This story is true.
Once, the children of Father Wolf turned upon their maker. With their fangs and claws, they teared through his flesh, breaking his bones, grasping his still beating heart. They reaped their Father’s heart from his chest and shattered it- and with his death howl, the whole world has collapsed upon itself- separating for once and for all flesh from spirit. Grieving of her lover’s death, the Moon cursed her children for the act- no more comfort they shall find in her touch, and those who try would suffer from the same torments as her own, sorrowful heart. While she was angry for her children’s acts, they still were her children- and after awhile, her rage turned into calm, and offered mercy to her offspring: take you father’s duties, and I shall relieve your pain. Wear one of the masks of the night, and my touch would hurt less. They agreed, and as such they became Forsaken by the spirit world. Others, those who didn’t lift a claw against their father, spur their mother for both her curse and forgiveness. They ripped the mask above their face, and embrace the everlasting pain of their mother’s touch- and the hate it brought with it- for they were Pure of sin. And those two faction still argue, fight and kill each other for who is to blame for their Father’s death- and their Mother’s love.
That story, of course, is one filthy, filthy lie.
That’s the nature of stories- they are nothing but a mask for truth at the very best. Time, unreliable narrators, political agendas, whispers of the spirits, creative freedom and simple forgetness have hid the truth under layers upon layers of lies and misdirection. After all, the story itself doesn’t have make sense, and blames Luna’s eccentric personality for the holes in the plot. The truth is, on the other hand, much more simple- especially once you take into account the physical supernatural system of the Uratha’s existence.
The truth is, that the People always wore the masks of the moon.
The truth was given at Dark Eras, which described the world before the Sundering- but again, even without it a simple scientific investigation of the Werewolf System would have revealed the truth. Think about it- the existence of the Uratha is one found in a very delicate balance. The Essences of Man and Wolf turn against each other, trying to tear the all thing apart. It is only thanks for the Moon Essence that the Uratha can exist at all- and removing it is what that cause the bane of silver to burn much harder to the Pure. On the other hand, adding more Moon Essence than there should would also cause some negative side effects to the werewolf in question- it would cause instability of existence, as different forms meld into each other, turning the Uratha into formless, shapeless, nameless being.. if you get what I mean.
At any case, both sides of the Uratha society has a reason to support that story- the Pure use it to demonize Luna and those faithful to her for supporting the murderers of Father Wolf. The Forsaken, on the other hand, gain from it a special status as Luna’s chosen- they are special, gifted by their Mother with greater power than they originally had. They wear their Auspice as a badge of honor, a sign that their ideology is the correct one, and that killing their weakened Father to inherit his responsibilities was the right thing to do. That story gives power to the Uratha, while the truth, which makes them into nothing more than abominations burn from the act of love between two primordial monsters, may kill them.
At any case, the point is that having an Auspice is a natural part of the Moon Essence in the werewolf’s system. While pure Moon Essence is shapeless, the thing is that it shifts between five different “stable” states, and combines those states into creating all kinds of weird forms of existence. Like the vampire’s Animation field, the Moon Essence’s exact properties also depend on the exact geometry of the system- for it dictate the exact interactions it may create with different materials. Think about what would have happened if all the geometry of carbon could have been shifted in room temperature between the different possible configurations- graphite would turn into diamonds, fullerene would become into nanotubes, and all in the middle you have the regular, anomalous coal. That’s the same thing for Moon Essence- all different states of the Moon exist equally in the system, allowing it to flow from one state to the other spontaneously. Such fluidity of form, however, takes too much energy in order to happen naturally (think about how diamonds are formed)- only high ranked Lunes, and Luna herself, are made from raw Moon Essence. Other beings, such as the Forsaken, have one of the different configurations “set”, creating a different set of interactions between their Wolf and Man Essences. Those different “Moon configurations” are, scientifically, the thing which creates the difference between Auspices.
Each Auspice has a number of influences upon the werewolf’s existence- first, it decides the Moon Gifts of the Uratha, and grants her access to certain Shadow Gifts. Second, it grants her a free dot in one of her Auspice skills. Third, it decides her favored Renown. Fourth, it grants her a Hunter’s Aspect- and finally, it gives her a certain Auspice benefit. The gifted skill dots seems to be in a similar situation to vampire’s situation- the Auspice is not a character’s choice, and as such it shouldn’t be something decided by her. However, skills are, by their nature, something learned and not inherited, meaning that the quantum model may not be the best to represent the situation. Instead, I think it could be better explained through the nature of the First Change- during that state, the whole Uratha system is found outside of of equilibrium, making the whole system unstable. However, as the Auspice cements itself upon the Uratha, the Moon Essence crystallize, deciding the interactions it would create with the system. However, as we all know, there is no such thing as “perfect crystal”- especially not in a chaotic system such as the Uratha’s body. Defects are formed, and those defects influence the crystal’s properties. A “perfect crystal” of Moon Essence creates certain interactions between the body and the mind, enhancing their capabilities in certain skills- however, the defects make it so only one of those skills actually express itself. The entropy is just too high for all of the skills to be expressed. The actions of the Uratha during the First Change itself, however, influence what kinds of defects may rise in the crustal, and as such may influence its configuration and interactions into favoring one skill over the other. The actions of the werewolf do not choose the way the Essence would crystallize, but they do influence it.
The Auspice Renown takes a much less to explain- as we have established before the Renown is the effective interactions which the Moon Essence use to connect both the soul and the Wolf. The Auspice is the configuration of the Moon Essence, and as such choose its interactions. As such, the Auspice would decide which interactions are favorable, and which Renown is favorable. See? Quick and easy.
The Auspice specific benefit seems to be yet another property generated from the Moon Essence’s configuration. The Hunter’s Aspect, however, seems to be a very specific form of interaction- after all, the Uratha’s existence as beings of the hunt comes from their Wolf Essence, yet the property which influence it is the Moon Essence. From that we can deduct that the Aspect is, in truth, the influence which the Moon Essence’s structure has over the Wolf Essence. After all, the crystallization of the Moon force its configuration, and the interactions it makes with the Wolf Essence force upon it a certain form in order to minimize the system’s energy. That’s the outcome of the bond between the Wolf and the Moon- the Moon draws the Wolf from the forest, and the Wolf howls to the Moon’s silvery light. The one pulls the other, and the interaction between the two decides which aspects of the beast would become more dominant under the lunar radiance.
Skills? Check. Renown? Check. Benefit and aspect? Check. After all of that, it feels like it should be a good time to discuss Gifts in general, and how they relate to the Auspices of the Moon.
As we all know, there are 3 types of Gifts- Moon, Shadow and Wolf. The first are the Gifts of the Mother, given to her children under the sign of the moon. The second are earned from the spirit world directly, being gained through bargain or hunt. The third is an internal part of what being an Uratha actually means. Under out paradigm, it is quit easy to understand from where the first and the third types come to the People- Wolf Gifts are natural product of the werewolf’s Wolf Essence. They are how the Wolf’s existence express itself in the Uratha, and how it reinforce itself upon their mind and body, with the connection to Renown represent which interactions are needed in order to express the Essence. Moon Gifts are also easy- they come from the Moon Essence, being direct representations of its configuration. Unlike Wolf and Shadow Gifts, which are a collection of different powers sharing the same themes, Moon Gifts are evolved product- which means that they represent how well the Uratha can control the interactions they generate with their system. However, in that case, from where does Shadow Gifts come from?
The answer- from the soul.
Sure, Shadow Gifts are external abilities, unlike the Moon and the Wolf. They come from the spirits, and must be gained through active acts, and not a simple internal evolution. However- the question is, upon who exactly those abilities are Gifted? It is not the Wolf Essence, for doing so would make the werewolf into a magath, not to mention that it would probably reject the attempt. It is not the Moon Essence, as it exist only to bind, and changes in the configuration would introduce new instability to the system. That leaves only the soul, the “human Essence”, as a potential candidate for the phenomena. That makes sense when you think about it- first, the soul was established as having very open for supernatural influences. That’s the actual core of every human being, and as it absorbs new supernatural phenomena it evolves and changes. As such, it makes a perfect anchor for the Uratha’s foreign Essence. Second, we also know that human can transform and influence Essence- by recognizing the Existence and Importance of subjects, they can strength its level of Existence, generating Essence. The soul’s ability to do so allows it to recognize the nature of the spirits that the Uratha hunts, and as such takes those aspects of Existence to herself. The Uratha hunts for their gifts, and it is the act of recognizing the prey’s nature that allows them to steal those powers to themselves.
It is not to say, of course, that the Moon Essence has no influence upon the Shadow Gifts- just as the Moon draws the Wolf, it also enchants the Man. The strength and types of interactions between the soul and the Moon decide the potency of the Gifts themselves, and if they can be anchored to the soul in the first place. After all, it is the Moon’s nature to bind things together- and while the soul is the core, it needs the Moon Essence in order to attach and organize the Essence to the system and make sure everything would stay stable, and in order to express those new qualities of the werewolf’s Existence into the world.
Returning to Auspices- we know that each Auspice grants 3 Gifts: one Moon and two Shadows. We have already established why the Auspice grants the Moon Gift (as those Gifts are an expression of the Moon Essence’s configuration). The Shadow Gifts, however, are a bit trickier- why would an internal Essence such as the Moon would instinctively bind certain foreign Essence? Why does certain configurations are specific for certain themes of existence?
The answer is that we are asking the wrong questions. After all, it is not the Moon Essence which activates Shadow Gifts. It’s the Man.
While the Moon is many things, in the end it is only a celestial object which orbits the Earth. Humanity, however, looked at it and draw many other, unrelated associations- beauty, mysticism, love, hunt, madness, war. The act of the soul interacting with the Moon has caused all new kinds of Existence to rise, generating new Essence which originally didn’t belong- yet because it is anchored to the soul, it does not shape the Moon, but the soul. That act, that resonance between the soul and other aspects of the world, is what allows the Uratha to learn Gifts in general- and the thing which creates the associated Auspice Gifts specifically. As the Moon Essence manifest itself during the First Change, the soul looks upon the monster it has become and starts drawing associations. Those associations generate Essence, which are tied to the nature of the Moon Essence. As the Moon Essence crystallize into a certain configuration, the soul’s associations becomes more and more specific, until it eventually creates a set of themes it connects to the configuration. Those themes creates an affinity between the soul and certain Gifts which share those associations, not because the Moon cares- the Moon can bind anything- but because the soul cares, for that’s the Existence it recognize in the monster it has turned into.
Well, that’s it for the general review of the Auspices.
Now its time for a more in depth look on the signs of the moon.
Each of the five Auspices is a form of predator called by the Moon. The first is the Cahalith- storytellers, lorekeepers and prophets. They are not the librarians or archivist, which hoard knowledge and tell fairy tales to young children. They are the heralds, the harbingers of the hunt, skalds which howl to the moon and summon the armies to war while fighting alongside them. They follow the ancient stories and songs in order to define the hunt, make it into something higher than a bloody murder filled with gore. They turn it into a part of the continuous legend, part of the overreaching story which is the Uratha’s existence since the fall of Father Wolf. The People are the heroes of the story, and the one which leads them to those heroic acts are the chosen of the Gibbous Moon.
That role is defined through their Moon Essence. Expression and Persuasion are easy to explain as the skills needed for someone which leads others to battle. Craft express the needs of material items in order to preserve the legends- from forging the sword which would slay the terror to weaving grand tapestries which immortalize the heroes of the past, the Cahalith are meant not only to inspire in the here and now, but also to forge legends which would inspire through the ages. Glory works well as their defining Renown- for how else you would measure the capabilities of a war leader if not through the stories they tell about them? The ability to invoke prophetic dreams represents a form of divine inspiration, as their Moon Essence shifts and tunes in order to become the shape of things to come. The Hunter’s Aspect works to force that vision upon reality- the Cahalith knows that in the story, the battle was already won. She saw it- she saw how her claws tore through they prey’s flesh and brought the enemy low. Her aura radiates that vision into the world, turning it into real- making her into a monster in the eyes of the prey, and the prey into small and insignificant tool in building her own legend. The Visionary are not about seeing the future- they are about making the future. They look in the argent light of the moon and see the future they wish to happen, and the Essence inside of them shifts in order to make it into truth.
Those interactions creates two association for the soul- Inspiration and Knowledge. Both Shadow Gifts are easy to be explained: as visionaries, the Cahalith are meant to inspire others into greatness. As storytellers, they are meant to know secrets no one else would. Their Moon Gift works in order to reinforce those themes even better- they use the voice of the werewolf as a carrier, granting power not to the words but to the sound itself. The howl to the moon is the main theme of the Cahalith, even though as the control the visionary has over their interactions rise, they can give meaning into their voice and bring stories into life- chasing prey in its dreams, or telling a story of her enemy’s death into real.
The next Auspice are the Elodoth, the so called “walkers in between”. Their theme is the “wolf in sheep’s clothing”- tricksters and spies, who get their way into enemy territory and work from the inside to bring doom upon their prey. A fan fact- in the original story, the wolf was so good at its job at disguising as a sheep, that the farmer eventually slaughtered it. It should be a good lesson for the Half Moons to remember- think of yourself too much as a prey, and you would end up being eaten.
That tendency to fit into anywhere also makes them into good at anything which requires neutral standing, such as diplomats or judges- anytime there is a need of someone who could see both sides of the coin, the Elodoth is called to look both in the light and the darkness and find the justice which waits between both. Being an Elodoth means standing on the boundary, never choosing sides, and never revealing everything you know. Some secrets are better left cloaked in shadows, even if only to make sure that the enemy would never know all of your tricks.
That tendency to move between darkness and light represents itself through their skills- the Elodoth has natural tendency for Empathy, as he always knows how to relate to each of the warring side and understand them. Their affinity for Investigation comes from their need at uncovering the secrets and motives of their enemies and friends. Politics represents itself from the fact that they simply know what makes others tick, and how they can use it upon the hierarchies of power- moving from understanding a single person into manipulating an whole social system. Surprisingly, their defining Renown is not Cunning, but Honor- that is meant to represent that they aren’t tricksters, but pillars upon which the Uratha society can be built. They are the neutral parties, respected and honored by all sides, accepted by both friends and enemies as someone who would see the whole picture, as someone who they can talk with, as someone who can understand. That understanding of social working and inner motivations represent itself through their special benefit- they can pull or push werewolves from or into Death Rage, for they understand what is the triggers which generate that rage. They know their own inner darkness, and so they can help (or destroy) others with the same touch. Finally, their aspect represents twisting everything they do in order to preform the opposite against their prey- instead of binding, they isolate. They banish their enemy from both light and darkness, leaving them alone, without friends or cover. Ironically, that’s the same thing for the Hal Moons themselves- they belong to neither sides, and so while they are always around others, they are forever alone. They have the means to survive that isolation. Their prey? Not so much.
As for the Gifts, when the soul looks into the half shrouded face of the Moon it draws two associations- Insight and Warding. Insight represent the Elodoth’s ability to look into the darkness and discover the secrets hidden beneath, finding what is hidden under the surface just like how they hide themselves in the shadows. Warding draws upon the connection of the Elodoth over the boundaries, turning their understanding of internal and social boundaries into a literal ones. After all, the spirit world cares only about the symbolism- and the boundary between light and dark is just the same as the boundary between inside and out- and the Elodoth, who always stay in the boundary, can express both of those talents. The Half Moon’s Gift also relies upon that neutrality, for by standing in the middle they can weave together different people into action. Favors, allies, friends and enemies are all being connected through the Elodoth, as the boundaries between different people all melt away and the connections turn into chains of steel, with the Half Moon dancing in the middle.
After the Half Moon, we are moving to the New Moon- the Irraka, assassins and stalkers which move unseen through the night. Unlike the other Auspices, they don’t glorify in their hunt- they hide, making ambushes, walking in the shadows so now one would notice their existence. They set traps, they plan ahead. The prey shouldn’t know that the hunter comes, or else they would be prepared. The element of surprise is essential to a good hunt, and it is on the Irraka’s shoulders to set the stage so when all hell wiould break lose, the enemy would discover they are completely surrounded and have no way out. The Irraka always wonder about how to stab someone in the back- because they know what kinds of thing lurk in the darkness, and who knows when a trusted friend would turn into an enemy?
The Auspice Skills of the Irraka are quit straightforward- Larceny, Stealth and Subterfuge are all essential skills for someone who moves silently in the night, stabs in the back, set traps and lies about their motives in order to protect their true goal. The Irraka are meant to avoid direct conflict before they know the time has come, and as such slithering their way to the enemy makes the best tactic for their hunt. Cunning also makes perfect sense, as their role as hidden murderers and assassins requires them as great level of trickery and indirect manipulation, granting them their well deserved reputation. The special benefit of the New Moon practically allows them to hide in plain sight- her enemies won’t notice her before it is too late, twist the prey’s reaction time toward hers and even worm their way into her enemy’s heart before they even notice. It is not darkness in which the Irraka celebrate- for people know to be afraid of the darkness. It is ignorance- making them think they know that there are no monsters under the bed, so they don’t even need to search for them. Their aspect also reinforce that theme- it makes their prey ignorant to the danger, feeling safe and dropping all of its shields- not knowing that someone is watching their every move, waiting for their throat to be exposed. The Irraka never attacks before they are ready- and they have enough patience to wait for their enemy to make its first, and finale, mistake.
The Shadow Gifts of the Irraka are also straightforward. Evasion and Stealth are both important qualities for every spy/assassin/thief, and as such it makes sense that the soul would make those immediate associations. The New Moon Gift works in order to enhance their talent for the immediate killing, but they are also more than that- they are about achieving a single, specific goal. They separate their enemies, find weak spots and exploit them for their uses. Nothing can stop an Irraka when they choose their query, and like a arrow in a flight they would always strike true.
After the New Moon, comes the Crescent Moon- the Ithaeut, the spirit masters. Fetish makers, shamans and holy people, the Ithaeur are a mystical breed, attacking the mind and the soul instead of the body. Their methods are rarely direct, instead working behind the scenes to gain the favor of the powers that be.. or take it by force, if they refuse. Where the Cahalith call upon the stories of age and lead the battle to their enemies and the Elodoth weave a web of connection between the members of the pack, the Ithaeur turn to the spirit world to sanctify the hunt and use the bonds between flesh and shadow to call upon them. The role of the spirit master in the hunt is not that of a direct conflict- but the role of before and after the act. They summon the spirits to bless the coming battle and bless its outcomes in the eyes of the unseen. They are the ones who make the Sacred Hunt sacred, for with no gods to approve of the act, a murder is just murder- and when the gods are the ones who need to be murdered, it needs someone holy to do the job.
That role express itself nicely through the Auspice Skills- Occult in order to understanding ancient lore and the working of the spirit world, Medicine in order to brew potions which has their recipes found in the oldest of scrolls or the whispers of the spirit world, and Animal Ken as a part of their understanding of their own spiritual nature as beasts of the wild. Wisdom is their Renown, and for a good reason- it takes a wise person to deal with the spirit world, and the Ithaeur’s ability to utilize their knowledge into action is what that makes them respected in the Uratha society. Their Auspice benefit draws upon the connection between them and the unseen, and by cementing their own existence in the spirit world (in the form of Essence), Hisil is forced to react to the Crescent Moon’s presence and accept its Importance upon the Shadow. As for their Hunter’s Aspect- it utilize their connection to the two worlds and force them to unite together around the target. As expected from the spirit masters, they do not attack their prey’s body- not directly, at least. They attack their soul, leaving them lost in their own madness before the warriors of the pack would come to the kill.
Appropriate to the masters of the shadow world, the Gifts of the Ithaeur are the most mystical ones. When the soul looks upon the Crescent Moon, it feels the unnatural world around her and the miracles it offers to those who its ways. It looks upon Hisil, and sees how its spirits represent the most fundamental aspects of existence, granting the werewolf power over the Elements of the world. It looks upon the way the denizens of that realm influence and move the world around them, and so it gains the power to Shape it as it wish. The Elemental and Shaping Gifts both make good representation of the Essence of the spirit world, and those who walk in the Shadow gain the secrets of Existence itself as weapons for their use. The Crescent Moon Gift itself deals with the raw nature of the spirit world- they force their will upon the beings of the Shadow, gaining from them any information or favor they wish to know, possessing them like they possess others or hunt them down. The Crescent Moon is Hisil Incarnated, and they know the ways of Existence just as its own inhabitants.
Finally, the last Auspice is the Rahu- or how they are more commonly known, the “unstoppable raging murder machine”. They do not, however, exist simply to kill- they exist in order to fight. They need to feel the rush in the blood, the beating of their heart. They are all warriors- and where others direct, manipulate or prepare for the hunt, it is up to the Full Moon to actually do the job. Someone needs to lift the claw and actually deal the death strike against the enemy, someone needs to put their life on the line and attack the prey. The Rahu is that person, and they are there to charge into the fight and tear apart anyone who dares to challenge their superiority over both flesh and shadow.
The Skills of the Rahu are, as to be expected, the skills of a warrior- Brawl for hand to hand conflict, Intimidation in order to put fear in their enemy’s heart, Survival to be able to chase their prey to the end of the world without needing to stop or turn back. The primal, instinctive way of their hunt is what makes Purity the defining interaction between them and the Shadow World- among all different Auspices, they are the werewolves in the purest sense. They are hunters, wolves, warriors. They are what they are- and the Moon is only there to shine upon them with all of its glory, not to sooth down or manipulate their nature as it does with the other Auspices. Among all configurations, the Full Moon is there only to bind and support, making it, probably, the one Auspice which has the minimal amount of energy in their system (Meaning, their kinetic energy is maximal. Meaning- they have the most raw killing power of them all). Their benefit support their role as warriors- the thrill of battle keeps moving them forward, strengthening their body and allowing them to ignore simple things like injury or poison. They are there to fight, and that Existence reinforce itself upon reality and ignore minor things like missing an hand or being unable to see. However, the Rahu are there for battle, not for slaughter- if the enemy would just give up and run away, or beg for death, there would be no war, and the glorifying act would boil down to simple butchery. To do that, they have to motivate their enemy to fight back, giving them false feeling that they can win against all chances- and that’s the goal of their Aspect.
Heh. I must say that I find it interesting that the different Aspects seems to put the prey in the shoes of the hunter. The Cahalith’s makes the target into a part of the story- only as a minor character meant to glorify the hunter. The Elodoth’s detach the prey from the world, but where the Elodoth finds connections the prey finds isolation. The Irraka makes the prey as confident as she is, but that makes it unaware of the coming danger instead of always analyzing the situation. The Ithaeur connects the victim to the spirit world like he is, but he leaves it mad and lost by the experience. Finally, the Rahu makes the enemy to think they can fight against all chances like the Full Moon, while in truth their doom was already set once the Rahu chose them as his query. In sort, the Hunter’s Aspects seems to be yet another way the Uratha can enforce their nature upon the world, making their prey into a part of their own Existence. Hunter has to find its prey, and Hisil reacts to the presence of the Uratha’s might to make that Existence true. Neat.
Finally, the two Shadow Gifts granted by the Full Moon are Dominance and Strength- both are quit east to understand. The Rahu is all about establishing their superiority in battlefield- any battlefield- and physical strength is a nature association considering the Rahu’s raw, unstoppable power. The Moon Gift also lends its hand, enhancing the Rahu with the power of an unstoppable killing machine, creating the perfect warrior in the endless hunt in honor of Mother Luna.
So, that’s it for the Auspices- what next?
Patrons, of course.
On the surface, it should be an easy question. Who is the one to bless the People with the Auspices? Luna. So who should be the patron? Luna! However, this may be a bit more complicated than that- while Luna is the one to wear the five masks of the moon, she herself is not the masks. Besides, I prefer that each of the splats would have its own patron, instead of throwing everything upon poor Warden Moon, who has enough troubles to deal with already. Because of that, the patron of the Auspices is not Luna- but the Lunes, or, more exactly, five of them, each representing a different phase of the Moon’s light and shadow.
The question is- which ones?
Here is the thing- the Lunes are, in generally, a mystery. There aren’t many mentions of them by name and identity, not to mention a detailed list of five great spirit lords which serve Mother Luna. That leaves us a number of options- the first is making things up, perhaps using real life names from mythology for each of the five aspects of the moon (like Tsukuyomi, Yarikh, Sin, etc). While there is nothing wrong at going with this path, if there is an already existing CofD lore I prefer to use it over trying instead. Another path would be searching for answers in yet another world, but not real life or the CofD’s setting. Exalted has dealt with that question before, and has assigned their version of Luna five different aspects, each representing a different face of the moon and a different version of what Luna could have been. While Exalted shout outs could be cool- I fear that using this direction may be more of “copy paste” than using a new incarnation with a different touch. If we were to avoid both of those paths, however, what does it leave us with?
While the Shapeshifters are the most remembered aspect of War Against the Pure, there were many other good story hooks and concepts in there. One of them is the Maslunim, the Hidden Lunes. There are many theories around those ancient, dread beings- some say they are fragments of Luna’s mind. Others whisper they are her lovers, or maybe children. They may even be ancient lunar gods submitted by Luna during the early days of Pangaea. At any case, the Apocryphals would make good candidates as Auspice patron- if not only for one problem. As it seems, each of the Maslunim has a connection to more than a single phase- but it is not a big problem. We can easily change it, assigning each of the proto moon gods, Pangaeans conquered by Luna through strength, cunning, love, wisdom or majesty to become her masks upon the world of mortals. All we need to do is to focus on their exact themes, instead of the phases assigned to them in the book.
By following the aspects of each of the Apocryphals, Adagmos the Dreaming Serpent seems to be a perfect fit for the Cahalith. As a spirit of dreams and inspiration, Adagmos represent the mental side of the moon, which draws upon the hidden wishes of the heart and the vision of that which is yet to come. He is a creature of love, sharing his bed with Luna as well as with her children. His dreams shape the future of reality, and by making him fall in love with her the ancient god has became bound to Luna’s service, sharing his dreams and stories with those changed under the Gibbous Moon. He may even be a former Goetia, dreaming himself into reality and then leaving the eternal dream in his lover for Luna.
Dakulna, the Reaping Beast, in the master of life and death, agriculture and wilderness, the cycles of the world and the boundaries between them. That makes him a great patron for the Elodoth- as the patron of borders, he also supervise the transition from light to darkness, or the boundaries between one person and another. He can cut them or forge them as he please, and as he cuts yet another boundary in the face of the moon, another Elodoth is changed under its fickle light. Its connection to Gaea and interest in agriculture may present him as a Pangaean, or maybe an ancient spirit world from ages past. It is Luna’s majestic light which has captured him, as her eternal mystery and change make him unable to force constant boundaries upon her- Warden Moon cannot be defined, and Dakulna is forever bound by her ever changing face.
The one to govern the Irraka is Saha Ur, the Silent Huntress. Eternal covered with the blood of her prey, the goddess of the New Moon makes no sound in the darkness of the night. The prey never sees her coming, and does not even feel the stab of her spear as it pierce through his heart. She is also a goddess of vengeance, and she remembers anyone who ever wronged her. The Irraka who know about that elusive moon goddess see her as the perfect manifestation of the Irraka values, a being formed to bring death upon her enemies, being which has a single purpose it must achieve at all costs- to kill and destroy. She is undoubtedly a Pangaean of the Hunt, one which tried to steal Luna’s place as the Warden Moon, only to be defeated by her using a battle of wits, leaving her lacking any desire but that of the hunt.
The Crescent Moon belongs to Demantu, the Abyssal Queen. Goddess of sea, chaos and magic, she knows all kinds of secrets and occult lore, spells and spirit rites. She can make the sea rage, the wind howl and earth tremble with dread. She may have been one of Sea’s favored servants, if not Sea herself, being bound forever by Luna’s silvery light for the danger she posed for the whole world. The Ithaeur hear her whispers in their First Change, leading them to delve for the secrets for beyond the world and search for the ways of Essence. She may be the only Apocryphal to try to rebel against Luna’s rule, searching for a spell which would allow her to escape Luna’s binding- for age ago, during Pangaea’s height, Luna used her control over magic in order to tame the Abyssal Queen, forcing her to ebb and flow just as the Moon controls the sea. When Luna hides her face, Demantu can rise with all of her might, bringing chaos upon the spirit world and casting spells so tremendous, that no being on earth but the Moon could replicate.
The last Apocryphal is the bull god known as Lashnar. The Bull of Fury is the raging power of the Full Moon, combined with the trickery of battle and the desire for lost things. Being a former lover of Luna, he was defeated by her in straight battle, as all of his schemes and plans failed before her might and adapting nature. He teach his chosen not to simply run blindly into battle, and that knowledge could be a weapon as great as a claw. As the symbol of the Full Moon, he hates the Sun- especially perhaps the Sun has tricked him to gain the secrets of the Moon needed to transform the blood of the Wolf to that of the Bull. His connection to Bull is also one which needs to be explored- as Bull always was the champion of the Sun. Is Lashnar the new incarnation of Bull, which was betrayed by the Sun and left to serve his sister instead? Doesn’t seem likely. Perhaps he was Bull’s brother or even a child, which still harbor envy toward him? Maybe, just maybe The Bull of Fury wasn’t always a Bull. Maybe he was once a Firstborn, child of Wolf, and Bull’s lover. Bull exploited his love toward him and his connections to Luna in order to exploit the secrets needed to transform the lineage of Father Wolf to this own will, and then forsaken him. Lashnar, filled with rage, swore an oath against his former lover, taking his aspects to forever remember the betrayal. The Rahu, who fight in his name, still carry that ancient fury- and fight with all of the wrath the scorned bull god can provide.
Well, that’s it for this week! Next post would be about Sin Eaters and the Underworld during the First Temple, and after that we’ll start investigating the Tribes of the Forsaken. See you next time!