Weaver, Recluse, Widow and Bolas are four sibling were-spiders, dwelling deep inside the heart of the Timeless Pines. Murderers of exquisite design and execution, bored killers, they are likewise sage philosophers and deep thinkers. Long ago, did four young children wander and get lost in the vast, labyrinthine forest, despite their parents urgings and reproaches. Legends claim that they were all in turn bitten, or kissed some tales relate, by the mythical Spider-Count-The-Days, a pony-sized arachnid, lairing somewhere amidst the yawning, primeval old-growth of the Timeless Pines. Waking from a seemingly endless nap, the four siblings Gremmurclye, Arault, Tyia, Rollo and Nadamanthe (Naddy), discovered to their initial horror, that they were now infected with the Counters Curse, their bodies transforming into those of were-spiders.
Savid, the Rain-Maker
Savid has lived on the sun dry steppe for as long as he can remember. His parents abandoned him when eh was still an infant and he has since been raised by the common will of the village. When he was still young he underwent the first change, taking on the thick shouldered form of a desert jackal. He grew healthy and strong, feeding on carrion and wild prey while the rest of the village grew lean and hungry. Soon, the locals started calling him the rain-maker, because sorrow followed in his path. If he stayed with a family, some of their gaunt livestock would be killed, or one of the small children ripped open and eaten. While the sorrow has distrcted the village, Savid has since weeded out the sick, the infirm, and those too old or weak to contribute to the survival of the community. While times are lean, as a whole, the village is now stronger than it was before.
Few people will ever embrace their shapeshifting condition quite and entirely as moenzander Blackwing. It has been years since Moenzander resumed a human form, instead this sorcerer has spent the years in his hybrid half man, half bat form. Living in near darkness, he has explored the realms of invisible and arcane magic. When the rare busybody *pcs* shows up, they find his tower to be a maze of chambers and odd corridors, all shrouded in complete darkness, there are not even brackets on the wall to hold torches. Despite all of this would be villainy, Moenzander has no evil design upon humanity, though he is by no means a philantropist. His area of expertise is delving into the magics of shadow, darkness, and the lore of antiquity.
Hannalitzi, the Dreaming Piper
Hannalitzi fears his own alter ego, and ignores the Black Jaguar simmering inside him, as best he can, spending his days traveling from village to village and to and from the capital, Xonqaique, the Ten-Tiered City of Broken Clouds, playing his pipes, carved from anaconda bone and cartilage, and leading the disillusioned youth in drugged revelries, celebrating the Night of Nights festival incessantly. In times of great stress or during the weeklong Blood Moon sightings, Hannalitzi prowls the obsidian-strewn Jungles of Phussh, his blood-curdling growls and groans paying homage to Qixocueli the Swindler, Father of Jaguars, Khasshkillot, Whale of Chaos and AvulVaaqa the Eviscerated Toad, Mother of Men.
Suthcundman of the Hanging Pines and Frokkerns Horn settlements, Ockrin serves as the mayor of both thorps, while living unassumingly in a third village, Flacksterd, some ten leagues distant, where he is also revered as the village wiseman, and often parents of newborn babes will go to him for his blessing and to receive a Star-Name for their child. Ockrin is an able astrologer, as well as an avid sky-watcher. It is said by the villagers that one should always take care not to bump into Goodman Wheatgate while he walks, as he is always looking up into the sky.
Amchankra, Guardian of the Emerald Garden
This dangerous woman, who dwells in Kiebr Gogo Begg’s Emerald Gardens, is a cold-hearted, emotionless slayer and guardian of said demesne. She is also the Kiebr’s deadliest and ablest assassin. By day she lazes in the nirvana of the artificially created, jungle-paradise designed by her liege and his wizards, and by night she stalks the darkness, able to shift from stunningly beautiful, exotic woman, to a ferocious, ruthless tigress. She relishes ripping to shreds anyone who dares trespass.
At her request, Kiebr Gogo-Begg, has agreed to let the lustful Amchankra, "sample" his stable of concubines at her whim, and nothing pleases Anmchankra more than "stalking" fearful pleasure slaves through her Garden of Delights.
Sebastien the Luckiest Sailor Alive
Sebastian has been a sailor since he was a 12 year old cabin boy. He has seen more wrecks and ships sunk under him than most men can even consider claiming. He claims luck has kept him alive, but it is the fact that when he falls into salt water under the light of the moon, he becomes a squid of large size. This has allowed him to simply swim/jet away from the wrecks. He is now in service to the captain of a ship who knows his secret. No longer a deck swabber or sheet hauler, Sebastien will swim out and sabotage ships by jamming their rudder chains and cutting anchor lines so ships are mooring drift into the rocks in harbors.
The Singing Dolphins of Seven Seas
An irreverent clan of were-dolphins and the entertainers of the highs seas, they are adored and almost revered by pirates and honest sailors alike. The family unit, eight members strong at one time, now down to four living members, spends their days and nights swimming the oceans, and practicing their entertainment extravaganzas. Rarely can the clan be found ashore in human form, but when they do, they can usually be found skulking around the docks and taverns of any major seaport.
In their favorite element, the ocean, the were-dolphin troubadours, cruise near or above the surface, looking for passing ships and caravels. Encountering the altruistic clan, is considered a great boon of luck among seamen, and upon spying the Singing Dolphins, crews usually stop what they are doing, and hoot and holler, anticipating the performance to come.
The were-dolphins put on quite a show. From elaborate swimming and flipping tricks, to juggling and tossing fish, to the most incredible singing voices, this side of Cilagros Opera House, they are bards in the truest sense of the term, delighting in their own performances and enjoying entertaining as its own reward.
The legends of the singing dolphins have become iconic in maritime lore. Mariners consider them blessed and fortuitous to be lucky enough to witness the aquatic troubadours hum and croon. There are murky rumors of course. Rumors describing the were-dolphins troupe as pirates and thieves, and some claims, that they serve a darker, benthic master, but this gossip is unconfirmed at best.
Abdul Tawwab, Servant of the Forgiver
Adbul grew up as many other boys in his village. Unlike them, he had no fear of scorpions or the snakes that could found in the desert. Many considered him to be blessed by the Divine as when he was stung, no welt rose on his flesh. Not even the fiery sting of the Death-bonnet scorpion affected him. He was nearly an adult the first time he changed and became a scuttling scorpion half the size of a camel. Filled with fear and self loathing, Abdul fled the village and now lives in exile. He rarely ever reverts to his human form, instead living as a giant scorpion in the desert. He has no qualms about stalking and killing anyone who threatens his village. The locals have seen the giant scorpion a few times, but are thankful it has never ventured to come into town.
Yerriltia, the Falling Talon
Long a ranger of the North woods, Yerriltia fell quite naturally into the rhythyms of being a shape shifter. The bright-eyed woman is know for her skill with a bow, lack of mercy, and keen eye. They do not know that their protector hides her weapons and clothing and during the heat of the day flies among the clouds, hunting small game and watching the world unfold beneath her. As such, Yerriltia is almost legendary for her scouting ability.
Cloobad the Hammer
Always larger and stronger than the other children, Cloobad was simply big. Most of the time, he can be found working in the smithy, hammering out great blows with his heavy hammers against heavier anvils. When he changes, he grows even larger, his muscles even thicker. In this form, a great shaggy half man half auroch, he could rival a hill giant for strength and possibly be mistaken for a wooly minotaur.
The son of a noteworthy merchant-prince, Lemick was infested with his disease, while traveling on his fathers behalf to the city of Nistvhaar, Queen of the Plains, notorious for its many Rat God cults. Bitten while visiting one of the cults bizarre red temples, Lemick was disgusted by his cursed fate, and unsurprisingly resentful of his gift. His sanity somewhat ravaged by the taint, Lemick chose to blame his father for the tragedy which befell him, and allowing himself, in this way, to take out a lifetimes worth of pent up resentment and frustration on his sire, began to plot the downfall of the mans fortune and dynastical merchant empire.
Adubal "Duber" Hykes
The self-proclaimed, Prince of Rats, and Steward of the Sewers, Duber as he is known, does rule a humble, but effective gang, lairing below the streets of the great capital of Jantir. Himself barely past puberty, Duber is a young, rambunctious, but eminently charismatic and dangerous thief, who leads his fellow infected were-rats on daring and astounding raids across all Wards. Duber has a hefty sum placed on his head by the frustrated Cityguard. Despite all their efforts, the likable Prince of Rats remains ever elusive. Unbeknownst to all, Duber carries on an affair with none other than the respectable Lady Ajasseya, she enjoying the danger and secrecy of it all and he in turn, enjoying losing his virginity.
The Great Marifana
Once a desert princess, daughter of the Raining-Tear Pasha, who was transformed into a desert wildcat, during her exploration of a forgotten desert tomb, once dedicated to Thhassalat, Mistress of Cats, and sister of Mrrrrawwr. Properly cursed with her new exquisite form, the Great Marafana found her new feline life preferable to her old one, and thus her legend was born. The Great Marifana is a beautiful Caracal cat, a paragon of the species, with the intelligence and memories of her former life
Voddermox, Son of the Polar Bear
A hermit dwelling in the icy tundra of the north, Voddermox was stalking game when a huge, hulking snow bear erupted from the frigid waters and mauled the seal-hunter. Miraculously surviving the attack, the youth was later ostracized from his tribe, and took to wandering the snow and ice of his homeland alone. Voddermox now feels closer to his bestial form than his human one, preferring to stalk the ice flows as a polar bear, distrustful and resentful of all other humans, especially foreign visitors to his domain.
Odd facial tattoos and a lilting foreign accent mark Umbadewe Talkata as a foreigner. His wrinkled sun-scorched skin is tough as leather; his dark, squinting eyes carefully survey all around him. An unwanted vagabond, Umbadewe travels from town to town, doing odd jobs when he cant find opportunities for petty thievery. Over and over, furious villagers have driven the parasitic foreigner from their town, only to hear him rant of the Murder Bird Spirit that watches over the menfolk of his line. Even Umbadewe doesnt realize what this ancestral totem really is. He has no recollection of the times when he assumed the shape of a heavy-beaked flightless bird. Clad in the form of a phorusrhacid terror bird, nearly ten feet tall, the shapeshifter hunts those who wronged him. His savage kicks and tearing beak rend his victims into bloody shreds.
Hazzit-Zoob and the village of Amaiah
At first glance a perfectly humble and average warm-clime demesne, situated along a wide, muddy river with a gentle flow, the village secret is that at least a third of its inhabitants are afflicted with crocodylothropy. They are led by an elder, named Hazzit-Zoob, who espouses devouring most travelers who pass the wretched Amaiah, but not before lulling foreign visitors into a false sense of security. The creatures are clever, and are loathe in revealing their secret with reckless abandon. There is even a good chance that some travelers passing through the village, will be left unmolested, unaware of the villagers natures. But a word of caution to the unsuspecting PC, that wakes, exits his or her guest yurt, and approaches the river bank for an early morning swim, while three or four washer women, are knee deep in the river, going about their chores. For the present time, Hazzit-Zoob is content with his rule, but soon he will plan to expand his cults influence and afflictions, among the tribes of the many villages along the banks of the Great Brown River.
Mr. Jenter (manfred-thanks)
Jenter is a man that has mastered his werewolf nature better than most. Hiring out as a guard and cook for short treks, he is known for his passion in preparing food, playing and experimenting with spices and other additions, making simple foods a little different every time - it doesn’t always work, but mostly it is good. His favourite is naturally meat, not pointed out in any way. Casual and reliable, he is a favoured companion… pity he does not hire out for longer periods, an ‘independent nature’ as he says.
It took Jenter quite a while to adapt to his condition. With all the friendliness, he makes sure to be out of civilisation around full moon, walking the woods in human or partially transformed form, rarely turning to wolf completely. His secret is the maniacal devotion to preparing food, into which he channels much of his feelings; focusing on the cooked meat, he suppresses all thoughts of other ways to process meat, or to cunsume it, or to hunt it… If fighting, he fights with the same obsession.
Jenter is _so_ above to changing into a wolf on any provocation, but if forced hard enough, he could become a violent beast beyond sanity. Control is his greatest power and weakness. The few people that got behind his defenses, and angered him sufficiently, have vanished later without a trace. Most conflicts are solved with a smile, and some cooking afterwards.
Vokoun, the King’s Man
Vokoun is one of those rare lycanthropes that has conquered his alter ego, and has firm control over his own transformations and blood lust. Originally, but no more, a Master of Hound for a prosperous King and Kingdom, Vokoun was infected with the curse during a spirited wolf hunt. Since his infection, he has spent years channeling his rage and mastering his lupine forms. He has remained, throughout it all, intensely loyal to the King, and though his hounds now dread his presence, the King saw value in having such a loyal and terrible avenger on his retinue, and anointed Vokoun, Head of the Kings Personal Guard. The werewolf takes great pride in his own appointment and does his job with relish. Vokoun further ingratiated himself to his liege, after saving the Kings life, during yet another, Royal Hunt. Vokoun’s weapon of choice is spike-studded iron mace. He eschews sword and armor, as has an unusual aversion to steel as well as the rudimentary silver, dreaded by his lycan kin.
Gjalbava and Grusilla
Grusilla is the mayor of Ynors Rest, a large village, with pretenses at being a town, one of several beside the vast Peloe Glacier. Grusilla inherited her position and her taint from her mother Gjalbava, an old, wily pagan who originally came from the Peloe¸ Glacier Towns, and became mayor after marrying the existing one, and poisoning him in his sleep with nightshade. The death was deemed a natural expiration by the town coroner, a man who spent the days and nights deep in his cups. Gjalbava put on an act of proper sorrow and dutiful composure, and it wasnt long before the town decided to appoint the brave, grieving, widow mayor in her husbands stead. Gjalbava proved to be a good leader and judge, once she seized the opportunity presented, governing rather fairly and energetically (she loved to be in charge, akin to a drug for Gjalbava), despite her own personal biases and occasional embezzlements, and in time, became a much loved figure in Ynors Rest and neighboring towns, particularly known for her cheery disposition, clever and sometimes acerbic tongue, and organization skills. Ynors Rest was prosperous, as prosperous as a small town can be, during her tenure as well, due in no small part to the discovery of amber deposits in areas of the Peloe Glacier. Grusilla for her part, despises her own mother, but bides her time, having the same plans for mom, as mom had for dad.
Sayachekal, the Pillar
The keeper of the Holy Temple of the Divine River, Sayachekal is a stocky old woman with a bulbous nose and poor eyesight. this hasnt dissuaded her from her task of keeping the temple swept and the sacrificial altars clean and presentable. It wouldn’t do for offerings to rot on golden plates. It is rare that Sayachekal shifts into her animal form, a venerable iron jawed rhinocerous. She does this during the infrequent rains to feel the water patter against her pebbly skin, or when the temple is threatened. Once, during an earthquake she assumed a monsterous half human, half rhino form and held up a corner of the building while the petitioners inside scampered for safety. Over the next two days, with nothing more than busted tree stumps for supports and her own strength she repaired the temple’s fallen pillars and sagging roof.
Merigo the Dustman
Merigo the Dustman trudges from alley to alley, the squeaking wheels of his makeshift rubbish cart advertising his presence long before he can be seen. As he makes his rounds, gathering trash from waterfront businesses, Merigos expressions can be hard to fathom: The dustmans mouth hides beneath a quivering moustache and his gaze wanders randomly.
As the moon rises, Merigo slips off to the tidal pools of the shore, there to secretly transform into a huge crustacean. Crawling among the moonlit rocks, Merigo the giant Were-lobster greedily devours trash and debris, occasionally adding an unfortunate beachcomber to his diet.
"Bully" Bulward Brashfist
The most aggressive merchant in his guilds history, "Bully" Bulward Brashfist never saw an obstacle that daunted him. In his years as a merchant, the stout-hearted trader has squared off against the Thieves’ Guild, led crews exploring new trade routes, and shattered strikes in bold confrontations. His appetites are nearly as legendary as his temper: No man has ever seen him bested in a contest of eating or drinking.
Local authorities watch the burly merchant, but he’s managed to hide his true nature. In the darkness before each dawn, Bully and his inner circle of friends and employees don boar skins, transforming into animal form. They hunt nearby forests, goring anything that crosses their path.
Tezzolo and Enyrane
Husband and wife thrice over, horse-thieves extraordinaire, this pair of passionate lovers and fighters, have had bard’s songs and tales written about them, and they aren’t even dead yet! Tezzolo and Enyrane have an ardent love-hate relationship. The duo is the stuff of legend as far as their reputations are concerned. The pair do not steal horses for profit (though the two "Robin Hoods" have in fact aquired quite a hoard the over the years of other riches.) In fact, They "free" the horses they steal and return them from wherever they came. To say there is a sizable bounty on the pair’s heads, would be quite the understatement. Yet Tezzolo and Enyrane have little trouble escaping the law time after time.
Old Dietrich has been a village elder as long as anyone can remember. Despite his grayed hair and hunched back, he can drink half the village under the table and can outwork a man a third of his age. He also has what is considered the worst temper in the county. While generally unpleasant, he is protective and loyal to a fault and more than once has been seriously injured when he spoke out when he should have held his tongue. It is a shame though, the soldiers who beat him for his insolence against the king were later found all dead except for one. The crippled soldier gibbered about a giant badger that attacked them with it’s claws, teeth, and a great stone axe.
A courtesan and dancer, few men in the capital have not heard of Hanaline of the Silver Veils. They come from miles around to watch her show at the cabaret, where she dances with inhuman flexibility. Scarcely clad in clothing, often cavorting with serpents, she appears as the almost naked goddess of lust. Feeding this appearance is that Hanaline has no qualms about taking private paying clients who want to see just how flexible she is. When the full moon rises, however, this exotic dancer takes on the shape of a giant serpent and will skulk through the dark places in the city, seeking open windows. Her human side forgotten, the serpent has a taste for eating young children, especially those still in the crib.
Vili Pommerlich, "The Bombardier"
Favorite messenger and spy of King Rupert the Mighty, Vili Pommerlich keeps his therianthropic identity a secret from all but the king himself. A hapless palace page by day, this wannabe Zorro, is in fact an undercover agent for the crown, a far-traveling emissary, and courier extraordinaire. Vili has no idea how he came upon his avian curse, unless of course he reasons, it was that time he pulled the second lever instead of the third, in the second chamber of the the Puzzleroom, inside the infamous Temple of Winged Avarice.
Nestor, the Spreader
Nestor is that rarest of souls. He carries the lycanthropic virus but is not a werewolf himself. He is immune to his own taint, yet can inflict the curse on others with a simple bite, or any other exchange of bodily fluids. Sages have studied Nestor over the years (he will accept gold from those interested in "studying" him), but have yet to settle on the nature of his singular predicament. Nestor claims he was born with this affliction, and doesnt much care if someone doesn’t believe him. Truly, he would be a fascinating soul, if not for his complete lack of wit and personality. A stupid, lazy, and crude man, Nestor goes through life without a care or a single ambition.
Additional Ideas (3)
A Question of Acceptance - how did the person inwardly change as a result, and in relation to lycantropy?
- has fully embraced the condition, or as some would say, succumbed to it
- is in control of the beast, as far as it is possible
- is barely holding the beast in check, may slip at any moment
- still does not know about it, usually a fresh starter
- something went completely wrong... does not know about own condition, and obsessively hunts the monster that always seems to be nearby
- has come to hate all humanity for its imperfections, or likes to hunt his kind (there may be exceptions)
- has come to hate all werewolves/-creatures (again, there may be exceptions)
- separated self from family and friends, but keeps watching over them in secret
- never stays in one place for too long, always on the move
- upon realizing the fact, has made a public scene - either a general scandal, or completely revealed the condition
A Question of Appearance - and how did the person change outwardly?
- gained animalistic attractiveness, a sexy beast indeed
- exudes raw power, may also be stronger in human form; has a tendency towards using it
- unless at least partially transformed, has a subdued appearance (aka "But he was just an ordinary guy!")
- became ugly to downright monstrous; has some of the marks folklore associates with lycanthropes
- by loss of control during the first change, or self-loathing, mutilated himself; it won't heal
- around full moon has the full physical strength of the beast even in human form
- the transformation was imperfect (or was it?), and left supernatural marks - changed reflection in the mirror, shadow, animal immediately perceiving it, etc.
- smells like the animal in question
- has even more rapid healing, but wounds may open later, from stress or chance
- can control bodily hair... always a good haircut
A Question of Animal - what is specific for the animal form?
- is a smaller, more agile version than typical
- is larger and slower, able to withstand more punishment
- no matter the current actions, looks like a 'friendly animal' (for dogs it would mean the 'smile', a wagging tail, orderly fur, etc.)
- no matter the current actions, looks like a 'bad animal', downright to rabid (bares teeth, much saliva, tends to growl, etc)
- there is a thing or person, that has a deeply soothing effect on the beast
- there is a thing or person, that has a strong enraging effect on the beast
- needs to roam a lot, nothing but large expanses of open land or wilderness will do
- tolerates enclosed living well, for a lycanthrope
- tends to adopt orphaned young (not necessarily of own species), may include the offspring of own kills
- has definite sexual preferences, figure them out yourselves, you perverts :)
This is a werewolf, or more of a weredog. It is a golden retriever (or replace with some other good-looking dog breed people like so much). The unusual size will make people careful anyway. To survive close to the civilization, and still enjoy the thrill of the hunt, "Lassie" has developed an entertaining game. It will find a child in distress, endangered by somebody, and a little growling and a show of teeth will force the bad guy to retreat. After playing with the kid, few will believe either side that the dog was unnaturally large. Besides, the bad guy will vanish soon after... ashamed of running from a dog, people will say.
Thomason is not really 'evil' or 'good',it is just convenient to be on the good side. He stays in the animal shape most of the time and slowly loses his humanity. Having a tough life before, he doesn't even mind. He can't remember how it begun. But at nights he dreams of a female, one like him. Maybe it was her.
The Mannik say, that in the far north, where not even the bravest hunters go, lives an old man by the man of Skowot. The cold doesn't freeze him, the wind does not break him. He is older than their tribe.
They say he is a wise man, and a wizard, who speaks with many creatures, and cares little for man or beast. If you offer him a fresh seal, or finely smoked whale meat, he may give you worthy advice.
But know, that any who would seek to hurt him, end badly. You will not find him. He will follow you in the guise of a massive white bear, unseen, until it is too late.
Amber Greierson is one of the Countesses of Pier Point, and she is regarded as unpleasent and a snob even amongst fellow aristocrats. Those who have tresspassed on her manor have been attacked by a great white swan the size of a small dog.
She has told noone of her were-status, and feels happier upon the lake in swan-form then she does in human form.
(I might make this into a submission one day.)