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Lycanthropy and Vampirism

When the first mortals became gods, war raged through the multiverse as gods and primordials alike fell like stars. One especially cunning and powerful primordial warped existence around it to make its own death impossible, and it took the most cunning gods of sorcery and trickery to bind it to the moon, encasing it in softly glowing holy stone. The other gods cheered and lauded those dark and slippery compatriots of theirs whom they didn’t trust any other time, but the gods of tricks and magic remained uneasy, for they alone knew the details of their craft intimately enough to understand its limitations. The war raged on, and many of those gods fell and were replaced, as their concerns passed into legend.   Millennia later, a man stood at the edge of death, having betrayed his family and gods. Enraged, embittered, and desperate, he howled into the darkness and demanded an answer, anything to allow him to finish what he’d started. A whisper answered him, and promised him existence eternal for thirst unending. The prospect of discomfort seemed a paltry price to the man, who eagerly accepted, becoming the first of the Damned, and through him the curse of vampirism now wrenched the dead from their final rest. This new undead stymied the forces of light who bravely pitted themselves against them, until one woman lay bleeding to death under the full moon, surrounded by the mist of a vampire she’d defeated, but not slain. She heard a whisper then, promising her the strength to slay the undead; she would be an avatar of Nature herself, manifest against this new perversion. The woman accepted, and as her limbs twisted and lengthened, her wounds painfully closed themselves as a howl erupted from her lips. The first werewolf had been born, and though silver- the metal of the moon- now bit deeply into her skin, the woman found that she could rend the undead limb from limb and track them to their earthen sanctuaries. Others joined her as she birthed and bit, and the reclusive shifters altered the disease, transforming into animals other than wolves. The tide had turned.   Desperate, vampires reached deep within themselves and tried to channel the whispers; their ranks swelled with warlocks, and those who skirted the very edge of madness gleaned incredible insight at staggering costs. Bizarre aberrations appeared among vampire ranks, even in those who didn’t follow the warlock path, with tentacles or additional eyes appearing among other, even less savory, changes. Foul magics bolstered the vampires, who found werebeasts waiting for them with surprised of their own; the oldest werecreatures had not died, and instead manifested similar mutations, their shapeshifting growing out of control and resulting in horrific abominations. The werewolves especially descended into madness and a lust for consuming flesh after a few decades of infection; other strains of werebeast often resisted, but remained wary of this fate. The Mother of Wolves in particular discovered, to her horror, that death gave her no respite; her hunger merely transformed into thirst. The machinations of the Whispers now dawned on werewolf and vampire alike, and the most sane among each howled in rage at their betrayal, while those werewolves and vampires too far gone slunk through the shadows with silver daggers and silenced those who might undo the damage this curse had wrought.   To this day, lycanthropes and vampires alike maintain a strict ban on warlock magics and anything that can contact the Whisper, whom they believe to be the entity in the moon. The wisest among werewolves do their best to restrain their curse or to dedicate themselves to eradicating aberrations; those who aren’t so self-aware avoid the obviously aberrant while feeding their urges all the same. Vampires are no different, and the revelation that living vampires exist on other worlds within the sphere has heightened the urgency of vampires to find a means of eradicating the curse. Hunters share stories of vampires and werewolves alike who wish to free themselves, yet every such story ends in tragedy, and so the Wild Hunt continues to pursue these monsters, too often succumbing to the curse themselves. The Whisper in the Moon never stops, and can never die, and will forever infect if slowly. All life in the multiverse is fighting a losing battle, even if they can’t discern the scale on which it’s being fought.

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