A werewolf is a creature that is partially human, and partially animal, specifically a wolf. The nature of the actual beast varies depending on the biological and mystical nature of the transformation. Generally the werewolf is a creature of magic; however there have been some cases of werewolves who were created through biological, and or genetic means.
The most common method for turning from a regular person into a werewolf is to be bitten by one. This does not always work, and it does not work this way with every lycan. When it does work, the methodology is that some sort of agent, biological, or mystical, passes from the original creature into the humans blood. This then transmits the werewolf condition to the new person, who should begin to experience symptoms over the next few weeks.
It is of course pertinent to note that most people who are bitten by a werewolf die instantly. Survival is one of the key factors in actually becoming one of them.
The second most common way to become a werewolf is to be born as one. Since they can turn back into human form, many werewolves have human families, and give birth to children. While the werewolf 'gene' usually does not pass to all offspring, it does often pass to some. This can reveal itself immediately at birth, however most young werewolves are not aware of their condition until their teen years, when symptoms of it start to manifest themselves.
Biologically, there is the potential for agents to exist which could change a person from a regular human into some sort of half person half beast. However the nature of this beast would be determined largely by the chemical or genetic practice used. It may result in the person taking on a permanent animalistic state, without the ability to transform at will. It is the mystical nature of the werewolf that gives them much of their power.
There are also a variety of spells which can be used to change a persons shape into that of a wolf. While these do not actually make you a werewolf, they do give you all of the properties of one, for all intents and purposes. There are even certain shamanistic spells which can be used to actually imbibe you with the spirit of the animal you are seeking communion with. There are some who claim that the first werewolves were created through magical means.
© Jim Slate