Help needed about werewolf legends.

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Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by PUREVENOM »

I'm in the middle of writing a novel involving werewolves. Only in my story, the werewolves are able to change at will. The moon has no effect on them whatsoever. I've done some digging around, looking for any legends and myths that may involve werewolves that can change at will. But have had no luck at all. Would anyone here know of any myths and legends like this pertaining to werewolves?

In my story, the main character starts doing some research trying to identify the creature that attacked him. The woman turned into a werewolf right in front of him. That, along with the what it looked like, points mostly to a werewolf through his research. So I'm a little stuck at that part of the story.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Cyberwatt »

Certain bits of Armenian folklore might have what you want (at least when it pertains to females). Check out the Wikipedia werewolf article.

Any previews of your work available?
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by PUREVENOM »

I believe that I checked wiki. I'll go back and see if I missed something. Yeah I have most of the first chapter posted up at my forum. Alien Nation I may post a little bit of it here after I'm comfortable with the story. By that I mean that this is my first attempt at writing, I find myself going back a lot, editing or completely re-writing parts. I'm hoping to get it published. It really is a real good story, it's only a matter if I can put in writing well enough. Believe it or not, the story is actually I dream that I had a few years ago. Now everyone will think I'm crazy. But that's where it came from.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Wingman »

I'm fairly sure that some of the shamanistic/Celtic druid legends might involve shapeshifting outside of the purview of the moon.

Though, as far as I know, the whole "anytime" werewolves are a more modern thing, at least for werewolves. Umm, the berserkers were said to be able to transform into bears when in a battle frenzy, easy enough to change out the bear for a wolf. Might be worthwhile to look into that.

One idea I've seen that usually works is to "rank" werewolves. Such as making the weakest ones restricted to the moon, letting the more experienced ones go gestalt or transform whenever, and so forth. After all, all the werewolves you see in movies usually just became werewolves prior to, or after, the opening credits.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by PUREVENOM »

I think using native American shaman will work out pretty well. Thanks. After some checking, their shape shifting lore deals mainly with canines. But that can easily be adapted to wolves, and explained just as easily. Want to thank everyone for their help and knowledge on the subject. Thank You.....PUREVENOM
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Berserker »

Many werewolves shapeshifted at will, either by donning a magical belt, using a potion or salve, or simply by magical trickery.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Wingman »

I meant werewolves in the sense that they didn't need any magical components in order to transform.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by RedEye »

Generally, a Werewolf can shift at will. Sometimes there is a trigger; but it's FEAR, not the moon.
Scare a Werewolf, and they assume an incomplete Gestalt/Werewolf/Wulf shape called a "Panic Shift". The shift completes once the Wulf is out of danger, and the full Werewolf shape is achieved.

There is a reason for linking Werewolves and the Full Moon, though. Since they have rather better night sight than humans do, the full moon lights things up like an overcast day is for humans. They can see better when the Moon is full; so that's when they get together for fun and song.

If you'd like to get what I mean better, e-mail me and I'll send you my novel (finally with an Agent!) and you can read about wolves, shifts, the moon, and why they are some of Hollywood's top Stunt-People.
(this is a plug for Wulfen Blood, by the way...)
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by PUREVENOM »

That makes a lot of sense. It is more conceivable to believe that werewolves can change at will. And that the, "Only can change during a full moon, is a myth that people believed due to the timing of the werewolf sightings." That will work better for my story as well. Near the middle of the stories timeline, the main character will by then be a werewolf himself. And finally has a face to face talk with the first werewolf he came into contact with. At which time he has a lot questions for her, one of which is how come they can transform at anytime.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by konman »

does anyone know where i can get a silver bullit for a necklace :? :? :? :?

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by RedEye »

Real silver? That might be hard to do. I suggest one of the fantasy Jewellery sites as a start.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by konman »

i've been on that silver merchants and it is very good :D :D

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by RedEye »

Okay, we've dealt with "Where can I get a Silver Bullet" (not beer).

Let's get back to the purpose of the thread, okay?
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Sebiale »

Just a thought, you could also take the more...Noirish I believe the word is, interpretation of the Werewolf. That is, as an agent of or as the Devil.
There's also the whole science gone wrong/right approach.
Or you could just leave it completely ambigous.
Also, if you ever feel you need help with the general writing of a story, I recommend http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/ the people on here are all published authors or hopeful authors, such as you and me. C.(athy) Clamp is also a member of these forums, the woman who wrote/writes the Sazi books.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by full-moon »

The legends says that werewolves cant change at will and it happened only on full moon night. but i saw some movies where the hero can control his powers.

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by RedEye »

The key word you used is "Movies"...

Since movies deal with the fantasy aspects of the Werewolf, they get to say how the Shift occurs.
Historically, Werewolves could shift at will or at need. They got together when the moon was full because they could see better.
The movie industry has made a hash of the whole thing. Depending on who wrote and directed it, the Werewolf could or couldn't control his/her shifting; and it happened at the full/dark moon or whenever said wulf wanted to do it.
So there really isn't a fixed answer. Whatever works, works.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Scott Gardener »

If you look at the old legends, changing at will was far more common than changing "by the light of the moon." The full moon bit, along with silver bullets, got popularized in the 20th century. (Yes, the Beast of Gevaudan legend had silver bullets, but other than that, silver was pretty obscure back then, compared to the $16.33 an ounce it's bringing in these economic times.)

My werewolves also are not directly affected by the full moon, though it still carries a mystique about it, and at least a few werewolves develop a psychological hang-up in which they can't help but shift out of neurotic expectation.
Taking a Gestalt approach, since it's the "in" thing...

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Morkulv »

According to Wikipedia, legends about werewolves were most likely brought to America by Norse vikings. Maybe it is a good idea to look for European legends from the 17th century or something?
Scott Gardener wrote: I'd be afraid to shift if I were to lose control. If I just looked fuggly, I'd simply be annoyed every full moon.

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by RedEye »

My own researches show that yes, there is a Nordic source for Werewolves; but it filtered through most of Europe well before it made it across the ocean.

When you come down to brass tacks; every culture has its Shamanic/Magical/Spiritual stories of people who can change themselves into their "Power Animal" form. The American Indians also have stories of shape changers, including Werewolves.

The difference between the Amerind and European Were's was that the AmerIndian cultures saw these people as mostly "Good" versus the European/Christiain "Evil". This is not a slam at Christianity; Puh-leeze! It's simply the way the politics of the thing worked out.

American Indians saw Were's as messengers from various deities, while Europeans saw them as part of the Pagan past, and therefore bad.
Then there are the Japanese, who see these people as just "different" and let it go at that; they are good or evil depending on the situation and whose side you were on at the time.
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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by ladygrail »

Ok, believe it or not the University of Arizona in Tucson actually had (has?) a class on Werewolves and Vampires as part of the Russian Studies department. I took the condensed class which was once a week and it kinda sucked but there was a ton of good information about the Russian and Slavic folklore that detailed not only vampires and werewolves but other fey in the area. What I did not like about the class was memorizing maps which was a huge part of the graded course work and knowing the old names for sections of the countries. Apparently the class that occured 2-3 times a week was not that intense on this subject and focused more on the actual folk tales. I wish I had gotten into that section in hind sight. Still that is a place to start. I know wiki is great but I have found with folk lore you really have to get into the library to get to the real details of things. I would suggest trying to look on the U of A Library website since it will have a section on Russian studies and talk to the libriaian who can point you in the right direction. I took this class back in 2005 so I am not sure where I placed my notes that had all the authors and details of the story, but I am certain if you contact the Russian Studies department they can also point you in the right direction. Hope that helps!

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by tigerwolf2424 »

I am fairly new to these boards. Now I have been watching werewolf movies and have studied them since the mid 1970's when I was a young teenager. I willmake this brief as I need to crash soon as I have a long drive in the morning ..LOL !! So far what you have down is pretty accurate. The Full Moon or Silver aspect of the werewolf legend was purely a Hollywood Invention, that started primarily with the original Wolfman. Most of your early werewolf Legends come out of Germany & France. One of the most famous and earliest records of a human turning into a werewolf is "Peter Stubb (or Stumpp)- The Werewolf of Bedburg" A legend that comes from Germany. In 1589, Stumpp had one of the most lurid and famous werewolf trials in history. it is quite a fascinating Story. You can google it and all sort of results come up. This is something that might help you out in your book. I hope this helps !!

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by satorui »

the only historical werewolf I know of that was vulnerable to silver Hughes De Campdavaine a french count who supposedly turned into a werewolf on the steps of the Vatican after being excommunicated for burning down a abbey where his fathers killers were taking shelter, the legend says that when grabbed his sword and made a statement of good old fashioned sacrilegious hubris to protest his excommunication the silver inlay on the pommel of his sword burned his hands, then he turned into a massive wolf and ran off. it's worth noting that sighting of the more evil werewolves increased in frequency after this incident. maybe they were the children of his infected bite?
the following Wikipedia page is in french but I read about him in a book http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugues_III_de_Campdavaine

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Kveldulf »

As far as we know, any legends brought to North America by Viking Age colonists stayed with the Viking Age colonists and went home with them (those who made it home again, that is). I have no idea where Wikipedia got that particular bit of misinformation.

Germanic lycanthropic practices - no known relationship to the moon. Generally an act of will (sometimes triggered by using an actual wolf-hide or bear-hide or whatever your predatory fetch was, assuming you had a predatory fetch in the first place); possession of the human body by battle-frenzy under stress was also known and sometimes involuntary; Egils saga Skalla-Grímssonar describes Egill's father Skalla-Grímr totally losing it during a ball game and attacking his son, possibly echoing the scene in the Volsung legends in which Sigmundr (father of Sigurdhr/Siegfried) and his elder son Sinfjotli put on wolfskins they find in a strange hut in the woods, turn into wolves, go out and kill a bunch of guys, and then Sigmundr gets kind of over-excited and gives Sinfjotli a near-fatal bite in the throat. After which the two of them burn the skins and swear off lycanthropy...

The "full moon" thing, while there are vague associations intermittently throughout Europe, probably based on actual wolf activity (and communal singing) levels, really seems to have become "canon" for werewolves mainly with that movie. "Even a man who is good at heart / and says his prayers by night, etc..." I think the movie may also have been the first to associate wolfsbane (aconitum lycoctonum, closely related to the more commonly seen aconitum napellum, and, indeed, used for poisoning actual wolves on a small scale in the Middle Ages and Renaissance before some absolute *******s realized that there were more efficient means of wholesale wolf-murder by poison) specifically with lycanthropy, too. So there's no reason in historical legends why werewolves should have to be tied to the full moon in the first place. It's just something that got into the current cultural water supply.

Something that you might consider if you want to add a bit of often-overlooked historical interest...I believe it is in Russia in particular that February is the prime time for lycanthropic activities. Undoubtedly because, duh, it was the prime time for wolves to start getting real hungry and start interacting with humans and their livestock.

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Uniform Two Six »

Kveldulf wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 7:18 pm

The "full moon" thing, while there are vague associations intermittently throughout Europe, probably based on actual wolf activity (and communal singing) levels, really seems to have become "canon" for werewolves mainly with that movie...
I'd disagree. The association with the full moon had become fairly well established by the end of the Roman Empire. The fact that many werewolf myths don't include it probably has more to do with the regional isolation prior to the modern age (also why you have so many different languages in relatively small areas). Even into the 19th century there was enormous variation among werewolf myths. It wasn't until Hollywood got in the act that a (for lack of a better term) standardized werewolf became a thing.

The thing that I think was actually an original invention of Hollywood was the infectious bite. I can't find any reference to it in any of the classical werewolf mythology -- which makes sense since it was probably introduced simply as a plot device to improve pacing.

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Re: Help needed about werewolf legends.

Post by Kveldulf »

Uniform...don't suppose you could give me any specific references to the "full moon being fairly well established by the end of the Roman Empire", could you? My primary field of historical study is Viking Age Scandinavia (with the obvious frequent excursions into later folklore and Northern Europe in general), so it's quite possible that there were Southern European beliefs that I've missed out on. The tale of "Niceros the Freedman" from Satyricon mentions the moon shining very brightly, but does not specify its phase; the description seems to be chiefly relevant to the clarity of the author's observation (and the werewolf is out under it for a while before he takes off his clothes, urinates in a ring around himself, and turns into a wolf, so it seems to be a volitional rather than a moon-impelled act.

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