Medical and Biological observations of the Beasts of Fletchersburg
by Silas Sorano
Chapter One: The Nature of the Beast.
What is it that defines a mortal man? What is it that separates us from mere animals? It is a question that has been posed several times in study with one very clear, and often irrefutable, answer; Morality. Yet here, in this rather decrepit backwater, we see what occurs when that primal part of ourselves is unleashed. From my observations, I have seen that the town of Fletchersburg was once rather vibrant, seemingly a strong economy, well-funded military and a decent population, very difficult to bring down. Yet now, it is a ghost town by day, a barren husk that has been carved clean by a multitude of mouths and claws. Though one of a litany of questions, the origins and subsequent events of what I have christened as the Beastial Blood Virus or Therianthropy, remain a mystery to myself and my compatriots.
However, the nature of these beasts is not a mystery, for such violence and bloodshed has been well documented in the rubble we have encountered. Seemingly, however, the beasts are categorised in a multitude of types and powers. These powers can vary from as simple as evolving strength to dark sight and shapeshifting. Truly the different variations leave much to be discovered and with a lack of both test subjects and viable samples of the isolated virus, my chances of understanding more remain slim for the moment. Despite this, there has been at least one common factor that ties each of the types together. Much like hounds, wolves and other mammals of such ilk, the Therians are somewhat civilised to a degree. A degenerative form of society, dominated by a single entity, the Alpha. In many ways, this resembles the earliest forms of civilisation, better known as the big man society to those in the academic community back in Amyria. Early interactions with the Alphas suggest that they are by all means the strongest of their respective packs, capable of defeating any within the pack to maintain dominance over the rest. Furthermore this likely ties back to food, the Alphas maintaining a tight grip of control on a dwindling food supply in Fletchersburg and offering it out to those who earn its favour, though this is merely speculation on my part. The alphas too seem to have a sense of honour, though this may be down to the human element that resides within each of them. In the occasions where we have dealt with them directly, the Alphas often seek the strongest of our party challenging them to a pseudo-duel. This human element raises the most questions and likely feeds into the growing hypothesis I have come to create. For I have come to believe that the Beastial Blood Virus requires a willing mortal host, the Virus passing via the blood of an Alpha or its bite. However, my only evidence lies in two particular cases, the ritual observed in the guardhouse and the Case of Subject one, the Fae-Lupus*. If said theory holds significant water it would imply that the Virus is capable of unlocking the animalistic tendencies in all mortals and may somewhat explain the variations in type via a racial means.
The Symptoms of the Beastial Blood Virus, are difficult to pinpoint, the writer only having encountered the process in one case. Once the subject is infected via blood infection or ritual, the symptoms set in quickly beginning with a strong fever and consistent headaches. Though the symptoms between the first stage and eventual transformation are unknown at the time of writing, one must assume that the onset of night most likely plays into the deterioration of the condition of the subject.
Within the pages of this text, I will document my findings on the different forms of Therianthropes, including their mannerisms, abilities, nature and possible weakness for use after the conclusion of our work here in the city.
*For the safety of those involved the name of the said subject will remain obscured.