Fear: it is a constant of life. In a grand world of unknown limits, there are mysteries both glorious and frightful, colors both grim and bright. But outside of the darkness, when one is not alone, fear loses its power and passes. The human is not alone. Even in the days of dark primordium, their world was shared by the Hidden People, elder heir to Earth, they race of fey that dwelt on the horizon in the secret land, Faery. Full of wonderment and peril, they governed over the corners of Earth and their younger brethren. In a day long past, Noah the druid reached out into the dark and formed the Pact, a bond of peace between fey and human upon all the earth. Odin Kadmon, great father of the fey, vowed with him to uphold the Earth and those who partook of its life. Fear passed.

Centuries later, the shade of terror steps forward to reclaim its throne. At the height of the Age of the Pact, Kadmon and Rhea Hecate, great mother of Faery, came from the Holy Tree of Life in the heart of Faery bearing two children. These were Jubelon and Jari, twin daughter and son of the divine, born of their blood and mystery to succeed them. It was the first ray of a new, unfettered dawn. However, it was not a sun that rose, but a foul tiding. Led by the High Druids, a human legion found its way into Faery, and led a siege against its heart, attempting to gain its secrets. In the battle, the children were stolen from their parents’ bosom. Kadmon had given his love to a human, a saint named Vespertina with miraculous gifts. He gave to her a great treasure – free passage into Faery. But his gift became a folly, as her brethren followed after, covetting the Hidden Kingdom for themselves. In the epicenter of chaos, the great Citadel, the invaders forced Vespertina to allow them entry, and seized Jubelon and Jari through extortion. Seeing what Kadmon had done, and empty of mercy for the humans, Rhea unleashed all of her power to destroy the assailants. Rising upward in a majestic rage, as if reaving asunder the gate to Hell itself, Rhea wrought punishment on her husband and on Vespertina. As a prolific wind she swept over Faery, hurling destruction from the skies until the siege was quashed under her fury. But something in her had broken; she had become the soul chaos, irrevocably. A violent storm poured out of Faery, gripping the Earth in a gavotte of wrath. The wind changed; once benign fey fell into its pull, and became wild as demons, forces of nature as terrible as lightning. The Pact had been broken, and in every realm the consequences would be seen. Now a horrific shadow dominates the sky; the Howler, spirit of lament mourning the fallen Kingdom. Like the maddened visage of Rhea searching for her lost children, it walks over land and sea, leaving only the echo of its tormented cries. As years pass, the wailing fills the dreams of men and women, seer and dreamer, farmer and merchant, instilling a dread so profound as to render the victims entangled in a web of panic, visions, and madness. In the wake of spreading chaos, one power emerges from ruin to take control. “I am Hecate, the Hangman of Faery,” says she. “I am your Judge.” Bearing the onus against the human race, she lays ancient and puissant curses wherever she steps, designing to exact justice. Jari and Jubelon remain somewhere in the world, concealed from the malice of Hecate and the dangers of Faery. What lies, untapped, within them?

Blackthorn

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