Storytime: Young Awakening
An Educational Guide For Young Members of the Wulf Clan Currently Experiencing Their Awakening
By Rita Wulf
Hello young Wulfs!
So you have reached your Awakening. I will be blunt and say you have a difficult, confusing, yet also exciting time ahead of you. Your body is maturing, and your internal powers and abilities start waking up. Hence the Awakening.
You may have heard your parents or others refer to it as “werewolf puberty”, which is correct, but also doesn’t tell the whole story. Up until now your werewolf side has lain dormant, and you have functioned virtually identical to a child of whichever non-wolf species you are.
Now you have a period of honestly rather drastic changes ahead of you, which comes with new dangers, new abilities, and new responsibilities. But don’t worry, because your family is here to help you through it. Let us start by talking about what is typically the two biggest issues for young people just starting their Awakening.
Hunger And Hunting
First off is the Hunger. You might think I’m being dramatic by capitalising it, but I’m sure you’ve all felt it. One of the first things that happens when you Awaken is that your metabolism explodes. Your body is now craving a lot more food than you are used to, to keep up with all the changes that are occurring inside you. This will calm down a little later on, but your need for food will be permanently increased from now on. You will always want and need more food than most other species, and that’s just the way it is, so please don’t be embarrassed that you will now have to eat more than your non-werewolf friends.
Alongside the Hunger you will probably start feeling the desire to hunt. Not everyone gets this, but most of you will. I know it’s a lot to ask, but please try to resist running out on your own, and instead approach your parents, or grand-parents, or someone else you trust in the family about it. They will help you find safe hunting grounds, or help you resist the urge if that’s what you want. There are ways to curb the instinct, but it’s one that lies deep in our nature, and is unfortunately just part of being a werewolf. The only comfort I can offer is that it gets easier to deal with as you get older.
Sadism and wanton slaughter will not be tolerated, however. We hunt to eat, not to cause undue suffering or for the “thrill of the kill”.
The more you mature, the more you will discover you are able to consume and digest. You will likely get cravings entirely foreign to you at more than one point. Eventually you could be able to get energy from just about anything, but you are probably not there yet. This also means that your body will gradually produce less and less waste as it learns to convert more stuff into energy, so please don’t be alarmed if you notice that certain processes seem to be “drying up”.
Sexual Urges And Acts
The second topic that tends to come up is sexual urges. These are perfectly natural, and nothing to be ashamed about. Again you are free to approach others in the family with questions and such. You do not have to talk to your parents specifically unless you are comfortable with that.
Some of you might not feel any such urges at all, or not feel them very strongly. This does not mean there is anything wrong with you. People are different, and some people do not experience much, if any, sexual urges. There is nothing wrong with being such a person, and I will personally scold anyone who tries to say otherwise. I stress again: It is okay to ask questions about anything you’re unsure of. Anything at all.
When it comes to sexual acts, you are of course free to experiment on your own, and I expect several of you have already started. If you are to do anything with someone else, make sure all parties are okay with it. Anyone is allowed to back out at any time. Consent is not optional. No means no. If any of you ever feel you have been violated in any way, please let your siblings, cousins, parents, grand-parents, an aunt, an uncle, or even myself know. Just please tell someone. We will help you. Even if you are unsure, it is better to talk to someone about it.
Conversely, if any of you should, or attempt to, violate someone else, you will be harshly punished. Your desire to do something does not trump someone else’s desire not to.
Now you are technically of fertile age, but your parents should have suspended your reproductive capability. That is their duty. Put it on hold, as it were. We do not want any of you to have children of your own before we feel you are ready. There are typically three ways this can be undone. 1) You reach full maturity and set out to start your own life. Your parents are then obligated to teach you how to undo the change yourself, and how to re-enable it whenever you want. 2) You feel you are ready before the “normal” time, successfully argue that case to your parents, and they undo it for you. Everyone matures differently, after all. 3) You figure out how to undo it on your own through mastering that part of your shape-shifting, at which point there’s really nothing we can do to stop you anyway.
In the end, whether you ever want children at all is entirely up to you.
Shape-shifting does tend to be the next topic of interest. This will typically not come right away, and even when it does, it takes a lot of practice to get a hang of. I’m sure a lot of you are interested in changing bits of yourselves, be it hair colour, hair length, eye colour, the size of various things, growing extra bits you weren’t born with, or even removing something you don’t feel fits. I’m sorry to say that this is harder than you would think. See, your body has an image, or a memory if you will, of its original configuration. It takes a lot of practice and focus to change details about that image and make them last. If there is anything about your current body you feel isn’t right, and you want it changed right away, you can get help from someone more experienced. They can help you push the change through, so to speak.
An easier starting point is changing into something entirely different. While it takes more energy than smaller changes, it requires less focus, and can even happen accidentally while you are still learning to master your ability. We all start with an affinity for two base forms, and one slightly more advanced hybrid form. You have probably guessed the two base forms: Your “standard” non-wolf form, and the full wolf form. Switching between these two is what comes most natural to us. Just be aware that switching back and forth a lot will make you quite hungry, and your brain chemistry is different in the two forms, so you will quite likely have different thoughts and priorities as a wolf than you are used to as a non-wolf.
The hybrid form is a different matter. This is our combat form, if you will. While you can change to this at will, someone inexperienced might also change against their will if sufficiently angry, scared, stressed, or otherwise strongly emotional. The hybrid form tends to increase aggression and hunger, and can be hard to control, which is why we prefer that you only attempt changing into it in controlled circumstances, until you master it.
If you feel yourself changing against your will, and you can’t stop it, try to get somewhere safe, or find someone in the family fast so they can get you somewhere safe. We also have bracelets that contain an emergency button you can press to summon help wherever you are, which will be handed out freely to anyone who wants them. It will also trigger if you fully change into the hybrid form. We do not require you to wear them by default, but we strongly advise that you do. Your parents might have already offered one to you.
You are also free to use the button if you need urgent help for anything else. Better to press it once too often than once too few.
Practising shifting between your base forms and the hybrid form is how you get used to morphing your body, and will eventually give you more control over smaller details and even allow you to change into other forms entirely.
You have likely noticed that your sense of smell, sight and hearing have all sharpened. These are at their strongest while you’re in wolf form, but even in a non-wolf shape you will naturally be stronger in these departments from now on. This will lead to some confusion for a while, as your vision might have trouble focusing at the right distance, sounds are more likely to surprise you, and strong smells can make you dizzy or unsettled. It’s an adjustment period we have all had to go through, and how long it lasts varies from person to person.
There are certain things you can be aware of to ease the process:
Be wary of bright lights, and be careful whenever you’re anywhere with a lot of view. Your eyes might try to focus on somewhere far away without you wanting to, which can cause confusion and blurriness regarding your immediate surroundings.
Don’t get too close to construction sites, or anywhere there’s likely to be explosions. If one of your hobbies is going to the shooting range, maybe give that a rest until after you’ve adjusted. There’s no guarantee that standard hearing protection devices are strong enough to protect your ears from sudden loud bangs. A blown ear drum will heal, but it’s quite painful when it happens.
While you should be careful around strong smells in general, there are a couple you have to be especially wary of. Blood is the obvious one. Even adult werewolves can have issues if suddenly faced with the stench of blood. This might be due to our Terran origin, but it seems like it’s really only red blood that causes a strong reaction in us. Still, be careful around other types of blood as well. Better safe than sorry.
More importantly, if you sense a stench like toxic rot, like a decaying pile of toxic waste with teeth, that burns your nose, chokes you, and stabs at your brain, then get away from it as quickly as you can. That is silver. A myth that is unfortunately true. It will not kill you as easily as certain books and movies would suggest, but it can still cause significant damage and be fatal if it gets into the right parts of you. It will also hurt like hell, and it causes a painful burning sensation simply if it comes in contact with your skin. You get more resistant to it as you get older, but it’s unlikely you will ever get used to being in its presence.
After a time, you will adjust to the new strength of your senses, and you can get back to living life as you normally would.
General Physical Changes
In addition to all the werewolf-specific changes, you will also be feeling a lot of the general puberty stuff associated with your non-wolf part. This typically involves a lot of growing in all sorts of areas, and hair growth starting to appear everywhere. That sort of applies double to us, and can cause hair to sprout even in species where it typically isn’t an issue. As you get better at shape-shifting and acquire more body control, it is easier to limit hair growth only to areas where you want it. But during your Awakening you will just have to put up with it, I’m afraid.
Various bits of you might not necessarily grow at an equal rate, nor at the same pace as others going through the same as you, so you are likely to feel awkward for quite some time until your body gets done growing. Though for most of you it will be so gradual that you can hopefully adapt as you go along. However, for those of you who have very short Awakening periods, I imagine everything will feel extra weird.
Due to your hyper-metabolism and quick cell renewal, at least infected pores leading to zits and pimples is not an issue. Your body will naturally eradicate any infections and diseases that try to get into or onto you, which also applies to most poisons and toxins. It will take something exceptionally strong and potent to affect you for more than a few moments. This also means that going out drinking with non-werewolf friends will not have the same effect on you as on them.
I will warn you again against silver, which can severely hinder or even disable your cell renewal until it’s removed. Also beware fire. Burns will heal more slowly than other wounds, especially if it’s affected a large area of your body. We believe this is also part of a werewolf’s weaknesses, but healing spells and medicine can still accelerate the healing process.
While your rapid cell renewal means you are effectively immortal, it does not mean you’re invincible. You can still be killed by various means, it’s just that age or disease are likely not going to be the culprits. We actually don’t know what our maximum age is, or if there even is one. As the Matriarch, I am the oldest in the clan, and I am far from dead yet.
You might have also felt that you are growing stronger, getting more stamina, and that your reflexes and speed are improving. Part of being a werewolf is that you are naturally stronger, faster, nimbler, and more enduring than others of your non-wolf species, and more than quite a lot of species in general. This will usually increase even more as you grow older, and can be further enhanced with exercise and training.
The final topic I want to bring up is biting. True to the myth, we werewolves can turn others by biting them. We have a counter-measure, and it should have been applied to all of you already, but it’s not a 100% guarantee. Our condition wants to spread, and even with the counter-measure there is always the risk that if your teeth pierce a non-werewolf’s skin, they could turn if they survive. And turning is somewhat like Awakening, only several magnitudes worse. The pain alone could make that person lose their mind and go feral, and while there is a cure so long as we’re fast enough, they will probably never be the same again. You who have been born into this life are spared a lot of the intensity of becoming a werewolf, because your body is prepared for it.
Turning only happens with my approval, and only in highly controlled circumstances to lessen the trauma on the new blood member of the family.
Biting someone else on purpose will be harshly punished, but we know that accidents can happen, especially if you’re out practising your shape-shifting. You are going through a lot of changes, and sometimes instincts will flare up. Regardless, please get help right away. Trying to cover it up will only make it worse. Most mortal species, and some immortal ones, can be turned. Please consult the relevant addendum for the current list of confirmed results. Please try your best to not bite anything or anyone you’re not going to eat.
What I have covered here is likely not going to be the only things you will experience during your Awakening. I have simply addressed the most frequent topics.
I just wanted to say again: Feel free to ask. About anything. Be it one of the aforementioned topics, or anything else that might be going through your mind. I am sure anyone in the family will be happy to answer your quandaries. We try our best to be understanding, so please have a little patience with us as well. Well, maybe with a few grumpy exceptions, but I’m sure you’re aware of them.