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A lycanthrope (pronounced: /ˈlkənθrpLY-kən-throhp[2]or: /ˈlkænθrpLY-kæn-throhp[2]), also known as a werebeast, weretype,[3] or nightwalker,[4] was an individual who possessed the condition of lycanthropy.[5]

Description[]

Lycanthropes were shapechangers with at least two forms, that of a humanoid and that of a particular kind of animal. In humanoid form, they appeared no different than a typical specimen of that type and their natural life expectancy was the same.[6] Lycanthropes could disguise themselves somewhat through their shape-shifting abilities, either taking on a form almost identical to a humanoid but with subtle details revealing their true nature such as pointed teeth or long fingernails. Similarly, lycanthropes could assume an animal form, which would be a perfect disguise except for the unusual spark of intelligence in their eyes that sometimes gave them away.[7] Some lycanthropes could also take on an intermediate "hybrid form", superficially resembling their humanoid form but with the head of the specific animal whose shape they could also take.[citation needed]

Classification[]

There were several different categorizations of lycanthropes in the Realms, and many related beings.[5]

Therianthropes[]

Often called lycanthropes, these were humans or giants that could transform into an animal or a monster. Therianthrope type names often had the prefix, were. One became a lycanthrope in several different ways and, accordingly, they had different terms to describe them.

Natural
True
Lycanthropes that contracted their condition as a hereditary trait, and could breed with other true lycanthropes to produce lycanthrope offspring. This form of lycanthropy had no cure, except occasionally a wish spell.
e.g., a werewolf born to true werewolf parents.
Afflicted
Infected
Lycanthropes that contracted their condition by being injured (usually bitten) by a true lycanthrope.
e.g., a human bitten by a true wereshark may become infected.
Induced
A being affected by magical items, causing them to turn into a lycanthrope. These beings could not transmit lycanthropy to others.
e.g., swanmay, who willingly accepted feathered tokens.
Cursed
A being affected by a curse, either from a spell or other means.

Related creatures[]

These beings had similar qualities, but were not technically lycanthropes:

Antherions
Shapechanging creatures, but transformed into humanoids from their original animal state, instead of the other way around. Antherion type names often had the suffix, were. They hated lycanthropes, as lycanthropes hated them.
e.g., jackalwere
Others
Other races that had similar qualities to werebeasts, or resulted from the inter-breeding of lycanthropes with humans.
e.g., shifter

Society[]

Some lycanthropes were in control of their ability to transform and others were not. Most lycanthropes had some empathy with animals with which they shared their forms. Most lycanthropes were humans or elves,[8] but orc and goblin lycanthropes also existed.[6] Most natural lycanthropes viewed their condition as a gift, whereas afflicted lycanthropes were more likely to be horrified by it and attempt a cure, using belladonna or magical means.[9] However, all lycanthropes were usually secretive about their condition because of the social stigma attached to it and many ended up as lonely adventurers.[5]

Religion[]

No one deity in the Realms truly had the condition of lycanthropy as a part of their divine portfolio, though priesthoods had conflicting claims on this topic as there were some gods often associated with the condition. Malar and Selûne were two such gods,[10] believed to have in their portfolios evil and neutral lycanthropes respectively.[11] Of the two Selûne was the most closely associated, though worshipers of Malar would claim otherwise.[10]

History[]

Some said that thousands of years ago, the god Malar used barbaric human tribes to create the original lycanthropes, providing them with qualities of the predatory animals they admired. Others said it was a blessing from Selûne to a group of young human orphans to help them survive in the dangerous wilds. Either way, these ancient bloodlines were passed down through generations.[6]

A natural line of elven werewolves known as lythari dated back to the first elven explorations of Faerun, and the good members of their kind lived among the moon elf and wood elf communities for thousands of years.[6]

Many new forms of lycanthrope were said to have appeared following the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR.[12]

Lycanthrope Organizations[]

Notable Types of Lycanthrope[]

See Lycanthropes for a full list.

Terrestrial[]

  • Loup garous were like more powerful and more contagious werewolves[18]
  • Lythari were elves that could transform into wolves, but lacked a hybrid form[15]
  • Wererats, which were commonly found in urban environments, often as members of criminal organizations[19]

Aquatic[]

Flying[]

  • Swanmays, who could transform into a swan via an induced form of lycanthropy[23]

Appendix[]

See Also[]

Gallery[]

External links[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 170–179. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Dungeons & Dragons FAQ (HTML). Wizards of the Coast. (2003). Archived from the original on 2017-07-09. Retrieved on 2018-05-22.
  3. Timothy J. Kask ed. (November 1978). Dragon #20 (TSR, Inc.).
  4. Dave Gross (August 2007). Black Wolf. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-4283-1.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), pp. 231–232. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  7. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  8. Rob Heinsoo, Logan Bonner, Robert J. Schwalb (September 2008). Forgotten Realms Player's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 978-0-7869-4929-8.
  9. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 145. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Ed Greenwood (02-10-2020). Portfolios in the Realms - Lycanthropy (Tweet). theedverse. Twitter. Archived from the original on 02-11-2020. Retrieved on 08-22-2021.
  11. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 105, 134. ISBN 978-0786903849.
  12. James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  13. Jeff Grubb (April 1991). “Temptations”. In Kim Yale ed. Forgotten Realms #20 (DC Comics).
  14. Matt Sernett, Erik Scott de Bie, Ari Marmell (August 2011). Neverwinter Campaign Setting. Edited by Tanis O'Connor. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 115–117. ISBN 0-7869-5814-6.
  15. 15.0 15.1 James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  16. Christopher Perkins (September 2019). “Dragon of Icespire Peak”. In Scott Fitzgerald Gray ed. Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-0-7869-6683-7.
  17. Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 175. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
  18. Wes Schneider, Amanda Hamon, Molly Ostertag, K. Tempest Bradford (May 2021). Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 237. ISBN 978-0786967254.
  19. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  20. David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 James Wyatt and Rob Heinsoo (February 2001). Monster Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 92–93. ISBN 0-7869-1832-2.
  22. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. Edited by Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 182–183. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 334. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  24. Ed Greenwood, et al (1989). Hall of Heroes. (TSR, Inc), pp. 36–37. ISBN 0-88038-711-4.
  25. James Wyatt (October 2021). Fizban's Treasury of Dragons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 44. ISBN 978-0786967292.

Connections[]

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