The wererats are one of a number of lycanthropes, humans inflicted with a supernatural virus which allows them to take the the power and appearance of a specific species of animal, in this case, rats. The lycanthropy rat virus is highly contagious. It, along with the wolf variant, is one of the easiest types of lycanthropy to catch.
All wererats have at least two forms available to them and retain their intellect in both. Those powerful enough have a third, hybrid man-beast form. The original human form appears normal to a casual observer, but display a feeling of contained energy to those who are sensitive to such things or know what to look for. The second form is that of a full rat, but a giant one the size of a German Shepherd dog.
The hybrid form, available only to the strongest, may be that of a humanoid rat, covered in fur the color of their human hair, with long curved tails that lash around when they are angry. They walk on the balls of their elongated feet, with both hands and feet ending in sharp claws. Their heads become narrow and rat-like, with black button eyes, wire-like whiskers, long pink tongues and several inch-long, blade-like incisors; combined to a mouth not suited for human speech, these teeth make speaking difficult to most rats.
In the hybrid form they prefer wearing loose cut-off jeans or maternity dresses to conceal their still noticeable sexual organs; however, some wererats seem to embrace their animal side and go naked, flaunting themselves. They can communicate with one another through squeaking.
- Enhanced senses, even in human form, being able to smell the mood of nearby humans; what other abilities carry over to human form is uncertain. Wererats have better-scenting abilities than most were animals.
- Heightened hearing, agility, and endurance; they are significantly stronger and faster than normal humans and move with a scrambling, sliding grace, contorting through small spaces without noticeable slowing.
- While regular weapons can cause them injury, they will heal most wounds given time but are still vulnerable to silver and fire.
- Command of regular rats with gestures.
- Transformation from human to animal form heals most injuries instantly, up to and including fresh loss of limbs unless the wound has been cauterized, but quick transformations use up a lot of energy and only the most powerful wererats can transform into an animal and back without immediately passing out in exhaustion afterwards and sleeping for several hours.
- Rom - King/Leader
- Rodere - the term the wererat use to refer to the group
- Anita Blake - Guilty Pleasures Handbook