Therianthropy (Firmament)

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

Therianthropy, otherwise known as the Werecurse, is a magical curse which transforms humanoids into feral half-beast monsters during the full moon.

History[edit | edit source]

Tales of therianthropes are as old as history itself in Telamon. Most legends point to the curse having originated from Wulven, who cursed a band of primitive hunters who dared attempt to strike him down into wolf-life form, creating the first werewolves. Other breeds of werebeast were born from dark magic; the region of Duskwood is famed for spawning many sorts of unusual werebeast breeds, though certain forms of therianthrope have become far more common than others.

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Therianthropy is a curse of dark magical nature which is transmitted from already-existing werebeasts to other creatures through exchange of bodily fluids; a werewolf can infect another creature by biting them hard enough to draw blood, or a person may be infected by deliberately drinking the blood of a werewolf. Werebeasts capable of launching globs of fluid, such as poison, are especially dangerous due to this.

The effects of therianthropy are very obvious; whenever the Moon goes full, the victim is forcefully transformed into a feral animal hybrid, crazed for blood and violence who loses control over their actions until the next sunrise, where they return to normal. The transformation is often very painful as it tends to restructure the bones of the victim, with special mention given to beastman victims - cases of, for example, reptilian beastmen being transformed into mammalian hybrids, tend to be especially grotesque to behold, and these werebeasts tend to be far more violent than classical humanoids as a result. Werebeasts of different species cannot breed, but two humans afflicted with the same curse could give birth to a cursed child.

Being afflicted with therianthropy comes with an array of advantages. Firstly, the physical prowess of a werebeast is amplified to extreme levels upon transformation, their perception and agility are enhanced, and they gain incredible regenerative powers; stronger werebeasts can shrug off the blows of certain weapons, and the wounds they do suffer tend to be healed in a matter of seconds. Werebeasts can regrow lost limbs minutes after they are lost, and their regenerative abilities are visible (albeit reduced) even when not transformed. A therianthrope also gains access to any abilities of their animal form, if any - most bird werebeasts gain wings which grant them flight, amphibian werebeasts gain the ability of breathing underwater, etc. Therianthropy also slows down aging to some degree, though it does not grant immortality by itself.

However, werebeasts also possess numerous weaknesses. They lose their ability to think upon transformation, becoming little more than rabid animals. While incredibly tough, they are universally weak to silver and anti-magical metals such as cold iron - being struck by weapons plated in silver causes great pain in werebeasts and also disables their regeneration, making them susceptible to agony and the loss of limbs. Werebeasts are also universally vulnerable to holy magic, which burns through their bodies while ignoring their enhanced toughness. A werebeast who is subject to extreme amounts of stress while transformed may lose their sapience and become stuck in their hybrid form for the rest of their lives, a fate typically considered worse than death by most.

Therianthropes should not be confused with shapeshifters; while the latter can change shape at will, werebeasts are cursed with involuntary transformations which drive them into an uncontrollable frenzy. Curing therianthropy is a process still under study by most nations of Telamon, and while some methods have been devised to prevent transformation, none so far have managed to truly cure the affliction.

Breeds[edit | edit source]

Werebear[edit | edit source]

Werebears, or arkoudathropes, are easily distinguished for their large size, bear-like heads and massive claws which can rend a Human adult to pieces in instants. They tend to be more passive than most werebeast breeds, but are extremely dangerous if provoked. The breed is more common in the continent of Gromkazul.

Wereraven[edit | edit source]

Wereravens, or korakithropes, possess a black plumage and the head and talons of a raven. Easily missed in the darkness of the night, these creatures grow large pairs of wings which grant them flight and great dexterity when facing their prey. The breed is more common in the continent of Khiiratsuna.

Werewolf[edit | edit source]

Werewolves, or lycanthropes, are by far the most common and prolific form of therianthrope, and are believed to exist to some extent in all continents of Telamon. They have shaggy fur, the head and fangs of a wolf, and their limbs are replaced by paws sporting powerful claws. The breed is more common in the continent of Dryadala.

See also[edit | edit source]