I am obsessed with vampires, but werewolves are amazing too. They are one of my lover’s favorite mythical beasts, and I wanted to talk about them today! Humanoid-animal-creatures are classic for wolves, but there are other forms that they can take that would be super interesting.
Ironically, the furry community, who have so many good ideas, are excellent to consider character-design-wise for this thought project, if you look at the more deadly designs. They have a ‘bad’ reputation among non-furries, but have super neat character designs, art, and lore. As an outsider non-furry myself, I am always intrigued by this.
Therefore, I wanted to talk about other types of animals that would work as anthros/wereanimals, but would not be wolves, just for a different sort of spice. I assume they would still shapeshift at the moon, or have some control over when they shift. This, of course, depends on the lore itself! You could have a decent amount of variation in it, which leads to a lot of fun. I myself am writing a werebear short story, however that’s not too uncommon either!
Without further ado, here are some ideas for different ‘were’ animals!
I was originally going to talk about a were-komodo-dragon, but couldn’t find an exact image for that, so settled with werelizard. Come on, though, this looks so interesting! We all know of bipedal lizards (unless you live under a rock) from dinosaurs, so seeing one like this wouldn’t be too unusual. Granted, none of them had a humanoid build, which a werelizard would have.
What are some powers you could give a werelizard? Well, fire-breathing is the most obvious choice. Another obvious choice would have to be venom in the claws or teeth, which could lead to some really deadly engagements. Limb regeneration is a tantalizing option as well, which makes sense. Depending on the type of lizard you have, camouflage works (not chameleons, which change based on mood, but more like scale patterning.)
The interesting thing to consider is whether you would go from an endothermic (human) to ectothermic (lizard) creature, and the implications to your biology. You would have issues in your body on a really cold night and be a lot slower. This could be negated simply by saying that you’re an endothermic lizard, taking after your human counterpart. Or, you could have it remain ectothermic like lizards in nature, but your human counterpart suffers the consequences of not being able to maintain body heat so much and needs to stick to warmer environments.
Your werelizard would be large, and while there are no technical naturally-occurring endothermic lizards, some larger crocodilians can produce some of their own body heat (not as much as true endotherms), and some have shakes to make heat (which would cost a lot of energy).
In the end? This is a fantasy world. So having a large endothermic lizard is the least unrealistic thing you’ll run into with this concept.
(4) Shark (yes really)
I know that DC comics has King Shark, which is where I got the idea in the first place. Personally, I think the design above looks super neat, and could definitely apply to the idea of a wereshark. Our shark would be amphibious, so that they would be able to do well in land and water. Given this would be fantasy, they would have gills and lungs so they could work on both. I suppose the weresharks would be the most comfortable by the shorelines in that case.
They would likely have webbed feet and hands (larger sizes for both than normal humans) so that they could swim in the absence of a tail. I’m not sure a wereshark could have a full on shark tail, given how large it is and how it anatomically might be really difficult, but that is something to consider when you are designing them.
As for powers, these sharks could be enhanced when wet, which includes sea water or rain. You would need to consider the conditions being met for this, including water salinity, and if that would even apply. All water might be fine, given your shark might not be affected by salinity since they are also a land biped. Other powers might include close-range weather manipulation, causing unnatural waves in any nearby body of water, and of course hypersensitivity to the scent of blood.
For werelizards, I discussed endotherms versus ectotherms, but there are sharks that can somewhat raise their temperature. You might want to do the research on the type of shark your beast can partially/fully turn into. Like I said in the last number, though, the body heat regulation might just not be a problem in your worldbuilding, and you can write it off as their ‘humanoid’ part, but bear in mind they will need a LOT of meat to sustain. Especially if they frequent cold water.
You usually don’t think of ferrets with regard to much beyond pets, but look at how cool this image is! I saw it and was amazed, so wanted to mention how cool a wereferret would be. Normally we see very bulky animals as contenders for lycanthrope, but I think the lean, speedy ones would be just as terrifying. I doubt it would be easy to outrun this one, and I bet a wereferret would be rather intelligent and hard to outwit as well.
In a world of ‘tanks’, the wereferret would be the ‘dps’. Of all on this list, I believe it would be the fastest, able to get out of rough situations with the most ease, and have a significant amount of cunning. Unlike the last two on this list, we would not need to worry about ectothermy versus endothermy, and how that could affect the body when switching one way or another.
Just by looking at the design here, I feel the wereferret would fall into two categories. A frontliner, monk-like as we see above, with a lot of agility, or a caster of various magics. I can imagine a wereferret being an expert in whatever magical arts you have built for your world, to the point of being highly dangerous. Also, due to their cunning, I feel they might be less prone to beserking than their other beastly counterparts.
Seeing these creatures, and other weasels in general, represented more in fantasy would be very neat. I am guilty of relying on foxes, wolves, and bats as symbolisms or shifts, so looking more into creatures like this would be a ton of fun. You could make heads turn and catch a lot of attention if you build a creature like this.
I stumbled upon this fellow on my search and had to include him. The idea of a wereboar has never crossed my mind before now, but look at how utterly fierce he looks. Boars are already incredibly dangerous in real life, and eat a varied diet, which includes meat. These would not be the most graceful of werecreatures, given their hooves, but they are nothing to laugh at.
Imagine how destroyed you would be if a wereboar tried running you down and goring you with those tusks… then opening their jaws to reveal razor-sharp teeth. Putting all of the aggression of the boar into a wereboar like this is a recipe for a very dangerous, intriguing monster. Just don’t mention bacon in front of a wereboar if you’d like to keep your bacon inside. (I mean, it’s made out of the stomach lining of a pig, so...)
In terms of powers, I can imagine some sort of fire attributed to the wereboar. That might be the influence of the picture above, however. These fellas would be connected to nature to a deep degree, I feel, what with how boars rush about in nature. This would, of course, apply to any wereanimal, but boars particularly have such a wide range and diet that it fits them. Perhaps something to do with movement of rocks as well, or digging far more easily than all the others.
The wereboar would have no problems digging your grave, after all. Once they strip you of every last bit of flesh, of course…
How exactly did I come up with this? I didn’t. I asked my lover: “Hey, I need an unusual wereanimal for–” and I didn’t even get to finish my sentence. He said ‘beaver’ right away, and I was slightly skeptical at first. Then, however, he found me this picture, and I have to admit I was convinced.
I mean, look at that monster. I’m not sure what crossed my mind at the idea of a werebeaver, but it definitely wasn’t that. Beavers have such powerful teeth that I’m sure a chomp or two would rip through bone, especially considering your werebeaver might have enhanced teeth and claws. I imagine, of all the wereanimals, the beaver would have among the most powerful. Also, imagine utilizing that tail as a weapon. Especially if the werebeaver could somehow harden it.
In terms of powers, like the wereboar, this one would have a connection to nature and plants, I imagine. They definitely would have the ability to knock down trees. I can even imagine one chomping down a small tree, just to rip it up and utilize it as a club. The werebeaver might have some control over freshwater as well, given the whole dam thing. A more reasonable werebeaver could use their strength to, perhaps, build houses in the woods. Depends on how aggressive they are.
Judging by the picture above… many would be super aggressive. I didn’t take the idea as seriously at first, but I sure as hell do now.
There you have it! I hope this article was informative and gave you some ideas. If you like worldbuilding, you might want to check out the lore I have for my lycan on this website. I twist them in a different way as well.
Also, if you’re interested in a magical college, check out my new book! It’s got a ton of worldbuilding, magic, and action.