Midnight Falls had been a haven for all those who sought refuge from the human world; an increasingly precious commodity. Morgana had established a nest in the hills and Tobias’s predecessors had built the town. Occasional skirmishes meant that there were casualties on both sides, but nothing dramatic enough to risk all out war about. Midnight Fall’s real attraction was the spell of forgetting strong enough to compel most of the humans who came here to leave none the wiser. Those impervious few who stayed were tolerated as long as they didn’t poke their noses, or anything else for that matter, where they were most decidedly not wanted. That may have accounted for the ostensibly human Harper-Hodges. But more importantly for the creatures of Midnight Falls, a compromise of sorts had been attained. Not perfect and certainly not amicable, but it worked.
Everything in the garden was, if not rosy, rare steak bloody. That changed when Morgana was challenged for her throne by a younger, stronger contender called Lilith. Morgana, fuelled by the carelessness of passing millennia had, like many of the old ones, become distracted from the more Machiavellian machinations of the slaughter house that was the nest. But she wasn’t down and out yet.
She conjured and made a pact with the demon Baphomet. Many were sacrificed: human; vampire; all to satisfy her demon lover and he was as good as his word. Better. In celebration, Morgana unleashed unparalleled carnage the chief attraction of which was Lilith’s torture which consisted of a piece by piece live dismemberment lasting months. When Morgana got bored with Lilith’s screams, she gave her to the tender mercies of Baphomet who gained more power than he had in centuries. That’s demons for you: whatever the bargain, they always came out on top while you whined on like an impotent idiot about how that’s not what you meant at around the same time they scooped your intestines out and used them as draft excluders.
The demon’s presence poisoned Midnight Falls drip by drop and the were folk withered under its influence. Nothing too alarming at first: their beast forms became subtly distorted. Then the deformities became more gross, less easily dismissed. The more powerful were better equipped to preserve the shape they once had, but in truth they all suffered. And it wasn’t just their beast form that was altering, their sense of identity was too. Meanwhile Morgana had decided to make the subjugation of the weres a sign of her new power not to mention a permanent source of live food for her growing brood.
Tobias, when he became leader had a brilliant, awful idea. The were-folk would take their own power source and gain the necessary strength to seal Morgana and her kind up for good in her mountain fortress. That power source was a captive spirit, to be kept in a state somewhere between life and oblivion enabling the were folk to feed from its life force for all time to come. The entity had to be powerful enough to perform this role but at the same time quiescent enough to control. And, in their desperation, that’s what the fools did. I didn’t bother asking what rituals were involved because I had an idea and it wasn’t a jolly old tea party. But it was Tobias who did the incantations and made the sacrifices, because as leader that was his cross to bear.
But he hadn’t done it very well because the force of nature that was the black dog was wakening. Tobias had hoped it would have been a slower process and then I turned up, hastening the inevitable. In any case, their prisoner didn’t yield the power for which they had hoped. Their beast selves were still increasingly degenerating and now so were the human. One half couldn’t live without the other. Now they were quadruply screwed: no leader; no power source; Morgana on the warpath; and a vengeful demonic spirit on their tails.
Talk about Diabolic intervention. Unfortunately for all of us, it had gone beyond mere words.