According to Lycan myth, they share a common heritage with the spirits of the world. Some of the most powerful spirits who roamed the earth assumed the guise of hunters, culling overgrown populations, pursuing powerful predators that otherwise would rampage unchecked and fending off otherworldly spirits that overstepped their stance.
Standing unopposed, some Spirits grew lazy, while others viewed their companions as increasing threats to the order they strove to protect. Those that had taken to lethargy were the first picked off, and many were destroyed by those they once stood beside. Once this task was done, many of the remaining spirits turned on one another. Many more were destroyed, while a few took shelter amongst the human populous, hiding out until those storm passed. None of the protective spirits remained unscathed, and order was restored.
Of those that hide amongst the herd, these spirits gave birth to offspring both human and spirit. They adopted the appearance that the hunting spirits had before, the raven, the cat, the bear and the wolf. Born of freewill, but left with the burden of their spiritual ancestry, the Lycans were creatures of two world, left to maintain the order they had inherited. The greatest threat to this order was now Humanity, and the advent of the city.
The Lycan prevented it by declaring a limited war upon humanity. During this time, Lycan are credited with destroying large human cities, retarding the technological and scientific progress of the human race, and even imposing population caps upon the humans of any given area, killing and sometimes eating humans when they grew too numerous.
Some took up this cause nobly, but as generations passed, fewer and fewer did, many more becoming debased or feral, and even still others using their gifts and abilities to further their own nefarious plots. Subconsciously humans still experience an aversion to wolves and other beasts in general.
The fall out of this act of demi-genocide led to the splintering of the many tribes of Lycans. Some maintained their commitment to spiritual protectors, others saw themselves as allies of humans first and foremost, while others saw the human herd as little more than prey. A great war broke out, and many Lycans were put to the claw across Euroasia. Non-continental tribes remained largely docile in comparison.
The overwhelming societal transformation of the Industrial Revolution weakened the Lycan, and pushed the Spirits away from terrestrial reality, giving them less influence over the world. This period was marked by the withdrawal and extinction of many spirit varieties, but also heralded the birth of new “urban” spirits. These changes made the life of the Lycan more complicated as increasingly they had to balance their existence in the human world, with their bestial and spiritual nature.
As it stands now, the Lycan tribes are fractured, left without a united purpose, they are divided on tribe and pack loyalties. They remain torn between man and beast, human and spirt.
Lycanthropy is not a strictly medical condition, while scientist do contemplate the empirical existence of a reason for the spiritual powers, no one cause is widely recognized. Because of the chance for Lycanthropy to be passed hereditarily, there is some imprint left on the individual, but whether this is a part of their soul or DNA, the debate continues.
There also remains the chance for Lycans to transmit the ‘condition’ orally, although this is exceedingly rare. First, the mortal victim must be bitten but not killed (an extremely rare case). Next the situation seems to only occure in those who once had an ancestor of the Lycanhood. Seieng as how not all Children of Lycans posses the gift, it is possible for Generations of a family to be dormant, with no trace of their position in the world until an event like this transpires. The event is often referred to as ‘Blooding’, and is viewed with equal parts suspicion and wonder by Lycans.
Most Lycan’s powers don’t manifest until puberty, making an already trying time even more difficult. The first change is usually uncontrollable, and can lead to some compromising (and violent) situations.
All Lycans posses the ability to change form between man, animal and a hybrid form. The change is something that needs to be practiced, like an athletic ability or playing an instrument, and those young Lycans often find the change harder to master. During full moons, when Spirits are at their apex, Lycans find the change effortless, and even a neonate can change without difficulty.
Lycans also retain some of their supernatural abilities while in human form, including hightened senses and increased strength. They also undergo subtle changes of their appearance however, including pronounced canines, increased hair growth and changes to their eyes.
They also retain a weakness for Silver, seemingly tied to the first battle between spirits that dragged them down to their current position. Silver weapons are dangerously effective amongst all Lycans, and to use a silver weapon against a fellow shape-shifter is one of the most grievous wrongs in their natural code.
As time has passed, Lycans have become increasingly splintered. Certain fundamental principles are inherent to almost all Lycan groups. First, the recognition of an Alpha, this fierce competition for dominance is what led the Old Spirits to battle in the first place, and has kept Lycans warring ever since. Still, the recognition of this strictly hierarchy has persisted as part of the Natural Order. That is not to say the Alpha cannot be challenged, it is an inherent part of pack life, but such challenges ae not made lightly.
Secondly, Lycans are fiercely loyal to their tribe and their pack. These groups are the equivalent of the community and family, and can even be expanded to include non-Lycan families, and the non-Lycan families of packmates.
Third, Lycans are generally quite territorial, viewing outsiders (Lycan, Human or other) warily. This has increasingly brought groups into conflict with Humans, and their near constant expansion.
Fourth, is maintaing a veil of secrecy. If Humanity was to awake to find Monsters living in its midst, it could touch of a Witch hunt of dangerous proportions, and the Lycan have enough threats as is, with many Spirits still viewing the Lycans as their natural aggressors.