book wolves, writing

when the wolfbane blooms and the moon is full and bright

I’m doing some random reading on the subject of oracles and werewolves (Lycaon, Zeus Lykaios, the Lykaia, etc.) and the more I read, the more I realize I’m probably going to spend half of November worldbuilding and researching. And that’s OK, because hey, I know how much work goes into these things.

I wonder if they make werewolf calendars. Or oracle ones. *cough*

Anyway, I need to sketch out the background info for the Oracles and for the werewolves. So far, I’ve got too many ideas and not enough brainpower to process them all.

  • I need to decide if there are any other supernatural creatures in this world (vampires, other weres, etc.). So far, I’m not entirely ruling out their existence, but I don’t think they’ll be mentioned very often, if at all, at least in the beginning stages
  • in reading about the Lykaia (yes, I’m using Wikipedia for research >_>), there’s something about a sacrifice to Zeus, and one morsel of human entrails would be mixed in with the animal offerings, and whoever ate that morsel would turn into a wolf, and only be able to turn back if he didn’t taste human flesh for the next nine years
  • and then there are the Sybils, which are present in medieval and renaissance art, so that works better for me than the classic Greek Oracles, so they’d be the basis of the Oracles (or I guess Sybils?) in the story. (Of course the Sybilline Books weren’t lost/destroyed, they were passed down through the ages, and there is a copy in one of the werewolf libraries.)
  • so I’m thinking I could possibly combine the two, maybe by having the original Sybil be involved in some way with a dude who got turned into a wolf. Maybe the whole being turned into a wolf for nine years wasn’t quite literal? Or maybe the “tasting” of human flesh didn’t just mean eating it, but also abstaining from physical relations? And idk, maybe the wolf-dude and the girl (who was maybe a priestess?) fell in love, and they didn’t want to wait, and of course the girl was punished for, idk, daring to touch one chosen by the gods? And like Cassandra, she was cursed with the ability to see the future which probably drove her mad. And IDK, the guy was cursed into staying a wolf permanently—and borrowing from Lycaon here, he was cursed to be aware of what had happened to him.
  • And if there were babies resulting from the union, there could be a brother and sister, who each inherit one of the parents’ gifts – the boy becomes a werewolf, and the girl becomes a Sybil/Oracle. Which explains why the wolves and the Sybils are connected. Possibly the children were supposed to have been killed and someone kept them alive and sent them into hiding to be raised (and I just realized how much this is the story of Luke and Leia, so possibly it won’t quite happen this way).
  • the werewolves don’t reproduce by biting people and infecting them—werewolves can only be born, to a human/werewolf pairing
  • humans who are bitten/infected by werewolves can’t handle the transformation and go insane and then die—because of this, purposefully infecting a human is punishable by death (there’s actually a clan of werewolves, mostly treated as outcasts, that’s mostly made up of humans who’ve been infected and who’ve survived the change—they also have a network in place to find the survivors of werewolf attacks and try to help them if they can)
  • whether the woman carrying the future werewolf baby is human or werewolf doesn’t matter—through the magic of handwavy science, idk, the pregnancy hormones suppress the change and there is no shifting, so there is no danger to the woman or the fetus
  • the sybils are born into various families, but there is a network in place that finds and identifies them, and gives them the proper training to deal with their abilities—the ability is not hereditary

Other things to consider:

  • conditions required for Sybil to give a prophecy?
  • werewolf transformation: full moon only, or at will?
  • differences between pureblood werewolves and the made ones—transformations, other behavior?
  • restriction of unions between Sybils and werewolves—still in effect or allowed?
  • are all the Sybils female?
  • can the Sybils lose their ability? — my original idea was that losing one’s virginity also meant losing the power, but I’m not sure if I’m going to keep that
  • are there now or have there ever been any werewolf Sybils—born a werewolf but also with the ability of a Sybil? if yes, would they be considered normal, or somehow abominations or something?
  • one werewolf king/queen for the whole world, or are there different clans?
  • human world—aware of the supernatural or not?—if yes, are there some sort of government agencies for dealing with them (diplomatically or otherwise)?
  • attitudes of the werewolves and Sybils towards humans—are some people allowed to know about them, or is it all omg super secret, and anyone who finds out is, idk, killed or something?

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