Scholars call it the were-sickness or the Curse of the Full Moon - but whether it is a disease or a curse is still unclear. Some claim it is similar to a contagious malady; others take the view that it is a curse in the classical magical sense. But about one question, the sages are in agreement: the taint is caused by a bite or a scratch of a were-creature. Were-creatures are humans who transform into savage beasts, mainly at times of the full moon. These humans assume the forms of wolves, for example, and may look like common wolves or like a cross between wolf and man. As long as the moon is not full, they seem to be normal humans, and act in a completely ordinary way. But in the light of the full moon, they show their true face. At an advanced stage however, the transformation may take place at other times as well. There are also other forms that afflicted humans assume: bears, boars, foxes, badgers or weasels, depending on an area's wildlife. There are even tales that in other parts of this world, humans assume the forms of local carnivores there, such as lions, tigers, panthers or even crocodiles. Besides humans, elves, dwarves and orcs can also be affected by the were-transformation. So, in short, the following traits are typical of the were-transformation:
1. The transformation into a wild, at least partly carnivorous, animal. The person assumes either a common animal's form or appears as a cross between animal and man.
2. The transformation is caused by a were-creature's bite or scratch.
3. The first transformation takes place at the time of the full moon. During the transformation, the affected have no control over themselves and turn into ferocious beasts. In this stage, they attack even their own relatives, though no other were-creatures. However, espacially strong-willed individuals may resist this gruesome urge at first.
4. If persons are affected by the sickness or curse for a longer time, they are able to transform themselves beyond the times of the full moon.
5. In the early stage, the were-transformation is curable and reversible by a very rare plant, the purple nightshade. It is said that it blossoms only at full moon in subterranean tunnels where the moon rays are falling through fissures in the surface.
6. To weaken a powerful were-creature, silvered traps are very useful. Liquid silver is needed to create such a trap, but this rare metal may only be found underground and at full moon.
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