Wereraptors fuse the senses of a predatory bird and the unique skills and traits of a humanoid, and thus enjoy heightened awareness and nimbleness. Like their animal kin, wereraptors are calculating and insightful, making them particularly adept hunters. Their aesthetic traits vary based on their avian lineage, but wereraptors share a common array of physical properties. Natural wereraptors appear to be normal members of their humanoid race, though they have light hair, thin frames, and sharp facial features. They typically stand taller than other members of their race and have lithe bodies.
Wereraptors derive their traits from their particular avian lineages, with eagles, hawks, falcons, and vultures being among the most common wereraptor derivations.
The different manifestations of these physical characteristics—such as varied plumage and beak shapes—can result in wereraptors with greatly diverse appearances sharing the same environments and regions.
Although wereraptors can integrate with civilized society more easily than other lycanthropes, a few notable features cause them to stand out. All wereraptors are born with prominently colored eyes with irises that fill the majority of the eye. The bright yellows, reds, and blues of wereraptors’ eyes are overlooked among elves or gnomes, but are more difficult to ignore in human cultures. In addition, wereraptor facial structures favor high cheekbones, sharp noses, and pointed chins. These attributes can draw unwanted attention, prompting most wereraptors to prefer a life of seclusion.
Acute senses are prevalent among all wereraptors. Their sight and hearing are augmented to the point of being overwhelming. Natural wereraptors easily adapt to these senses as they grow, but that feat proves far more difficult for afflicted wereraptors. Increased perception does not manifest until the first transformation under a full moon.
After returning to humanoid form, wereraptors find their eyes involuntarily focusing on extremely distant objects, while their ears reverberate with the sound of thundering whispers and booming heartbeats. The sensory burden sometimes becomes too much to bear, causing an afflicted wereraptor to panick for the first days of this experience.
Both afflicted and natural wereraptors eventually learn to use their senses to discern involuntary responses in a person’s body, allowing them a greater degree of insight when interacting with others. To outsiders, this appears to be innate intuition concerning emotions.
In their animal forms, wereraptors appear to be larger, more savage versions of their avian kind. The excruciating process of changing shape leads many wereraptors to remain in their hybrid forms at all times; plus, reverting to their humanoid form causes the almost instantaneous molting of feathers, which can be easily tracked.
Like their avian kin, wereraptors are primarily carnivores. Ready access to food allows most wereraptors to keep their bestial natures in check, though some isolationists surrender to their instincts entirely. Once a wereraptor’s primal urges have taken over, it sets out to find a fitting kill to sate its compulsions, even if this takes days to accomplish. Afflicted wereraptors frequently find their internal struggle overwhelming, bordering on maddening. The sight of carrion can be enticing to wereraptors and is particularly disruptive to those whose avian kin are scavengers.
Habitat and Society
The transformative nature and territorial temperaments of wereraptors leads to the majority being self-imposed outcasts. They often take homes in remote locations favored by their avian kind, usually in forests or mountains, and eke out simple lifestyles.
Wereraptors tend to clash with each other when their hunting grounds overlap. The conflict between the parties can escalate to the point that a duel is declared. These duels are always held within neutral territory and involve a hunt of some kind. A hunt may be for a specific creature, such as a notable predator of the region. Other times, the participants become the prey themselves, with each party attempting to capture or slay the other.
Wereraptors also tend to find integration within established societies somewhat of a challenge.
When interacting with others, wereraptors can come off as abrasive and reclusive. Their heightened sense of awareness causes many wereraptors to habitually watch others for uncomfortable lengths of time. This, in addition to their odd physical features, can quickly create a minor rift between the wereraptors and the rest of many civilized societies, which often leads to the wereraptors being ostracized. These effects are lessened in smaller or more tolerant settlements, where community members just write off the wereraptors as strange.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #115: Trail of the Hunted © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Amber E. Scott, with Crystal Frasier, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Tonya Woldridge, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.