The Great War - Introduction to the Great Cities
Those on the Earth fought a battle older than time itself, inciting a war for reasons unknown that were unfathomable beyond their comprehension. Mere years after their arrival, a disagreement broke out amongst the creatures that either basked in the light or festered in the darkness, unknowingly provoked by the old God's feud that had caused their very creation. Stood outside the gates of hell, the once peaceful world soon found itself locked in a vicious battle that would change the course of history for all that had unfortunately become involved. With the onslaught of c*****e carefully hidden in the shadows away from the reach of innocent eyes, the infestation of opposing creatures fought against one another in a bid to seek sole control over the newly inhabited world they all sought to claim for their own—just as the divine creators had intended.
In the earliest of days before the war had begun, the council of Gods watched in astonishment while they bared witness to Mother Nature granting life to the very first of the world's inhabitants–the most innocent out of all that were to ever come, the mortals. In unspoken wonder, the Gods stood by and idly allowed the progression of man to unfold, blindsided by fascination as the mortals soon made Earth their home. As time went on, the original inhabitants become more connected with the world that they were given, pleasing Mother Nature while they continued to undoubtfully thrive before her very eyes. With the Gods feeling empowered by their fellow equals efforts, they soon grew hungry; desperate to feel the same as she while devising their own plans.
In amazement, Selenaia the Moon Goddess rejoiced alongside Mother Nature in each one of the mortal’s triumphs. Looking upon her equal’s creations with adoration, Selenaia found herself taken back by their success; moved by the tranquillity that the humans had created amongst themselves with no interference needed. Eventually, those on the Earth began to question the root of their origins, soon choosing to praise thanks to their creator for her grand design—leaving Mother Nature to feel smitten by the unconditional affection that she had received. Despite the approval of some, Ambrogio the God of Shadows became resentful towards Mother Nature for her unbound success. With jealously churning within, he seethed from the power that Mother Nature’s worshippers bestowed upon her—slowly growing hateful towards the humans that she had made. Watching in disgust, it was apparent that with no hinderance, the mortals would continue to flourish and Ambrogio knew he would no longer stand for this.
Plotting to bring about the mortal's demise, Ambrogio set his plan in motion to undermine Mother Nature and take the worshippers she so dearly loved away. Passing on his curse, he crafted his species out of spite and allowed them to roam the blossoming world that was so full of life and unending promise. With his gift of immortality placed upon them as a shield of protection, his creatures were close to indestructible when versing Mother Nature’s own—leaving the mortals defenceless against the ravenous beasts. Driven by an insatiable hunger for blood as cruelly intended by Ambrogio upon their design, the vile creatures carried out his malicious attack while preying on the pure and the innocent. Ambrogio speedily sang out his insidious gospel to his devoted dark disciples soon after their arrival down on Earth, commanding them to destroy anything within their path with his unholy word spreading quickly amongst the ranks. Without question, the army of the shadows was more than happy to obey the menacing instructions of their master, effortlessly wreaking havoc while meticulously exploring their new world during the dead of night.
The solitude beasts continued to slaughter the mortals in the masses, undeterred by the attention steering their way while their powers grew alongside their unquenchable thirst that did not seem to fade. Refusing to let up on the ruthless hunt, the monsters fed without restraint while feasting on the spilt blood before handing over the stolen souls they had claimed to Ambrogio—to be his for now and all of eternity, in enmity towards Mother Nature for all that she had done. With the crimson stain of death sweeping across the world with might, it was no longer the beacon of light it was known for formerly being—now a place filled with only hostility and emptiness, a graveyard to the damned and the lost.
Horrified by Ambrogio and his army of the undead, the Moon Goddess joined in aid to help her fellow Goddess of light during her insufferable plight against the darkness pursuing her kind—offering her assistance in response to Mother Nature’s plea, hoping to prevent any more bloodshed. With acceptance, Selenaia placed her creations upon the mortal plane to live alongside the mortals in unity, encouraging her kind to flourish beside them and to act as one. Proclaiming them to be the unseen protectors of man, she embedded her own true intentions into the wolves, guiding them on the quest for justice. Designed in the glorious image of herself, she gifted the wolves the ability to shift when desired; giving her creations the choice of two forms to whichever they wish to have taken. Wolf or human. Wired to ensure the co-existence between her kind and the mortals whose land they now walked, the wolves soon caught onto the malevolent beings hunting down their new neighbours and felt protectively compelled to bring it to an end.
Appearing as powerful as Selenaia herself, one family of wolves stood above the rest, still as pure as the very first wolf to live alongside man—despite how much time had passed. Enchanting to all that saw them, the pack stood taller than any other, with strength tenfold of their much smaller comrades. With fur the colour of snow and eyes the shade of sapphires, they were known as the Blue Moon Pack—the royals, and the true descendants of the Moon Goddess herself. With time, the bloodline was soon considered to be the most powerful of all the species—genuine leaders that had been placed on the Earth to guide the wolves in replacement of the Moon Goddess herself while she watched absently from above.
As the mortal's population decreased rapidly, the royals knew they had to act with haste. Swearing an oath to their Goddess, they assigned their greatest warriors to act as silent guardians with the sole intention of destroying any creature showing ill intent towards the humans. If an ambush on the mortals was made, it was quickly disbanded by the wolves who were always waiting for the monster's next move, always a step ahead and ready to defend.
Ambrogio grew aware that Selenaia’s followers were far stronger than his own, despite his best efforts upon their creation. Disadvantaged, the blood-thirsty creatures bites that were prone to eradicating humans were of no use when it came to their new foes—only temporarily weakening them when conflict ever arose. Fearful of their new opponents, Ambrogio’s monsters were of no match and their numbers swiftly declined at the claws of the wolves. In the preservation of the survival of their kind, they fled into the unknown while their prey become protected—recuperating their strength and numbers for another fated day.
Hecate, the Goddess of sorcery along with other stagnant God’s found themselves enthralled by the battle between their equals. Without delay, the world soon held a multitude of creatures that joined in the crusade of good and evil—darted across the globe while each species carefully chose the side for which they would wish to fight for until their last dying breath. No different from the others, Hecate felt compelled by the brewing battle of all battles looming on the horizon, no longer wishing to be a bystander and mischievously getting involved.
In welcoming the creation of her daughters and sons into what would soon unfold, the neutral beings were allowed to choose to side with whoever they believed in the most, capable of switching at any point if they ever saw fit. Witches of choice, light or darkness. Those of the light swore allegiance to the royals and their kindred species alike in the ongoing fight to protect the souls of the innocent; those who turned to the darkness conspired alongside the creatures of the shadows, preparing for their next expected attack while remaining in hiding.
With Ambrogio’s creatures reeling from the treatment imposed upon them, the manifested hatred that had kept them alive continued to grow along with their regenerating numbers. Despite the quick recovery, the staggering beasts remained overwhelmed by the army of light, their numbers morphing over their disbanded own. With no remaining options left, the once lonesome creatures were forced to unify in the night—no longer acting alone as they had always done but congregating as covens in one last attempt of trying to overthrow the wolves, determined to reclaim their former title of being the ultimate predator. Empowered by their fellow creatures, they set out on a path of revenge and destruction, unknowingly commencing the beginning of the Great War while taking what they pleased along the way.
Despite the war remaining out of sight from the mortals for quite some time, the day eventually came when a handful of humans were no longer blinded by the innocence of the world, awakened to the truth that surrounded them. With horrific events unfolding before their eyes, many of the survivors were forced into learning about the monsters that had walked beside them for so many years unknowingly. Understanding the importance of shielding their fellow innocent’s from the world around them, they agreed to help the wolves keep the mass naïve to the forces of evil that awaited them in the darkness, eager to avoid panic and an even bloodier outcome if they were ever to be told. The mortals had only one request in exchange for their silence, asking that the wolves moved into the districts that were inhabited, demanding protection for their people as a form of payment. Without question, the deal was made, striking an official alliance between the wolves and the few humans that were deemed to be trusted, soon to be known as the Trinity Council. With a contract drawn, they forged a union that would hold to withstand the test of time—no matter how strained the relationship would soon eventually come to be.
The events of the war swiftly shifted when a descendant of Hecate herself, Marsilla Clémonte, had reached the end of her tether. After seeing enough bloodshed and misery over the years that had passed her by, Marsilla found herself in the centre of it all when she had once only sat by and done nothing. After settling into a small village, she embraced the local mortals as her own and quickly fell in love with a man—a man that was not of her kind. Marsilla’s happily ever after soon met an abrupt end when her doting husband was snatched away before her very eyes, drained of his precious life when she had refused to join Ambrogio’s creatures ranks. Killing all those that Marsilla had ever cared for, she swore to no longer remain neutral towards the feud that had ruined her future. Unable to stay in the cabin that she and her husband had made their own, she left in search of the royals – desperate to part with the place she once called home when all that remained in its place was decay, insisting on joining the reigning King Alpha and Queen Luna of the time, Theobald and Emmeline.
With Marsilla’s sworn allegiance gifted to the royals, the witch invoked the first stage of her vengeance and bestowed renown power onto the wolves in an attempt to end the war once and for all. With heightened strength and increased speed, her allies force had reached a new limit – giving them a chance of wiping out the blood-thirsty beings and returning their cherished world to its former glory, preventing its rapid decay from ensuing like a disease trying to succumb its host into submission. While light and darkness continued to clash, Marsilla’s anger eventually boiled over when the news of a local town being destroyed had reached the Blue Moon castle’s doors – announcing the countless deaths of wolves and witches alike, both old and young. Furious while forgotten wounds had opened themselves back up, Marsilla channelled all of her remaining power into calling out to her ancestors on the other side; begging for them to act on her behalf and allowing her to channel each of the summoned entity’s consecrated energy in return.
Charged with a surge of magic, Marsilla saw her abilities reach all new heights before she set about seeking more from witches like herself to strengthen the royal warriors. Marsilla reached out to her sisters and brothers of the light; summoning them away from the lonesome battles against the darkness that they found themselves stranded in; offering them a chance to join the wolves just as Marsilla had done in preparation for the final push. With many of Hecate’s followers answering the call, the wolves found themselves thrown into the grandest enchantment that had ever been cast to its date—created to last for the duration of the remaining war. With the utterance of a spell, the wolves no longer found themselves hindered by the bites and scratches inflicted upon them by the blood-thirsty beasts. Instead, they remained unaffected—allowing them to tear through the sea of the undead more efficiently than they were ever able to before while barely flinching from the creature's venomous bites.
As the ultimate battle approached, Ambrogio did not appreciate the advantage Selenaia’s worshippers had received and sought out an old, elemental witch of his own to assist his failing side. Offering the dark witch known as Sybil a great deal of power that others would not possess, she quickly accepted and obediently kept the unspoken secret to herself and her alone, failing to find concern in the cost that her new abilities would require. Promising to assist Ambrogio in the destruction of the royals, he granted the scheming witch access to their pure blood upon their peril—informing her that once consumed it would grant her eternal youth for years to come along with the desirable possessed immortality that she had requested. The old witch signed the barter and the wheels of war were once again set in motion, leaving Ambrogio feeling certain that his secret weapon would help abolish the royal wolves and their Army for good.
The King Alpha marched his army of wolves south as they charged the blood-drinking monsters, nudging them back, pushing them far away from the Blue Moon Pack’s castle grounds that they had gathered around. Chased back into the Barren Lands from which they came, the King refused to let up on his attack as he maintained his sole intention of keeping the battle far away from the land that he called home. In a successful rush, the King fighting alongside his men found himself in the heart of the ravenous beast's territory—presuming to have ensured the safety of his young son and heavily pregnant Luna, who was waiting to drop at any given second. Back in the safety of the castle's walls, Emmeline hid patiently while praying for her beloved to return; pleading that the Moon Goddess would protect Theobald and his men while she remained heavily guarded in the throne room, sat in safety with the remaining pack and a magically spent Marsilla at her side.
Creatures from across the land joined in the wolves' aid, fighting alongside them in hope of a better life, offering their own to better the future of their children and theirs to come. As the bloody battle rolled into the early hours of the following morn, the looming sunset crept on the horizon while the warriors fought tirelessly, claiming many undead lives along the way. Armed with Marsilla and her sibling's powers, the wolves felt as if they had become a sea of might - their strength heightened beyond expectation as they wiped out the remaining covens with ease before the sun happened to rise upon their faces. A short-lived triumph arrived when the King’s fighters ripped and tore the throats of the final night crawlers left on the battlefield—leaving them with a sweet taste of victory, theirs at long last after all those tedious years. With no time wasted, they gathered the cold remains of their fallen enemies and began setting them alight, ensuring that they would not return in this life or the next.
While Theobald sat to catch his breath, he gazed around and marvelled at his warriors while taking in their triumphs. As he prepared to reach out to his wife and inform her of the victorious news, his inner wolf whined with excitement—foreshadowing the good news when a sweeping sense of delight spread through his exhausted body like a flooding dose of adrenaline.
“Theobald, darling, she’s coming. Our sweet girl will be with us soon. It’s time, my love,” Emmeline’s soothing voice called out and echoed within the King’s racing mind, sending a flutter of butterflies to flood his stomach in surprise at the unexpected news.
As his Luna’s words lingered within his mind, Theobald swiftly alerted his Beta Alexander, ordering him to instruct the remaining members of the army to race back to the castle in haste alongside him. After travelling for hours, eventually, Emmeline’s updates unexplainably came to a halt—replaced with an eery silence and leaving the King to grow visibly distressed. No longer able to hear his dear Luna, the last miles upon his arrival passed him by in what felt to be a lifetime compared to the rest of the journey—painstakingly dragging, no matter how fast his sore paws carried him.
As they approached their land, something undeniably felt wrong throughout. The atmosphere was unfamiliar to them, unnatural they all had thought before their eyes confirmed the rest as gushes of black smoke filled the sky overhead. Racing up the stone-carved steps towards the entrance of the castle, they found the two wolves that were appointed to guard the door slumped down upon the ground—no air drawing into either of their lungs while they led bruised and battered in pools of their own blood. With the wooden doors to the Blue Moon castle rammed wide open, a wave of dread spread throughout King Theobald while matching chills ran down each of his warriors spines. Ordering Alexander to investigate alongside him, they sent the remaining unassigned fighters off in search of any survivors while the surrounding cabins of the village burned brightly in engulfing flames.
In dismay, the King ran through the corridors of the once-thriving castle with his Beta close at his side—both expecting the worst, while the grand building sat in unusual silence. Bursting into the throne room, they found themselves horrified by their discovery—staring onward through tear-stained eyes while they glanced over the bodies of their fallen brothers and sisters. Despite the King’s desperate attempts to call out to his mate, the only response he received was an unwelcomed deafening silence in return. As he approached the two empty thrones at the far end of the stretched room, the distinct scent of his beloved suddenly wafted up his nostrils, rose and vanilla, faint but there. Theobald’s body trembled as he stumbled over the strewn bodies of his loyal subjects while they led broken on the cobbled ground—snivelling loudly as the question to Emmeline’s whereabouts was soon answered when his drenched eyes fell upon her lifeless frame.
The King shifted back into his human form and fell onto his bare knees, inconsolable at the sight of his cherished Queen while his heart sunk into a void like numbness. With her body covered in bite marks and deep fatal wounds, he barely noticed that she was somehow not surrounded by any of her own blood. Sweeping his love up into his arms, the King let out a deafening howl filled with anguish and loss while he cradled Emmeline’s broken and limp body. Despite pleading to the Moon Goddess to bring her back, the Luna’s fate appeared to be sealed and alas, Theobald’s Queen was gone.
Wiping his eyes, the King’s attention fell to the stomach of his poor mate when he noticed she appeared to pass away without their child still in her womb. Focussing his mind on his apparent missing son and new born daughter that appeared to be nowhere in sight, the King softly rested his departed sweetheart down on the ground before conducting one last search of the room for his kin. Despite checking in every place that they could, Theobald and Alexander failed to find any trace of where the two youngsters could be, noticing Marsilla was absent from the scene, too. Confused and uncertain of what to think, the King’s mind fell victim to a plague of bad thoughts when he swiftly presumed the very worst. What fate had his children met in his absence?
Slumping down heavily upon the cold blood-splatted steps leading to his thrown, he waited in silence for his loyal warriors to return from the village, prepared to announce the devastating news of the ambush to those who weren’t already aware. With a broken heart already fuelled by vengeance for the loves that he had lost, Theobald stewed resentfully, too caught up in his anger to notice the peculiar attributes scattered within the room that surrounded his wife’s demise.
Alexander remained in his wolf form as he restlessly checked over each fallen member in the room; starting out hopeful that he’d find someone that had somehow survived, growing disappointed with each check as ushered whimpers parted away from his lips. With no sign of life to be found throughout, the disheartened Beta tread towards his King with a lowered head, unable to hide his upset. Unaware of his friends nearing approach, Theobald sat in silence, stuck within his mind when a flurry of warning howls sounded off from outside like an alarm—awakening him in the process.
“They’ve seen someone, Theobald. Someone’s coming,” Alexander span around to face the broken entranceway to the hall; a steady growl erupting from deep within in his chest when his body suddenly seized in fright at the sight of the unwelcomed guest making their way inside.
“How is that possible? We got rid of all the bloodsuckers. We cleared the Barren Land’s out-” Theobald went to reason, halted in his tracks as the escaping words falling from his lips quickly fell short—leaving the room in a deathly silence when a burst of chilling air gushed through the throne room’s damaged door.
“Now, Theobald, I can’t say I’m too pleased with you for that blunder. Did you honestly mistake me for one of those wretched monsters? I must admit, I’d be a liar if I said I weren’t rather insulted at that comment,” the King’s head snapped upwards at the sound of the mysterious woman’s voice while she stood in the distance, casting his scowling glare over the youthful witch with piercing eyes and hair as dark as the aura that surrounded her.
Leaning against the beams of the entrance, a smirk toyed across the woman’s thin lips while her pale skin brandished an array of black inked runes in all patterns and designs. Walking towards them slowly, the trail of her black velvet cloak dragged against the cobbled floor while she lapped up the shocked expressions donning the men’s faces.
“Anyway, dear King, I’d love to stay and chat but, sadly, I have places to be,” the grinning witch sneers, “-I believe there are two royal children that I must find.”
Raising her hand with a swift waver of her poised wrist, a red glow erupted from within the centre of the witch's palm, causing the men’s bodies to suddenly tense up and freeze while they become overwhelmed by a ravenous pain that spread within. With the air held within their lungs forced up against their will, they crash down onto the ground while clutching their crushing chests. Writhing in agony, the fearless wolves found no ease to their suffering when the lack of fresh air grew to great for them to bare, leaving their eyes to fall empty and lifeless just as the ominous woman’s own.
“Sleep tight, sweet King,” the witch bitterly whispered beside Theobald's ear while kneeling over, bending down to place a twisted kiss of disrespect upon his forehead during his last dying breath.
Within a blink of an eye, his spirit was gone and so was the presence of the witch—untraceable and departed, fleeing from the scene of the final crime. Those who had searched the outside grounds returned to the castle—hysterical upon the discovery after stumbling upon their fallen rulers. As the stammering warriors staggered down the hall, Alexander let out a faint cry for help. With his body growing colder by the passing second, he used his last moments on this Earth to tell the others about what had happened, warning them of the threat the witch had made upon her leave.
As news spread of the defeat of the royal bloodline, the surviving werewolves was left disbanded and lost across the destroyed land—wandering without guidance and scared of the witch’s daunting threat hanging over their heads, fearing her return. With their purpose now gone, no matter how hard they tried to return to what they knew, the wolves remained stagnant. Failing mission upon mission with the hopes of locating the missing Prince and Princess of the Blue Moon pack, disappointment grew amongst them as each wasted attempt met little to no success. Rumours soon began regarding Marsilla’s involvement, blaming her for the young royal’s disappearance, but most knowing the kind witches nature chose to ignore those and remain on the fence about it all. Many of the wolves eventually stopped their hunt after a few years, convinced that the witch that had attacked the castle had found and slain the children, just as she had done to the Queen and King; while others remained hopeful that one day they would surely return.
The surviving wolves became restless while awaiting a new leader to be appointed, with no royal descendant remaining to claim the throne the question arose as to who would fill it. With the absence of a bloodline ruler, the battle of the throne soon began—a battle between their own kind, fighting to establish who would rule over the wolves from there on out. The years which followed saw many new clans form from the ashes of their old lives, honouring the deal that their former rulers had made while settling into the luxurious districts the mortals called home. With every pack craving the power that the Blue Moon Pack had once possessed, each became adamant they were to be the successors of the once-thriving population, unable to agree while every self-proclaimed Alpha fought to take the greatest of all positions.
As more contesters arose and pack numbers grew, it was soon a matter of every pack being out for themselves. With so many fighting for the King's cold throne, they quickly realised it would never be the same as it was once before. Instead of arguing over one piece of land, the wolves agreed to divide the territory between themselves, claiming a piece of the desired reward they all craved. Growing greedy, it didn’t take long for neighbouring packs to turn against one another—squabbling over one another’s turf, causing the onslaught to resume. Alongside fighting amongst themselves, the once-respected witches and any species that was not their own was blamed for all of the wolves misfortune, including the disappearance of their cherished Prince and Princess whose whereabouts proceeded to remain unknown.
Angry at the hand the wolves had been dealt with in life, they began taking their frustrations out on one another and demanded territory outside of their own—ruthlessly searching without consequence for the power they desired no matter who or what they hurt, even if it was a wolf just like themselves preventing them from attempting to do so. With each piece of territory they controlled, the expanding pack's strength grew to match—sparking a war of domination amongst the wolf community and setting a new chain of command to follow for all generations to come. It was soon taught to all the budding Alpha’s, that with the territory comes land, and controlling land led to wealth. In the end, wealth could only lead to power, and in that power, the first of the Great Cities was born - leading us to where our story begins today.