Loup-Garoux and Lycans are two types of wolf shapeshifters in Magimundi. As a players, you may be cast as one or the other, or have an opportunity to become one. Both are fearsome and powerful in wolf form, but spend the majority of their time blending in in human form with other mages and wizards.
Some people adhere to the centuries-old belief that loup-garoux are superior by virtue of their ability to control their shape-shifting, whereas lycans are forced shift during a full-moon. In wolf form, Loup-garoux tend to walk bipedal and retain more human elements of reason, and this bolsters the theory (put forth by loup-garoux) that they are better.
Many Magimundi find this distinction among shapeshifters to be preposterous and a way to gain arbitrary privilege, and they will side with lycans in a quest for equal status. Others agree that lycans are afflicted with a malady that makes them dangerous and deadly, and they will advocate for measures from registration to incarceration to extermination of known werewolves. As a result, lycans tend to hide their condition completely, or to masquerade as a loup-garou.
In addition to gaining size, strength, quicker healing, and heightened senses while shapeshifted, loup-garoux often have additional magical resistances to blades, mind magic, and heat and fire. While they retain most of their mental capacities while transformed, their snout makes verbal communication slow and difficult to understand.
Loup-garoux are able to telepathically communicate with one another, and use this to coordinate attacks on their prey. Extraordinarily talented loup-garoux have been known to be able to cast magic in wolf form. Loup-garoux are also immune to lycanthropy, vampirism, and other shapeshifting curses.
Loup-garoux are granted their powers by a secret initiation ceremony when they join a Lodge. Lodges are powerful organizations, but they are also in competition with each other, trying to recruit notable mages before other Lodges can. This has resulted in younger and younger mages being recruited into Lodges, even ones who are still enrolled in Primaschola.
As a result, there’s been a recent trend of reckless behavior from the youngest Lodge members, using their significant powers irresponsibly. This has given rise to the idea that membership in any Lodge must have an age restriction. Additionally, there are complaints that the decision process to send invitations of Lodge membership is not transparent, and that while Lodges consistently state that membership is decided exclusively on merit, membership roles indicate that the most common factor among inductees is to have family who are Lodge members.
Lycans are humans cursed with an incurable blood disease of lycanthropy – a curse which manifests at night during a full moon as “moon frenzy”. During this time, they will transform into werewolves whether they want to or not. As werewolves, they will go into a rage and seek to hunt whatever animal or person is readily available. They run on all fours, heal rapidly, and are highly resistant to most direct magic. Because of their strength, healing, and sheer rage, it takes a large group of mages to subdue a werewolf. Even loup-garoux are careful to engage werewolves without several other loup-garoux.
Powerful magics are needed to control the full-moon transition, and these ingredients do not come cheaply or easily. Finding out that someone is searching for ingredients for Peter Romulus’s potion could out them as a lycan, so these are a very sensitive dealings. Some mages are advocating for open, inexpensive, or even free distribution of the ingredients needed to make the Romulus Potion, but powerful and profitable patents are in place that keep the supply low and demand high. Prejudice against lycans has made this policy suggestion unpopular in many areas.