Lycanthropy is technically classified as a disease caused by a virus because it can be transmitted. However, the “virus” actually alters the basic structure of human DNA, adding a third arm to the double helix making it a triple helix, which creates a new species.
Lycans face a compulsory change to wolf form on the full moon and on the day directly before and after (three days a month referred to as the Moon Cycle). Lycans, even in human form, are much stronger than the average human; they are also quicker. Lycans have accelerated healing abilities and generally live longer. Lycans are naturally allergic to Wolfsbane, mistletoe, and silver (Lycan sensitivity garlic, rye, and mountain ash is a myth; although there is a higher percentage of peppermint allergies in Lycans than humans), although Wolfsbane in its natural form will merely cause a painful/irritating rash, it can be fatal if ingested. Because of their accelerated/advanced healing abilities, it is very difficult to take down a Lycan in Wolf Form (which is inherently stronger than the Lycans human form) with normal weapons. Silver bullets (which don’t have to be entirely silver) will stop a Wolf, as will bullets/arrows tipped with poison. Fire also stops a Lycan effectively. Most Lycans are very attuned to the phases of the moon, becoming more agitated towards the full moon and more subdued nearing the new moon. If show with a silver bullet, even if the wound is not fatal, the pullet must be removed within a few hours or silver poisoning will set in, which can be fatal if not treated properly. Lycans respond to medication differently than humans. Certain drugs which are fine for humans are fatal to Lycans. Also, certain drugs simply have no effect on Lycans; for example, while penicillin will be effective in Lycans, none of the other synthetic antibiotics work. Childbirth in particular is very dangerous for Lycans, and none of the pain relievers or labor inducers can be safely used. Human mothers giving birth to Lycan babies have a particularly high mortality rate.
There are three types of Lycans.
A Bitten cannot transform at will or transmit Lycanthropy. They are individuals who contracted Lycanthropy by being bitten by either a Sire or Natural Sire. The child of two Bitten Lycans is a Sire.
A Sire cannot transform at will but can transmit Lycanthropy via a bite while in Wolf Form. Sire’s are always born Lycans.
A Natural Sire can transform at will and can transfer Lycanthropy through biting while in Wolf Form. Usually only the child of two Natural Sires can be a Natural Sire, but very rarely a Natural Sire can be the result of mixed parentage. After hundreds of years of pure Sires (Lycans who were born that way and can transmit Lycanthropy but not change at will) the line will eventually result in Natural Sires.
Natural Sires are rare because they were hunted almost to extinction — the hunts continued into the twentieth century. The government sanctioned hunts ceased during World War I when Lycanthropy was acknowledged as a trait useful to Military service.
There is a 50/50 chance that the child of a human and a lycan will be born a lycan.
The Ordinance of 1915 provided protection against the so-called Werewolf Hunts, but it required that all Lycans, born or bitten, register with the government. Sporadic bouts of systematic Lycan sterilization occurred up until the early 1960’s.
Adercel — In 1950 a drug was developed that inhibited a Lycans ability to transmit Lycanthropy. The formula had been reworked several times over the years in order to eliminate the negative side-effects, but the basic point remained the same. The drug was made mandatory for all Lycans in 1952. Part of the propaganda put out in regards to the medication was that it lowered the levels of aggression present in Lycans; this is scientifically untrue.
Pack — Lycans typically belong to a pack. This connection is extremely strong, and it is almost impossible to break that bond. Packs are usually the Lycan’s extended family group or the family group of ones Mate; individuals who became Lycans by being bitten are generally loners until they are claimed by a pack in their area. Occasionally, a lycan will make a complete break from his/her family group and traditional pack, either becoming a loner or forming his/her own, very small, pack. It is commonly taught that Lycans are incapable of forming the Pack Bond with humans, but that is untrue; it is unusual for a Lycan to form a Pack Bond with humans, but that is largely due to a lack of opportunity and social conditioning/taboo, rather than an inability to do so.
Mate — Lycans mate for life. In the UK, Mates have the same legal status and rights as a married couple. In more modern times, some Lycans have had more traditional marriage ceremonies rather than the Mating Ceremony.
Potential — This term refers to a Lycan who is dating another Lycan with the intent of possibly becoming Mates; there is no distinction between male and female potentials.
Companion — This term refers to a human who is dating, or married to, a Lycan. Companions are typically, though by no means exclusively, female. Although all law barring relationships between humans and Lycans were nullified in the UK in 1953, Companions and Lycans cannot legally marry. Propaganda from both sides states that it is impossible for a Lycan to form a Mate Bond with a human; this is untrue. Companion relationships are looked down on by human and lycan communities alike.
Hybrids are humans who have, due to a Lycan ancestor, latent Lycanthropy that “settles” in one of their chromosomes. Hybrids are uncommon and most live their entire lives without realizing that they are, in fact, Hybrids. Some, however, display certain Lycan traits, such as Alpha/Beta/Omega dynamics, reaction to Archopene, sensitivity to silver and wolfsbane, restlessness during the full moon, and the need to have a Pack. Hybrids of the 23rd chromosome show the most lycan characteristics.
There are three classifications within Lycanthropy: Alpha, Beta, and Omega.
Alpha — One Alpha is typically born to every family and will generally have to leave in their late teens/early twenties, only to return later after mellowing and eventually becomes the new Family Alpha or Pack Alpha, depending on the position of their family within the Pack. Alphas are typically male but can be female. It is extremely rare for two Alphas to be born as siblings, but it does occasionally occur; it is typically thought that the older siblings have a higher chance of being born an Alpha, but there is no scientific evidence to substantiate this. Alphas typically do not get along well with other Alphas even after maturing past their adolescent over-aggression, with the exception of family relationships.
Queer has two meanings. Colloquially, it refers to a human who forms romantic attachments with Lycans. It officially refers to werewolves who don't fit into traditional pack dynamics, particularly Alpha's who get along better with other Alphas and are either unusually submissive and/or unwilling or unable to participate in power structures, as in an Alpha whose "pack" is made up of equals, rather than subordinates. Queer Alphas typically shun their original Pack or family groups, either forming their own, usually small, packs or operating as loners. These Alphas are looked down on by other Lycans almost as much as companions are.
For example: Sherlock is 'queer' because his pack is very nontraditional, made up mostly of humans (with Mrs. Hudson being the exception) and almost exclusively (with the exception of Molly) of people with an Alpha personality.
Beta — Most Lycans are classified as Beta. While able to operate in submission to the pack Alpha, they are not, by any means, naturally submissive in their every-day lives. Betas are extremely protective of their property, territory, and family. In the absence of an Alpha (such as in smaller family groups within a larger pack) a Beta can take on the role of an Alpha.
Omegas are extremely rare. They are extremely passive and submissive. Biologically, they are slightly closer to humans than Lycans — this manifests itself in that, unlike both Alphas and Betas, Male Omegas have no “knot (which is the one aspect of the wolf that bleeds through into the human anatomy of all Lycans regardless of the phase of the moon). Only born Lycans become Omegas, and omega-ism is equally likely to occur in males and females. Omegas are more often Natural Sires rather than Sires. They have a much shorter lifespan, 35 is the average age of death although in rare cases un-mated Omegas have been known to survive until 45, because in order to survive an Omega needs an extremely strong, personal (and usually exclusive) relationship with an Alpha (usually a Queer Alpha because in order for an Omega to have an average lifespan, he/she needs their Alpha to be more connected to them than anyone else, including a Pack). Without this connection the Omega will whither away and die; while this phenomenon has been studied, science has not been able to discover why it happens or how to prevent it. This bond is typically that of a mate, but it can be platonic. A slightly less intense and less permanent bond called a Secondary Bonded/Mate can be formed in the absence of the Bonded Alpha Mate, but this is rare and the primary bond is still necessary; the Secondary Bond only serves to prolong the life of the Omega in the absence of his/her Mate. Omegas, while usually passive even to the point of overriding the self-preservation instinct, will become extremely protective/possessive of their Bonded Alpha and can be extremely aggressive when defending their Mate.
Omegas, because they are extremely rare, are considered to be very valuable by other Lycans, particularly Alphas. Some Alphas, particularly those of the old, powerful Natural Sire lines traditionally kept Omegas as Pets. Tradition also holds that if your first child was an Alpha, there is a greater possibility of the subsequent children also being Alphas if one parent is an Alpha and the other is an Omega; this is unsubstantiated by science. The Omega Protection Bill of 1954 made the keeping of Omegas as pets or breeders illegal and stated that the Classification of each Lycan should no longer be put on their id tags in an attempt to make Omegas less easily recognizable.
The Ordinance of 1915 requires that all Lycans must register with the government within two weeks of birth/being bitten. Each Lycan is issued a pair of metal id tag, which thy are required by lat to wear around their necks at all times. These tags also included the classification of the wearer (Alpha/Beta/Omega); this information was removed from both the id tags and the government registration requirements in 1954 (see above). The Ordinance of 1915 also criminalized all Lycan bites with the intent or possibility of transferring Lycanthropy, even when that bite is committed with the consent of the person being bitten. In 1952 an addendum was passed making it a requirement for all Lycans capable of transmitting Lycanthropy to take the medication preventing the transmission of Lycanthropy; refusal to take the medication is punishable by jail time.
Lycan Equality Organization (LEO) — The primary organization supporting the equality of Lycans (it was originally founded in the 1860s and was a British organization, but it became international during the early twentieth century); it is comprised primarily of Lycans, but there are some humans involved in all levels of the organization. There are three main branches of the LEO: the first works for equality primarily through politics; the second works for equality primarily through social education, and the third branch of the organization focuses on peaceful protests.
Lycan Equality Fighters (LEF) — Formed in 1954 as a subgroup of the LEO, the LEF broke off into its own group in the early 1970s and focuses on architectural and symbolic targets, rather than body count. In the entirety of the history of the group, less than twenty deaths were caused as a result of actions sanctioned by the LEF, all of which were accidents and all of the victims were members of the LEF — only a handful of civilian injuries have been caused. Even so, public and governmental opinion usually attributes the organization with a high body count and views them not only as subversive but also as highly dangerous. In reality, the LEF has issued public statements denouncing violence against individuals and the organizations that perpetrate such violence. since the majority of LEF members are also members of the official LEO, most of the public doesn’t make a distinction between the two groups. The LEO has publicly issued statements denouncing the LEO and its actions.
Archopene — Poison developed in World War II targeted towards Lycans. There is no certain cure — although various experimental treatments have had results on certain individuals, but such results are inconsistent and most doctors don’t know of them or are unwilling to try. It causes extreme pain, convulsions, and death within seventy-two hours. It will also affect Hybrids of the 23rd, 42nd, and 8th chromosomes. Hybrids have a higher chance at survival, but treatment varies depending on which chromosome the hybridization has settled in.
Lycocene — Poison created during World War II. It does not affect Hybrids. It can be fatal in that it causes convulsions and vomiting, which can lead to choking if not properly handled, and that in certain cases it can lead to cardiac arrest in a patient with a preexisting condition; with proper medical attention and monitoring, precautions can be taken to avoid death or permanent damage. Even so, the illness caused by Lycocene is extremely painful (Lycocene also causes nightmares) and lasts anywhere from 12 hours to a week, depending on the dosage and the individual patient. The only possible treatment of Lycocene poisoning is cocaine, which can entirely counteract the effects of Lycocene, but it is not considered a valid medical treatment and is illegal. Cocaine can only be administered after the first fifteen hours in order to be effective.