Werewolves are, by their nature, somewhat spiritual beings. While humans look to the stars to see their fate, werewolves look to the moon under which their first change occurred. They believe that this is a direct response to the werewolf's personality and further guides them down their path in life. As the moon has five distinct phases, so a werewolf will be assigned to one of five different sets when they change. Additionally, whether the moon is waxing or waning will affect a were, except on the phases of new moon and full moon.
* Full Moon
* Gibbous Moon
* Half Moon
* Crescent Moon
* New Moon
The Roman Empire embraced werewolves, and were some of the first to truly identify and put names to the different Phases and note that they affected the werewolves. They gave names to the Phases, and carried the terms around the world with them. Most other werewolf cultures hadn't bothered to name them before, so the names stuck in the English-speaking world.
The Phase that a werewolf is associated with determines which Gift they will find themselves able to use, and also requires them to Shift into their wolf form during the three nights of that Phase. They find it easier to stay shifted during the day, but can maintain human form if they concentrate.
However, the traits and descriptions listed below aren't the end-all be-all of the Phases. A werewolf doesn't have to be a Full Moon Phase to be dominant, and they are not always stronger than the rest, nor always better at leading. A specific Vitra may be more thoughtful than a Librar, or a Umbra more aggressive than a specific Vitra were.
Especially for dominant characters in leadership positions. Werewolf history has plenty of non-Vitra weres in leadership positions.
Vitra: The Full Moon
Without a doubt, the prime specimen of a warrior werewolf. Vitra are aggressive, hot headed and temperamental… at least as an average whole.
Vitra are the most in touch with their feral side, often strongly following their lupine instincts and the inherent rules of werewolf society. Some have noticed that those associated with the full moon seem to be the most alive, full of vigor and energy. They tend to be very straight-forward individuals, truthful and perhaps even a bit unthinking about the recompense of their actions. The New Moon is for strategy, the Full Moon is for action.
There is no try, there is only do. Vitra are stubborn but resilient and put the most heart in to anything and everything they do. That's why they can easily be offended. Of all the Phases, the Vitra have the hardest time controlling their shift out of rage.
Pariox: The Gibbous Moon
Arguably the most likable of the five phases, the Pariox is creative and personable, exuding a confidence without the intimidation of a Vitra. They are great story tellers and fearless warriors. They are passionate souls and fall in to causes quickly, though they are less distracted than the Umbra. They are often seen as connected to the emotional and spiritual side of their life. Waxing Pariox tend to be the more outgoing of the two, being the 'stronger' and more steady types, prone to being thoughtful supportive members of the community, while the waning moon affects its followers so that they are often seen as the flighty artist type, more sensitive to the world around them. But they can also be quite friendly, in tune with their community in their own way. Pariox have a tendency to be seen as "crazy artists" when they cannot express themselves, with the waning side of the Phase falling prey to this more often than the waxing.
Librar: The Half Moon
Half moon werewolves either find an easy balance between their wolf and human sides, or they… don't. At their best, they are frequently able to see both sides of a situation, and make good advisers, negotiators or diplomats. At worst, they are caught between the silvery side of the moon which calls to their wolf nature and the darker side which reflects their humanity, truly belonging to neither.
Waxing Librar tend to be more quick to make decisions than waning Librar, who are typically less aggressive and decisive.
Credas: The Crescent Moon
Intelligent, the thinker, the book worm, all these things tend to describe a Credas. They have keen minds and tend to over analyze. Sometimes such analysis can lead them to making frighteningly correct assumptions on a person's nature.
Waxing crescents are easily charismatic and far more personable, while the waning crescent tends to be more of a loner, immersed in their books and theories. They are closest to their human side, like the Umbra. Unlike the Umbra, however, the Credas wolf's instincts can lend them sharp insight into the tasks and puzzles they choose to chew on.
Umbra: The New Moon
Werewolves who experience their first change under a dark night sky are often seen as the troublemakers in werewolf society. New moon werewolves have a notorious lack of respect and cohesion with standard werewolf society rules. They are the forward thinkers, the free spirits, the inquisitive tricksters and the voices of dissent. They may often voice opinions that do not fit well with their other brethren, and are known for their ability to see things in a different light from many of the other Phases.
Umbra are often closer to their human side and human brethren than those who Shift at other times, able to understand and bond with humanity and provide a different perspective from the instinct and rule-bound wolf society. This often may contribute to the traditionally negative stereotype that the other Phases have attached to this group.