Since my first encounter with werewolves I have been on a mission to discover all that I can about these creatures. I will begin with what is generally known by most people.
Silver, The bane of all lycanthropes. Usually if a werewolf is wounded by any normal weapon, the wound will heal almost immediately, and therefore it is impossible to kill an infected creature by normal means. The only weapons that can affect them are those that have been forged from silver. This precious metal burns the werewolf upon contact, and any wound remains open, therefore weakening the werewolf and if the wielder of the silver weapon is good enough, possibly killing the creature. As my clan chief Caracatus did.
It is possible for a werewolf which has been wounded by silver to heal from the wound, but it takes time, as it would for us if we were struck by any weapon.
It has also been my experience to conduct some experiments on Keryth and Mort Arach, I hope that they will forgive me when they are cured but I do these experiments for their own good.
Both Keryth and Mort Arach are infected with lycanthropy but there is a profound difference between the two. Keryth cannot bring himself into contact with silver, he growls and threatens us with death if we bring the silver close to him, whereas Mort Arach has no such problem, he will happily hold Caracatus` sword and my silver chain and will suffer no ill effect. The same with Wolfsbane, Keryth is sickened by the aroma and stays away from the patches that I have cultivated in our village, whilst Mort carries some with him when adventuring.
Whilst on the subject of wolfsbane most people know that this plant has some effect on werewolves, most believe however that the plant acts as a ward against werewolves, these people are under a big misconception, the plant acts in no such way. I want to make this clear to everybody, Wolfsbane is not a ward, it cannot stop a werewolf from attacking, it merely gives off an odour which although not sickening to us, greatly irritates the werewolf, due to its enhanced sense of smell. The plant cannot damage the werewolf, although I would like to find out what would happen if one of the inflicted were to swallow some. This would prove whether it is the smell of the flower as I believe or whether it some poison in the flower itself which affects the creatures.
I have discovered that the werewolf will not attack anyone carrying wolfsbane, they will go for someone who proves less of a problem, unless of course if everybody is carrying the flowers and hunger necessitates. If however the lycanthrope does attack then it will be sickened and not at its most fierce.
The legends of Silver and wolfsbane are widespread, but not many people know what I am about to divulge. To gain the following knowledge I have observed both Keryth Loneshadow and Mort Arach very closely. I knew about Keryth after my second story. The case of Mort Arach has only reared its head recently, although he was affected during the same adventure as Keryth, it has taken almost a month for us to be sure of his affliction.
First I will deal with Keryth. He was bitten by werewolves during our escapade through the mists, upon his arrival back with the party I tested him with wolfsbane, no effect. After he changed and ate human flesh at the table of Jazrael, he has become loathe to touch any wolfsbane and silver. He stays away from the patches of wolfsbane which surround our lands. Mort Arach however was bitten by the werewolves during our escape from Jazrael`s clutches. He has shown no signs of the disease. He takes wolfsbane with him whenever he journeys outside our territory, he holds Caracatus` silver sword and handles my silver chains. However he does suffer from nightmares, regarding himself running through the woods and attacking someone.
After long talks with both of these and Lord Arcane I have come to the conclusion that the disease (or curse) of lycanthropy is transmitted at the point where the victim is bitten. The disease then lies dormant until the afflicted partakes of human (or demi-human) flesh. It is at this point that the spirit of the wolf starts to take over the victim’s soul. This is why the disease has not yet shown itself in Mort Arach, he has not partaken of flesh.
If the victim partakes of flesh then all is not lost, as the disease still takes time to manifest fully. The victim has but until the next full moon to be rid of the disease. I know of no one who has managed to be rid of the affliction before this time. When the next full moon rises the victim will remain a werewolf until he is killed.
There is a potion which can be brewed to slow the onset of the disease. This potion must be drunk by the afflicted each night, and grants the afflicted a year at the most, before the disease becomes irreversible. This potion is made from the following ingredients:
1) A pinch of crushed belladonna (not too much as it is highly poisonous)
2) a sprig of mistletoe, cut with a silver sickle.
3) two pinches of crushed mandrake root
4) a clove of garlic
All of the ingredients are to be mixed together thoroughly and drunk each and every day just before nightfall. The smell of this potion is disgusting. I can only imagine what it must taste like.
By the end of this year five items must be found by the afflicted and anybody who wishes to help him. the five items are:-
1) The skull of a greater werewolf
2) The blood of the holiest person alive
3) Water from the driest desert.
4) A gem of purest green, crushed between the hands of a living being
5) The fifth item is known only to the afflicted, and is personal to him.
When all five items are collected, a ritual must be performed, with two results depending whether the afflicted has partaken of human flesh. If they have then at the peak of the ritual the afflicted will split in two, his human form and his beast form. These two will then fight to the death, whoever wins will control the soul of the afflicted forever. If they have not partaken in human flesh then the afflicted will not split in two as the beast has not yet taken hold, this is then a simple task of exorcising the spirit from the body.
I’m getting ahead of myself again, here I go muttering on about a cure when I haven’t told you how you can spot if anybody you know is a werewolf. The bad news is that it is difficult, wolfsbane may give some clues, but the beast may be able to resist the aroma or hide his distaste. Silver will cut both those afflicted and those who are not, also if the one suspected has not partaken of human flesh then both silver and wolfsbane will have no effect. Other folk tales tell of the elongated forefingers, hairs on the palms of their hands, bushy eyebrows that meet in the middle, slightly pointed ears (hard to notice this on my subjects as one is an elf, the other is a drow). I have studied both Keryth`s and Mort`s hands and faces and I found nothing to support or contradict these tales. There are people in our homelands who have one or more of the above traits and do not even know what a werewolf is let alone being one.
There are other tell tale clues which may give the game away, The suspected may display some signs of bruises or abrasions in the morning, nightmares about chasing rabbits or other things through a forest, not remembering things about the previous night, or turning up with their clothes all torn yet with not a scratch on their body.
None of the above however warrant anybody being dubbed a werewolf, as I have had the misfortune of witnessing the ritual killing of a woman suspected of being a werewolf. This woman was stripped naked and set loose, she was hit with various implements as she ran through the village, panic on her face, trying to escape the torture. She was forced into the town square where an axeman waited. It was then that she was grabbed by four men, one to each limb and roughly hauled onto a raised dais. I was sickened to see them nailing her hands and feet into a wooden cross. Then with one blow the axeman stole her head from her body. The head was lifted for all to see, it was proclaimed that the werewolf was dead. The body was drawn, quartered and finally burnt. That night the werewolf attacked again, claiming a young girl as its victim.
Other things I have noticed include Keryth’s increased senses. He finds the smell of Retch greatly distressing, Keryth’s eating habits have also changed, he prefers his meat raw, he says, it’s because there’s more flavour in it. He eats on his own these days, watching him eat makes us sick.
Keryth also heals rapidly, almost instantaneously. A very useful trait indeed, although during our last adventure he was captured by a band of ghouls. These ghouls started eating him, and as the ghouls teeth and claws are not made of silver, Keryth regenerated. Pure agony, feeling teeth cutting into your body again and again, then watching the wound close up.
I also believe that there are two types of werewolf, one being those who are born into the disease, which I call true lycanthropes, and those who are infected through being bitten, these I call cursed. These true werewolves seemed to have control over themselves, they could speak whilst in their hybrid forms. They could change at will. They had free thought whilst in hybrid forms.
The cursed werewolves however have to have their change triggered, i.e. by the full moon, the sight of blood, or hunger. Whilst in their hybrid forms these werewolves have no control over what they do, the beast takes over. Upon returning to human form then the infected can remember nothing of the previous nights activities.
If the disease has not fully developed in the victim, then it is possible to restrain him. To do this you will need wolfsbane, and a lot of it Also something silver. The victim must be tied up with rope, wolfsbane must then be place in strategic places amongst the rope. Wolfsbane must then be placed in a circle around the victim. The victim will rant and rave, and try to escape, but the bonds will hold and he will not be able to break free from the circle. It also helps to slip a silver coin in amongst the bonds.
Anyway, now to part three. A section dedicated to my theories.