As a whole, Lycans consider themselves a part of the world around them rather than distinct from it. They strive to emulate the animals they embody, living in harmony with nature. They understand that by adding an extra predator (themselves), they have impacted the natural balance, and they take steps to ensure the survival of their primary prey. First, they cultivate the environments their chosen prey inhabit. Second, each clan’s maturity ritual involves bringing back the body of the animal embodied.
Otherwise, the clans are very different culturally, dependent on their animal likeness and overall development. They have many similarities, but each clan inhabits a different environment, uses a different money system, speaks a different language, has different living and hunting habits, and has different concepts of violence. Most of the clans have some level of defensive weaponry at least, as minor wars are not uncommon.
Lycan Wolves live nearest to the Humans, and the outpost Far Camp is in their territory. As a result, they have been most heavily impacted by the Human invasions. Their primary landscape is forest, and they hunt as a pack and mate for life monogamously.
Lycan Bears also inhabit the forest but dwell significantly further north. Though the clan meets regularly and they make decisions as a group, the family is the main unit.
Lycan Lions live east of the mountains in a dry plains area. They also follow the pack unit, but males often have multiple female mates.
Lycan Hyenas live north of the Bears in a desert area. They are particularly warlike but only if they sense weakness on the part of their neighbors. They are solitary, coming together only to mate, for religious services, or to attack.
Lycan Snakes live the farthest south in a heavily wooded area similar to a jungle. Like the Hyenas, they are primarily solitary, coming together only for mating, religion, and war. Unlike the Hyenas, they consider themselves the strongest race and attack the other Lycans regularly. Historically, the Lions and Wolves have often made pacts to fight them off together.
Lycan Coyotes also live in the forest around Far Camp but have proven significantly more adept at hiding. They function as a pack but split up a lot more often than the Wolves, so groups look a lot more like the Bears. Historically, they rarely engage in war, preferring to hide or run rather than fight. This also accounts for their proximity to the Wolves, who tolerate their lurking presence while fighting off more dangerous neighbors.
Finally, the Lycan Cougars live on the opposite side of a large lake, claiming only the Hyenas as close neighbors. Their lands are rocky, not quite mountains. They are not likely to start wars, but their intervention ends them, as they are viscous predators and have used their space well, making them easily the most populous clan. They are solitary like the Hyenas and Snakes, but they spend more time in family units, with both parents raising the young before an adolescent phase in which the teen begins to split strongly from the parents, and those connections are remembered throughout life in times of trouble.
Lycan History with the Humans
Approximately forty years before the start of the game, a power drill was invented to improve mining. Natural human curiosity combined with greed, and the Humans drilled a tunnel through the mountains. When they discovered a fertile, unexplored forest on the other side, they established Far Camp, the only Human settlement on the north side of the mountains. They soon discovered a race of hardy, apparently-human natives but were horrified to realize that these creatures could morph into an animal form at will. The Humans immediately set to subjugating the Lycans (primarily the Wolves) but found that non-magical chains had no effect, and the Lycans were fierce warriors. After the slaughter of an entire logging camp who had tried to use their new slaves without enough precautions, it was decided that all the “demons” must be enslaved or eliminated. A full-scale invasion was launched with newly appointed General Bran McKenna at the front.
The invasion failed miserably, and the Humans were repulsed with massive casualties on both sides. Bitterness over the deaths is a persistent reality for both races, and the current peace is believed to be more of a temporary ceasefire than a true end to the war.
+2 on the skill track to Athletics or Physique
Lycans often stay in a form partway between human and full animal. In this form, they may not use Contacts or Rapport with humans. Lycans may make a Deceive roll to convince a human that they are human as long as no animal features are easily visible.
Ability: At will, Lycans can shapeshift into the animal form of the clan to which they belong. They may also only partially shift to gain many of the abilities of their animal form (bonuses and penalties to be determined by GM). They receive an automatic +1 to Investigate, as they can use scent to track.