We were betrayed, the Anshega have won, the Tribes of the Moon are doomed to die a slow death.
I write these words first in case I pass on from my wounds before I finish this account. The account of the darkest day in the history of the Forsaken of these dark isles.
There was a sickness in London. This monstrosity of steel and glass has always been a breeding ground for spirits that in turn prey on the corruption and weakness of the humans here. But years ago, no one knows how many, a Maeljin claimed London as its own. Mammon, the feeder of greed. In London, the rich and poor alike always desire more and in the shadow realm a Wound erupted that drew Mammon to it like a moth to a flame. His Maeltinet: The Dying Priest offered much, supplications to him were always granted, desires continuously met. With a host of desire-, greed- and pain-spirits at his command the Wound grew and festered and the legion of humans that answered the Dying Priest’s call generated so much power for the tainted spirits around them that they became worthless human husks all too easily open to becoming Spirit-Ridden. However, it was not only humans that gave in to greed, it was Werewolves as well.
It is to the shame of the Forsaken packs of London that several of their number fell to the desire for territory, power, and revenge. Soon the Maeltinet had a score of Bale Hounds at his disposal, hidden within packs of Forsaken, and Pure, across the city. The Pure discovered this infiltration quickly and snuffed it out in its infancy. However, the Tribes of the Moon, already struggling to fulfil their oath to Mother Luna, allowed this deception to go unnoticed. All the while the Dying Priest was leaving a trail of possessed humans and power-demented spirits in its wake, spilling out from the edge of the Wound.
Finally, the Lune Dakulna, The Reaping Beast, appeared in visions of Cahalith across the land. Mammon’s manipulation of the greedy in London was having a dire effect on nature across the country as land was torn up to build unnecessary housing and animals were hunted for sport and others culled in the name of protection. Dakulna would not let this stand and called a Silver Crusade against the Dying Priest and his Bale Hounds.
The first to answer the call to the Crusade was Angela Jennings, Alpha of the Bone Orchard from Edinburgh. Soon packs from all over the country flocked to the Crusade. The Ghost Knives, Wednesday’s Children, my own pack The Lords of Smoke, The Trawlermen, Blaidd Drwg, Brick and Bone, and many other packs answered the rallying cry of Dakulna and plans were quickly drawn up to cleanse the Wound. Two untainted packs from London, The Irregulars and The Temple Guard, led the Crusaders into the Shadow realm to the Wound, hoping to catch the Maeltinet off guard.
I have been a part of many battles through my years and have encountered many tainted areas within the spirit realm but never have I seen a Wound as polluted and vile as that one. An overwhelming stench of carrion assaulted the senses before the rotting edge of the Wound was even seen. The landscape was a barren wasteland, trees and buildings stripped and broken as Greed-spirits tore at the very earth. Bloody scars and gashes littered the floor and walls of the shadow, the ground throbbed and occasionally split, leaving a river of blood and puss. A horde of spirits swarmed around the area fighting each other for scraps. In the centre of it all, unmoving, stood the Dying Priest, an emaciated young man, grey-skinned with a death’s head grin. Unmoving, it smiled and silently gestured, sending its avaricious legions charging towards the Tribes of the Moon.
Slathering hunger spirits, shaped like hideously obese hyenas and vultures assaulted the Werewolves front line. They were met by the finest Uratha warriors in the United Kingdom who cut through the spirits, howling with fury. The first victories were short lived however as from beneath our forces rose gluttonous spirits, worms with gaping maws that swallowed several Werewolves whole. It was at this time that the Bale Hounds revealed themselves, sowing discord between the members of the crusade, even now offering power to those who would join them.
I grow faint and there is still so much more to tell. Needless to say, there were a great many tales of heroism that day. Remember what happened if you can, the lost must not be forgotten. After what seemed like hours of combat, but was probably only thirty minutes if that, the Uratha, despite horrendous casualties, had laid low the Bale Hounds and fought our way to the Dying Priest. Leading the charge was Eagle’s Reach, Rahu and Alpha of the Blaidd Drwg and Commander of the Crusade’s Delal. In his hands he gripped the scythe klaive: Agalu Delal, demon eater. Roaring in Garou form, cutting through the spirits surrounding the Maeltinet, he raised his scythe and struck at the smiling Priest, only for his blow to be blocked by the grinning abomination. As his fellow shock troopers were pulled down around him by hordes of baying Beshiu, more terrified of the Maletinet than us Uratha, Eagle’s Reach was forced to listen to the mocking laughter of the Dying Priest as he was disembowelled. However, with the last of his strength, Eagle’s Reach tossed his unwieldy Klaive over the Priest’s shoulder to a hidden Irraka: Jenny Singh of the Temple Guard, briefly given the deed name Shadow Strike after this feat, who caught the scythe and struck the Maeltinet from behind. The Demon Eater is a powerful weapon that does not wound spirits but unravels their very corpus. As the Dying Priest shrieked in agony, his own forces saw power to be taken and leapt upon him tearing the Maeltinet limb from limb.
With the spirits in disarray, we rallied and struck as one pack, fighting together in a way that would have brought our patrons to tears of pride. Soon nothing was left but fleeing spirits and exhausted Werewolves. The battle had been won. We had maybe ten minutes to savour our victory.
The Pure had been led to us. I won’t speak the traitors name as he will be known to you. But, unbeknownst to us, the Anshega had turned him and had long been planning this day since the Crusade was first revealed to them. They came with no great roar, not at first, but suddenly Uratha on the flanks of our great war party started to fall to unseen assailants. Then they were everywhere. Snarling Predator Kings led the charge, unleashing their unquenchable hatred upon us. Other than a few young eager Werewolves, the Ivory Claws were absent, though a horde of Hatred spirits tore into us at their behest. The Fire Touched sighed as they slew us, claiming that this was for our own good. The survivors of the battle were tired, weak and stood no chance against this fresh assault. I saw Shadow Strike fall as she struck out with the Demon Eater, torn to pieces in her hour of glory. I saw Scent of Ash, my close friend, decapitated in the fury of the onslaught just before I was set upon by poisoned blades of the Fire-touched. Our War Leader: Angela Jennings, saw as much and shouted for the Uratha to retreat before she was clawed to pieces.
Sorrow overtakes me, my end is not long in coming. I shall be brief. Arbiter of Shadows of the Ghost Knives managed to lead a group of us safely out of the shadow, only to be met in the real world by police officers in the employ of the Ivory claws, armed with silver bullets. Arbiter fell and several died covering our escape. Old and slow, I was struck by too many bullets for me to survive long. I was carried to our staging area only to find that surrounded by the enemy, eagerly waiting for survivors. As we fled to a location that is supposedly “off the grid” messages came to us of Uratha trying to escape London only to be torn apart by Predator Kings lying in wait. Trains and cars broke down in Pure territory, seemingly sabotaged by Anshega bound spirits. Paths of retreat are cut off. No contact has successfully been made with Werewolves outside of London. I fear we few are all those that remain. And now I lie in the back of a transit van, writing this account as one of my fellows screams at me to rest, that I will make it, just as my lifeblood flows away.
Truly I am not envious of the living, as you now live in a different world. We are no longer hunters, but prey. But we must fulfil our oath to Mother Luna, we must
(Gentle Voice’s writing ends here)
London’s Werewolf the Forsaken Setting
Craig Edgar, November 2020