Werebbubbs (Polish: bobołak) are a race of fur-covered, midget-sized nonhumans. They speak the common speech fluently but use their own language, described as guttural and incomprehensible, when talking to each other.
Found in rocky mountains and ravines throughout the Northern Kingdoms, they were almost wiped out by humans eager to mine in their hills and, by the 1250s, the only place left teeming with werebbubbs was Mahakam.
Despite their name, werebbubbs are not shape shifters.
Werebbubbs are of short stature, though apparently a little bit higher than dwarves as they have no problem riding a horse without saddle adjustments. Their whole body is covered with thick fur, usually brown or black, and starts to grey with old age to the point it becomes ashen or white. Hidden in the furry face are small, glittering eyes. Werebbubbs also have pointed teeth and fingers with sharp claws.
They developed a unique culture with rich mythology full of traditions and legends. In particular, some of them seem to mention a solar eclipse and an evil entity known as Lilit. These served as one of the sources mage Eltibald cited in favor of his theory.
Werebbubbs tend to exhibit bravery. They are also proud of being different and fond of mountain massifs and the adjacent ravines and valleys. This makes werebbubbs similar to dwarves and gnomes who share Mahakam with them, though unlike these two races they do not extract the earth's riches. They even tried to stop humans from it within their territories but that nearly got them exterminated.
It's unknown when exactly werebbubbs appeared on the continent. Some claim there is enough circumstantial evidence to say they date thousands of years back. The sure fact is that their race is old and predates the first Nordling settlers at the very least.
In a time when the areas now inhabited by the Nordlings were dominated only by gnomes and dwarves, werebbubbs lived primarily south of the Amell Mountains, in what's now Nazair, Metinna, and Mag Turga. When elves arrived on their white ships, they didn't start on a friendly note and clashed with original races, including werebbubbs. These feuds, however, never broke out into an all-out war where one side would try to erase the other.
After the First Landing and the landings that followed soon after, newcomers decided to use the mountainous domains inhabited by werebbubbs for mining. When werebbubbs began to halt this endeavor and prevented them from constructing mines and shafts, humans started to slaughter them en masse. The survivors had to flee and found refuge in Mahakam and the remote regions of Amell.
- There were 9 werebbubb members of Fregenal's band known as Koshchey's Men.
- A werebbubb is seen living in Blaviken during the Mniejsze zło graphic novel (though not mentioned in the story, The Lesser Evil).
- In Wiedźmin: Gra Wyobraźni, bobołaki were supposed to become a playable race in an expansion based on Droga, z której się nie wraca. After it was cancelled, their description by Paweł Dembowski (Ausir) was published online.
- Were- part stands for were, an archaic term for male human. In Polish they're called bobołaks, and again the -łak has the elder meaning, coming from the Proto-Slavic lakъ, meaning "skin". Bobołak is just one of numerous variants of similarly called creatures in several folklores, including Slovakian bubulak, Polish bobok, bebok, babok and babuk, Greek baboulas, Mediterranean babau, English bogeyman or bugbear, German Butzemann, Egyptian al-Bu'buand many others. Therefore bobołak can mean bogey-skinned or bogey-man.
- In the English translation of The Last Wish by Danusia Stok, bobołaks are called "bogeymen" in one instance, and "weretots" in another, while in Michael Kandel's translation of "The Witcher" short story, they are called "werecats", despite there being mentions of actual werecats elsewhere in Andrzej Sapkowski's books. In the German translation by Erik Simon they are called "Murmelmenschen" which apparently derives from the appearance of the Marmot ("Murmeltier" in German).