Lycanthropes in Alvena: Lycanthropes are believed to have roamed the land since the dawn of creation. Lycanthropes are seen as many things; from terrible monsters with an insatiable bloodlust, to noble creatures that blur the line between man and beast. Some poets and scholars refer to them as children of the moon, for their rage seems to fluctuate as the moon waxes and wanes. It's said that lycanthropes who can control their primal instincts and transform willingly have found balance between the extremes; two parts of a single whole, like light and dark; while those who suffer from the curse of lycanthropy are destined to wax and wane between light and darkness until they find the two are one.
It is said that the first Lycanthrope was a favorite creation of the goddess Akaia, who created the moons to light the night of the world, and the stars to mark the passage of time, space, and destinies. This primordial lycanthrope was said to have been able to shapechange into multiple types of creatures; and that its forms are recorded in the celestial patterns in the night sky. Scholars believe this ancient legend may hold some truth, for indeed there are at least 12 star patterns that resemble animals: Ape, Bear, Bison, Cat, Bird, Serpent, Snake, Rat, Turtle, Fish, Horse, and Ram. It's said that this primal lycanthrope may wander somewhere in the world to this day; and gave birth to the lycanthropes throughout Alvena.
Most lycanthropes in Alvena are considered monsters. While there exist small groups of lycanthropes that integrate into human societies peacefully, the most common lycanthropes are those who harbor the curse of lycanthropy, who cannot control themselves and often commit acts of murder and debauchery without intention. Because of this, lycanthropes are feared, disrespected, and outright hunted in some regions. The Templar Knights of the Omas Kingdom often make it their duty to hunt down wayward lycanthropes. Some rare lycanthropes are tested and allowed to live in normal societies under the watchful eye of authorities; and there has been at least a few cases where even the Templar counted lycanthropes among their ranks.
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