Shapeshifters (aka Shifters, Lycans, Were-things, etc..) are humans that have been infected with lycanthropy. Lycanthropy (more correctly, Therianthropy or Dimorphism), is a para-mystical virus which is introduced into the blood stream from the infected host to the victim. For a person to be infected with the virus, the infecting host must be shifted into animal form (or a portion thereof) and break the skin of the target, or there must be a sizable transfusion of blood between host and target. There have even been cases of vaccines against Lycanthropy causing the infection they were designed to prevent. Even then, not all victims of lycan attack are infected. Some subspecies of shapeshifters are more likely to infect a victim than others and as of yet there is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon. If the infection is picked up, the victim is struck by a nasty debilitating fever that continues until the next full moon. If the virus took hold, they then undergo First Change. If the virus didn't take hold, the fever breaks. Between infection and the next full moon, there is no way to know for sure if the person has contracted lycanthropy. Upon First Change, most all damage done by the fever is repaired by the shift, as well as most all injuries from earlier (be they infection-related injuries or even childhood injuries). About the only issues that might not be corrected are those that were a product of genetic birth defects.
Lukoi is the pack-name traditionally taken by werewolves. Since the wolf-strain of lycanthropy is more common than the other types, there's more recorded tradition for them and their ways.
- For pack positions and titles, please see the Werewolves Handbook.
- For history of the pack on WindyCity, see the Local Lukoi History page.
- For shifter behaviour, see the tutorial.
Obviously, the historical acceptance of the Werewolves by the Norse and the Roman Empire greatly influenced their culture.
As with every other lycanthropic pack or any other support group, there is no real method for "tradition" to be passed down from old shifter to new shifter other than word of mouth and peer-pressure. As such, it is not unheard of for some packs to eschew the "traditional setup" and go with their own method of organization (EG: Perhaps where the leader(s) is/are chosen annually by the pack? Perhaps no clear leader, with the pack's actions decided by majority vote? Perhaps a triumvirate, where there are three leaders of equal political power?). As with all shifter packs, whatever is "right" and whatever is "wrong" is purely based on what the pack's leader decrees, up until the leader is deposed for their unpopular views.