Shondra Vey ended the threat of Loup Garou, the most recent of the Coven’s wolf-men, but unlike his predecessors, this one was bound to a supernatural focus, a broken amulet. Drawing on the arcane powers of her bloodline Shondra was able to destroy Loup Garou. She summoned the spirits of her tortured slave ancestors, and so mighty were they that she was able to trap the man in his wolf form forever, neither dead nor truly alive. The amulet however was lost.
A full moon night in the deeps of the Louisiana bayou, and dark things were afoot. A group of Coven voodoo priests were gathered and they were lost in their feverish rites. Sacrifices had been made and blood had been spilt. In the flickering of firelight a muscular man writhed on the ground, a dreadlocked Creole. With a past littered with violence committed at the behest of the Coven, he had entered into this ritual by choice, but even so he never anticipated the pain that would follow after he swallowed terrible juju powders.
The perimeter of the area was guarded by a motley mix. Rook assigned Coven Soldiers to watch at various stations. Dead Guard lurched around, the stench of decay heavy around their hulking misshapen bodies. Zero crouched upon a rotten tree stump, silently surveying his surroundings.
Papa Zombie stepped through the circling throng. He waved his cane aloft as he called on the darkest powers of Saint Edmund. In one hand he gripped one half of the shattered Moon Amulet. A powerful gris-gris, it was the catalyst to this ceremony. It was already dripping blood from a wolf, and blood from a man; both lay dead nearby.
The Creole was bound at his ankles and wrists to stakes in the ground, for this was a truly dangerous practice if it succeeded. Papa Zombie approached the supine man with sureness of step, while all around the Coven cultists’ exhortations to Saint Edmund lifted towards a zealous crescendo. Papa Zombie’s eyes glinted with malevolence as he was about to ensure the delivery of a powerful agent for the Coven. This could give him an edge against those others vying for prominence in the Coven. Eve and Kane, and most of all Comte Vendredi were all threats to his influence, and that just would not do.
Papa Zombie bent down beside the thrashing Creole. The young man was now foaming at the mouth. The juju powders had done their work. The bound man began speaking in tongues, dark portents heralding Saint Edmund’s grip upon his soul.
Papa Zombie began uttering the Unspeakable Oaths. He carved a pattern in the air with the broken relic. Energy from some other realm seemed to bleed through where he slashed with the Moon Amulet, becoming a smoke-like substance which was then breathed in by the young Creole. He then lent close in to the young man and whispered in his ear before first slashing at his body then carving a sigil on his chest – Saint Edmund’s Mark of Three. The mark represented a third state, neither man, nor wolf but a hybrid of the two. Then Papa Zombie thrust the sharp-edged talisman into the staked-out man’s abdomen. The gris-gris then seemed to be absorbed into the man’s body, as if pulled from the Coven leader’s grasp.
The injured man strained at his bindings. He snarled and howled. His wounds appeared to heal, scar tissue where the Mark of Three had been drawn into his flesh the only sign he had been injured. Suddenly he ripped from the ground the stakes holding his wrists. His finger-nails became like claws which he used to slash apart the bonds at his ankles. Fur grew rapidly across his body. His face contorted and started to transform, nose and mouth becoming snout-like. Vicious teeth snapped as spittle flew from a bestial maw.
The wolf-man flew into the crowd of cultists then, rending bodies with slashing claws. Coven Soldiers and Dead Guard fell before him, even the supernatural resilience of the undead troopers no match for his furious assault as he tore them limb from limb. As the last Dead Guard fell, Rook and Zero moved in to guard Papa Zombie. He waved them aside as the creature approached. He looked into the eye of the beast, deep into its soul. For now the Coven had a new Loup Garou and he would serve the whims of Papa Zombie, but the Coven master knew then that the loyalties of this wolf-man served Saint Edmund more than him. Already the man inside the beast was dying, as the wolf feasted on his corrupted soul.
Elsewhere, at the Blood Watch’s mansion headquarters, Moonchild felt her half-amulet tremble. The words of the Moon Coyote spoke in her mind. Something had wakened in the world, a kindred spirit, her opposite dark half. The wolf was unleashed once more and it wished to throw off the shackles of its masters in this world and from beyond, and it needed Moonchild’s help. She knew then she had work to do.