Lycanthropes (as they were originally called by humans, but really a more correct term is therianthropes – most just call them werecreatures) are a race of shapechangers, capable of turning from a humanoid form into an animal form, as well as a hybrid form that is halfway between the two. Their early history is tinged with sadness, despite the fact that without them, many of the world’s races would never have survived the beginning of creation, thanks to their gift in leatherworking. While their bite is infectious in the race they mirror, those infected suffer through their therianthropy, unable to control their changes. True therianthropes can change at will.
The gift of leatherwork in lycanthropes is truly exceptional – they can transform any creature’s skin into a useful material, whether it be mammal, fish, bird, or reptile – even insect, crustacean and amphibian skins can be worked with for specialist needs.
Most werecreatures have hidden themselves in the plain sight of their adopted society, or another society if it is otherwise impossible. Werewolves were not even known among humans until their first migration to Fiiel, where some infected werewolves were discovered feasting uncontrollably on the children of centaurs. This early betrayal has given both races a negative view of werewolves. Wererats have likewise suffered rejection from their gnome counterparts, simply due to their inadequacy with mechanical devices, and thus inability to fit in with gnomish society. Dwarves find werebats unseemly due to their propensity to feed on dwarvenkind when living deep under the mountains, as well as that they are useless at stonework. They usually fill the lowest ranks of society in a sort of don’t ask/don’t tell situation.
Being both wise and shrewd, wereravens were able to fit easily into goblin society simply by following orders and keeping a tight network of communication between each other. Werefoxes are accepted within the camps of kobolds because of their provision of luxury and comfort to others, and are repaid by provision of food due to their difficulty in surviving otherwise in harsh climates. Orcs highly venerate wereboars as powerful warriors, as do bugbears with werebears – both societies seeing them as the embodiment of spirit animals in humanoid form. Weretigers found it hard to live with elves early on, as the inability to read or write is quickly noticeable in elven society. As such, they live on the edges of elf civilisation, more as visitors than included members.
It is often impossible for a werecreature to learn their corresponding humanoid race’s gift without betraying their true nature. However, werecreatures of different kinds can often band together and share those gifts they themselves cannot learn. Some sages have posited that there are no kender werecreatures simply in order to save their race from quick extinction the moment they realised they could become infected. Others, however, have wondered whether it is so that regardless of type, all werecreatures can learn exploration, or at least team up with a kender, and so strike out into the world and find their place. Therianthropes have travelled around the world, living in many cosmopolitan communities unknown. Because they come from all over, worship of all the gods can be found amongst them.