In Lukyanenko's Night Watch series, vampires and werebeasts (most commonly werewolves) are both referred to as lower Dark Ones: they have some magical ability, but it's capped at a certain level (fourth-grade?); they have a low, beastly quality about them; and, at least in the case of vampires, they need to prey on humans in order to survive.

An exception to this is the Higher Vampires, such as the Inquisitor Witiezslav whom we meet in Day Watch and, as we discover in Twilight Watch, Anton's old friend and neighbour Kostya. They have been through a special process in order to 'graduate' from being lower Dark Ones to becoming much more powerful. My question is: is there an analogue of Higher Vampires for werebeasts? Is there such a thing as a 'Higher Werewolf', or is any werewolf doomed to be a lower Dark One forever?

I'm currently in the middle of Twilight Watch. Anything from the first three books, or any minor point from the entire series, is fair game, but please warn me about major spoilers from books 4-6.

  • 2
    It's easy to find a higher werewolf – Valorum Apr 9 '16 at 16:24
  • @Randal'Thor - done – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 9 '16 at 19:01
  • @DVK Nice and thorough answer! Do you know off-hand where I can find the quote about lower Dark Ones' abilities being capped? I was sure werewolves and vampires (sans Higher ones) couldn't be first-grade magicians, but this Alar of yours already disproves that. Is there a contradiction in the text, or am I just remembering wrong? – Rand al'Thor Apr 9 '16 at 19:22
  • Don't have the quotehandy, sorry, but I do vaguely remember something in that vein – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 9 '16 at 19:48

No. But there are werewolves who are very old, and very powerful - and equivalent to First or even High rank mages (including holding senior positions and being accorded similar respect).

One senior Other (Irakly), explicitly says that there are no Higher werewolves, when discussing Hena (see below about him). But that the really old ones are someone to be reckoned with:

В Инквизиции, конечно, слабых Иных вообще нет - думаю, второй-третий уровень Силы - это нижний предел. Из вампиров там только высшие. А из оборотней... мне кажется, что Хена - единственный.
Получается, бывают высшие оборотни? - спросил любопытный Ефим.
Лайк не ответил: он думал. Ответил Ираклий:
- Не бывает высших оборотней. Бывают очень старые оборотни. Поживешь с ихнее - многому научишься.

The Inquisition, of course, has no weak Others - I guess second or third level of the Power is a lower limit. And only Higher vampires. And as far as werewolves - I think only Hena. ...
So it turns out there are higher werewolves? - asked curious Efim.
Like did not answer: he was thinking. Irakli answered instead:
There are no higher werewolves. There are very old werewolves. When you live as much - you learn much.

It seems the process works similar to Higher Vampires, by eating a certain minimal number of victims.

See the quote about Alar in the next section.

Alar - First level

There was Alar (who turned into a lion), the head of the Dark Ones (or Day Watch) of Bukhara (which was a major city in Central Asia, before Mongol invasion) during 12th century. First level.

... Оборотни редко доходят до первого ранга, а вот поди ж ты, Алар, которого я почти развоплотил шесть лет назад, добрал нужное число жертв! И теперь по праву сильного занимает место на Совете.
Алар: Дневному Дозору Бухары он {{Договор}} не пришелся по нраву. Все мои подданные ждут одного только слова...
(Сборник "Мелкий Дозор" рассказ "От крови до клятвы, от клятвы-до крови.")

... Werewolves rarely reach First rank, but lookie here - Alar, who I almost un-made six years ago, reaped enough victims. And now, as is his right according to his power, is part of the Council.
Alar: The Day Watch of Bukhara aren't happy with it {{The Agreement}}. All my subjects are just awaiting my word... ("Little Watch" anthology, "From blood to vow, from vow to blood")


The rest of this answer is mostly based on a material from from "Sixth Watch". Not really a spoiler, except for one very minor plot detail of that book.

In later books (First, "The Face of Black Palmira", then "The Sixth Watch"), we meet a very old werewolf called Hena. He's one of the main players in European Inquisition hierarchy (he usually co-leads Tribunals with Karmadon, one of the most powerful European mages), and the oldest known Werewolf (and close to oldest living Other in general).

His animal form is that of a Smilodon (sabertooth cat).

He is shown - "Sixth Watch" and "Palmira" - to have been old enough to remember Mammoths and to have hunted and eaten Neanderthals (however, he sarcastically explains that his form has nothing to do with his age - otherwise, werewolves turning into dinosaurs must have survived since that time) and Geser thought that his (grand)parent was a Neanderthal.

We also find out from him that werewolves do not have an organizational structure or leadership, unlike Vampires.

Хена был оборотнем. Типичным низшим Темным. Но... только на первый взгляд. Арик чувствовал в нем что-то еще, что-то скрытое, глубинное, могучее и необъяснимое.

Hena was a werewolf. Typial Lower Dark One. But... only at first glance. Arik felt something else in him... something hidden, deep, powerful and unexplainedstrong text. ("The Face of Black Palmira")

... and when queried about Smilodons being extinct...

Тьма, сколько ж тебе лет? - дрогнувшим голосом спросил Симонов.
- Не знаю, - похоже Хену не слишком занимал собственный возраст. Когда я родился, людям уже пришла в головы идея считать прожитые сезоны. Вот только известные им числа быстро закончились и долгое время мне было просто "много" лет. Но смилодонов и мамонтов я прекрасно помню.

"Darness! How old are you?" - asked shaken Simonov.
"Don't know" - it seems, Hena didn't care too much what his age was. - "When I was born, people already had the idea of counting past seasons. But all the numbers known to them quickly ran out, and for most of the time, I was simply "very" old. But I do remember smilodons and mammoths perfectly.

... and here Like is discussing Hena with his underlings:

Спасибо, Старший, - очень серьезно ответил Лайк, вставая. Вид довольного зрителя он мгновенно утратил. Ираклий тоже встал, хотя и ему, и Лайку мешал столик. ...
...Скажу больше. Хена - самый старый из известных мне Иных. Есть и постарше, но о тех я только слышал. Хена единственный, кто еще не удалился от дел.

Thank you, Elder - very seriously answered Like, standig up. He immediately lost the look of satisfied spectator. Irakly also stood up, even though both he and Like were impeded by the table. ...
... I will say more. Hena - the oldest of the Others I am familiar with. There are some who are older but I only heard of them. He's the only one who's still active.

All next quotes from "Sixth Watch":

Anton: И не сообщил ли почтеннейший Хена, не является ли он бесспорным лидером среди… э… своей… своих...
Geser: Любезнейший Хена сказал, что он старейший из своей породы, – сказал Гесер. – Еще он сказал, что у них нет, не было и никогда не будет общего лидера, ибо это противоречит самой их сути. Он сообщил это твердо и ясно, на языке охотников на мамонтов, в котором просто не существовало понятия лжи.

Anton: And did the venerable Hena relay whether it is the undisputed leader among the ... uh ... his ... his ... - Dearest Hena said he was the oldest of his breed - said Gesar. - He also said that they do not have, never had, and will never have a common leader, because it is contrary to their very essence. He stated so strongly and clearly, in the language of mammoth hunters, which simply did not have the concept of lying.

... and

Я спросил у Хены, какие они были, неандертальцы, – буркнул Гесер, прохаживаясь по кабинету. – Из всех наших только он, пожалуй, их застал…
– И что ответил? – заинтересовался я. Инквизитор-оборотень был не из говорливых, но уж если говорил, то в его словах не стоило сомневаться. Он как-то сказал, что жил в те времена, когда ложь еще не изобрели.
– Хена сказал, что они в общем-то почти как люди, – сообщил Гесер. – Только кости очень крепкие и много шерсти. Потом неделю комки отрыгиваются.
– Хена неохотно говорил на эти темы, – сказал Гесер. – Мне кажется, ему не очень удобно. Он активно прорежал поголовье неандертальцев в свое время. Несмотря на безоары. А еще, как мне показалось, неандертальцы были у него в родне. То ли мать, то ли бабушка.

I asked Hena what Neanderthals were like - Geser growled, pacing the office. - Of all of us, he is likely the only one who was around when they were.
And how did he respond? - Queried I.
Inquisitor-werewolf was not a talkative kind, but when he spoke, his words were not to be doubted. He once said that he lived in the times when lies were not yet invented.
Hena said said that they were, in general, almost like people - said Geser. - Except the bones are very strong and a lot of hair. Afterwards, he had hairballs for a week. ...
Hena was reluctant to discuss these issues, - said Geser. - I think he is somewhat embarrassed. He actively thinned out the Neanderthal headcount back then - despite the bezoars. Also, it seemed to me, there were the Neanderthals in his bloodline. Either his mother, or grandmother.

Hena's abilities

I don't recall Hena explicitly exhibiting any special abilities - the way High Vampires have abilities qualitatively differentiating them from lower ones. However, in "Sixth Watch", Olga is certain that if pitted against Peter - Hena would eat him.

For context, Peter is:

  • A super-old Highest Vampire who is among Vampire Council few leaders
  • is a Neanderthal and the oldest vampire we see in the books
  • Clearly could easily become Vampire Master of Masters of the world if he wanted to bother (meaning, he was easily the strongest Vampire, not only oldest).

Нет, давайте не будем сводить Хену с Петром. Петр – говнюк редкостный, но теперь мы хотя бы про него знаем. А так – съест его Хена, и с концами.

No, let's not put together Hena and Peter. Peters is a rare shithead, but at least we know all about him by now. If we do - Hena will just eat him.

Hena's position and influence:

  • Like (Highest rank mage and the head of Kiyev Day Watch) calls Hena "Elder" and is very respectful of him. Both he and Irakly stand up when Hena leaves.

    The quote was earlier in the answer.

  • Hena is a member of 3-judge tribulal of Inquisition in "Black Palmira", alongside Shindje, "the Judge of the Dead" - one of the oldest, most powerful, and strongest Highest mages in Europe, and Carmadon - the Owl Head, also one of the most powerful and oldest Highest mages in Europe.

    • Moreover, Shindje actually respectfully bows to Hena upon arrival

    У Лайка непроизвольно вытянулось лицо. Определенно, сегодняшнее заседание грозило побить все рекорды по Великим!
    "Представляю вам Великого Шиндже, Судью Мертвых, и смиренно прошу его председательствовать на сегодняшнем заседании" ...
    Шиндже, вечный нейтрал из Харькова, попросту кивнул присутствующим, потом повернулся к Хене и уважительно поклонился. Хена, конечно же, привстал и также склонил в ответ голову. На этом ритуал и завершился.

    Like's face inadvertently showed astonishment. Certainly, today's proceedings threatened to break all records as far as presence of The Greatest!
    "I present to you the Great Shindje, Judge of the Dead, and humbly ask him to preside over today's meeting" ...
    Shinjje, the eternal neutral from Kharkov, simply nodded to everyone present, then turned to Hena and respectfully bowed. Hena, of course, also stood up and bowed his head in response. This ritual thus ended.

  • 2
    I also don't include the mages who can take animal form - they CAN be Highest as mages, but they are very distinct from werewolves. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Apr 9 '16 at 20:17

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