On men, wolves and weres:
There are many stories and legends about werewolves and other weres that can change into human form; or humans that can change into animal form. The name werewolf is a bit of a misleading term, but that is what we call them, and it's become so engrained in our minds that it is virtually impossible to write stories like these and call them something other than werewolves. It would be foolish to try.
The world I am writing about is an alternate Earth, and it has magic in it. At one time, it was a great deal of magic, and Elves, mages, and witches of all types existed. The Elves at that time were the pinnacle of the hominid line which in this world included Elves, humans and weres of all kinds, as well as many of the creatures we consider mythical.
The Elves about four thousand years ago, discovered that the external magic that Elves and other magic users needed to perform their magic was waning. On the other hand internal magic, which is what weres use to change shape was increasing. About two thousand years ago external magic was very limited and those who had mage potential existed, but they could no longer develop into magic users. Weres today can use only very minor external magic spells.
Weres are Shape-shifters. A Shape-shifter, is a person that can change from one form to another, however there is a limitation. A Shape-shifter changes to a form which has the same mass that the original person has. A werewolf shifts into wolf-form but the wolf has the same weight that the person originally had.
The Elves also foresaw the introduction of the death metal in larger and larger quantities in the future of this world. This death metal is iron and anything made out of iron affected some of the beings who lived in this time period very drastically, often fatally.
Deciding that they would have to leave Earth, they looked for an alternate world that had a large amount of external magic. Finding one, they opened portals to that world, and all of the Elves, and witches and most of the mages, and most of the creatures which the death metal affected, went to that world, though exceptions exist. Some weres also went as well, as did giants, and halflings and other beings that weren't affected by the death metal.
One benefit of going to the new world with the Elves, was that it increased the lifespan of magical creatures by two to three hundred percent.
These stories are my perception of what weres can and can't do. It is my thinking that weres in human form retain some of their animal's strength, speed and agility, and weres in animal form retain some of their human capabilities.
A wolf can't bark, but I would expect a werewolf to have a more flexible vocal cord than either a dog or a wolf would have. Not flexible enough to produce human speech, but enough to allow them to bark, and make other sounds not considered normal for a dog or a wolf.
While werewolves in the legends and movies generally are completely unthinking savage animals or if they become wolves they usually lose the ability to think My weres retain their mental capability, and they have the ability to communicate, mind-to-mind, using what is called mind-speech.
There is much more I could say in this introduction. The history of this alternate world is very similar to our own but there are differences. I leave it for you to discover for yourselves, the similarities and the differences in my world of werewolves.
I thank the many who has come with constructive comments on my Werewolf series and other stories.
Canada, May 31st, 2002