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Humans make up the majority of the residents of Blackacre and Twin Gulch. They are primarily unaware of the supernatural that walk among them – and those that do know to keep their mouths shut. The folks that flap their gums about the strange things they’ve seen are usually silenced or regarded as the town’s resident drunk.
That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t humans who know about the lycans and vampires that share their towns or shop in their stores. The lycan packs that run the gangs are usually accepting of humans into their ranks – in the struggle to gain the upper hand they’re willing to take in anyone who’s willing to fight or can hold a gun. Though many lycans and vampires avoid humans or tend to look down upon them, they are capable of great things despite their short lifespans.
Accepted species: Gray wolf, Red wolf, Arctic wolf
Werewolves have three forms. They have their human form which they use to fit in with society. Lycans that are converted, not born, are often are more comfortable in this natural state. Their second form is their lupine form, a large, pony-sized wolf. Their final form is their hybrid or feral form. This form is their most powerful form and appears to be a combination of half man, half wolf. They stand on their hind legs and reach heights between six and eight feet.
Typically an experienced werewolf can shift into any form at will, though this takes both time and practice to master. Retaining their human mind during the shift is also a practiced skill and many young lycans are not permitted to change unless supervised until they have mastered this.
Additionally, a shift can be forced upon them in during times of extreme stress, fear, or anger. During these period of accidental changes a lycan often has little to no control of their feral nature. Werewolves are extremely dangerous during a forced shift and would turn on their own pack in an effort to facilitate their own survival.
Lycans are not truly "immortal" in the sense that they live forever, although they do live an exceptionally long time. They still age - albeit at a significantly slower rate - and would eventually die from old age around 500-700 years old if someone or something else doesn't kill them first.
the moon phases
There is a three day cycle preceding the full moon where a lycan is at their most powerful. On the night before the full moon a lycan becomes highly agitated and aggressive. Many are pulled to shift at moonrise out of sheer exhaustion. On the night of the full moon they are forcefully shifted into their hybrid form and become lost in their primal, feral instincts. Packs often stage large and exciting hunts and these nights are especially celebrated with great fervor when a new lycan makes the shift for their first time. By the third night of the cycle werewolves are still pulled to shift at moonrise but retain their full mental capabilities. By the end of the cycle they return to their normal selves and wait for the next moon cycle to repeat the process all over.
The period of a new moon is when they are at their weakest. Packs usually come together during these times to bond a sense of community and shared strength.
strengths & weaknesses
Werewolves have heightened senses in both human and animal forms, including enhanced hearing, superhuman strength, speed, and sense of smell. They also have bodies built for quick healing and minor wounds typically heal themselves within days, sometimes hours. Mortally fatal wounds may also still be fatal to a lycan, though their chance of survival far exceeds that of a normal human. That still doesn’t mean that taking a bullet won’t hurt like hell, however.
Silver is extremely fatal to a lycan. Even basic skin contact is painful enough to burn them and if ingested or entered into the bloodstream it reacts as a poison. While normal bullets are usually expunged while healing, silver bullets remain lodged in a wound and will continue to cause damage until removed. Wounds inflicted by silver also heal at a significantly slower rate, if they heal at all.
Vampire’s blood is also fatal if ingested in large amounts, though even a small amount will cause extreme sickness.
infecting & converting
Lycanthropy is a disease, not a curse, that is either born or infected. For those that are instead converted and not born it is transferred by bodily fluids such as blood and fluids exchanged during sexual intercourse, but not such as saliva. This is the same for any form a lycan holds (human, hybrid, or wolf). One out of four humans are converted during sexual intercourse with a lycan while alternatively a bite from a hybrid lycan nearly always results in infecting the bitee.
After becoming infected, within twenty four hours the human will slowly begin to grow weaker. They will present with symptoms of illness which will culminate three days before the full moon where they will fall to a high fever and become delirious. The fever breaks on the night of the full moon and they experience their first painful shift, which repeats the same cycle every month.
The shift is as painful the first time as it is every time thereafter. Though many lycans grow accustomed to the sensation, the reshaping and shifting of bones is not a painless process.
Vampires can walk among humans without much disguise. Though they appear human they typically have a sense of allure and mystery to them that people find enticing. They have becomes masters of hiding in plain sight and come in all shapes and sizes.
Like their lycan enemies, vampires are not truly "immortal". They still age at a much slower rate than humans and have the potential to live to be anywhere between 600-800 years old (though very few do).
strengths & weaknesses
Much like their lycan rivals, vampires are gifted with heightened senses. They are predators that have evolved to hunt in plain sight. Enhanced speed and a heightened sense of smell make it laughably easy to pick off easy prey, though their superhuman strength give them an advantage when they get into situations that are a little more complicated. Though not able to become truly invisible, they also have an uncanny ability to shroud their presence. It allows them to move through crowds unnoticed or slip past threats quietly. They also have a slight mental acuity proponed to persuasion, though it is dependent on the strength of the mind they are trying to sway.
Unfortunately, their fatal aversion to sunlight means that most of their hunts and socializing happen after dusk. A few of the brave souls choose to walk during the day but they remain indoors or beneath cover. Cloudy or overcast days are also a chance for them to experience life in the day. Contact with direct sunlight burns their flesh like fire and causes excruciating agony. Though blessed with enhanced healing, burns from sunlight take twice as long to heal, if they heal at all.
A werewolf’s bite is also fatal to vampires as lycan blood and saliva reacts like a poison if exposed to it. Typical wives' tales also speak of things like garlic, holy water, and a crucifix to keep the monsters away from your family... but they are purely superstitions used to satisfy scared children and housewives.
The process of turning a human is one that must first be approved by the Conclave’s ruling queen. No Conclave vampires are allowed to create a childling without her consent, though this does not apply to rogue vampires. The act of turning is not one to be taken lightly and is regarded as the most intimate act a vampire can partake it. In addition to granting them the gift of enhanced life, a sire is imparting a part of themselves into their progeny.
A human cannot be turned simply by being bitten by a vampire. A ritual must be performed for the full transference of the old blood to occur. A sire will take a fledgling to a safe or sacred space. They first drain the human of blood to the point of near death. When the last glimmer of humanity begins to fade, the fledgling feeds from the blood of the sire – the old blood passed down from the first of their kind. They fall into a deep sleep while their body endures the painful final act of the turning.
Within a day the newly reborn vampire is overcome with a ravenous, unyielding hunger. If they do not feed within a day of their turning they suffer one of two horrific fates: an excruciating second death or a lifetime of madness and insanity in a thirst for blood. Vampires turned within the Conclave are greeted with vigor and a celebration of flesh and carnal delights.