Lythari are a species of semi-albino, goodly aligned elf werewolves native to the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting for Dungeons & Dragons. Because of course any elf with an extra serving of Mary Sue has to come from there. They first appeared in the Realms splatbook "Elves of Evermeet", and were reprinted in the Monstrous Compendium Annual Appendix Volume 4.
These therianthropes are true-breeding "pure" lycanthropes, capable of assuming only two forms; an elf or a wolf. In its lupine form, a lythari appears as a pony-sized silver-furred wolf, whilst its elven form has extremely pale (if not white) skin with silver hair, and is quite tall & strongly built, by elven standards. Weirdly, lythari are described as having "blue or brown" eyes in wolf form and "blue or green" eyes in elf form; the blue/green eyes are probably the more logical choice. Aside from their pale colors, they tend to resemble wood elves the most in their physique and in their choice of apparel. Wood elves tend to refer to them as "silver shadows" for their silvery coloration, their shy nature, and their skill at moving all but unseen through the wilderness.
Unlike ordinary werewolves, the lythari are a gentle, benevolent species and, although they hunt and kill in the same manner as ordinary wolves, they neither inflict wanton violence nor attack intelligent species. They exist somewhere in between the lifestyles of ordinary wolves, who they sometimes intermingle with, and the lifestyle of wood elves, striving to live as part of nature, rather than impose any sort of control; they neither work metal nor create buildings, aside from temporary brush shelters when the environment demands it, spending their days hunting medium-sized game typical of a wolf and just enjoying their lives. Lythari packs are rarely larger than 30 adult elves, with another dozen or so cubs too young to hunt for themselves, and in terms of social structure are anarchic, communal societies, with no real leaders, and complete equality for all members.
Though they readily intermingle with normal wolves, who accept them, lythari hate evil wolf-like creatures, such as normal werewolves, wolfweres and worgs, who respond to their presence with violence.
Although their attitude is closest to the wood elves', the lythari are one of the most strongly fey branches of the elf family tree. This contributes to their rarity; not only are they shy and reclusive by nature, but they usually don't live on the Prime Material, instead occupying "the faerielands" (nebulous planes home to the sylvan races, before the rise of the Feywild). Many packs actually migrate between material forests and faerie realms through the use of portals, which is generally how other races encounter them. As a side-effect of this close tie to the fey, whilst the lythari do revere Rillifane Rallathil and other wilderness Seldarine deities, their primary reverence is reserved for the Archfey Titania and Oberon.
A true-breeding race, lythari can also transmit their lycanthropic status with a bite. However, the lythari's venom only affects pure-blooded elves - half-elves suffer a form of toxic shock as their human blood violently expels the magic - and because of their good alignment, lythari refuse to infect others involuntarily. A lythari may offer to transform an elf who they feel would be honored by the transformation, and an admiring elf can ask to become a lythari, but only if both parties agree is the infection granted. This is done in a ceremonial manner, to cement the importance of the transformation.
After AD&D, though, the lythari faded into the woodwork, perhaps in no small part because 3e's only mention of them was in passing and amounted to vague suggestions to use the werewolf template on an elf, remove the hybrid form, and skip the alignment shift to Chaotic Evil.
Although mostly known for being presented as monsters, lythari PC stats did slip into Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the splatbook "Demihumans of the Realms", a splatbook dedicated to kits for the demihuman races of the Forgotten Realms. Whilst a little difficult to distinguish, lythari stats are provided as part of the "Lythari Barbarian" kit for elf fighters: except as noted below, lythari use the standard rules for generating an elf PC.
- Height & Weight are taken from the Human table.
- Class is restricted to Fighter (DMs may want to ignore this; lythari monster lore states that spellcasters amongst their ranks are "rare", but not nonexistent, and mostly are specialty priests of the lythari gods)
- Natural Armor Class (either form) is 6.
- Move Value (either form) is 18.
- Lythari in wolf form can Bite for 2d4 damage.
- Both forms have 60ft invfravision, 90% resistance to Sleep & Charm, and the standard elf bonus to surprise rolls, but lack the elf ability to detect secret/concealed doors.
- If the lythari attacks a foe without access to light or infravision at night, that foe suffers a further -2 penalty to their surprise roll.
- Lythari bites confer lycanthropy on elves, which transforms them into new lythari; they never bite elves if they can avoid it.
- A half-elf bitten by a lythari must save vs. poison or take 1d4 damage per round for 1d4 rounds.
- Lythari can only be struck by silver weapons, magic weapons (+1 or better), or monsters with 4+1 or more HD.
- Lythari are unaffected by wolfsbane, but are vulnerable to weapons specifically enchanted against shapeshifters.
- In wolf form, a lythari has enhanced senses of smell and hearing. He can follow a scent on a trail as if he had the tracking proficiency with a +6 bonus. He also has a +6 bonus to avoid being surprised by anything that has a scent or can make noise. He also gains a bonus equal to his level to saving throws made against illusion/phantasm spells, detecting any illusion for what it truly is.
- Once he smells a subject, he remembers that subject's scent for life; he can identify any number of individuals of any race or species by their body odor. The DM may allow the wolf character to learn details on what a subject has eaten, who he has touched, etc., to also be detectable with a tracking check at +4 on the roll. Most lythari proficiencies not requiring the use of hands can be used in wolf form, too.
- Lythari are obligate carnivores; if forced to live without fresh meat, a lythari loses 1-4 hit points per day; the moment the lythari falls below one-half his usual hit point total, he must make a system shock roll or pass into a coma, from which he dies in 3d8 hours unless given ground meat and water to swallow, or unless given a heal spell. Resuming a full-meat diet allows recovery at a rate of 3d4 hit points per day. Cure wounds spells do not allow for recovery of hit points lost in this way. A lythari can eat cooked meat but hates the taste.
- A lythari must take on his wolf form during the three days of the full moon every month.
- A lythari's initial weapon proficiencies are restricted to Hand Axe, Bow (any bar Crossbow), Club, Dagger, Dart, Javelin, Knife, Sling, Spear, Sword (any)
- Against non-elf NPCs which have learned of their lycanthropy, lythari suffer a +6 modifier to NPC reaction rolls, which may result in the NPC attacking or running for their life.
- Lythari cannot wear armor or shields; if a lythari attempts to transform whilst wearing armor, take the base Armor Class of the armor worn (excluding all bonuses for magical armor and other devices) and subtract this from 10; the result is the damage in hit points taken from crushing and constriction. Double this damage if the armor is magical. The DM then rolls a D20; if the result is equal to or less than the damage taken, the lythari is effectively trapped inside their armor.
|The Therianthropes of Dungeons & Dragons|
|Laridian - Loup-garou - Loup du Noir - Lythari - Red Falcon - Seawolf - Selkie - Shifter - Swanmay - Thebestyn - Vodoni - Werebaboon - Werebadger - Werebat - Werebear - Wereboar - Werecat - Werecrocodile - Werefox - Werehyena - Werejackal - Werejaguar - Wereleopard - Werelion - Werepanther - Wererat - Wereraven - Wereray - Wereseal - Weresnake - Wereshark - Werespider - Wereswine - Weretiger - Werewolf|
|Antherions: Aranea - Song Dragon - Jackalwere - Wolfwere|
|Third Party: Werealligator - Wereanaconda - Werebunny - Werecheetah - Werecobra - Weremustela - Werepossum - Wereraccoon - Werestag - Werewolverine|