Werewolves, big, monstrous beasts. Men who transform into a wild, uncontrollable animal by the light of the full moon. Everyone knows the legend; everyone’s wrong, that’s lycanthropes. Get your facts straight, werewolves tend to get annoyed if you confuse the two.
The Changing Races, if you’re being formal, evolved from humans during pre-history. How they evolved and why they tend to differ in form is something of an anthropological mystery. It’s thought that werewolves evolved before the other were-forms, but no one has established this for sure. Of the known breeds, only wolves form packs, though rumours continue of were-hyenas doing the same in Africa. Only two breeds can be found natively in Britain, wolves and foxes, but there are known to be a few cat-forms in South America and hyenas in Africa. Rumours continue to turn up concerning were-lions (Africa), were-tigers (India), and were-rats (various locations), though it is believed these are all myths.
The main difference between the major known breeds is their heads. Werewolves have wolk-like heads, were-foxes and the known were-cats are relatively humanoid. Anthropologists and evolutionary biologists have suggested that this is an evolutionary trait designed to make the foxes and cats more compatible with human society. Werewolves also lack tails while the other breeds seem to all have them.
Werewolf pack, unlike real wolf packs, have an Alpha wolf, or a pair of them, as a leader. Traditionally, the position of Alpha is fought for since it has some distinct privileges, including the right to take any female in the pack at any time. The better Alphas, of course, don’t do that sort of thing, but there are still enough old school packs around with leaders who indulge that it’s something of a stereotype. Werewolves comes in three colours; black, grey, and brown. Black-furs are becoming increasingly rare. Prior to the Shattering, grey was the most common colour and there were very few browns, but there were relatively few werewolves around at all. Since the Shattering the browns have increased in number, though the greys are still the most common.
Out of fur, you can generally spot a were-creature by their fangs. Were-foxes and werewolves look more or less the same in human form, but the foxes are almost universally ginger. Werewolves don’t mix much with human society, but were-foxes are more gregarious. In fact there is a growing fetish for were-foxes; Carter Fleming opened the Collar Club in London featuring exclusively were-fox strippers, and there are a couple of top-shelf magazines devoted to buxom fox-girls. Werewolves, on the other hand, are still regarded with some suspicion, and even fear, by humans.