Wrath & Gunfire: The Barvan Campaign
Legend of Were-Critters
Many years after the world was new, there was a great paladin in service to the wolf. Everyday he prayed to the wolf to grant him the ability to serve him more. He had done all in his power. He had established an order of paladins who served the wolf. But with all this he had not heard from his patron. He grew impatient and angry.
Then one day the snake slithered up to him and said, “Well hello great man! I come bearing a mess-ssage for you.”
“What message could you bear, foul creature! I wait for the wolf. He will surely be pleased with all I have done in his name.”
“Sssurely, that is why I am here. The Wolf sssent me to carry his mess-ssage to you, for the tiger draws his attention elsssewhere. The Wolf is very pleasssed with you. I come to bear hisss gift to you. Hold out your hand.”
The paladin sceptically held out his hand, and the snake snapped forward and bit him. The paladin reached for his sword to slay the vile god, but first the snake said, “Now that you have your lords gift, go into the wilderness and make a blood oath to serve the wolf and his other servants will grant you the fullness of his boon.”
Quickly believing his god had favored him the paladin ran towards the woods hoping to be further blessed. After he had fled the scene the rat crawled forth to talk to the snake.
“He will bear a plague different than any other I have created. How does it come that you snake would come to me and help me?”
“Sssssometimesss the grandnessss of the plot cannot be achived sssingle handedly. We have both unleassshed this plague for I used my venom to make it sssomething more potent.”
The rat laughed a high pitched chatter. The snake slithered away.
That evening deep within the forest the paladin meditated. After many hours he was found by a pack of wolves. Quickly he drew his sword and cut open his palm for the blood oath, then he turned to the wolves. His eyes had clouded with rage and his blood dripped of venom, but his voice had a poison all its own.
“Come to me! Come to me wolves! I DEMAND THE BLESSING OF MY LORD! I have toiled for him many years and yet he hears me not!”
“You have toiled for yourself sir. The wolf does not hear your prayers for they are only to yourself. Leave this place! Wrestle demons in your own land!”
With that the paladin flew into a frenzy and charged the wolf pack. They swiftly dodged but that only furthered his rage. He stalked the forest looking for them. He brazenly destroyed trees and killed animals untill finally the wolves sought to end his hatred. They burst from the trees in a brilliant attack! The paladin was torn limb from limb. Each wolf cried a tear over his dying body. then they left believing their work to be done as well.
But, this was the night of the full moon and once the panther’s light shined upon the dying paladin a transformation began. His scared chest began to heal, and his bones began to mend. He laughed.
“I cannot die? What glorious gift is this that the Snake has given me. For surely the selfish wolf does not care for his humble servant.”
Then the paladin began to cough, and as he did his transformation continued. His face lenghtened into a muzzle with mighty fangs. His arms grew great claws, and fur covered him. He was no longer a man. But the transformation stopped. He was nearly a wolf but not, and nearly a man but not. He relased a terrible baying unheard since. For the last noble part of him realized what he had done, but it was too late. He was a were-wolf. A mockary of nobility. He was hunger, and death. He had no escape.
Days later he found that he was himself again and so went back to his order. They asked him where he had been but he said nothing. He wished it all a bad dream. But he still felt the urges inside him, the hunger. Upon the next full moon he became a werewolf again but this time in the monastary. His rampage left his order changed. They were all carriers of his plague now. And it has continued on ever since.