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The Werewolf is one of a race of creatures with origins in the mythology, legend and folklore of Europe (ie Ancient Greece, Rome, Nordic and Germanic cultures, and numerous others), as well as Asia (Turkey and other cultures) and North America. In essence, account of werewolves may be found anywhere that wolves have been known to live, at one point in time or another. And just as different breeds of wolves exist, there are different breeds of Werewolves, such as the South American Luison, and different relatives to the Werewolf, such as the North American Cajun Rugaru, the Norse Berserker, and other types of Werebeasts in general.
They are one of the few staple creatures of mythology, transcending numerous timelines and civilizations. There is no kind more common or widespread than another, despite prevalent depictions in modern fiction.
Likewise, different regions of different lands know a variety of different ways by which someone can become a werewolf. Of course, most accounts note that a person can be born a werewolf if they are the born of two werewolves. Though, Greek myth holds that the earliest werewolves were a mythical Greek King, Lycaon, and his fifty sons, who were changed by Zeus, for having offended him at a dinner banquet they invited him to. They went on to procreate with human women in a permanent wolf form, as Zeus often found women in a temporary animal guise, and from there, bore forth children who would be forced to change back and forth under the light of the full moon.
The same ability to turn humans into werewolves has also been, at times, attributed to spirits such as the Lord of the Animals, as well as certain powerful witches, wizards and sorcerers and even certain saints, as empowered by the divine. In some cases, it was claimed that werewolves were created in the services of the divine, to combat witches and demons.
Though, many times, it was seen as a curse. Such a curse was also risked if one were to fall out of The Church's good graces, and be excommunicated. Not to mention, if a person did something to particularly vex the Devil himself, without proper power to withstand his wrath, they were also in danger of being changed.
According to some (as was the case of a man, named Damarchus or Demaenetus), it was said that one could become a werewolf (although, perhaps temporarily) by engaging in cannibalism (whether unknowingly or on purpose). Though, others claim wearing the fur of a wolf could cause one to turn into a werewolf. Drinking rainwater from a wolf's footprint could also cause a transformation. Sometimes, simply being the seventh-born son can doom one to life as a werewolf (or in some cases, the seventh son of a seventh son, or the seventh daughter born in a row).
Among the most famous claims, is that which states that a person can become a werewolf by means of magic, such as that of a Skinwalker, or the mythical tribe called the Neuri. This often includes some special ointment, a certain incantation and/or (in many cases) a sworn allegiance to dark forces (commonly, the Devil).
Some even trace the cultural and ethnic origins of vampires, and attribute to them a connection to ghosts, witches and vampires. And one would be remiss to disregard the connection between supernatural lycanthropy, and the psychological condition of the same name (where the patient only has overwhelming delusions of being a wolf or a werewolf). It is unknown if one condition predates the other, but in all likelihood, the two arose at about the same time.
Of course, the natural form a werewolf is that of a human. And at that, any ethnicity of human may become one of these creatures of the night. A werewolf's human mien may look to be African, European, Asian, Native American, or any other number of human cultures and ethnicities.
Werewolves may be of any physical build, whether extremely thin, athletic or overweight. They may have any hair and eye color common to humans or wolves.
Depending on how deeply ingrained the wolf spirit is within them, a werewolf's human mien may or may not have pointed ears and/or elongated nails.