Thursday 7 March 2013

J is for Jackalwere

"No, boy. This form was made for killin', not playin' ball."

Absent from Wizards' recent article on shapeshifters was the notorious Jackalwere, a savage monster that preys on humans by masquerading as one of their own kind. Yes, that's right. The Jackalwere is actually the humorous opposite of a werewolf: an animal (in this case a jackal) that transforms into a savage human. They can also assume a halfway house between both forms: the half-human, half-jackal hybrid that Stacey's illustrated above. Somewhat surprisingly, this monster has infiltrated every edition of D&D to date.

In fairness, Jackalweres aren't proper lycanthropes. Great though it would be, they're not created by the infected bite of ravenous human: instead, they're a crafty race of jackals who can shapeshift at will to hunt down their prey (like that's any less silly). Of course, it works best if their prey is human. Isn't it strange there aren't any monsters that only transform into elves, dwarves, or gnomes? I suppose a Werehobbit doesn't have quite the same ring!

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