("Do you know how hard it is to get your nails done when you're shaggy?")

Many players feel that being shaggy is the only way to go. Far be it from me to disagree with them. You get shaggy by being whupped on by a werebeastie. In the original version of the game, all player lycanthropes were wereboars. One of the later patches fixed this problem. Now you will become whatever it was that gave you lycanthropy. If you get beat on by a werewolf, you will become a werewolf. If you get beat on by a wereboar, you become a wereboar.

Like vampirism, the onset of Lycanthropy is marked by a spooky dream. "You dream of the moon and a man who is less than a man." From the time you have this dream you have three days to get to a temple to get cured or you will become a lycanthrope.

There are some decided advantages to being shaggy.

There are some severe disadvantages to being shaggy, though.

Lycanthropy is easier to live with than Vampirism, thanks to an artifact. The Glenmorial Witches can summon Hircine (or any Daedra Summoner at temples or the Mages Guild will do it on the proper day if you are the proper rank), who will send you on a quest to get Hircine's Ring (it's actually a shield - go figure). The Ring removes most of the disadvantages of lycanthropy. The possessor of the Ring can change form at will, will not change during the full moon, and does not have to feed every month. However, the Ring will not work for anyone who is not already a Lycanthrope.

Of course, you still can't use weapons or armor while in wereform. And Lycanthrope hunters will still be knocking at your door. And there's the funny reaction people get when you're in town and looking hairy. (You really ought to do something about your breath.)

OK. You've weighed the pros and cons and have decided that life without hair is no life at all, especially in a society without Rogaine. How do you go about getting shaggy? Werebeasties are very easy to find, especially at lower levels. The fastest way is to go to the Fighters Guild and keep asking for a quest until you get the quest to go kill a lycanthrope (this does not seem to work if you've been infected with vampirism - the werebeastie is a bear). The second fastest way is to go take Cyndassa's quest (you've got to find and kill a werewolf). The third way (and this does not seem to work very well at high levels) is to just hope you meet one in a dungeon. The fourth way is to hang out in the wilderness until one shows up as a random encounter. I've encountered werecritters in the wilderness all over the Bay area. Just walk outside of any town and rest or loiter in front of any dungeon and you'll get one eventually. The fifth way is to get the quest to deliver the item from a Witch Coven. The critters will come to you.

Getting rid of lycanthropy is accomplished in much the same way as getting rid of vampirism. The hunter will offer you a chance to redeem yourself by completing the quest that will cure you. You may also take quests from witch covens until you get the quest to deliver the item to the Mages Guild. Use the item and you'll be cured. Or, if you're feeling persnickety, keep it and kill all of the werecritters that come looking for you to get the cure themselves. Since werebeasties don't carry any treasure, you've got to be feeling awfully persnickety.