Cate Silent-as-the-Steel, former Philodox of the Glass Walkers, speaks:
It’s over. It’s finally over. The war, the Wyrm…everything. It went to shit fast as hell, but somehow…we made it out alive. And now, we have more than ever to show for it.
None of us are really sure how, but the Wyrm had been freed from its bands by the Spirals and the others in Malfeas. It rampaged through the Umbra, destroying most of it with little effort. The Weaver went crazy-go-nuts, trying to keep the Wyrm under control; this failed miserably, and from what we can tell the Weaver herself was weakened, causing the Gauntlet to falter and unleashed much on the world that it was nowhere near prepared for. We charged into the fray, all of us. The Bastet, the Nuwisha, even the Mokolé, of all people. All of us did what they could to drive back the horrors that were pouring out of the now-accessible Umbra, as well as the Spirals that were going apeshit in the real world. Most of us went down during the fighting; only by a massive sacrifice of nearly all the world’s shifters were we able to bring the two forces of the universe brought back to their proper states.
Once the fighting was done, we took a look at what was left. The cities were still standing, for the most part. The folks who survived the fighting started gathering together for survival. I headed back to what was the sept in Central Park at one point and saw a man there leading a bunch of people. He looked right at me, then smiled brightly as the weird golden mark that was on his forehead started glowing. I felt something weird, kinda like how I would when I would talk with my packmates through our totem. Wary, I watched the man for a while, listening to him speak. Eventually, they left, the golden man leading them off to the north end of Manhattan.
One night while I was sleeping in the remains of The Majestic theater, I had a dream about a silvery woman that I can only guess was Luna. I don’t remember what exactly she said, but when I woke up I felt like there was somewhere I had to be. I started walking towards the bottom tip of the island and saw a bunch of folks from the sept as well as people I didn’t recognize gathering at one of the fountains in Battery Park. Amy, one of the Gaians at the sept, waved me over and filled me in on what was up. Seems like the Lunes were working together some kind of portal to the place I felt the tug towards. I’m no Theurge, so I nodded and smiled like I usually do.
After about an hour, the portal thing was working, and Amy and I walked into the fountain. After what felt like about three hours, we were unceremoniously dumped into salt water of all things. We quickly jumped out of the water and found ourselves on a beach somewhere, with nary a building or power line in sight. What I could see, though, was about a hundred people milling around, but what shocked me was the shapes that some of them took. I had never seen a Mokolé in Crinos form before and it was – and still is – beyond words. There were cats, ravens, bears and even snakes, although at the time I had NO idea what those were.
I’m still not quite sure how long we were there until She appeared to us. More and more of us arrived; I think the number was around 400 when it was all said and done. The sun rose and fell, but Luna changed phases much faster than normal, sometimes going through a whole cycle in one night while switching from new to half to full without moving through the waxing and waning phases in others. This, of course, confused the more mystical types to no end; I was more occupied with talking with the other shifters there and finding out more about ‘em. It’s amazing, really. All this time the other Fera were around, and none of us really tried to sit down and talk with them. Then again, most of ‘em hated our guts, so it’s somewhat understandable.
One night, while I was talking with this one group of shifters from Tokyo, the sky was filled with a bright silver light. When I looked up, all five phases of Luna were showing at once. Not to be outdone by the lightshow above, the water that we had been dropped into was also a shimmering silver. If I hadn’t known better, I would have sworn it WAS silver, judging by the tingling I felt when it started glowing. Then, the most beautiful woman I have ever seen emerged from the ocean. She spoke, and her voice sent shivers down my back. “You have finally come together, my children. The world as you once knew it has come to an end, and a new one is beginning. Come to me, and I shall give you my gift.” We all moved forward, and I happened to be the first one there. She smiled down at me, and I felt happier than I ever had in my life. Until she picked me up like I was a cub and held me under the water, that is.
By the gods, that BURNED. It felt like silver, it hurt like silver, it damn well WAS silver. She held me there until Gaia knows how long, until I finally gave in and took a breath, swallowing some of the silver-y liquid. Suddenly, the pain stopped and I was slammed with millions of images; most of them are still jumbled up, but I could feel the power in them. She let me come up for air, which I took gratefully. When I could see clearly again, I realized that my skin was covered in thin lines of silver. Also, I noticed that the water wasn’t setting off my silver Spidey-sense. I sat on the beach, trying to figure out most of the things that were spinning around in my brain like clothes in a drier. Much sooner than I thought, all of those gathered had entered the water (or, in the case of the Rokea, came out of it). The silver woman looked down upon us all, smiling as she spoke. “Now you are my true children once again. Go forth and aid this world as best you can in my name.” She shimmered for a moment, then there was a bright flash of silver light. Next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground in Battery Park with about twenty other people.
Yeah, the world may have ended. True, most of the crazy shit that was in this world is now dead and buried. The problem is, there’s a lot more crazy stuff now than there ever was before; looks like we weren’t the only ones to get an upgrade. We’ve all got a mission to do, and I’ll be damned if I don’t do what I can. Plus, I’ve got a man with a gold mark to find.
The end of the Second Age left Creation in shambles, the land warped by both the Wyld's touch and the heavy-handed shaping of the empowered Defense Grid. The fae host was almost totally destroyed, and the Deathlords had redrawn from Creation for reasons unknown. The remaining Exalted, beaten almost to the brink of Oblivion, now had a more pressing question hanging over their heads: what happens now? The Solars and Dragon-Blooded gathered what people they could and moved on, while the Star-Chosen and Deathknights retreated into the background as was their way. The Lunars had a higher calling, however; after being visited from Luna herself, they gathered what remained of their beastman tribes and met at The Silver Reach, the largest Luna-aspected demense remaining after the empowerment of the grid.
After all were gathered, Luna herself descended from the heavens, smiling upon her Chosen. "You have served me well in this time of great strife, but now another needs your aid. The face of Creation has changed, and Gaia is unable to care for it as she once was. Thus, I have given you over to her for a time, until her control is restored." Most of the Lunars present gasped in shock, while some actually shouted out in anger at the Silver Lady. Luna waited until quiet had returned, then continued. "I understand your anger, but know this; I will still watch and guide you as I always have. If there are those among you who would rather stay by my side than aid Gaia in her work, merely come forward." At this, about a quarter of the Lunars present (including some of those who had come into power during the First Age) were embraced by Luna and never seen again. "I have one last gift for you, my darling children." The Reach filled with a silver light as the beastmen tribes were given a small amount of their forebearer's power, fueled by the anger of those Lunars who had refused to leave their Mother's side. "Use it well, and guard Creation as best you can." Luna then departed, leaving those gathered to make their own way into this new Creation.
As time went on, the remaining Lunars died, but for reasons unknown by their beastmen tribes, their shards never returned to the face of Creation. The beastmen, now calling themselves Fera, spread through Creation, mingling with the mortal groups they found and becoming full-fledged societies on their own. They found ways to penetrate the Defense Grid holding the spirit world from that of normal Creation, making pacts with the spirits through their patrons. As time went on, however, the wolf-born beastmen got it into their heads that they alone among the Fera were fit to watch over the mortals (and Gaia as a whole). A war raged between the tribes of Fera, decimating their population as a whole and leaving the Fera unable to truly protect Gaia as they should have been able.
Gaia's time grew short indeed, and both spirits and demons from Malfeas (whose bindings had weakened greatly over the turning of Ages) emerged and wrought destruction upon both the spiritual and mortal plains. The Fera did all they could, with most sacrificing themselves in an grand ritual to attempt to drive back these evils. After the foe was defeated, Luna once again called her Chosen together and gave them the power that their ancient ancestors had once wielded many Ages ago. She gave them one charge: help Creation get back on it's feet and continue to guard it as they were meant to do.
This is where the Fera now stand. The world is in shambles much like it was at the end of the Second Age, and with beings returning that have not been seen in millenia, they desperately need the newly-granted power that Luna has gifted them. You are one of the shifters, a 21th-century creature filled with the power of a bygone Age. Will you protect or will you terrorize? The choice is yours to make, but the consequences are mighty indeed.
More to come once it's written up. Let me know what you think, eh? - Caelene