Viv Trafalgar: ::clears her throat:: Welcome to the fourth Aether Salon! We are so pleased to see so many friends here this weekend. For the record, the level of creativity, heroics, and last minute battles with the grid that went into the craft box this time around is mind-blowing. I’d like to thank Bob and Dr. O both several times over. We are in your debt.
We are very grateful to a number of other individuals as well – Miss CeeJay Writer for her support in publicizing this event; Miss Breezy Carver for her supplies of food and drink; and Miss Canolli Capalini of Capalini Fine Furnishings, for her wonderful salon chairs. To Serafina Puchkina, my partner in the Salon, thanks indeed for all you do.
**Please note: In January the Salon will be shifting to the third Sunday of the month, in order to accommodate other library events on the grid.
That January salon, a infamous day indeed, will be Villains! Starring several … questionable members of society whom we know and love, including our own Doctor Obolensky. Not to be missed, unless you are tied to a train track.
Now, as to the rules of the salon. Please hold your questions until the end. There will be plenty of time for all questions and discussion. The craft boxes will go out following the discussion.
Doctor Obolensky: And note that the trains actually turn up now and then.
Viv Trafalgar: Please observe common rules of etiquette, as well as SL niceties – in particular turning off HUDs and scripts that could cause lag and impair others’ enjoyment of the event. Please no biting or skewering of anyone with anything other than words. Duels to be taken outside. And lastly, as Miss Puchkina introduces the speaker for our topic today – “Howl!” – please enjoy the afternoon!
Serafina Puchkina: Thank you Miss Trafalgar. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce someone who is a steady presence around New Babbage. Many of you may be unaware of Dr. Dayafter’s impressive background. Sir Dr. Augustus Dayafter is Chief Medical Officer aboard the S.S. Seraph. He spends many days binding wounds, setting bones, and most importantly, dispensing hangover remedies to Seraph’s crew
However, few realize the vast amount of study and personal field research that Dr. Dayafter has acquired over his lifetime on not only the frontiers of natural science, but of aetheric nature, the paranormal sciences, and the occult.
After becoming infected with lycanthropy himself years ago, Dr. Dayafter has devoted his research skills to a singular understanding of the condition. In this salon, Dr. Dayafter hopes to educate all who attend on the nature of this fascinating, and often misunderstood natural occurence. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Dayafter.
Augustus Dayafter: First, let me start by welcoming you all and thanking you all for coming.
Werewolves… the very name strikes fear into our hearts. But what is it about them that we fear? We, in Babbage know that these creatures of myth and legend are very much real. Just about all of us have seen or heard them at one point or another. Some of us see them every time we look into a mirror. Why are we afraid of them though? Is it the sheer force of nature that these creatures are? Maybe it is just that they represent our own dark desires to be wild and uncivilized. I know that there are some that may say “I am afraid of no such thing…” To that I say bollocks. I know you are afraid, I can smell your fear like perfume on the wind. Even the mightiest of hunters gets butterflies in the stomach before a kill. But, we are not here to discuss the psychology of fear; we are here to discuss werewolves.
I had originally planned on having finished my book on the subject before this salon. I wanted so much to be able to give each of you a fresh copy of my book. I must beg your forgiveness that I have not finished that book as of yet. Every time I thought it was nearing completion, I found myself writing more and more. So, I will ask somebody to make a list of all in attendance. Once the book is finished, I will be more than happy to send you a free copy. Again, I apologize for the delay, but this is my first time writing a complete book on any subject and it seems to have taken off, dragging me behind on a leash, if you will forgive the analogy.
What I’d like to do is give you a bit of information on the topic of Lycanthropy and then open the floor to any questions that you may have. As a point of respect, for you and for myself, I will not be “shifting” into Lycan form in front of you. There are those here that may find the transformation somewhat disgusting or frightening. There are also ladies amongst us and I do not think it appropriate to be naked in front of them, even if it is for science’s sake.
Let me begin by giving you just a bit of information on Lycanthropy. The term itself comes from Ancient Greek, lykánthropos, which breaks down into lýkos, meaning “wolf” and ánthrōpos, which means “human”. This has been linked to the original werewolf legend of King Lycaon who was turned into a wolf in retribution for trying to serve his own son to Zeus in an attempt to disprove the god’s divinity. This also accounts for the less than nice reputation Lycans have for being brutal and savage killers, though I have met plenty of werewolves that are, in fact, quite distinguished and civil individuals; myself included thank you.
There are many legends and myths as to how one becomes a werewolf. Too numerous, in fact, to mention but a few today. One theory suggests that it is as easy as stripping away your clothing and wearing a belt made from a wolf’s skin or by wearing nothing but a wolf’s pelt. Another says that if you drink water from a wolf’s paw print you will become a werewolf. One theory also claims that there are certain magical salves you can rub on your skin to achieve metamorphosis. There are also theories that claim being born on December 24th or that sleeping outside, with the full moon shining on your face, on certain days of the week during the summer will make you a werewolf as well. A very popular theory says that one becomes a werewolf by making a pact with the Devil. I do not put much stock in any of these theories mind you. What I do put stock in is that Lycanthropy is a disease that is transmitted via the bite of an infected subject. Notice I said bite and not a slash from the claws.
Mind you, a slash from claws would hurt, and depending on where you were slashed, might prove fatal. The same is quite true of a bite. As I have mentioned a few times to several people, we Lycans do not have and sort of poison or saliva glands in our claws and therefore could not transmit our condition in that way.
I’d like to take this moment to mention our weaknesses. We are not overly fond of Wolfsbane (Aconitum), it has the tendency to burn us if we touch it and can kill us if we ingest it. Of course, if it is not detoxified, it will kill anybody that ingests it. So, the method of administering Wolfsbane to a suspected werewolf would result in death either way. Silver is also one of our most profound weaknesses. My earrings are platinum before anybody asks. The metal itself will burn our skin if we touch it, which makes using a decent tea service a bit of a pain sometimes. Silver is one of the main reasons I wear gloves most of the time. Of course, using a silver weapon or silver bullets will kill us. Then again, it would kill anybody. A silver weapon does not, however, guarantee or death. You would still have to hit us in a vital area with it, just like you would anybody else. It would still do its normal damage and then give us the added hurt from the burns it would cause.
I have seen silver weapons used to force the reverse of Lycan transformation. In fact, Captain Smythe has on more than one occasion hit me over the head with a silver club. Not only did it give me a nasty burn, but it knocked me right out, which caused me to revert back to human form. Of course that was before I learned to control my beast.
That brings me to my closing point. Once infected with Lycanthropy, once can control their transformation, or as I like to call it, their “Inner Beast”. In my case, I used a very diluted decoction of Wolfsbane coupled in a serum with several other herbs and a bit of silver nitrate. After several years of using this serum and practicing meditation, I am now in control of my beast. In fact, I no longer require the serum. Even in anger or during the full moon, I am my normal, polite self. In fact, when I do transform into my Lycan form, I still retain my human temper and intelligence. Unfortunately, I can only form base words when speaking.
Now, I open the floor to your questions. Do not be afraid to ask what you will. I promise that I will do my best to answer as completely as I can, though I will let you know if your question is too personal to be discussed in a polite and open forum.
Mara Razor: is it true that lycans can’t contract human illness? ((it’s a subject of hot debate in rivet town))
Augustus Dayafter: Somewhat, I was infected with a certain illness recently… due to some sort of “hand meat”
Dreddpiratebob Streeter: what about rabies?
Mara Razor: what about plague?
Augustus Dayafter: No Ma’am, as far as I know it would not affect us at all
Mara Razor: well other animals can die of plague. why not a lycan
Pepys Ponnier: What about dental work?
Doctor Obolensky: Probably the shifting tends to flush out any diseases.
Augustus Dayafter: We have a very well boosted immune system and regenerative powers
Wiggy Undertone: You mentioned silver weapons, what about regular weapons? Do they injure you as they would me?
Augustus Dayafter: Oh yes, they would injure us… quite so, but it would heal in a matter of minutes, possibly seconds
Dreddpiratebob Streeter: would you get werefleas?
Kordite Eizenberg: Would fleas, feasting on Lycan blood, risk their own form of lycanthropy? It would be quite od to see packs of tiny were-bugs during the full moon.
Augustus Dayafter: Kordite, that is an interesting point. I have not thought to do any study on it yet though
Jasper Kiergarten: lycanthopy could spread like plague!
Doctor Obolensky: What about the mental problems most werewolves seem to have?
Myrtil Igaly: Do werewolves react differently if they are in their human shape or werewolf shape, I mean, to silver and wolfsbane for example?
Augustus Dayafter: Not at all Ms. Myrtil. We tend to react the same in either form
Augustus Dayafter: Ah, Doctor… THAT is an interesting question
Myrtil Igaly: But every werewolf? Aren’t there different cases?
Augustus Dayafter: I think most of the mental problems stem from the lack of control over one’s beast. Sorry Myrtil… yes, it would possibly be on a case by case basis
Jimmy Branagh: Oy wouldn’t want ta kill a Lycan if Oy got attacked, cuz faw all Oy know it moight be a friend of moine. What would be a good defense faw … sye, someone of short stature such as meself? SHort of killing one?
Augustus Dayafter: Running away and finding a good place to hide . Or carrying wolfsbane on your person
Jimmy Branagh: Well, Oy meant loike an immit … immghhh … imminent attack?
t1g3y Oh: Dr. Dayafter, what happens when a werewolf has *ahem* children? What are they?
Myrtil Igaly: Hit them on the head with a silver cross
Augustus Dayafter: Ah, unfortunately, in case of such an attack, I cannot think of anything
Kordite Eizenberg: Here’s a physics question. . . when the transformation comes, where does the increased mass come from and thus, go again when over? Is it radiated as heat? Is it sublimated transdimentionally?
Augustus Dayafter: the wolfsbane would keep them away from you though, the smell of that stuff usually keeps us far away from you
Doctor Obolensky: Always stay near friends my boy. Preferably, ones who run slower than you do.
Mara Razor wants to know about the children question
Winter Illios: perhaps a sufficiently diluted spray of wolfsbane might work jimmy… very diluted
Augustus Dayafter: Kordite, I have found that the body temperatutre does rise a LOT during transformation, so I would think it has something to do with that . ((the wolfsbane is usually a matter of RP though… some Lycan players do not adhere to it))
Redgrrl Llewellyn: what happens to the clothes?
Dreddpiratebob Streeter: right, saying as anyone can be a werewolf
Kordite Eizenberg: Somehow, a modest rise in temperature would not seem to account for the change in mass.
Dreddpiratebob Streeter: how can ya tell who is one
Bela Lubezki: (by the way, the german word for wolfesbane is “eisenhut” what re-translates into “iron hat”
Augustus Dayafter: I’m going to try and answer Bob and Red’s questions at once… Bob, there are many legends on how to spot a lycan… none of them are true, you can’t. Red, they get ripped apart and go bye bye
Mara Razor: did gus answer the question of what happens when a lycan has children?
Augustus Dayafter: There is a big chance that Lycanthropy can be transferred to the offspring of a Lycan I have seen cases where a mixed couple has had a child with and without lycanthropy
Dreddpiratebob Streeter: do the kids have different levels? like mostly boy and mostly puppy?
Augustus Dayafter: a pure bred lycan couple will almost assuredly have lycan children
Mara Razor: will the lycan offspring begin having changes right away or does it start at about puberty?
Augustus Dayafter: and Bob, the children do not manifest the signs of lycanthropy right away in most cases
Winter Illios: DR Dayafter, how speaking as a healer, how difficult is it, in your opinion, for a female lycan to carry a child to term?
Mara Razor: *points up to her own question about when the changes start*
Augustus Dayafter: Winter, I must admit that I do not know the answer to that question. I’ve never delivered a human child much less a lycan one
Augustus Dayafter: Mara, usually the change comes around during puberty, you are indeed correct in that assumption
t1g3y Oh Clears throat; Dr. Dayafter, what happens when a werewolf reaches an age of “midlife crisis”?
Viv Trafalgar: The midlife crisis question does bring an interesting angle to things….
Augustus Dayafter: Midlife crisis? did I miss something again?
Viv Trafalgar: Miss Oh, will you ask again?
Mara Razor: are born werewolves better abble to control their beast and changes than bitten ones?
Augustus Dayafter: That is a good question. I’d say that yes, they are. But only because they have the advantage of being raised by Lycans
Viv Trafalgar: I think we’re going to take two more questions, and then I’ll set out the “craft” box
Myrtil Igaly raises her hand, jumping up and down
Ceejay Writer: I have a question if no one else does?
Augustus Dayafter: Yes Myrtil.. and then Ceejay
Ceejay Writer smiles at Myrtil. “Doctor, can you tell me something you find wonderful about being lycan? There must be a benefit, it can’t all be a hindrance.”
Augustus Dayafter: Something wonderful about being a Lycan…
Jimmy Branagh: You can see better at noight Oy bet.
t1g3y Oh: I think being a werewolf would be murder on a lady’s wardrobe
Augustus Dayafter: That I can Jimmy
Viv Trafalgar: Last question is Myrtils
Mara Razor: if you know when you’re gonna change, you just take you clothes off and fold ’em up neatly
Myrtil Igaly: Still about the differences between human and werewolf state, when one is in his werewolf state, he acts like a beast if he can’t control his transformation, you said, so he can barely speak and is less intelligent than when in his human state, true? He could be lured in a trap like an animal would , wouldn’t he?
Augustus Dayafter: Oh, yes… that is very true Myrtil
Cutea Benelli: i suspect all you need is a cage and some blood pudding
Dreddpiratebob Streeter: or a really good stick
Augustus Dayafter smiles, “we prefer blood sausages”
Viv Trafalgar: Doctor Dayafter! Thank you for this marvelous education. Do you wish to make any closing remarks? Other than that you’ll be at the pub?
Augustus Dayafter: I would like to mention one other thing right quick
Viv Trafalgar: for I have a few announcements before people leave
Augustus Dayafter: I am available to speak with folks most nights out of the week, but I will not be available this evening, All you have to do is call on me
Viv Trafalgar: Thank you very much Dr. Dayafter! Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for being a superb audience
Augustus Dayafter: thank you so much for your attendance folks
Viv Trafalgar: and a terrific set of questions . I am so proud to say that the speakers fund will be delivered to Dr. Dayafter immediately. The craft boxes are out. There is one for the urchins (no wine) and one for the rest of us. And please do join the salon group if you haven’t. There are cards outside the walls. I’ll put out a few more boxes, but these are well worth taking and trying out at your earliest convenience. Again, with many thanks to Bob and Dr. O .
Augustus Dayafter: Yes, thanks to both of you
Viv Trafalgar: the moon is rather… full tonight also
Augustus Dayafter: and to all of you wonderful folks. If anybody cares to read of my more uncontrolled times, Captain Mael has a journal http://maelsmindforge.blogspot.com/ He is quite an intelligent man, despite his appearance.