Ignorant. That’s what the world was. Ignorant. People believed that it was blissful to be ignorant. Blissful to not know what was really going on in the world, what was real and what was false. What was possible or impossible, what was there and what was not. Yes, they thought it was blissful. They were insane. Being ignorant was not blissful, quite the opposite in fact, as they had soon discovered.
These insanely ignorant people or humans as they are called, were naive enough to think that they were the only forms of intelligence in the world. They were even so naive as to believe they were the most intelligent. They were even more naive as to think that life as they knew it, was eternal. How terribly mistaken they had been.
Prophets spoke of an apocalypse to come: a great catastrophe that would most likely wipe all life on the planet. Some said the sun would flare up and destroy the entire solar system, some said a meteorite would strike the planet and wipe out all life, some said war, some said radiation and some said a great flood would come. There were so many prophecies, all quite possible considering how humans destroyed their planet, but not one could truly predict what did come to pass.
The apocalypse was a rude awakening to mankind of how truly ignorant they were and of how utterly insignificant their existence was compared to the vast array of intelligent creatures that exist. For aeons, the process of evolution has been taking place in various ways at various rates. Some evolve through adaptation, others through engineering and some by using the power locked in the mind.
Shape-shifters are one of those few evolved beings; born with an animal spirit within them and, with their advanced inhuman strength, able to transform and reshape their bodies into the form of their inner beast, a wolf. As the centuries passed they evolved into strong, fast and deadly beasts and became known as the mythical lycans.
For centuries they hid their true nature, living in secluded packs around the world and growing in strength and number, until one day, they had grown tired of hiding, of being controlled by lesser, weaker beings. Until The Dawning. When the earth started to change, they saw their chance.
The planet was changing. Hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis rocked the globe regularly, killing thousands with their destruction, this was when the lycans decided to emerge from the shadows.
First, they swept into destroyed towns, taking the lands for themselves then they instilled fear in the humans, causing unrest and distrust among them. Out of fear for their unknown foes, the human governments erected walls around most major cities before the military rounded up thousands of innocents on false accusations of being wolves. Over twenty percent of the human population was wiped out by their own kind's ignorance and greed, paving the road for the lycans to swoop in and take over.
Second, they cleaned out the governments, then the military and finally, the prisons. What was left of the human population was to become the workforce of the new world, ruled by wolves.
Each city was placed under the control of a major pack while the lesser packs controlled the smaller farming towns. Those that weren’t already in the cities were hunted down before being locked away behind the conveniently already built walls, under the watchful eye of an elite guard of wolves while they worked their lives away in mostly poor and cruel conditions to further the goals of the Lycan packs.
However, the earth was not done yet with her cleansing, Dawning had just begun. The world had hardly settled into its new order when the earth decided to shake off the infestation of humanoids like fleas. The earth shook and reformed, froze and thawed many times over, until, after a few years, the earth was completely changed: made anew. Millions had died in the ongoing catastrophe and what life remained was a mere speck in comparison to the multitude of people that lived before.
The way the world worked was never the same again after the dawning, mostly for the better. The lycans still managed to be in control throughout and after the dawning, and some might say it was a good thing.
Most industrialised operations were never restarted by the lycans, for they had seen the wrath of a planet when it was abused.
For the sake of preserving the planet: power was harnessed with natural resources and transport mostly turned back to the old ways using horses and carriages. And the werewolves, well, they finally started to enjoy living openly for the first time in their existence, controlling the remaining human population in what remained of the cities and towns, while the Others stayed hidden and secluded from everyone and everything. For now.
Deep down in the dim icy caverns of the northern mountains, amongst the wails of torture, echoed the clanging of metal as weapon met weapon, sword clashing and grinding against axe with swift movement after movement in a desperate bid to be the last one standing.
“We need to get the beast out. I know it’s in there.” a large, broad man Raenag, ground out with a vicious sneer painted on his face, to a burly man next to him as he tapped his fingers on the wooden posts surrounding the fighters in an impatient rhythm.
The burly man paced back and forth slowly until he stopped to lean his back against the ring before looking at his master thoughtfully. “There is one more thing we could try to coax it out,” he said to Raenag. “But I must warn you, my lord, It could be fatal.”
Raenag turned his head towards Brekun to listen carefully to the stout man’s plan - his last hope to get the beast out. He sighed as he squinted hard at the fighters in the ring. “Do it,” he said before turning on his heel and exiting the cavern.