Was working on a piece for an anthology today, dealing with werewolves. Not sure if they’re related to the ones to be found in Lune de Amant or not, but given my seemingly obsessive need to have almost everything I scribble be interrelated somehow, they probably are. As I’ve mentioned before, though, I also have an obsessive need to deconstruct the rules and regulations that govern my supernatural beasties. I blame too much World of Darkness in my formative years. If I can’t express it in the equivalent of merits and flaws and supernatural Advantages and tribal weaknesses, I feel somehow incomplete.
So, because my previous posting of similar mind was reasonably well received (and partly because I need to scribble them in a pseudo-stream of consciousness manner to straighten them out in my head) I’m sharing how these little wolfies work.
1) They’re a race. If mommy or daddy is a werewolf, you’re a werewolf (or at least might be.) Once in a great while, their bite might turn someone, but as a general rule, they’re not out there biting two friends who bite four friends who bite eight friends or anything like that. They are capable of breeding with normal humans, and children have got about a 50/50 shot.
2) They’re tied to the moon, with passions that run stronger when Luna’s watching them, fat and full, from above, but are capable of shifting at other times and are almost always as aware of their actions as any other person. They might be more prone to giving in to their urges – especially when the moon is full – and those urges might be a little more savage or animalistic than we might consider to be “normal,” but they’re not mindless beasts or rage junkies.
3) They turn into wolves. Not giant bipedal things with talons and wolf heads. Just wolves. Big wolves, certainly, but that’s it.
4) They display no obvious outward sign of their difference. Werewolves can recognize one another by scent, but a human isn’t going to say “Hey, his index and middle fingers are the same length!” “He’s got hairy palms!” or “He’s got a unibrow and fangs!” and know it’s a werewolf.
5) Werewolves who consume the flesh of men get tougher. Stronger, faster, amp up their pheromone production so they become more alluring, heal faster, take more punishment. It also lengthens their lifespan, to the point were a wolf who makes a regular habit of long pork in his diet is essentially immortal.
6) There’s two competing factions of wolves (with a sort of gray area in between.) One considers themselves shepherds of humanity, inserting themselves into places of power or influence and making sure nobody messes with their “flock.” The other is fairly convinced they’re the superior species, and like humans pick off cows, pigs and chickens when they want, the wolves should be able to do the same to humans. The shepherds think of the cullers as deviant cannibal assholes; the cullers think the shepherds are weak-willed ninnies who can’t accept what they are. Most younger wolves are somewhere between the two extremes, and are typically watched carefully by both groups. The shepherds to take them out if they get out of line or start killing, the cullers in case the newbie looks promising and knows how to clean up after his messes.
7) Cullers have the advantage of age and power; they eat the man-flesh, so they live longer and are more physically powerful. The shepherds have the benefits of working within the system, and some have access to mystical abilities or scientific discoveries that even the playing field a bit.
8) Silver hurts. A lot. Jewelry will burn a culler and make a shepherd very nervous; actually being stabbed or shot with it is probably fatal. For mystic reasons, those who eat man-flesh regularly suffer worse when exposed to the metal, but it’s a problem all wolves have.
For the purposes of this story, my narrator and protagonist is a wannabe culler. He claims being around humans is like being locked in a deli full of amazing cold cuts and told “Don’t eat them or we’ll kill you.” So far he hasn’t, but he’s working up to it… and two other wolves are watching. One is, of course, a shepherd, who I suspect is going to complicate things by being related to my protagonist; the other is a culler, who would have likely been a serial killer even if he wasn’t a supernatural being with a taste for cannibalism, and who considers it his “job” to teach others how to do the job properly.
We’ll see if it goes anywhere… but as usual, just felt like sharing.