Ruadan the First
Once there was a great warrior-magician whose name was Ruadan. He was the son of magician-healer Brigid and warrior-prince Bres.
Many believed Bres would bring peace to the troubled nations of Fomhoire and Tuatha de Danann. When he became of age, he married Brigid to cement his bond with the Tuatha de Danann. In time, he was made king of Eire.
But Bres was a foolish ruler, ignorant of his people’s suffering and unjust in his judgments. The sons of Tuatha de Danann rose up against him and took his crown, banishing him. In defeat, Bres returned to his father’s kingdom.
Bres was too prideful to turn away from the dishonor shown to him by the Tuatha de Danann, no matter how well deserved. He vowed to take back what had been taken from him and to once again rule Eire.
Brigid wanted peace. Without her husband’s knowledge, she sought her mother’s counsel. The Morrigu foresaw the future and told her daughter the truth: The Tuatha de Danann would triumph over the Fomhoire, but not before Brigid lost her husband and their sons, Ruadan, Iuchar, and Uar.
The Tuatha de Danann had a magical well that instantly healed their warriors so long as they had not suffered a mortal blow. Created by a goldsmith named Goibniu, the well was safeguarded by spells and men alike. “Kill the builder of the well,” said Bres to his sons, “and destroy its magic . . . and the Tuatha de Danann will fall.”
So it came to pass that Ruadan’s wife, Aine, bore twin boys, Padriag and Lorcan. Satisfied that his family was safe, Ruadan and his brothers sailed to the Isle of Eire to fulfill his father’s plan.
The brothers used stealth and cunning to break through the defenses of their enemy. While Iuchar and Uar battled those that guarded the well, Ruadan stabbed Goibniu with the fae swords. But Goibniu, though mortally wounded, thrust his spear into Ruadan’s chest and felled the warrior.
Near death, Ruadan arrived in his homeland and was taken to his mother. She used all her magic and healing arts, but could not save her son. The very same night that Ruadan breathed his last, Brigid received word of the deaths of Iuchar and Uar. She fell to her knees and wailed with such sorrow that anyone who heard the sounds knew a mother’s heart had been torn from her.
Morrigu heard the keening of her daughter, so she turned into a crow and flew to the land of the Fomhoire. Though the dark queen craved chaos over tranquillity and war over peace, she felt pity for her daughter and offered one chance for Brigid to regain her son.
“Give Ruadan a cup of my blood, but be warned! When he awakes, he will not live as a man, but as a deamhan fola. He will never again walk in the light. He will not consume food or drink, but shall siphon the blood of the living. Neither will he have breath nor beat of heart. Never will he sire another child by his own seed.”
“Is there no good to be wrought, then, Mother?”
“Where there is dark, there is also light. Ruadan will never age. He will heal from even the most grievous of wounds. He will know the thoughts of those he loves. And he will be a warrior none can defeat. He is of the Fomhoire and of the Tuatha de Danann, and those skills and magic will always be his to wield.”
So blinded by grief was Brigid, so badly did she want her son to live again, that she agreed to her mother’s terms. But still Morrigu was not satisfied.
“Should Ruadan drain a man and replenish him with tainted blood, he shall Turn. Your son will create others and he will rule a master race long after all the ones you know and love turn to dust and ash. Even knowing this, will you still give him my blood to drink?”
And again Brigid agreed without hesitation. Morrigu cut her wrist and bled into a silver goblet. Brigid lifted her son’s head, opened his mouth, and poured every drop of her mother’s blood into him.
When Ruadan awoke, he was deamhan fola.
Bres, devastated by the loss of his sons, went himself to the Isle of Eire to wreak vengeance on his enemy, but he, too, was killed. Finally, the Tuatha de Danann triumphed over the Fomhoire, and there came to pass an uneasy peace between their peoples.
But Aine was frightened of the creature her husband had become and she refuted him, calling him demon and eater of flesh. He wished only happiness for his family, and so he bartered with Aine. If she returned with his mother to the Isle of Eire and raised their sons as Tuatha de Danann, he would leave them alone.
For twenty-five years, Ruadan wandered the world. He made six others of his kind. And then, because he longed to see his sons, Ruadan broke his promise. He visited his twin boys—and both were killed. He turned them into deamhan fola, and together, they left the Isle of Eire.
Ruadan summoned his first six deamhan fola to a meeting, and they created the Council of Ancients. They labored to create laws for their people and bound all deamhan fola with magic and oath to uphold these laws. Those who broke faith with their Families faced banishment . . . or death.
And so it was that Brigid’s son fulfilled her mother’s prophecy.
He was the creator of the deamhan fola.
He was ruler over all.
He was Ruadan the First.
Legends of the Lycans
It is said that the Moon Goddess wanted children, so she took her wolf form and mated with an alpha named Tark.
She gave birth to twins. The firstborn was a wolf of black. And the second, a wolf of gray. Her older son had the ability to turn from human to wolf. However, her second-born could assume his wolf nature only on the night of the full moon.
The Moon Goddess’s sons grew up, and soon they wanted wives and families. The Goddess offered her firstborn a beautiful female wolf, which she gave the ability to shift into human form. To her second-born, the Goddess gave a beautiful female human. Since her son assumed his wolf form only during the full moon, she gave his mate the same ability.
And so some lycanthropes are full-bloods, shifting whenever they need to, and others are like the Roma, shifting only on the full moon.
This is the story told for generations from father to son, mother to daughter, of the lycanthrope heritage.
It is, however, a lie.
We must also consider the unexpected branch of the lycanthrope family tree: the loup de sang.
In 1807 a small group of loup-garou emigrated from France to the town of Vincennes, the capital city in Indian Territory. Among the newest arrivals was the widow Chantelle Marchand, who was eight months pregnant. She made the long, treacherous journey to the United States to join the pack of her father, Jacques Marchand.
Not long after Chantelle arrived, a territorial dispute erupted between the loup-garou and the deamhan fola—vampires. The pregnant widow was among the casualties of a short but brutal skirmish. Unfortunately, the vampire who killed her also tried to Turn her.