Lore Of RoDM
There are many worlds whose histories, customs, and fates are dictated by the gods and deities their populace bends knee to. Such was it for the world of Muuroon. Their gods were egotistical and fickle, choosing to dwell in the Golden Lands and concerned with little more than their own pleasure. In time, they became bored. Looking down upon mankind, they played games, setting one race upon another, and in their arrogance, went so far as to take on human form so they could participate in the wars they provoked.
Among the gods were two sisters, Gaeia and Naamah. Despite their twin birthing, they did not resemble one another as some twins do, for Gaeia was golden-haired with eyes the color of a clear mountain lake, and Naamah had hair as black as coal, and eyes of honey gold. The twin sisters were considered two of the most beautiful of the goddesses, and it came to pass that both fell in love with a handsome young god named Theodontys. Sharing the same narcissistic tendencies of many of the other deities, Theodontys reveled in the attention the sisters showered upon him, taking both to his bed and keeping each goddess tied to him with the promise that he loved them best. Thus it was, he played one against the other with little thought for their feelings or the disaster his actions might set into motion.
The day came when Theodontys left the Golden Lands of the gods to take on human form and participate in the wars of man. While gods have powers and abilities no earthly creature can fathom, they are not indestructible, and thus it was through the sheer folly of his arrogance, Theodontys was captured and held prisoner, with a staggering ransom demanded for his release. The twins wept for their love, but it was the golden-haired Gaeia who did more than just shed tears. She went to all the gods and goddesses, asking for help, but none took the matter seriously, and no one came forth to offer coins or treasure to pay Theodontys’s ransom.
Desperate to free her love, Gaeia took on human form and went down to the planet. She lay with whomever would give her coinage, and after a year and a day, she had the required ransom. The coin was paid, and Theodontys released, able now to return to the Golden Land of the gods. Even though none of the deities had lifted a finger to secure his release, Theodontys was greeted as a returning hero, and a feast was laid. Theodontys was well-pleased with Gaeia, and they danced together, laughing and rejoicing in his return.
Despite his time in captivity, however, Theodontys’s arrogance had not lessened, nor had his duplicitous heart changed. While he showered Gaeia with attention and praise, he also wooed her sister, Naamah. It was during a dance with the dark-haired twin, that Naamah whispered in Theodontys’s ear, telling him just how the coinage for his release had been obtained. As soon as Theodontys heard the story, he openly scorned Gaeia, calling her a whore. The other gods and goddesses were equally shocked and horrified. How could a goddess humble herself to the point that she would sleep with creatures of the earth? How could she debase herself so completely?
The enmity of her peers infuriated Gaeia. In a fit of rage, she rejected the gods and their petty wars and self-serving egocentricity, and she left the Golden City. She went down to the world of Muuroon, and with spite heavy in her heart, laid with all who came to her. She spoke of love, telling those who would listen that physical union was an expression of one’s heart, and strength could be drawn from each orgasm. Soon enough, the other gods faded and died away, but not Gaeia. She grew stronger, and so did her power. Her hand brought forth fruit on the trees, grain in the fields, fish in the streams, and fresh water in the wells. Yet, despite her self-healing, in the last months of each year she would find herself remembering the pain and humiliation she’d suffered, and how the gods had turned on her–and how Theodontys had scorned her sacrifices–and how her sister had betrayed her love and trust.
During these times, Gaeia’s heart turned bitter, and she wept. Storms raged on the earth. Rain. Snow. Ice. The land grew cold, dark, and barren. Yet the humans of the world loved Gaeia, and they did not abandon her. In the dark and cold, they held a great festival in her honor. A celebration of light and love. They danced, naked and free, and made love. One and all. Man with man–man with woman–woman with woman. It did not matter. What mattered was the spirit within, finding joy and fulfilment in the giving of oneself to another…the connection of spirits in the act of lovemaking. And Gaeia, seeing this, was reminded of all she had learned and how far she’d come from her dark past. She turned her face from those bleak memories and looked upon the joy and hope of her followers, and slowly the sun returned to the heavens. As Gaeia shrugged off her winter sadness, light and life returned to the land.
In the meantime, the petty feuds and arguments of the gods continued, but their power waned. Few mortals believed in them and paid homage now, and new gods arose to take their place in the hearts of the people. Some of the old gods simply vanished. Some went far to the west and settled in new lands, but Naamah remained. For though her betrayal of Gaeia had won her the god she’d been vying for, Naamah found no happiness with Theodontys. He was far too shallow and self-absorbed, and faithfulness was not one of his virtues. Naamah was also tormented by guilt, and ached for her twin.
There came a day when Naamah decided she simply must find Gaeia and make amends, so she set off to search for her sister. Travelling in disguise, Naamah found herself walking a greatly changed earth, but she managed to find a temple deep in an ancient forest. There she saw her sister seated on a stone throne, surrounded by wolves.
Though Naamah’s remorse was genuine and her pleas heart-felt, Gaeia would hear none of her sister’s words. At the sight of Naamah, all the old wounds reopened, and hate filled Gaeia’s heart. She channeled her fury into her wolves, commanding them to rip her sister to shreds. Gaeia’s hatred was so intense and soul-consuming, it caused her wolves to change. They became creatures of the night, born of hatred and bloodlust. The first Lycan.
Running from the wolf-creatures, Naamah fled underground. The hurt and betrayal she felt was matched only by her anger. She shunned the sun and daylight. In time, she gathered followers who likewise abhorred the light. Naamah taught them to hate the wolves and her sister. She infected them with a near unquenchable thirst for the blood of the humans her sister loved so dearly, and gifted them with great speed, strength, and heightened senses. The cost to her minions was, however, a great one. They lost their humanity, dying to be reborn as creatures of darkness, and they worshipped Naamah with blood sacrifice. The first Vampires.
For many centuries to follow, the two factions waged a war that brought their planet to the brink of complete destruction. At times the Lycans were stronger, but then the Vampires would rise up–neither side having enough strength to eradicate the other. And thus it went, the battle raging back and forth through a time that came to be called the Long Night. The only saving grace for the other races of the planet, was the fact that vampires could not walk under the sun, and Lycan changed only during a full moon. Over time, the other races of the planet united, and grew strong. Bounties were set on vampire and Lycan heads. Vigilante groups formed, and thus, the hunt began.
Then, unexpectedly, nightmares came to the twin goddesses. Words from centuries-old prophecy. Visions of a red moon, and a world changed beyond recognition. Death. Destruction. The eradication of all races that called Muuroon home. Both Naamah and Gaeia realized, in the same instant, that the visions and dreams had been sent as a warning–and they would be given but one chance to save the world they’d come to love. The sisters met, alone and unarmed, and talked. Wounds were opened, and the puss of centuries-old pain was cleansed. They cried, and they laughed. Despite all that had transpired, they realized they were more than sisters, they were twins. Under the hatred, a current of love still flowed strong and true. As love replaced the poison that had once filled their hearts, words of a prophecy so ancient even the gods could scarce recall its origin, filled their heads. They clasped hands and looked into one another’s eyes, and in unison, released upon the world an ancient magic…one that would serve them well when the time was right…a magic that would prepare their world for the coming of the Red Moon.
Thus, was the Hybrid magic born, though none yet walked the earth who could claim that heritage. The sisters chose a Vampire—Lord Barkolak—and guided him to two separate sets of orphaned twin babes. Barkolak’s forces were strong, and his castle secluded, which promised safety for the children as they grew to adulthood. The orphans were raised, learning the ways of Vampires. Once each year, they traveled to the mountain retreat of an elder Lycan, where they spent the three summer months learning the ways of the night-wolves.
The children grew to adulthood in a world that knew little more than war and conflict. Though no longer seeking to annihilate one another, Lycan and Vampire clans and coven were not ready to unite forces and choose a single leader. Humans, however, combined with many other races, and together they grew in power, even as Vampire and Lycan numbers waned. The last great battle came shortly after the twins saw their twenty-fifth lifeday come and go. It was early summer when the four, accompanied by a small force of Barkolak’s warriors, scouted the wooded lands near their adoptive-father’s castle, even as Barkolak himself prepared his coven to meet a large force of mixed races that moved against them.
Two of the twins fell victim to a trap set by bounty hunters. As they lay, fatally wounded and close to death, the goddesses appeared—and thus was it that the prophecy of the Ancients took its first breath. Using their united powers, Naamah and Gaeia changed all four twins into a combination of two mighty races—two warring factions. Even as the twins drew their first breaths as Hybrids, Lord Barkolak led his coven against an army of many races, falling in the battle that followed, a silver-tipped arrow piercing his heart. His mate, Mora, died as well, trying to reach her husband amidst the fighting. Their lives a sacrifice, freely given, in the hopes of buying the twins time to escape—and escape they did. With only a handful of Vampire and Lycan for protection, the four made their way to the mountain retreat of their one-time Lycan teacher…and then they traveled into the near uninhabitable Tormidian Mountains. It was a bleak, perilous region, known as a refuge for criminals and rogues—yet here it was that the twins grew strong, and drew rogue Vampire and Lycan to their banner.
It was while the twins were in hiding that the Red Moon came. It began as a strange reddish light in the night sky, though it did not crash into the planet as doomsayers claimed it would. Far bigger than Muuroon’s own moon, the glowing heavenly body swung into orbit around the planet, glowing blood red and pulsing as if with a heartbeat of its own. On Muuroon, earthquakes shook the land. Tsunami waves swept in from the oceans, and long-dead volcanoes erupted, breathing fire and brimstone, and claiming thousands of lives. The earth itself was torn asunder, and unnatural beings emerged—called forth by the glow of the Dark Moon. These mindless, accursed creatures–that would become known as Revenants–awoke with an insatiable hunger driving them—changing the world of Muuroon forever.
Under the sway of the Dark Moon, the constraints that had once held Vampires to the night—and Lycan to the full moon’s light—were no more. Yet, their existence was now threatened by far worse than the forces of Muuroon’s other races. Fighting alone, none of the factions would survive, and thus it was that the twins came into their prophesied heritage.
Leading an army of Lycan and Vampire, they claimed the throne of the human’s capital city. Offering an alliance that allowed human royalty to rule beside them, and all races to dwell in harmony, they drew the factions together. Though uneasy, the truce held, and the races of Muuroon learned to co-exist and fight the undead creatures released by the Red Moon.
The land was renamed—and thus, the Realm of Dark Moons came to be.