A werewolf, also known as a lycanthrope (from the Thracian λυκάνθρωπος: λύκος, lykos, "wolf", and ἄνθρωπος, anthrōpos, "man"), is an extant member of the hominin clade, a branch of great apes characterized by its ability to shapeshift into a direwolf living in the wilderness and remote areas of North Aegea and Eurasia, although many werewolves live in urban areas of Northern Eurorientia.
The word werewolf continues a late Old Aegean wer(e)wulf, a compound of were "adult male human" and wulf "wolf". The term lycanthropy, referring both to the ability to transform oneself into a wolf and to the act of so doing, comes from Ancient Greek λυκάνθρωπος lukánthropos (from λύκος lúkos "wolf" and άνθρωπος, ánthrōpos "human".
In Valois, the term Loup-Garou is used. It comes from the Old Valois leus warous (wolf man), of leus (wolf) and warous (Picard form), mentioned as garwaf, garvalf, garval, itself coming from *wariwulf ou *werwolf (wolf man). This word is very close to the Aegean word werewolf. In the 4th century, Valois used the term leul garou. The Valois word loup (previously leu) comes from the latin lupus.
Werewolves change form only at night, and during the fullest phase of the moon. While in their direwolf form, without proper training, they lose their human consciousness; then, they are feral rather than rational.
In their animal form, werewolves have heightened strength and speed that make them both deadly and difficult to kill; contrary to legend, these werewolves cannot be killed with a silver bullet, nor does silver repel them. Their amplified abilities are comparable to those of a vampire. One advantage the werewolf has in both their human and animal forms is immunity to vampire venom, both the transformative properties and the pain-producing properties.
In their changed form, they do not entirely resemble actual direwolves: Their forelegs are more powerful than their hind legs, and they still have usable hands with opposable thumbs. In addition, their stance is more upright, making their movement somewhat ape-like, rather than entirely canine.
The instinct to shift is triggered during human puberty. The transformation is accompanied by a sudden growth in body hair and muscles lasting for about a year. The growth is characterized by intense pain during full moons that triggers a killer instinct in werewolves. This led to many human families to abandon their "infected" children in the forests. At puberty, the change is involuntary, since young werewolves have not yet learned to control it. Shifting often occurs due to a loss of temper.
To become human again, the werewolves needs to calm down and concentrate on phasing back into human form. This process is different for each werewolf and there is no step-by-step method.
Transformed werewolves reach great speed, with an average of 250 km/h, which allows them to outrun motor vehicles. Even in their human forms, werewolves are easily faster and have greater endurance than all humans. It seems that speed is their real weapon, along with the exchange of thoughts with wolves and direwolves which makes them able to coordinate when they hunt. In human form, their strength is extremely close to being superhuman, and in direwolf form at its peak and nearly equivalent to that of a vampire.
Werewolves have a human body temperature of about 42°C or 108°F. This high temperature allows them to withstand very cold weather and makes it difficult for them to become overheated. Werewolves can heal and regenerate very fast and completely. While not immortal if they choose to quit phasing, these capabilities allow them to continue fighting even after serious injury. In some cases, however, this accelerated healing causes improper healing which weakens them. Their skin is much more durable than that of a human being.
The senses of werewolves rival those of vampires. Like vampires, they can see, hear and smell things from kilometers away. Their sense of smell is so adjusted to help them identify their prays or enemies. It is not clear whether it is heightened in other circumstances, but they certainly know vampires at a distance, finding their smell sickly sweet and repellent.
Werewolves' eyes are extremely sharp and can see very far. Their sense of sight is known to be ten times better than the average human, twice as good as the average bird of prey's. They all have excellent hearing even in their human forms.
Werewolf ability is an inherited trait usually passed from parent to child. While pure-bloods are born of two werewolf parents and half-bloods are often born of one werewolf and one human or human-born parent, human-born werewolves are born with their shape-shifting abilities because they are distantly descended from a squib who often marries or breed into a human family. From this point on, that branch of the werewolf family often loses all traces of its werewolf gene, which resurfaces many generations later in a human-born descendant. For centuries, werewolves have not understand the concept of their reproduction until the formation of werewolf organizations and the Revelation to the human world.
Squib is the term applied to a child who is born of werewolf parents (werewolf with human or human-born with werewolf), but who does not get the werewolf gene. They are considered to be the opposite of human-born werewolves. Squib births are common, as werewolves rarely breed among themselves, due to their solitary attitude. Pure-bloods children can't become squibs and the werewolf gene is automatically transmitted.
Werewolves are omnivores like humans, but need a bigger amount of meat that they usually get while transformed. Although wolves primarily feed on medium to large sized ungulates, they are not fussy eaters. Much like direwolves and wolves, werewolves can survive without food for long periods: two weeks without food does not weaken their human or direwolf forms' muscle activities. A well-fed werewolf stores fat under the skin, around the heart, intestines, kidneys, and bone marrow, particularly during the autumn and winter. Digestion only takes a few hours, thus werewolves can feed several times in one day, making quick use of large quantities of meat.
Enemies and competitors
Werewolves typically dominate other animal species in areas where they occur.
Relationship with vampires
Due to many werewolves interacting with humans, the latter have often requested their help to fight off vampires, which created a traditional enemy for werewolves in vampires.
Relationship with humans
Humans are also a natural enemy, due to their fear of werewolves. Historically, werewolves have been persecuted and in some areas been drove to extinction.
Range and conservation
Deliberate human persecution has reduced the species' range to northern areas of Kobol, due to livestock predation and fear over attacks on humans. The species is now extinct in much of Europa, in Mexico and much of the Confederate and Federated States.
Werewolves are part of human society. As their number is limited, they do not have their own society and their species prefer to conduct a double life as human and direwolf.
In popular culture
Werewolves were extant parts of human mythology until organized werewolves societies were formed and revealed to Kobol.
A teenage female werewolf is the main theme of the song by Valois musician David Guetta in his song She Wolf, featuring Batavian singer Sia Furler. Although the song's lyrics have double meaning with human-werewolf interpretations, the song's video features a werewolf in her puberty being hunted by Normans in medieval Vale.