The Wolfkin are a lupine humanoid race. They stand from seven to eight feet tall, and their bodies are covered in thick, dark fur. They have orange or red eyes that reflect the light in such a way as to make them appear to glow in the dark. Their toothy maws are housed by a short snout. Their tails are much like that of a wolf. Wolfkin can walk hunched over on two legs but usually prefer running on all fours.
These creatures are the bizarre creation of the mad wizard Tetrek. He was long ago driven insane by certain nameless rituals he practiced to gain more power and knowledge. He created them by magically placing the soul of a wolf in the body of a man, an unfortunate peddler who had come to his (rather cliched) wizard’s tower. When he succeeded in creating one creature, he was overcome with an unfortunate attack of ego. He immediately sent his newly formed minion off on its first mission, to find more hapless humans to become like it. The wolfkin, the only wolfkin at that time, went out and came back before the first glow of dawn. When it returned it brought a dozen still living villagers. What surprised Tetrek was that, even though he thought that his creation was barely intelligent, it had constructed a crude litter, loaded with villagers, which it was dragging behind it. Also, on closer inspection, the villagers appeared to have mostly been uninjured in their capture, and what wounds they had sustained were crudely bandaged with strips of dirty cloth. After a couple of months of hard work, Tetrek acquired the other necessary ingredients for his purposes. One foul night in the dark of the moon strange lights and sounds were seen and heard coming from Tetrek’s tower. The wizard was never seen again. That night, after he created more wolfkin from the villagers that the first beast had captured, they turned on him and killed him. Then they disappeared into the night.
What Tetrek believed were beasts in human form are actually much more than that. In a seamless bonding of instinct and intelligent thought, wolfkin are a formidable species. They are capable both of instinctive split second reaction, and of careful, well thought out planning.
Since they left the tower of Tetrek, the wolfkin have constructed their own society, part wolf part human. They live in close-knit family groups called Rites. Each Rite consists of ten to twenty members lead by a dominant male patriarch. These groups are completely independant from one another, but may come together for great occasions, such as the death of one patriarch, or for trading of goods or services. While each Rite does not name itself, some of the more savage races that come into contact with the wolfkin have given them different names so as to keep them apart. Usually these have to do with an outstanding feature or characteristic. Most of the time these names are quite unimaginative, a few examples are the Longtooth, Shaggyfur, or Hotblood.
Because of their appearance, wolfkin are often mistaken for werewolves by villagers, and parties of adventurers are often brought out to get rid of the ‘infestation’. This belief is often strengthened by the fact that wolfkin while out hunting are most often seen on nights when the moon is full, this is probably because that is when there is the most light. For their part, the wolfkin care very little one way or the other about werewolves, seeing them simply as another one of the creatures on the planet.
Wolfkin have very good nightvision and are mainly nocturnal in their habits. They usually hunt larger game such as deer or caribou, although sometimes several will team up to take on something bigger.
While wolfkin have the know-how and skills to make weaponry, they prefer hunting and fighting with their razor teeth and claws. They do, however, make tools for use within their cave cities.