The Moon Wants To Murder You: Fact or Fiction?

I see the bad moon a-rising
I see trouble on the way
I see earthquakes and lightnin'
I see bad times today  
— Creedence Clearwater Revival
  Even as humanity's understanding of the cosmos grows, dangerous secrets lurk in the night sky. In the Shadow, the moon hangs over the world like a sword of Damocles, a harbinger of the end to come. Far from an inert hunk of space-rock, the moon is a potent magical force that reaches across worlds like few others can.   Nobody is really sure what the moon is, but every sign points to the bastard being trouble.  

Bad Moon Rising

I hear hurricanes a-blowing
I know the end is coming soon
I fear rivers over flowing
I hear the voice of rage and ruin  
— Creedence Clearwater Revival
  For denizens of the Shadow, the moon has been an ill-omen for as long as anyone can remember. Even in the Prime, it's blamed for everything from causing insanity to natural disasters, and perhaps for good reason. Like a living, hungry thing, the moon gazes down on the earth, waiting for its chance to devour everything - or so the more paranoid wizards proclaim. Others say it is a living god, a creature from beyond space and time, or an unholy cocoon, just waiting to hatch.  
78876 - kopia (2).jpg
by Rawpixel.com (Freepik)
The handful of Magi who have been to the moon in the Shadow and returned to tell about it report an alien landscape nothing like the barren, crater-riddled satellite seen in the Prime. The surface of the moon is said crawling with strange and impossible life, the very ground writhing and pulsing as if to the beat of a heart.  
Every now and then, one of these things from the moon will find its way to the world below, and that's not good.
  No story from those who have been there ever has a happy ending - they speak of alien cities that shouldn't, chasms of hungry teeth, unholy terrors lurking in every shadow, and a voice that calls for the doom of all things. Most explorers don't return at all.
 
But that doesn't stop people from wanting to go, thinking they're the ones who'll beat the odds. Some are sure they'll find power or treasure; others seek the truth. It's a real be careful what you wish for kind of situation.
  There is only one known Gates to the moon; the Gates of Tomorrow. It is a neolithic monument from ages past, standing stones whose physical representation in Prime have long since withered away. They remain in the Shadow the stone growing like wild-flowers as the moon moves towards its fullest, withering again as the moon does.   It isn't known who built them or how they were imbued with such power, the most likely culprit being some critter from the Beyond, or even the moon itself. Every total lunar eclipse, they unfurl like a lotus flower and open the door to the moon - and a path for whatever's up there to reach the world.  

Moon Magic

Don't go around tonight
Well it's bound to take your life
There's a bad moon on the rise  
— Creedence Clearwater Revival
  Whatever it is, the moon exerts a powerful influence on magic, tugging at the weave of reality from its place in the Shadow. When it is full, monsters emerge from their hollows with an uncommon frenzy, and the mist hides strangers never seen before. The ebb and flow spark a charge of energy into the world, dangerous and wild. For some mystics, it is a source of power, even if they aren't exactly what they're tapping into to fuel their magic.  
Like children playing with a nuclear reactor.
 
Using the stars, planets, or other celestial alignment is part and parcel of ritual spellcasting, but the moon has always been particularly present. Many Gates use its phases as their Keys, and even parts of the Beyond seem to change when the moon does.  
Moon-powered spells never seem designed to pet puppies or summon candy for children, either.
  Werewolves are the most infamous example of a monster seemingly controlled by the moon, but not the only one. Some broods of vampires seem driven to a hunger frenzy by the full moon and slumber as it waxes.
jaroslav-devia-xfYiIpHnvhs-unsplash.jpg
by Unsplash (Jaroslav Devia)
zoltan-tasi-HQPJEEjHqSE-unsplash.jpg
by Unsplash (Zoltan Tasi)
 

Shadow of the Moon

The Shadow lies atop the mortal world, like a veil of oil on water. It's where things that go bump in the night hide when the sun goes up, where magic dwells, and where wizards and witches live away from prying eyes.   It's a plane of existence that mirrors the world. From here, people in the Prime are like insubstantial shades. It isn't quite a 1-to-1 translation of the real world, but close - and the shadow of the moon is a forbidding, dangerous place, even for the most powerful warlock.  
The Shadow
Geographic Location | Apr 9, 2021

Like an oily stain across reality, the Shadow co-exists with the real world and hides monsters of magic.

 
summon-4373257_1920.jpg
by Pixabay
 

Apocalypse Party Pacts

One part Burning Man, one part vigil, the Apocalypse Prevention Party is an irregularly held festival deep within the Shadow. Here, party-goers bar the Gate to the Sea of Tranquility on the moon in the rare times when the gate opens, preventing anyone from going up there and doing something stupid.  
The Apocalypse Prevention Party
Tradition / Ritual | Jul 6, 2021

Saving the world and getting drunk at the same time.

Lunacy

Some folk don't take well to the idea of some impossible god-beast always hanging in the sky, watching their every move. They go moon-mad, obsessing over whatever doom the moon promises to the world or even them specifically. How they respond depends on the magi in question - some hole up bunkers every night, preparing for 'the big one', while others adopt a sort of strike first mentality.   Between those two extremes are those just stricken by paranoia, treating moonlight as if it was radiation.  
It's always up there. Watching us. Waiting...
If there's a way to summon the creatures that live on the moon, no one has found it yet - at least, they haven't admitted to it. Such research is considered ill-advised in the best of times, but that's not going to stop the ambitious or power-hungry. Rumors whisper that some mages have already figured it out, and some of the seemingly random occurrences of moon monsters in the Shadow is nothing more than a summoned monster that broke its leash.  

Truth & Theories

Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we're in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye  
— Creedence Clearwater Revival
  Everyone has their own idea what might be going on up there, but the answer remains elusive. Even Magi who have been can only guess at the truth, but that hasn't stopped anyone from wildly speculating.    

Prison

A variant on the hollow moon theory popular with crack-pots everywhere, some magi hold that the moon itself isn't to blame, but holds some monstrous entity within it that is responsible for all its aberrations.   What this entity is ranges from the actual devil to alien gods, to some god from the Beyond who finally made their way across. There are claims, unsubstantiated, of wards sighted on the moon, and no one admitting to forging them.

Kaiju

Some cast the moon itself as a singular, living entity. A god or devil, lurking in the night sky and waiting for its chance to claim the world, or perhaps every world, as its domain. Some even claim to have heard its voice call them.   Others claim that the moon they see is just the tip of the iceberg - the physical manifestation of a far greater beast that lies waiting in the Beyond. Certainly, some Walkers claim, with gibbering madness, to have seen continent-sized monsters in their journeys to the Beyond.

Alien

A few extreme mages jump right into the deep end of the pool. If the moon is impossible, then it has to be something else. A hollow space-station, a time-travelling machine, or an alien colony. Perhaps other worlds have wizards too, and they've come to visit.   Since there's not much proof of any of this, most of these folk are laughed right out of the room. It's still a fringe theory, amusing but generally disregarded by more serious magi.
  Other theories include the moon as a piece of some alien planet, mystically charged, or an artifact forged by some poorly defined but magically superior 'ancient people'. Perhaps the most credible theory is that the moon has become a permanently open Gate straight into the Beyond, and has been forever changed by the endless flow of magic.  
No matter which theory holds true, one thing is certain - it is bad news waiting to happen.
 
mark-tegethoff-NbgQfUvKFE0-unsplash.jpg
by Unsplash (Mark Tegethoff)
 
...And of course, there may very well be other gates to the moon than just the one.


Cover image: by Unsplash (Ganapathy Kumar)

Comments

Author's Notes

And for funsies, here's a poll: what do you think the moon is?   Place yer bets! Thanks to Hcraven for the idea!


Please Login in order to comment!
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
6 Jul, 2021 14:39

Great article! I love that moon ❤ Next to the text, those images of the moon look really ominous XD I'm really REALL intrigued by this now... Like I've said on the discord, the kaiju theory is my fav, and I perfectly understand all those crazy people treated moonrays like radiations!   The portal you mentioned going to the moon, it's the one from the apocalypse prevention parties, right? So does that mean that some people did manage to go through it to go to the moon and see what's up there? All those talks of mysterious cities and monsters are really intriguing

6 Jul, 2021 18:12

Excellent, the intrigue is working :D   Yes! Some people have made it through the portal, or even been sent through as part of a more 'official' research expedition sort of deal, until they decided that was a terrible idea.   Thank you <3 :D

Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
10 Jul, 2021 12:06

*terrified emoji*   love that last quote XD

6 Jul, 2021 18:02

I love the Revival lyrics you have woven throughout, they really bring the article together. Another well done article, as always

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
6 Jul, 2021 18:09

Thank you! I am unreasonably pleased about my choice to include them :D

6 Jul, 2021 18:12

What a great article! The moon in the Shadow sure sounds like a horrifying place! Love the theories that the people have for it, makes it even more mysterious ^^

Feel free to check out My Ship entry if you want to see what I am up to!
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
6 Jul, 2021 22:09

This is excellent! So much sinister energy; I'll never look at the moon the same way again. I love the idea of it being a prison or an actual diety.

Cait x
9 Jul, 2021 08:20

Ahahah, thank you very much :D Sinister energy is definitely Shedim-Energy!

7 Jul, 2021 00:07

Yeah, I'm going to look with suspicion at the moon forever now. It's a giant eye, isn't it?!?!?!

9 Jul, 2021 08:20

If it is, that means the moon is looking back!

7 Jul, 2021 01:17

it's amazing how you are describing horrors waiting to fall upon earth and I still laugh at your jokes <3

Am I writing or procrastinating? Take a guess and visit my galaxy
8 Jul, 2021 13:23

Success!! Thank you :D

7 Jul, 2021 08:12

Scary stuff indeed. I like how much mystery surrounds the moon - makes perfect sense, given that explorers rarely return. I chuckled at the quote about the purpose of moon-powered spells, and the lyrics woven through the article are great for setting the mood!

creator of the Kaleidoscope System, an alien star system shaped by a colorful radiation source   SummerCamp 2021 Pledge Document
9 Jul, 2021 08:20

I'm unreasonably pleased with myself about the lyrics, for sure :D   Thank you :D

7 Jul, 2021 15:24

I'm not saying it's aliens....
Fun read :)

- Hello from Valayo! And Happy Summer Camp!
8 Jul, 2021 13:23

Lolz_1
The Likeliest and Most Reasonable Explaination by Giorgio Tsoukalos
  Thanks :D

8 Jul, 2021 12:14

How can I not comment on a article that features Creedence?! Great work as always!

8 Jul, 2021 13:22

I'm still unreasonably pleased with my choice of using the lyrics in the article. They just fit so perfectly. :)

8 Jul, 2021 20:57

Wow! That was such an incredible and eerie read and I was at the end of it before I knew it!   And while I voted for thinking that this is some sort of beast it was my vote tied for permanent portal to the Beyond based off of the Beyond article!


Seek out Fate in the world of Auriga!   Also, feel free to check out my Progress Report for this year's Summer Camp... AND if you want to see what I'm working on, you can check up on my Prompt Workshop space!
10 Jul, 2021 09:57

Thank you very much!! I'm glad to hear :D   And... We'll just have to wait for the book to find out. Working title: Moon Murder Mysterious! :P

10 Jul, 2021 18:30

Nice! Also just read that updated line.   So creepy! o.o And intriguing! :D


Seek out Fate in the world of Auriga!   Also, feel free to check out my Progress Report for this year's Summer Camp... AND if you want to see what I'm working on, you can check up on my Prompt Workshop space!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
9 Jul, 2021 00:15

Lemme say I love the use of of bad moon rising. I love that you turn something like the moon into a cosmic horror, but keep it where it may not be. The stories are definitely terrifying but could also be the mad ramblings of someone who's seen a but too much.     I think naming the gate to the moon "the gate of tommorrow" sounds awfully ominous. Lol I I also like how you tie werewolves into it as well. I really like this world.

10 Jul, 2021 09:53

Haha, I think the lyrics worked fantastically well! :D   Thank you, I'm glad to hear you like it :D

11 Jul, 2021 02:33

The moon would never do something like that. They're fantastic. Love the moon. 10/10, definitely in my top 5 celestial bodies.

Vestigiumis my current major project. Read it if you feel so inclined.
11 Jul, 2021 05:26

Moon cultist, then? Right this way, we have the ceremonial robes and mask ready!

15 Jul, 2021 05:14

I, for absolutely no reason at all, and with no bias whatsoever, think that the moon is a friend! D:   But actually this is awesome, and I love all the theories woven in here. The reports of what's been seen in the Shadow are legitimately terrifying. Great work :D


Cathedris, the world of God-husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
15 Jul, 2021 06:23

It might even be a dead god! ;D   Thank you <3

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
15 Jul, 2021 05:42

Personally, I think the moon is a portal to the Beyond. But I'm always bad at guessing, so it's probably some gigantic monster. You always manage so well to mix in horrors into a world very much like our own. Which brings the darkness very close. I really like that you left the question about what it really is unanswered, adding an element of mystery. I also have to mention that the moment I saw the CCR lyrics I turned on Bad Moon Rising, and played it on repeat while reading your article. When I was a child my dad would play this song over and over, and we would dance all over the living room. I think he might still have that LP record, but I'm not sure. Anyway, another excellent article Q!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
15 Jul, 2021 06:25

I am unreasonably happy with using the lyrics - it just fit the article so perfectly. I was running them on repeat while writing it, too :D   Thank you very much :D

28 Jul, 2021 20:10

This is a bit zany - I like it. :)   Otherwise I'm with Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull: It's an eye. Isn't that common knowledge? ;)   Cheers!

2 Aug, 2021 12:14

Beautiful prose and intriguing worldbuilding, as always. The moon is often associated with weird stuff, so it's interesting to see a take where the moon is the weird stuff. Lovely ominous quote at the end, too.   I did find a couple of typos ;)

  • "they speak of alien cities that shouldn't" - should that have "exist" or something at the end?
  • "There is only one known Gates to the moon" - should that "Gates" be singular?
  • "They remain in the Shadow" should probably have a comma or something directly after it
  • Drake's Dozen | Magic and Innovation and Identity, oh my.

    2 Aug, 2021 14:45

    Thanks for the typos-alarm! :D