James’s Note: In this episode, we learn a bit about werewolves. In the Witcher Man world, you get all sorts, from the Lon Chaney wolf man to the giant dire wolf types. There might even be stranger things creeping around the shadows. You’ll have to follow the story to find out what they are.
The scene showed an alleyway that had probably been disgusting before it was splattered with blood and gore. Judging from the ancient food waste moldering in every corner, I really hoped it wasn’t behind any restaurant I had ever eaten at.
The central figure in all the pictures was the corpse of what had probably once been a white male in his forties. It was torn into several pieces and while it was just my expert opinion, I’d have bet that a lot of the bits that humans generally have were absent.
From the tooth marks, which were enormous, I’d also have bet that they were currently making their way through something’s digestive tract. However, the really interesting bit was the four deep, uniform furrows that bisected the upper torso.
Damien pointed to the photo that was a closeup of the victim’s chest. “Since Wolfgang insists that you’re an expert on all creatures both natural and supernatural, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you of a basic fact of biology. Wolves don’t have claws.”
As much as I hate to admit it, the overcompensating bastard had a point. Damian’s type of werewolf couldn’t have done this, at least not without tools that would be more at home in a butcher shop. Yes, there are different kinds of werewolves, just like there are different types of ghosts, demons, and vampires, not to mention the miscellaneous undead. Don’t even get me started on zombies, but I digress.
While there are technically a smorgasbord of wolf like monsters out there, most of them are so rare as to be unheard of. Damian’s species is what you might call the common werewolf, although not to their faces. They spend most of their time pretty close to human, except they could hit like a delivery truck hauling protein bars and heal as if they had access to starfleet technology.
On the full moon, they turned into especially large wolves, although that is a little misleading. They’re really just the size most people think wolves are, rather than the substantially less impressive size most wolves actually are. They’d tip the scales about even with a really well fed Great Dane whose owners love him a little too much.
The full moon is the only time they can change, and the change is mandatory. They mostly keep their human minds, although I have it on good authority that the wolf mind sees the world a little different. For one thing, the smell centric world view can make things really interesting. Luckily, in human form they only had human senses.
Of course, no matter their form, silver is the Grim Reaper incarnate for werewolves. Not only does it halt their crazy healing, it’s toxic. It’s not quite as toxic to them as some movies make out, but a silver bullet lodged in their flesh will slowly give them a type of blood poisoning that looks a lot like a human dying of infection as the silver starts corrupting their cells.
There are other ways to introduce silver into the werewolf body. I’ve had to use a few of them, although a werewolf dieing of a particularized silver injection is not something I’d wish on anyone.
“Whatever did this is obviously not a wolf”, Damien said haughtily, “I think it’s just some other kind of shapeshifter, like a bear, or tiger, but we’ve searched our territory extensively and can’t find any sign of it. Wolfgang thinks it might be something stranger, so he wants you to investigate. He’s willing to pay your exorbitant rates.”