Mixing Up Werewolves
Their howls pierce the air on nights of the full moon, terrifying villagers and turning adventurers' blood to ice. Disguised as human, they prowl amidst their neighbors like a wolf amidst sheep, waiting for a chance to unleash the blood-lust burning within them. We're talking about werewolves, of course! To keep these shapechanging predators fresh no matter how many times you use them, the following 3 stat blocks offer new, unique, and exciting types of werewolves to throw at your players!
Moon Priest Werewolf
When a priest or acolyte in the worship of a moon-based diety finds themselves the victim of werewolf lycanthropy, most seek aid from their temple’s leaders to cure them of their curse. However, there are those who embrace their new identity, believing it to be a sign from their god that they have been chosen, or view it as the ultimate form of worship. In such instances, these misguided souls merge the blood-lust of their werewolf curse with the sacred duties of their religion, making blood sacrifices to their god to further their power and help spread the werewolf curse to the rest of their followers.
Pack Leaders. Much in the way an alpha wolf leads its pack, a moon priest werewolf establishes themselves as a powerful and respected leader within their community. Wielding both their fangs and religion as a weapon, the werewolf intimidates or charms their fellow community members and worshipers into a submissive state. From here, the werewolf is able to infect more and more of their followers with the werewolf curse, and it is not uncommon for entire temples or churches to be made up of werewolves. Sadly, those who the priest infects often don’t realize they’ve been cursed until their hybrid form is brought out while attending one of the priest’s sermons beneath a full moon.
Tamed Beasts. Unlike many other werewolves, a moon priest werewolf has a far easier time controlling its transformations and suppressing its violent tendencies. This is both a result of the werewolf priest needing to maintain its identity as a trustworthy and powerful figure within their faith, but also because of the direct connection the werewolf shares with the moon. Rather than being a victim to its phases, a moon priest werewolf finds its powers and senses greatly heightened during a full moon while still maintaining a sense of self and purpose.
The very thought of a werewolf is often enough to paralyze an entire town or village with fear. Often times, these fears are nothing more than the result of a fox or wolf breaking into a chicken coop or a hunter going missing, but that is all it can take to paralyze the superstitious folk in fear. When this happens, this fictitious werewolf plagues the dreams of the townsfolk, invading their innermost subconscious to tear them apart with their claws and devour their flesh. If these dreams persist long enough, they can actually come together to summon a nightmarish werewolf from the Abyss. This unnatural predator stalks the village every night, drawing power from the terrified villagers and devouring any who rise up against it.
Cursed Dreams. A nightmare werewolf is unable to pass the lycanthropic curse along to others as it is not itself a true werewolf. Instead, it infects the dreams of those it encounters, causing them to find no rest as they are stalked, hunted, and devoured by the beast every night. As time progresses, these dreams become increasingly violent and realistic, and many who experience them over prolonged periods of time wake up with claw or bite marks across their body. If one dies from these dreams, they rise as a new nightmare werewolf the following night to continue spreading terror and death throughout the realm.
Strength From Fear. A nightmare werewolf draws its strength from those who fear it, and it is this strength that allows it to remain on the Material Plane. In this way, a nightmare werewolf can become near unstoppable when drawing off the fears and nightmares of an entire village. However, should those being terrorized by a nightmare werewolf be shown that the beast is of their own creation, they can quickly sap the beast of its strength by no longer fearing that which hunts them in their dreams.
Those who flee their communities after discovering their lycanthropic curse can find themselves crawling into the darkest caves and deepest crevices to avoid harming their friends and families. In their desperate attempt to escape, some of these tortured souls kind find themselves crossing over to the Shadow Realm. There, they’re twisted and transformed by both their werewolf curse as well as the dreadful energy of their new lightless domain. These shadow werewolves are as black as a moonless sky and able to slip through shadows without a sound. Fueled with a lust to consume all life, they return to the Material Plane where they can slip through towns unnoticed and pass beneath locked doors to devour their sleeping prey.
Shadowy Beast. Upon its return to the Material Plane, a shadow wolf has several noticeable physical changes. In its humanoid form, its skin is a lifeless pale color, its body appears haggard and gaunt, and any body-hair is changed to black. In its wolf or hybrid form, its black furs flows and sways about as trails of shadowy smoke trail behind it. Its eyes are like pieces of coal sitting in its sunken sockets, and its limbs are unsettling long, allowing it to silently creep through forests and villages. In any form, the creature can transform itself into a wolf-shaped shadow capable of moving flat along floors, walls, and ceilings, and a chold chill hangs about the creature wherever it goes.
Moonless Shapechangers. A shadow werewolf’s transformation is not determined by the presence of a full moon, but rather by that of a new moon. Beneath those lightless night skies, a shadow werewolf’s strength is at its peak level, and it can move with a speed and silence that few other beast can match. On the night of a new moon, there is little one can do to protect themselves from these silent predators besides cling to the light of their candles in cellars and closets and prey the beast does not find them there.