Shadowhunter's Codex (Page 9)

Shadowhunter’s Codex(9)
Author: Cassandra Clare

New werewolves are created when a human is bitten by an existing werewolf. Approximately half the time a werewolf bite will cause lycanthropy in the victim. Many safeguards against bites are now in place, and much organizational work has been done by the Nephilim and by werewolves themselves (see the sidebar on the Praetor Lupus) to prevent unexpected attacks, which means that rogue werewolf bites are happily a rare occurrence today.

The job of the newmade werewolf, his new responsibility, is to gain control of his transformation, or “Change.” Control in this area is more important than any other adjustment he makes to his new life. Werewolves can in fact live peaceful and calm lives among mundanes, more so than other Downworlders, with proper training and self-possession. By the regulation of the Praetor Lupus, any werewolf who cannot consciously control his or her Changing is deemed a rogue, whatever his or her other behavior. This regulation is intended to motivate werewolves to learn to control their Change—in order to get the Praetor off their backs; an accidental attack is a disaster for the Praetor and the werewolf community, and they require strong rules to prevent such a thing.

This is particularly important because newly made werewolves do not normally transition gently into their new lives. Along with the lycanthropic response often comes uncontrolled aggression and rage, suicidal anger, and depression. This raft of emotions is both terrible and potentially dangerous in the hands of a newly strengthened and powered Downworlder who no longer knows his own strength. Thus, newly made werewolves must be treated with caution. The Praetor Lupus has taken responsibility for self-policing the Downworlder community of both fledgling vampires (see “Vampires,”) and newmade werewolves, and can be of assistance in particularly difficult cases.

By all reports the first Change is the worst because it is a new experience, but let us be clear that the lyncanthropic Change is always a trauma. The stretching and reshaping of muscles and bones is very painful, especially the realignment of the spine. Human teeth are pushed out of the way by wolf fangs painfully tearing from the gums. This and the brain chemistry changes cause most werewolves to go into a fugue during their first Change, and they lose all memory of what they have done as wolves. This is when lycanthropes are at their most dangerous—when they do not yet have control of their Change and cannot yet retain their human mind when Changed.

Worse, most newmade lycanthropes do not yet have a pack affiliation and thus don’t have access to information that would help them understand their Change. This is why we recommend mercy to new werewolves even though rogue Downworlders are technically not protected by the Accords. Newmade werewolves are literally not in control of their own faculties. The Praetor Lupus helps enormously in finding and rehabilitating these rogues, and a captured rogue werewolf should usually be brought to a local Praetor office or representative rather than to the nearest pack.

The Praetor has been very successful in their mission and has made werewolves the model Downworlders of self-policing; in most parts of the world, it’s rare that Shadowhunters need to be called in to deal with a rogue werewolf, a massive change since the creation of the Praetor. However, even the most controlled werewolf will still be forced into a Change by the full moon, if only on the exact night of the fullest moon. There is, therefore, no such thing as a perfectly safe werewolf.

Moreover, there is no such thing as a safe werewolf pack. There is an inherent violence at the center of traditional werewolf organization: A pack leader can be challenged to mortal combat by any member of the pack, at any time, for leadership of the pack. Apart from making the entire social structure of werewolves centered around ritual killing (an unfortunately common thread in Downworlder cultures), this also means that the werewolf population is constantly committing what mundane society would label as murder in the first degree, and such behavior may attract the attention of mundane law enforcement. Here we may find ourselves needed to perform some glamours and protections to keep the Downworlder and mundane populations away from each other.

An experienced werewolf, one in whom the Change is a well-known companion rather than an unwanted invader, can often learn more advanced shape-shifting—for instance, Changing only one hand into a wolf’s paw to cut something with its claws.

Traditionally werewolves and vampires maintain an intense hatred for one another, which is believed to be inherent in their respective demonic infections, but there are places in the world where the two groups get along and are even allies, such as Prague.

Werewolves are mortal and will age and die like any other humans. They are also able to bear children, to whom they do not pass on lycanthropy. They can have offspring with a Shadowhunter as the other parent, and since Shadowhunter blood always breeds true, the child of a werewolf and a Shadowhunter, however rare, will be a Shadowhunter.

WEAKNESSES

In addition to their supernatural strength, grace, and reflexes, werewolves have the same unnaturally accelerated healing abilities as most other Downworlders. They cannot regenerate—if you cut the arm off a werewolf, he will not grow back a new arm—but they can recover from most mundane wounds. The only ways to permanently wound or kill a werewolf are either with the angelic fire of the seraph blade or, more famously, with pure silver. Silver is associated with the moon, and wounds made with silver weapons will cause werewolves not only permanent damage but also great pain. Any Institute will be found to have a cache of silver weapons in place for just this reason.

Showed this section to Luke, and he yelled and paced around for half an hour.

I took notes.

It’s your diligence as a student that astounds me, really. Also, definitely get Simon a satin cape.

You know he wants one.

* * *

THE PRAETOR LUPUS

The Praetor Lupus is the first and largest self-policing organization of the Downworlders. It has grown from a tiny force begun in London in the late nineteenth century to a worldwide organization. The name suggests an old, even ancient, organization, but in fact the Praetor Lupus—“Wolf Guard”—was founded only 150 years ago, and its name is not ancient, but rather reflects the Victorian vogue for all things classical. The founder, Woolsey Scott, was a wealthy werewolf of London and began the Praetor in response to his brother’s dying wishes. The self-declared mission of the Praetor is to track down “orphaned” Downworlders—newly made werewolves, fledgling vampires, and warlocks who have no knowledge of their people—and to help them take control of their powers and become connected with a clan or pack or mentor warlock.

• Apparently overstates the danger of single rogue werewolves. Codex acts like they are like shark in Jaws, just efficient killing machines. Most rogue werewolves in cities are shot by cops; most rogue werewolves in woods/on farms starve, die in fights with bears, etc.

• Praetor originally about saving werewolves from being killed by their condition, not saving mundanes from effects of werewolves.

• The “model Downworlder” status that Codex condescendingly suggests is actually really offensive.

• L. will show them where they can put their model Downworlder status.

• This is why the Clave blah, blah, blah Council blah, blah. In my day blah, blah, blah uphill both ways in the snow.

• Possible Hanukkah gifts for Simon: new Tezuka box set? silly winter hat? black satin cape? blood?

The Clave and the Praetor have an uneasy relationship, despite their many goals in common. The Praetor prefers to operate without supervision and is very secretive about their methods and their membership; this secrecy makes the Clave uneasy, since Shadowhunters are meant to be the chief protectors of Downworld and we believe in openness and disclosure whenever possible. The Praetor argues, for their part, that their goal is to save rogue Downworlders before they have run afoul of Covenant Law, and that close oversight by the Clave would damage their ability to protect their charges. Despite the Accords, over the years the Praetor has become more secretive as it has grown.

The symbol of the Praetor Lupus is easily recognized, and is worn with much pride by its members. The symbol is an imprint of a wolf’s paw adorned with the slogan Beati Bellicosi, “Blessed Are the Warriors.”

Showed this page to Luke. He turned purplish and told me to show it to Jordan. Notes from talking to Jordan: Praetor not actually that secretive. Secretive from Clave specifically. What Clave calls secrecy, Praetor calls not telling Clave every single thing about themselves and their operations. Claim of Clave’s love of openness obviously some kind of joke. Don’t need werewolves to teach me that.

VAMPIRES

DO NOT SKIP. Simon is not a textbook-level source on vampires!

DO NOT SKIP.

You must only stroll, mosey, or hop.

Vampires are victims of another demonic infection, which turns them into drinkers of blood. They possess retractable razorlike fangs that are deployed when their bloodlust is roused. These they sink into a surface vein of their victim, and then the vampire consumes that victim’s blood to his or her satisfaction. The act of drinking blood brings a rush of energy and vitality to the vampire. Experienced vampires can resist this rush and cease their drinking in order to leave their victims alive and able to recover, but new vampires may have trouble controlling their urge to drink their victims to the point of death. Worse, after the initial sting of a vampire bite, the poison contained within vampire saliva dulls the victim’s pain and may make the experience pleasurable for the victim. The poison acts as a muscle relaxant and a euphoric, and even a strong Shadowhunter will respond to its effects. A well-Marked Shadowhunter can, of course, retain her consciousness much longer than a mundane, but there is still a heavy risk associated with being bitten.

Unlike werewolves, vampires are considered to be “undead”; that is, their bodies are no longer alive in the sense that ours are. Their human souls reside in animated corpses, kept intact and animate by the demon disease. They cannot bear children and can create new vampires only by their infecting bite.

IF YOU MEET A VAMPIRE

Do not look the vampire directly in the eyes. Do not expose your neck or the insides of your wrists to the vampire. Do not go with a vampire you don’t know to a second location strange to you. Do not drink from a goblet given to you by the vampire, no matter how much they insist it is safe. There is no need to be deferential, but they do not take insults lightly. Do not mock the vampire’s hair or clothes. They place an enormous weight on whether they are being treated respectfully, and while under the Law they may not harm us, it is usually wise to avoid earning the enmity of a vampire.

Do not taunt the vampire. Do not tell him his T-shirt is stupid.

Do not call him “the Vampman” or “Dr. Teeth” or anything like that.

Aw, Fangs over there makes a good point.

WHERE DO VAMPIRES COME FROM?

When two vampires love each other very much . . .

Vampirism is the other great result of demon infection in humans, and vampires have a well-established pedigree, as befits a people obsessed with ritual and protocol. Unlike in the case of lycanthropy, we know exactly the who, the when, and the where of the first vampires. They were created in a public ceremony for which the Nephilim have multiple written accounts, from those who claim to have been present. The Greater Demon Hecate, sometimes (and confusingly) called “the Mother of Witches,” was summoned in a massive blood-based sacrifice held in 1444 at the Court of Wallachia, in what is now Romania. The then-ruler of Wallachia, Vlad III, had a great circle of prisoners of war impaled on tall wooden spikes, and in exchange for this impressive sacrifice Hecate transformed Vlad and the large majority of his court into the first vampires. Vampire origin, surprisingly metal.

Vampirism did not spread seriously as a disease until a few years later, when Vlad led a series of raids into neighboring Transylvania. There he and his men appear to have gorged themselves on their enemies and spread vampirism through the entire region. The city of Cluj became the site of the first vampire clan officially recognized by the Clave, and Transylvania took over as the epicenter of the vampire epidemic. For whatever reason, Vlad and his men did not create any significant number of vampires in their own home area, and vampire activity in Wallachia diminished to near silence after Vlad’s death.

In 1444 in Wallachia/The vampires all came forth to rock ya, ha

Just no.

In a stroke of historiographical luck, the Cluj Institute in the late fifteenth century was home to a Shadowhunter named Simion. We know almost nothing about him, not even his family name—he only ever refers to himself as “Simion the Scribe”—but he provided a clear and detailed picture of the original spread of the vampire plague. He describes what can only be called an all-out war between the Nephilim and the earliest vampire clans, with mundanes taken from their beds and left drained in the street, vampires chained to the ground in village squares and left to burn alive in the sun, and other such horrors. Shadowhunters, especially those already experienced at hunting Downworlders, traveled to Transylvania for the sole purpose of vampire slaying; new vampires continued to appear just as fast as old ones could be killed. Within months the Cluj Institute, formerly one of the smallest and least important Institutes in Europe, had become the epicenter for the largest demonic epidemic the mundane world had ever seen. Chaos arose, as neither Nephilim nor vampires yet understood how new vampires were made or how they could be reliably killed. I am actually not finding this section to be the lighthearted fun I had hoped.

Reading about people like you being killed will do that.

The war ended with no clear winner. Knowledge of the vampiric disease grew, vampirism spread to other parts of Europe, and Shadowhunters returned home to sign treaties with local vampire clans and keep the peace in their own territories. Transylvania remained a devastated battleground for hundreds of years, where mortality rates for both vampires and Shadowhunters remained the highest in the world, and where the authority of the Clave was tenuous at best. Only with the unofficial end of the Schism in the first half of the eighteenth century did the battle die down, and today the Cluj Institute is, while more vampire-focused than most other Institutes, no busier or more dangerous than any other, and Shadowhunters visit not to wage war but to see the Muzeul de Vampiri, where magically animated wax figures re-create the carnage of five hundred years ago.