Blade Maidens: Strays – 1

“It is said that werewolves are cursed by Dar, the Beast Lord. Mortal beings who dared to poach within his eternal woods were forced to live their lives as feral animals under the twin moons’ light forevermore.

While a very dramatic tale, it is decidedly untrue.

Academy records dating back to the year 56 detail the true origins of these unfortunate creatures. These records are, of course, sealed. If you are reading this volume, presumably, you have access to these records and know the appropriate counter-spell to their security wards, which are also inscribed on this page. If you do not, I pray Lady Sepestra greets you in her gloam realm with a smile.

With that business out of the way: werewolves. A tragic example of what happens when our reach exceeds our grasp. Professor Rivayn, one of the founding members of the Academy, became obsessed with pushing the boundaries of vitalism in her twilight years. Her surviving journals, the ones that weren’t torn to shreds, don’t illuminate us as to why she became so fixated, but it is clear that her end goal was to elevate beasts to the likes of man. Experiments on living creatures are highly against the academy code but not unheard of. (Appendix D: Chimeras and Manticores) However, attempting to bring intellect to a simple beast was beyond any that came before. In her zeal, Rivayn overlooked some crucial pieces of her spellcasting and left her subject broken and feral. Faster and stronger than any wolf, it seemed a fearsome enough creature on its own, but it is only in the after-effects of its escape, and eventual destruction that the true damage done was clear.

Rivayn, and a half-dozen students and faculty who were caught in the incident, found themselves infected by its magic. The next full moon shifted into identical beasts themselves, escaping into the night. While those early years were full of chaos and misinformation, in the decades since, we have learned quite a bit about the affliction of lycanthropy and its effect on the people of Telos.”

– On the Study of Creatures Fantastic and Mundane, by Chancellor Roderick Brightfellow