fire leaps up on the frozen Lake Fjalding, burning the ice with unholy flames. The Third Sign - The Tide of Woe: Horkers wash up dead on the coast, littering the beaches and frozen wastes of Solstheim covered in the dead bodies of the aquatic creatures. The Fourth and Final Sign - The Bloodmoon - Secunda turns red with the blood that is soon to be spilled, and Masser dissapears from the sky completely. Whence all of the signs have commenced, the Great Hunt has been declared, and blood will be spilled this night. Sometimes, the Great Hunt only targets one man, but the latest Great Hunt on record, the Bloodmoon of the Third Era, was targeted on the entire Skaal People, who with the help of the Nerevarine, fended off the Hounds and pushed Hircine off of the Island. There is another prophecy, however, that speaks of a different type of Bloodmoon - The Bloodmoon War. The Bloodmoon War is supposedly an incredibly rare occurence in which Hircine will lead his Hounds, along with his Champion, The Wolfblood, into battle against the legions of his fellow Daedra. However, such has not been written in the stars yet ...

     

     

    Pack is the common term for a group of Werewolves, and is commonly used as the correct terminology for any pack of Lycanthropes, when in fact, it is not - for example, a group of Werevultures are known as a Murder, and a group of Werelions are known as a Pride. However, to keep things simple, I will only be using the term Pack as to not confuse any simpler-minded readers. Packs are the social heirarchy of Lycanthropes, and have a detailed ranking system that would make the Legion jealous. Most Packs never have the idea of betrayal, because the Heirarchry is something a Lycanthrope is born into, not chosen. There are no elections, simply happenings. No one argues, because that would be against the code of Hircine. The Code of Hircine is as follows. 
    One: Thou shalt not harm thine fellow Lycanthrope, lest you fall under my wrath. 
    Two: Thou shalt not harm the wolves of the wilds. They are under mine protection.
    ThreeThou shalt not harm, nor disobey, the Wolfblood. They are mine chosen, and thou divine leader.

    That is the Code of Hircine, and the laws that Packs follow. I will now do my best to shine some light on the detailed Heirarchy that determines the Pack;

    The Alpha: An Alpha is born into the role. Once he reaches adulthood, there is no question of his leadership. A common misconception of the Alpha is that he is the strongest - this is far from true. The Alpha may not even be the smartest. It is simply he is the one for the role. An Alpha leads his Pack simply by willing them to do as he wishes. The role of Alpha is also never contested, and is the only role that a Lycanthrope cannot force or be forced into, as it is a role that one must simply be born into. As such, this means that Packs are remarkably without mutiny, as no-one can aspire to become the leader unless it is written in the stars for them. The Alpha has his pick of the females, and his chosen bride is known as the Alpha Female. The Alpha also has his pick of the pups, which he can raise for his own. The Alpha can be spotted for his dark black fur, elongated snout, and piercing crystal eyes like blizzards. The Alpha is also known to be the most cunning, and controls when the Pack hunts, eats, and relaxes. Most Alpha's also determine where the Pack makes their Den, whether it be a Meadhall or Crag in the mountains. Alpha's are at times cruel, and at times caring, but every Alpha only acts in the best interests of the Pack. It is possible for an Alpha (As well as an Alpha Female) To suppress the Wolf on a full moon, though this takes incredible pain and concentration, and leaves one feeling completely tired. 

    The Alpha Female: The Alpha Female is the chosen spouse of the Alpha, and the two develop a bond different from normal human feelings. Most Alpha Females are the chosen mother of the Pups, but this is sometimes not the case. After the Alpha and the Delta, the Alpha Female is the third-most ranking Lycanthrope in the pack. She is given the best food, best armor, best weapons, and the best sleeping quarters, which are often shared with the Alpha. The Alpha Female also decides when the Pups are to be born, and is quite often sometimes the most aggressive of a Pack. Alpha Females look similar to Alpha's when in the form of the Wolf, making them easy to distinguish from other Lycanthropes. 

    The Delta: The Delta is the Alpha's chosen second-in-command, his right-hand man. The Delta is often the strongest and most capable of the Pack, as well as sometimes the smartest, though this isn't too often. A Delta is the highest rank a Lycanthrope can hope to achieve if they aren't born into the role of Alpha, making it an aspired-to position. Delta's can be determined by their dark grey fur, similar to an Alpha's, but minus the black splotches. They have piercing green eyes as green as leaves. Delta's often are given the duty of setting up temporary camps and hunting for food, but the Alpha leads the hunt for sport. The Delta acts as the voice of the Alpha, in case the Betas are misbehaving or excessively bullying and teasing the Omega.

    The Beta: The Beta is the mid-ranking Lycanthrope. They serve as the soldiers and warriors of a Pack, doing as their Alpha orders them to. Beta's often eat last, and the worst of the meat, and are often the first ones to find themselves in the heat of battle, due to their tendency to rush into a problem without thinking of the consequences. However, life as a Beta is not terrible. They can choose their own sleeping quarters, as long as they aren't those of the Alpha and the Alpha Females, and they can choose their own mates. The Beta's also behave as guards to a Pack, making sure that dangers are spotted and acted on before anything gets the drop on the Pack. Beta's can be identified by their randomly coloured fur, ranging from brown to gray to black, and their deep, yellow eyes. Beta's cannot control their transformations, and some are little more than wolves. 

    The Omega: The lowest rank, and also, quite possibly the best rank to find yourself in. The Omega is often the newest Lycanthrope, the one just converted. Usually, the Omega has no control over their transformations, and so much so that the Alpha can mentally force the transformation. The Omega is also the third one to eat, after the Alpha and the Alpha Female. Omega's are the instigators' of play, and are often joky and funny, performing childish pranks on their fellows. The Omega, however, when combat rears it's ugly head, is also the one that is protected, as a Pack is like a family. The Omega is the sickly son that everyone teases, and at the same time, would give their lifeblood to protect. Omega's can be identified by their plain white eyes and light grey fur. 

     

     

Comments

6 Comments   |   Edana and 5 others like this.
  • Sotek
    Sotek   ·  August 7
    I can only repeat what has been said already. A marvelous piece of work Wulf. 
    • Wulfhedinn
      Wulfhedinn
      Sotek
      Sotek
      Sotek
      I can only repeat what has been said already. A marvelous piece of work Wulf. 
        ·  August 7
      I really have nothing to say, guys. This is great. :)
  • DeltaFox
    DeltaFox   ·  August 6
    This is amazing Wulf. Well written and presented. Great artwork and overall great look and feel make this another great adition to the Jaeger Saga. Keep it up, my fury friend.
    • Wulfhedinn
      Wulfhedinn
      DeltaFox
      DeltaFox
      DeltaFox
      This is amazing Wulf. Well written and presented. Great artwork and overall great look and feel make this another great adition to the Jaeger Saga. Keep it up, my fury friend.
        ·  August 6
      It will be kept up, my other furry friend!
  • Edana
    Edana   ·  August 6
    Wulf, this is awesome! Very well written and I love that this is also a lore snippet merged with storytelling. The art you've incorporated here is really cool too. What photo editing program are you using?
  • Wulfhedinn
    Wulfhedinn   ·  August 6
    This Book focuses on my Jaeger Saga's Lore, but it uses heavy amounts of in-game and Imperial Library Lore as well. It's meant as a companion to the Jaeger Saga, but you could also use it to gather information on the Ingame Werewolves if you so wished. It...  more