Werewolves are supernatural creatures who can transform between the form of a human and that of a wolf. They are considerably stronger than humans even in their human forms.
Werewolves organize themselves into packs led by an Alpha, whose bite can metamorphose new werewolves. Alphas are usually the strongest in the pack, and the only one that can assume the Anubis form. A werewolf's position is earned, though abilities granted in metamorphosis may help in determining this (When the newly-turned Biffy showed he could assume the Anubis form, it was determined that he would eventually become alpha). An alpha's partner is also granted the same respect as an alpha, regardless of their species. Alphas will fight loners (or sometimes other pack members) who challenge their position.
Betas are second-in-command; often organizing pack affairs and assisting their alpha when possible. They are responsible for the pack when the alpha is away, and can sometimes be sent in place of their alpha should a crisis arise. Betas do not take command when an alpha has died; a new alpha will replace the deceased.
Gamma is the third-highest position in a pack. They seem to be in charge of military matters within the pack, as the whole pack (if that large) does not often leave, and the alpha and beta stay with the pack in their territory.
Females are rare in these packs, and they enjoy some social perks, including being able to make their own decisions about mates. No pack will allow the males to fight over a female. This practice is called the Bitches' Dance.
Those few werewolves who live separate from a pack are called loners. Loners keep to themselves and do not follow pack dynamic unless they come across a pack (in which case they will give each member all due respect), are attempting to join a pack, or if they are challenging for alpha.
In the past, military service was required of all werewolves. They have kept their close ties with the British military, and go on long campaigns to other parts of the empire to assist with taking territory and keeping the peace. They make the perfect vanguard for such forces, and are always the front line of attack in any night campaign.
Werewolves can shift from human to wolf forms at will, except for nights in which there is a full moon. On those nights, they stay in their wolf form until sunrise, and become irregularly feral. In both forms, werewolves possess strength and speed far superior to that of a human. Werewolves are known to heal quickly, allowing them to fight longer and sustain more severe injuries without falling. They are physically stronger than vampires, but also slower than them. They have a superior sense of smell and a heightened sense of hearing, and must regularly eat meat (preferably raw).
Like vampires, werewolves cannot survive in the sunlight. Younger werewolves are especially vulnerable to it and easily can die from overexposure. Lapis Solaris will burn them in much the same way that sunlight will. Werewolves are also vulnerable to silver, which will give them allergy-like reactions at the touch, or can kill them if used as a blade. Silver is used to restrain werewolves on full moon nights. They have allergic reactions to basil as well.
Females are less likely to survive metamorphosis, males are more common, but surviving the bite is still difficult. Clavigers serve werewolves in return for getting a chance to be metamorphosed. Many do not survive. Others can appeal to packs to have an alpha bite them, and loners can challenge the current pack alpha for his or her position. Werewolves are sterile, unless in direct contact with a preternatural or they have had their ability taken by a metanatural.
Well-known werewolves in the universe Edit
- “Werewolves had to obey the laws of physics just like everyone else." (Soulless, Chapter Three)
- “Werewolf change was never pleasant. That was one of the reasons pack members still referred to it as a curse, despite the fact that, in the modern age of enlightenment and free will, clavigers chose metamorphosis. The change comprised a good deal of biological rearranging. This, like rearranging one's parlor furniture for a party, involved a transition from tidy to very messy to tidy once more. And, as with any redecoration, there was a moment in the middle where it seemed impossible that everything could possibly go back together harmoniously.” (Changeless, Chapter Eight)
- "Werewolves were terrible gossips, especially about their own." (Timeless, Chapter Twelve)
- Werewolves can smell vampire bloodlines.
- Alpha wolves can stand being exposed to full sun for days, unlike most other werewolves. Very old and very strong Betas can take sunlight for short lengths of time but it weakens them and makes them hungry.
- Alphas can "fight smart" which means they still maintain human intelligence in the midst of battle, and are rarely overwhelmed by blood lust. With the exception of full moon.
- Werewolves are allergic to basil; it makes the insides of their mouths and noses itch.
- Werewolf military attachments are often housed underground for the safety of their soldiers.
- Werewolves are called "Bhairava's mounts" by the Vanaras.
- Newly made werewolves can easily be overwhelmed by the power of their newly sensitive senses.
- New werewolves are called pups, or cubs. They must stay close to an Alpha to learn control, even if they are loners or Alphas themselves. This is similar to a vampire's larvae stage.
- In the Custard Protocol books, Gail is writing with a POV character who can shift forms. When talking, narrating, or thinking about London Pack members in human form, Rue (generally) refers to them as "Uncle ____" and their first name. However, if they are in wolf form she drops the honorary "Uncle." Gail is playing with ideas of family and identity between animal and man. She is also foreshadowing the transition of power that occurs in Imprudence.