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So, my werewolves are a diet version of the classical lycanthrope.

  • They have considerable strength and a thick hide, but a trained human can still overpower them.
  • They can be hurt with regular weapons and poisoned with silver items (more precisely, the pathogens that reside on silver surfaces).
  • They have a good sense of smell but can be stunned/irritated with strong-smelling chemicals.
  • They can regenerate but it takes time.
  • They don't transform, only on the first occasion when they turn into their hybrid form then stay that way.
  • They are in perfect control, except for the duration of the full moon, in which case some precautions have to be made.

There are three ways one can become a werewolf:

  1. A curse that strikes random people.
  2. Getting bitten by a werewolf.
  3. Being born as a werewolf (werewolves CAN reproduce)

Now, even purebred (born as) werewolves are almost impossible to discern from humans, as far as personalities go. Though they tend to use their Jacobson's organ more frequently.

Werewolves live in self-sufficient tribes. They have agriculture and everything but are limited in number, as the curse is fairly rare, and werewolves practice social distancing (avoid humans) during full moon, along with taking anesthetics before the event to snooze through it.

The "natural" enemies of werewolves are the monster hunters, a terrorist organization that is universally despised (even among humans) for harboring serial killers that found out membership is an easy way to evade authorities without having to give up their hobbies. The only reason this kos (kill on sight) group is able to exist is because of capitalism.

The demand is dead werewolves and monster hunters have a monopoly over the supply; but why? Why would people want werewolves dead when they are so human-like and are frequently former humans, many of whom were in good standing?

The society is medieval, albeit the existence of artifacts (ancient technology that helps out in small ways) makes it more similar to its romanticized (knight in shining armor, etc..) form, devoid of plagues and famine but with a strong feudal society.

The racism towards werewolves has to frame them as a dangerous element that has to be controlled and/or completely eliminated with no room for negotiation and it needs something to stand on. You sow lies from a grain of truth.

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    $\begingroup$ If the werewolves aren't psychotic, when do people get bitten? Either werewolves are aggressive and therefore dangerous or the only people who get bitten are volunteers. $\endgroup$ – KerrAvon2055 Jun 5 '20 at 2:38
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    $\begingroup$ Wait...folks need reasons to distrust others who are slightly different? I missed that memo. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Jun 5 '20 at 3:12
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    $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055 I mean, given this hatred towards, them, I wouldn't doubt a werewolf would bite a monster hunter if given the chance (enjoy the next full moon you ********) $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jun 5 '20 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ What pathogens reside on silver as opposed to steel? $\endgroup$ – NomadMaker Jan 5 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ I thought silver was antibacterial. $\endgroup$ – mwarren Jan 5 at 14:49
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ALL THE REASONS PEOPLE HATE EACH OTHER:

  • Religion. God has decreed those that walk on two feet but are not man are demons. Wolves often appear in sheep's clothing. This stuff was common in a world without proof of the supernatural. Real proof would magnify these forces greatly. And if one religion says werewolves are good, another says they're evil to differentiate themselves.
  • Culture. Werewolves practice different traditions, possibly religions, maybe have a secret language, eat different foods.
  • Racism. All by itself, people are primed to hate and fear those who are unlike themselves - and that is among full humans. In a medieval society, this is even worse. If you have no experience with outsiders, they all seem foreign. Can you honestly say as a modern human, you could walk into a village of werewolves alone and feel comfortable? Magnify that feeling ten times.
  • Fear of the unknown. People in this time simply didn't know any better. If you were lucky, the village priest might have some education. If not... How do you know lycanthropy doesn't spread by contact, or that the folks in the werewolf village don't plan to kill and eat you all? Are you taking the word of the werewolf?
  • Greed. The werewolf village has stuff we want and craftsmen who've made nice stuff. I'd sure like it. Look at all that land in the hands of those no good, mangy (a real possibility) varmints. And those bounty hunters aren't doing this for fun - they don't get paid if you don't hate your neighbors.
  • Revenge. Sure, Billy was in our village and is now a werewolf. We love Billy, but he's the walking dead now, saying he's fine, but we know better. They took him, and who's to say you're not next?
  • History. Hundreds of years of stories say the werewolves were evil in grandpa's day, and you respect your elders, don't you? A war happened once, and your people learned how to kill those werewolves. You know Grandpa has a haunted look when he talks about it - they were so strong and terrible. But now you're prepared and have the numbers to set things right.
  • Outright lies and superstition. (somewhat covered already) Did you know crossing a werewolf's path causes your chickens to stop laying, and cows dry up because a werewolf came in the night and suckled.
  • Evil werewolves. They aren't better than people, and people can be really awful. All these biases can apply in the reverse direction. Maybe a certain percentage of werewolves are really vile sapients with no regard for human life. That's enough on it's own.
  • Random conflicts. Perhaps dogs recognize werewolves as wolves and freak out when they're around. Maybe Billy who lived in the village is having trouble adjusting to his new life and wanders back to get drunk over and over, boasting and smacking people around. A village maiden says a werewolf raped her to explain how she got pregnant.
  • Envy. Life isn't perfect, but it sounds like it's good to be a werewolf. Who doesn't want to be stronger, tougher, to have better smell, etc.? People either want to become werewolves, betraying traditional values, or they feel cheated by them. My eldest son ran off to become one, then came back and wanted his inheritance. The nerve! The werewolves wouldn't let me become one, just because I killed a few people. I'll show them!
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  • $\begingroup$ You get half way through this list and suddenly you start wondering the inverse: would it even be possible for humans and werewolves to maintain a lasting peace. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jun 5 '20 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki - Reinstate Monica A little dark, but a real concern. Some people in these questions suggest it would be impossible to have multiple intelligences in a midieval setting without genocide.That would also be an interesting question. I can think of some scenarios... $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Jun 5 '20 at 4:25
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    $\begingroup$ Those that walk on two feet but are not man are demons. Sorry, birds. Also some primates. And some lizards. Also my dog if I hold the treat up over his head long enough. God should've been more specific. $\endgroup$ – Darrel Hoffman Jun 5 '20 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ "Can you honestly say as a modern human, you could walk into a village of werewolves alone and feel comfortable?"... Can you honestly say, as a Caucasian, you could walk into a village of Africans and feel comfortable? Most of us (hopefully!) feel guilty about saying "no", but still... Difference, if we aren't used to it, makes us uncomfortable. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Jun 5 '20 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Darrel Hoffman Maybe this is the moral justification for keeping chickens in cages, and monkeys on chains... $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Jun 5 '20 at 15:41
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There can be many reasons, from a religious belief that they are sons and daughters of the devil to a genuine concern over creatures that can loose control and kill a person in a full moon.

Though I'm mostly sure that they're feared and unwanted specifically because they're so hard to tell apart from normal humans, so we have creatures that can look human, but then at one moment they can go feral and maul you if you're not prepared, and what's worse, it could be anyone, even someone that looked normal and was in good standing. "Remember of Markus, the innocent boy who we thought couldn't hurt a fly? Turns out he was a werewolf, and it seems like he was the one who killed Mary". Tales of people who were attacked by supposed friends who were actually werewolves during the night, true or not, would be more than enough to create not only a feeling of hatred towards this undercover threat, but also a sense of distrust. Small communities would be even more closed, travelers and strangers would be heavily suspected on and seen as unwanted, and accusing someone of being a werewolf could potentially be a sentence of death by angry mob.

I also don't doubt that this terrorist faction would make use of this already present sense of unease to raid certain homes during the night, especially during the full moon, and then blame the werewolves, showing everyone how vicious these beasts are, how good it is for them to be around and why it's so important to keep paying protection fees, so that they can remain geared up in order to make the world a better place by hunting these monsters to extinction. Like good old capitalism, there'll usually be people exploiting a potential source of income, even if it means becoming something that'd make a feral werewolf look like a civilized person.

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  • $\begingroup$ Uhh... I did say they stay in their hybrid form for the rest of their lives but can pass a Turing test at any time. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jun 5 '20 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ ...Except full moon, of course. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jun 5 '20 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles oh, sorry, didn't think of it at the time (tired). Yeah everyone who could afford something made out of silver likely would do so, and people would be "tested" as soon as they started acting differently (and in closed societies, people KNOW when you're acting differently). Also if you got bitten by a dog, wolf or other thing that left a canid-looking bite, you should expect to get "tested" and trapped until it's proven that you're clean. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jun 5 '20 at 10:37
  • $\begingroup$ Since the question is science-based, I thought slow transformation into a werewolf and then staying in that form forever was the most plausible explanation. I'm not sure if vulnerability to silver would be expressed in the early stages of the transformation. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jun 5 '20 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Mephistopheles that's up to you. If you really want there to be fear, I'd recommend the weakness to silver to be a side effect of the new form and only present after the transformation (or to be much less notable before the person transforms), since being able to test for werewolves would most likely make people a little less paranoid. $\endgroup$ – ProjectApex Jun 5 '20 at 11:25
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They are in perfect control, except for the duration of the full moon, in which case some precautions have to be made.

If this is the case you honestly don't need anything else. You have a group of people who are physically stronger than baseline humans and for a significant portion of the year become uncontrollable monsters that can't be reasoned with. You don't need to spin lies about werewolves stealing babies or controlling the banks if all the propaganda about werewolves being violent, uncontrollable monsters is actually true at least 10% of the year (approximately the number of full moon nights in a year).

You've basically created a perfect storm where conflict between the groups is almost unavoidable:

  • If the werewolves were physically stronger than humans but were in control of themselves at all times (basically akin to depictions of lizardfolk, giants, etc. in fantasy), there would be no problem and humans and werewolves could coexist. Werewolves would be seen as no less threatening than someone who is large and muscular. And while there are people who are terrified of anyone who is larger than them (I would post examples but I don't want to get in trouble), those people are also rightly ridiculed as being overly paranoid.
  • If the werewolves were identical to humans but just went nuts at the full moon, there would be much less problems. People can mostly handle another human who has gone nuts and has lost the most dangerous thing about humanity: our brain. An individual who is significantly larger, stronger, and more durable than humans, cannot be easily restrained by most people (a trained individual might be able to, but those individual will by definition be rare), and cannot be reasoned with is a serious danger to those around them.
  • If the werewolves just became animalistic but not savage during the full moon, they easily could be coexisted with. Most animals aren't violent monsters, and if you encountered a werewolf that acted like a real wolf during the full moon the werewolf would just run away. But given we're talking about werewolves I'm assuming standard werewolf rules apply, which means savagery at full moon. I also get that standard werewolf rules imply that they shred anything that isn't a werewolf at the full moon, but in reality if the werewolves lose control they should be shredding each other as much as the humans.
  • I don't know what the setting of your world is, but this would not be the case of "humans bad". Every sapient species with the ability of forethought would recognize the werewolves as a threat so long as they can't control themselves on the full moon.

You might say "well it's not their fault, they suffer from a condition outside of their control". We have that IRL too, with people who suffer from severe psychosis or other mental disabilities. Those people are invariably either locked up in mental institutions or prisons. In ye old days before people had even a smidgen of empathy for those they considered strange they would have been shot. And while the vast, vast majority of people with mental health problems or disabilities are not a threat to anyone (indeed they are more likely to be the victims of abuse), people are still going to paint them with the same brush. Best case scenario is you'd have werewolves locked up in mass institutions and studied to attempt to "cure" them (or at least remove the moon psychosis), because werewolves represent a real threat to public safety. They probably wouldn't be allowed to breed (either by biting people or making more werewolves the natural way), either indirectly because they're all locked up or directly because humans consider it unethical to bring a new life into this world to suffer the way they perceive the werewolves' as having suffered. The only people who would care about establishing a society where werewolves could exist without changing werewolf behavior are the werewolves.

People honestly don't care about ethics when their own safety is at risk. Look at how the U.S., who are normally hyper-paranoid about government tyranny and would normally be up in arms if someone tried to take their rights, just sat back and watched as the government interned Japanese-American civilians during World War II. Note that this is not strictly due to racial divides making people think the internment was "not our problem", either, the U.S. interned a bunch of first-generation German-Americans during the war and considered interning everyone of German and Italian ancestry, only to realize that so many Americans had German or Italian ancestry that they would have to imprison half the country). If safety is on the line people will throw their own brother under the bus real fast.

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  • $\begingroup$ This sums it up right here. If the werewolves can't control themselves when under a full moon, then "lycanthrope" basically reads "has psychotic episodes" or is otherwise mentally incompetent. Stuff like this is why modern society has mental health institutions, but psychology as a science doesn't exist in a medieval era, so neither will such institutes; knowing the cause might inspire pity, but the likely conclusion from even the sympathetic, given the era, will be "put the werewolves out of their misery" (kill them). Those werewolf hunters will be seen as society's shield from these madmen. $\endgroup$ – Palarran Jan 4 at 1:58
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Revenge of the great dead king!

You see, these werewolves were not always hated, in fact, they were our friends and equals. Then something happened, something terrible.

This truth is not known to many people and only exist as a mere rumor, Once there was a great king, loved by all, in whose rule, werewolves were treated equal to humans and worked alongside us. The king had 3 sons, and the youngest was the greedy one who despised these terrible monsters and wanted the kingdom for himself which was to be soon given to the eldest prince.

So, he devised a plan to get what he wanted, on the night of the full moon, he tricked some werewolves guards and servants into king's quarter, killed the king and his two brothers making it look like it was done by the werewolves and then killed the werewolves too.

After that a panic and hatred towards werewolves spread throughout the nation, the greedy brother took over the kingdom and ordered the killing of these terrible monsters throughout the nation, they had no choice left, but to run and hide.

Hundreds of years later, even today, people hold their grudge towards these werewolves, monster hunters take advantage of this grudge, as some people came to know about this story/rumor they made peace, but old grudges die hard, Hence the enmity continues.

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They stole my pigs!

Or I thought it was them. I think so. And I'm 100% sure that it was MY pig. The bottom line is:

Carthago delenda est errr I mean Werewolves must be stopped.

You have an organisation that not only profit from hunting but also harbour psycho- and sociopaths. They have double reason to hunt. First is money, second "As long as we are useful we are free". So they would steal a chicken or two from some village, came around two days later and says "Oh, did someone stolen your poultry? Must be those weres. Today it's chicken, tomorrow it will be you".
And then they go on their merry way of raping young men, bulling girls and courting cows. But you can't say anything because they WILL help you with werevolwes.
Because after their visit not a single chicken went missing.

They might be bad but are not as bad as the Turned ones. I heard, that when you woo the moon you pillage, eat 100 mens meals in one night, defy the king, don't pay taxes and throw paper on the street. Not to mention you roll your eyes on your mother!

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  • $\begingroup$ Honestly, you'd think the people would hate the organzation made up of known bandits, rapists, and murderers more than the werewolves and be more likely to blame them. Werewolves may be treated as the other but these people are a literal army of known criminals. $\endgroup$ – user2352714 Jun 6 '20 at 16:29

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