Darryl Speed's Collection of Characters
Werewolves, a Promise of Power
Werewolves, similar to vampires are deeply ingrained into the cultural zeitgeist of Ios. Every woodland, fen, and rolling hill has a peasant screaming that his neighbor bear’s Zalkir’s curse. Similar to how vampires are a used as a common scapegoat to overthrow the nobility, werewolves serve as a common scapegoat for a man to stab his neighbor with a silver dagger. Lycanthropy exists in forms beyond werewolves but the curse has manifested itself differently depending on the animal that it derives from, with the wolf being the oldest and most common. The nature of the werewolves is risk, while many werewolves are too afraid of their animal side and simply try to do as little damage as possible every full moon, some more ambitious souls try to control the wolf. This is a dangerous game to play as at any point if one spends more time in wolf form than their mind can handle, they can lose themselves to the savagery and bloodlust. While self control is the key to not losing oneself to the curse, the power of the werewolf is often described as addicting, it gives what was once a peasant with no control over his destiny the power to destroy anything that stands in his path. Wolf packs and some lone wolves have the powers of the alpha, the alpha is directly conspiring with the first werewolf, a wizard who created the curse while attempting to emulate the druid’s wildshape named Zalkir. Zalkir gives the alpha of any given pack the power to control his or her curse to a degree that stuns the other wolves in their pack. Zalkir always floats out the reminder that this power is always up for the taking if one can simply defeat the alpha, but as many of the wolves in these packs know, the power of the alpha makes them an almost insurmountable opponent.
Werewolves tend to survive and commune in areas were they can seek refuge from pursuing humans during their periods of weakness or somewhere where they can blend in with the crowd and few will notice their nocturnal activities. Rural areas with woodlands or caves nearby are the most popular with the densest werewolf population being found in the Godwood, the Norlands, and Southeast Indus(the Southern Continent). Werewolves rarely can form a cohesive enough faction in any given territory to be a major political force as they tend to be incredibly self absorbed and often just wish to carve out a small territory in the wilderness and dominate it. Werewolves are masters of the wilderness and it is considered a great prize among the hunters in the Norlands to return with a werewolf pelt. Sometimes packs of ten to twenty werewolves can vanish from an area after the people’s try to hunt them down, only to appear when the fear dulls.