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Lycanthropy (also known as Sanies Lupinus in Morrowind) is a disease that causes the victim to transform into a were-creature and is generally contracted by being bitten by a pre-existing one. All races can contract Lycanthropy; however, Argonians and Bosmer are somewhat resistant because of their racial resistance to disease.
Lycanthropy itself was created by Hircine, who now serves as the guardian of the people infected with Lycanthropy. This disease gives the infected a bloodlust, meaning they must kill every time they transform. It is believed that a cure for this disease exists in the Glenpoint foothills of High Rock.
A common misconception is that the form a person takes upon contracting Lycanthropy varies according to their species. Although a particular type of Lycanthropy is more common in a certain province, there is no evidence to suggest the type is solely based on the race of the afflicted.
- Werewolves are the most common form among men, mer and extremely rarely, beastfolk. They can be found in all areas of Tamriel, particularly Skyrim.
- Werebats sometimes serve as guardians to vampire clans and are commonly found in Valenwood.
- Werebears can be found in Solstheim and also in Skyrim, however they make no appearances in the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
- Wereboars are located almost exclusively in High Rock.
- Werevultures are reportedly rare in Valenwood.
- Werelions can be found in the jungles of Elsweyr.
- Werecrocodile are known to lurk in isolated swamps of Black Marsh.
- Weresharks are said to roam the seas, according to M'aiq the Liar, but little is known about them.
These certain types of lycanthropy can be found mainly in their originating homelands, however partial amounts of the creatures can be seen in neighboring provinces.
- Though the existence of weresharks have been recorded within the lore of Tamriel, it is unknown how and who would turn into a wereshark. Furthermore, it is unclear how one would actually manage to contract this strain of lycanthropy in the first place, as sharks are water-borne, and most, if not all, humanoid races of Tamriel roams the land.
- The term "Lycanthropy" is incorrectly used to refer to any sort of were-creature instead of solely werewolves. Lycanthrope comes from the Greek "lykos" meaning wolf and "ànthrōpos" meaning human. The correct term is therianthropy. This semantic error is acknowledged and explained in the book On Lycanthropy:
- The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall
- The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- The Elder Scrolls Online
- The Elder Scrolls: Legends