The following is for information only, and not required reading for the game.
Werewolves were once mortals born with excess soul, which allowed them to become supernatural creatures who 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 for long periods of time and sustain severe injuries without fatality. 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, most werewolves cannot survive in the sunlight. Younger werewolves are especially vulnerable to it and can die from overexposure. Only werewolf Alphas and very strong werewolf Betas can survive short periods of sunlight.
Werewolves are also vulnerable to silver, displaying an allergic reaction to the touch, or can kill them if used as a blade or bullet. Silver is used to restrain werewolves on full moon nights. Werewolves are also allergic to basil, which makes the inside of their mouths and noses itch.
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 throughout the empire. They make the perfect vanguard for such forces, and are always the front line of attack in any night campaign
Werewolves predominantly organize themselves into packs led by an Alpha. To be an effective Alpha, the pack leader must be able to shift into the Anubis form, which consists of a wolves head on a human body. Neither Werewolves, nor Vampires can reproduce in the accepted mortal fashion*. The Anubis form is used in the creation of new werewolves in a process called metamorphosis ( a bite from an Alpha in Anubis Form can metamorphose new werewolves.) A werewolf loner, or sometimes pack member, who wishes to displace and Alpha as leader of a pack must declare a challenge and be prepared to fight to the death in wolf form.
An Alpha’s partner, if he or she has one, is also granted the same respect as an Alpha, regardless of their species.
Female werewolves are rare (Female Alphas rarer) as they are less likely to survive metamorphosis, and they have unique social status. If a male is interested in a female, he will make his interest known, but it is then the prerogative of the female to stake her claim on him. This practice is called the Bitches’ Dance. No pack will permit the males to fight over a female.
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.
If a pack is large enough, it will also have a Gamma, the third highest position in the werewolf pack heirarchy. Gamma’s are primarily responsible for military matters within the pack, and will command serving members of the pack in overseas and domestic engagements with the British Armed Forces. Alphas and Betas of large packs tend to stay with non serving members of the pack in their territory.
Packs often have human clavigers with them, who work with the pack in exchange for artistic patronage or the chance to metamorphosis into an immortal themselves.
Those 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.
The only exception to this rule is the Loner who holds to position of Dewan in HRM Queen Victoria’s court. The Dewan is usually an extremely powerful werewolf who would otherwise hold a position of Alpha if he or she were permitted to lead a pack. Dewans may also be able to shift into Anubis form, although it is considered most impolitic for a Loner of any social status to metamorphose new werewolves.
*This theory has recently proven to be somewhat inaccurate, as it appear that werewolves at least are able to bear children when partnered with a preternatural. Lord and Lady Maccon are expecting their first child, who will be neither werewolf nor preternatural. The exact nature of the child is currently an unknown.