Nahuál
Nahuál
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Type
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Threat Level
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Active Status
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Other Names
Brujos

Description: Nahuáles are elderly sorcerers with the ability to shapeshift into any animal at will.

"Stages of Nahuál transformation"
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Sketch obtained from a local ranger in the "Cañón de Santa Elena" National Park

Nahuáles are not be confused with skinwalkers, since the latter are bigger in size and also present more hostile behaviour. They have thick, darkish skin1.

Nahuáles slowly lose their human attributes as they age, until they reach a complete transformation into jaguar-like beasts. They are nocturnal creatures. While not very aggressive, they are very territorial and will try to harm any living being they deem foreign to their ecosystem.

When identifying a Nahuál in their animal form, the human eyes are a dead giveaway since they are the only feature that doesn’t change when shapeshifting. An easy way of recognizing a dead Nahuál is by observing its corpse, since instead of putrifying they will mummify after a day, repeling any organisms that help in decomposition.

Background: The name Nahuál stems from the word “nahualli”, which has its origin in the Náhuatl dialect and means "what my skin is"2, referring to their shapeshifting abilities and their half man, half animal appearance. These creatures date back to 900 A.D. (approximately), and in the Mexican mythology, they were believed to be the sons of Tezcatlipoca, Lord of the Night. After the Spanish conquest, Nahuáles were hunted across Mexico by the Inquisition, which drastically reduced their numbers and made them retreat into remote areas, where they were protected by indigenous tribes for hundreds of years.

Location and Population: Nahuáles are located all across Mexican territory and Southern states of the U.S. such as: California, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. They can be found in dry and temperate climates, favoring deserts and dense jungles3, where they live in bushcrafted shacks, caves, or underground lairs.
Population varies from place to place, depending on the biome and the proximity to easy-to-acquire food sources, such as cattle. Since they are pretty territorial, it is uncommon to find more than one Nahuál when on a hunt, although there have been few recorded instances observed where packs are formed by two or three of these creatures. This behavior in part has earned them their current status.

Hunting or Procurement Methods: Elimination methods may vary from Warder to Warder, but basic hunting methods are listed below:

Encounter Records:

Additional Notes: While some Nahuáles are hostile, there exist exceptions where they act as nature's protectors, taking care of entire ecosystems by reducing predator's populations or tendering to vegetation.

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