hounds of god
Otherwise known as werewolves, lycanthropes, or skinwalkers, the Hounds of God are a species characterized by compulsive animalistic behaviors and forced shifting (subspecies passed through the mother in cases of natural whelping) at moonrise on a full moon or total solar eclipse. They are pack animals who follow a rigid social hierarchy (fig. 1) led by a mated pair; however, pups
forciblystolen removed from their packs at birth have acted in conjunction with hunters as guardians and protectors against nightcomers. imprinting?
They are a hardy species vulnerable to silver and sulfate gas — decapitation or extreme blood loss are fatal — and are at their most vulnerable seventy-two hours preceding and following their shift. During their shift, they may be killed by mortal means (blunt trauma, gunshot, stabbing, etc). Note: Average length of time for a werewolf to complete its shift is under five minutes.
They age at a rate significantly slower than humans; the oldest recorded werewolfaverage life expectancy 60(solo)/145(pack) (Levi K. Harmon, d. 1914) aged approximately 230 years at time of death. I have yet to find an instance of a werewolf succumbing to mortal illness when not otherwise afflicted by an already fatal wound.
Werewolves are generally peaceful unless provoked;except in winter the boundaries of their territory, typically a thirty mile radius from their den (some territories may be more expansive contingent on pack size or hunting needs), are clearly marked with urine and distinctive claw markings (fig. 2). Trespassers are met with aggression.
Asia is divided into 84 territories, Africa into 56 territories, North America into 45 territories, South America into 33 territories, Europe into 19 territories, and Australia into 7 territoriesantarctica 3 (fig. 3). Each territory contains a minimum of one pack and a maximum of five; each pack ranges in size from two to thirty individuals. The approximate population of grouped werewolves is between 24,400 and 36,600 with an additional 3,000 to 9,000 ungrouped.
Mated pairs are monogamous unless in extenuating circumstances (e.g., one male to multiple females in-territory) and mate for life, rarely accepting a new mate after one has died. Natural born werewolves are conceived in winter and whelped in spring — twins and triplets occur in every three out of five live births. Cross-breeding between a male werewolf and female human is possible at high risk to the mother. Note: Frequent exposure to bodily fluids increases the risk of contracting lycanthropy, and in instances where the surviving mother was human prior to pregnancy she underwent her shift on the first full moon after birth.
Their belief system is polytheistic with an all-powerful god as the leader or overseer of the lesser gods. Since their existence, they have believed in the second coming of their creator — Lupus Dei (lit. Wolf God). I have encountered werewolves who call this god by other names: Fenrir, Lycaon, the Old God, the Green God, Rougarou, the Alpha, etc.
This god, if reborn, would have governance over all werewolves and, I suspect, the ability to shift at-will. It's uncertain what other abilities he might possess, though he is prophesied to rule "all creatures that walk, fly, slither, or crawl" and "Mother Nature herself shall bend to His purpose."
Prophecies regarding his second coming reference the end of days. The signs and symbols of his arrival are documented in later pages. Note:
Since the inception of our order none of these signs have been observed nor have we found any concrete evidence this god exists or has ever existed.