Fool Moon is the second book in the Dresden Files series written by author Jim Butcher. This novel is unique in the fact that it one of the few if not the only novel to include several types of werewolves or lycanthropes in one storyline.
Fool Moon breedsEdit
Multiple breeds of shapeshifters are encountered in Fool Moon. The one thing all have in common is that none of them, so far, demonstrate the classic contagious bite as seen in books and films and cannot infect surviving victims with their condition.
In "Fool Moon" there are a group of would be supernatural vigilanties called "The Alpha's". The group consists of a number of college students led by Billy Borden. The Alpha's patrol their neighborhood in wolf form, vigilantly keeping out vampires and other supernatural creatures. The Alpha's are what are known as "classic" werewolves. The "classic" werewolf is someone who uses magic to transform themselves into a wolf. This is not necessarily a wizard or well-trained practitioner of magic, since the transformation spell will work for anyone who learns it. The physical body is transformed, but the mind remains the same. This can be a disadvantage in the beginning because, although the person gains all the senses of a wolf, they do not have the life experience of using them. The werewolf must learn to use smell and hearing as their primary sensory input rather than sight, and learn to move and react to their environment as a four-legged creature. All this takes time, but the werewolf can eventually learn to do well in their new form. The wolf form has all the natural capabilities of an ordinary wolf; silver is not needed to kill them and they do not heal wounds any more quickly than normal wolves. This type of werewolf can reassume its human form whenever it wishes.
It's also learned in the novel that the transformation spell can also be cast on another against their will. This forces someone to assume the form of a wolf (or any animal the caster chooses). This is a violation of the Second Law of Magic, because the mind of the transformed person is eventually lost and all that is left is the mind of a wolf. If the spell is reversed in time, the victim will recover; however, once lost, the personality cannot be restored and the person is, in a sense, dead.
Agent Denton Edit
In the novel FBI Agent Denton and his team; Agents Benn, Harris and Wilson appear under the guise of investigating a series of unusual murders that appear to be animal attacks. In reality it is Denton and his team who are in fact doing the killings, they are what is known as hexenwolves. A hexenwolf uses a talisman imbued with powerful magic to transform itself into a huge wolf, much larger and more powerful than one found in nature. The hexenwolf possesses enhanced speed, strength, and ferocity. The only part of the hexenwolf that is unaffected by the transformation are the eyes, which remain the same color as their human form. The talisman itself may take many forms, including a ring or amulet, but most commonly appears as a belt made from a wolf pelt. The talisman engenders the transformation by providing an anchor for a spirit of bestial rage, and is activated with an incantation by the wearer. This spirit protects the human personality while in wolf form. However, the hexenwolf loses all human inhibitions and runs more on primal instincts and desires. The hexenwolf can be wounded or killed by normal weapons and can be forced to transform back into human form if someone manages to remove their talisman. A hexenwolf may reassume human form at will, but the power that the talisman gives the user is addictive -- in many cases, this addiction begins to affect the user's mind and personality in human form, much like a drug addict needing a fix. The most seriously afflicted lose all impulse control, becoming violent and sociopathic. This becomes the case with Denton and his team who originally intended to use the talismans to eliminate mob boss Johnny Marcone who they felt had escaped the justice system far too many times. Denton and his team eventually became slaves to the talismans and began to kill innocent people as well a criminals with no remorse.
The Streetwolves are a biker gang that FBI Agent Denton fingers as possible suspects in the killings. He does this with the hope that Harry Dresden will be killed by them during the course of his investigation, which he almost is. A lycanthrope is someone who is a natural channel or medium for a spirit of rage. The lycanthrope is born with this ability; it does not allow them to physically change into a wolf, but grants them a beast-like strength and enhanced senses. When this spirit takes over, the lycanthrope becomes stronger, more aggressive, and more resistant to pain, injury and sickness. They heal wounds rapidly and tend to congregate in groups much like packs with an Alpha leader. Although harder to hurt or kill than an ordinary person, lycanthropes can be killed with ordinary weapons. In Fool Moon, Bob explains that the Norse berserkers were lycanthropes. The Streetwolves members are later decimated by a combined attack of Johnny Marcone and his men as well as the hexenwolves.
Harley MacFinn is a millionaire environmentalist with an unfortunate inheritance. One of his ancestors in ancient Ireland was cursed by St. Patrick to become a Loup-garou. A curse which St. Patrick extended to all his ancestors descendants. A Loup-garou is the closest to the monsters of legend. These werewolves have been intentionally cursed by someone, usually a very powerful Sorcerer, Demon Lord, Saint, or one of the Faerie Queens to be possessed by a wolf like demonic entity at every full moon. They become near-mindless killing machines with supernatural speed, strength and ferocity. They recover from injury almost instantly, are immune to poisons as well as any kind of sorcery that attacks the brain. They can only be killed by a weapon made from silver which must be inherited -- not just purchased. The curse of the loup-garou can be hereditary if the one who placed the curse specified it as such which is the case here. Usually the person afflicted with the curse is aware of their condition and will have enough sense to isolate or shield themselves from society to prevent the horrible damage they would inflict on the rest of the people with the next full moon. Harley MacFinn had actually taken such precautions in the form of three interlocking mystical circles which kept him magically caged during the full moon. However, Agent Denton's team intentionally destroyed MacFinn's circles in order to draw suspicion away from their killings and place the blame on him. In the end, MacFinn although the most monstrous form of werewolf, was also the most blameless and innocent of all the characters in the novel.
Little has been revealed about other types of shape shifters in the Dresden universe, but one other type has made an appearance. Tera West, the fiancée of Harley MacFinn, was seen as a supernatural being, most likely from the NeverNever (the dimension where supernatural beings dwell), as when she looked into Harry's eyes there was no soulgaze (a sort of exchanging of information and life experiences). She was able to change form into that of a wolf at will and seemed to move much more gracefully than any other of the types of werewolf. At the end of the novel, she transformed into a wolf and joined a pack, causing Harry to surmise that she was, in fact, actually a wolf that was able to take on the form of a human.