|Ceren the Huntress|
|Position||Former Goddess of the Hunt|
|Affiliation||Caelum, Lycans, Big Bad Wolf, Selene, Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks, Dahlia Rainecourt|
Ceren the Huntress was one of the original gods created by the Source and the Forebearer at the dawn of time. Unlike many of the other deities, she took an immediate interest in creating fauna to fill the world the gods had made and never strayed to explore other godly vocations.
Aside from being the creator and protector of the animals, Ceren is also known for her role in the creation of the Lycans. As legend states, it was her curse on a single man that gave birth to what would become one of the greatest scourges in Ga'leah. It was also her death at the hands of the same man she cursed, that eventually led to the downfall of the Lycan Empire.
Ceren was one of the original gods created by the Forebearer and the Source. She had an immediate affinity towards creating life and focused upon filling the world with beautiful fauna. She concentrated her efforts on crafting gentle and peaceful creatures like the horse, gazelle, and deer. While some of the other deities sampled a plethora of fields, Ceren was certain that her own vocation was creating animals to fill their world and nothing else.
She did not spend much time with the other gods and only visited Caelum occasionally, preferring to live among her animals as she added more beautiful, graceful creatures to the world of Ga'leah. When, at last, it was determined that the gods needed to pick one focus for their powers and never trespass upon another's field, Ceren wasted no time in claiming the animals for herself.
The Huntress did not like the idea of the Fae from the very beginning. She heard rumors of their creation long before the other gods had gathered together to begin erstwhile talks on the subject. Ceren felt that the gods creating a creature like the Fae to populate the world of Ga'leah was akin to overstepping their bounds and trespassing on her own vocation as the goddess of animals, but she held her tongue. When the gods suggested giving the Fae magic and giving them a long lifespan, however, Ceren spoke up and argued that giving a creature like the Fae magic would be providing them too much power and making them too similar to the gods themselves. Her warnings were ignored, and the Fae were created with long lives and a talent for using the Essence to wield magic.
Ceren was so angry at the rest of the Pantheon for ignoring her, that she made journeys back to Caelum even less frequently than before. Although some Fae came to respect Ceren and her animals, most were party to slaughter for the sake of sport and were perpetrators of what the Huntress believed to be sacrilege against her creations. And so, she began to craft more vicious animals. Lions, tigers, direwolves, bears, these animals were created with a bloodlust and sharp teeth and claws to cause damage to the Fae who attempted to harm her animals.
She was not surprised when the Fae began to rebel against the gods, and because she had played no part in creating the Fae she did not feel drawn to take an active role in the war that followed. However, when her siblings begged for her assistance, she did create great beasts for them to ride into battle or to accompany them into the fray. However, even with her refusal to join the war, she began to tempt young women and children into the woods where she would often attack and kill them, leaving the attractive women alive to be sold to her brothers for whatever uses they desired. This practice was soon brought to the attention of Olwyn the Source who summoned Ceren to Caelum after over two hundred years of self imposed exile. Ceren, though obviously driven by jealousy over Olwyn's love for the Fae, insisted that she was not slaughtering or enslaving the Fae but rather attempting to spare them a bloody death at the hands of her creatures. She still claimed to love the Source, but professed that her loyalty would always be to her animals above all others.
When at last the war was over and the Fae were at last sent away from Ga'leah for good, Ceren was pleased.
When the gods once more began to discuss creating another species to populate the world of Ga'leah, Ceren knew she could not abstain from taking part in this creation as well. Together, the Pantheon created the humans, learning from their mistakes, and giving them short lifespans and no inborn ability to use magic. After the creation of man, Ceren once more left Caelum behind to live amongst her animals. However, this time, she found that the Pantheon's creation revered her. They prayed to her and made offerings to her, they thanked her for her bounty and treated the animals as she had always wished the Fae would.
One particular group of humans seemed especially fond of the animals the Huntress had created and begged her for a chance to become one with them. And so, Ceren created the first Skinwalkers from the most beloved and devout of her human followers. However, not all humans were as devout as the Skinwalkers, and little by little the Huntress grew wary of the human's contradictory nature and returned to the company of her animals where she was happiest.
Within the Yarrow, she crafted the mystical White Stag, a construct of magic that was made to do nothing but attract the attention of hunters away from her precious animals and lead them far from any creatures they could kill, only to vanish into thin air when the hunter attempted to fell the Stag. Her contact with humans was limited to cursing those who angered her and rewarding those who honored her.
The Big Bad Wolf
Douglas Wolfgang came upon Ceren the Huntress when she was preparing to bathe in a pool in the Yarrow. He had been tracking her red wolf form for some time and witnessed her shift into her more humanlike visage. Overcome with admiration for her beauty and power, he joined her in the pool to make love to her and promise his undying devotion to her if only she would agree to be his. She agreed, but warned the human that he would be good to exercise caution for he would not like his fate if he betrayed her.
Douglas did not listen to her warning. Although he grew to love her, he could not overcome his faults and soon he was bragging to anyone that would listen about the way he had tamed the Huntress. It did not take long for his words to reach Ceren's ears, and when she heard that he had lured hunters into the Yarrow with promises of showing them how he could summon the Huntress to do his bidding, she was enraged. Her retribution was swift, a curse leveled upon the Big Bad Wolf that transformed him into an animal so that the world would see the truth about what monster lay within him.
Although Ceren refused to take responsibility for anything the newly named Big Bad Wolf did with the curse she had cast upon him, she did recognize that something had to be done to curb the spread of the Lycans across the land. And so, she chose a young woman who had been victimized by the Big Bad Wolf and created the first in the line of Red Riding Hoods to hunt the Lycans and keep their numbers in check. Similarly, Ceren appealed to her sister the Moon Maiden to help her keep the Lycans in check. The Moon Maiden agreed to take control of the Lycans and tie their powers to the cycles of her moon, thereby becoming the most loved goddess of the Lycans and allowed Ceren to deny culpability for their actions.
Ceren was not present at Caelum when the gods' mountaintop home fell. Although she saw the horrors wrought by the Blight in the Yarrow and surrounding countryside, she did not attempt to seek out her fellow gods but instead remained with her animals, attempting to protect them from those untold dangers and leaving her siblings to fend for themselves.
it would not be for many years, until Ceren heard a young woman uttering a prayer to her in the Yarrow, that her thoughts once more returned to the Big Bad Wolf and what terrors he was spreading. She answered the the girl's prayers, appearing to her in the Yarrow only to discover that it was one of the reigning Red Riding Hood who was praying for the strength to withstand the Big Bad Wolf. Ceren was angered that the Big Bad Wolf was up to his old tricks again, and attempted to counsel the young woman to avoid making the same mistakes that Ceren herself had made. However, in the midst of their conversation the Big Bad Wolf appeared, having followed their mingled scents to discover why they were meeting in the Yarrow. Although he offered them a truce until the end of the Blight, the Red Riding Hood sided with Ceren and sent the Big Bad Wolf away empty handed.
Following her encounter with the Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf, Ceren attempted to reassert herself in the lives of the Lycans. During the Big Bad Wolf's absence in the Tomb of the Forgotten King, she attempted to stop a slaughter of cattle in the Yarrow perpetrated by the Greed Alpha and her pack, and eventually determined that to keep the Lycans in check she would need to find and enlist the help of her sister, the Moon Maiden.
Ceren had some difficulty finding her sister the Moon Maiden, and so she determined that she would be most successful if she sought out one of the Lycans to lead her to her sister goddess. To garner the attention of the Envy Alpha, Ceren appeared in the only part of the Yarrow he declared off limits to anyone and everyone else. Soon enough, he appeared to demand to know the reason for her trespass. The Huntress attempted to earn his trust, but found that the Huntsman was bitter over her many failures to provide him with the assistance he had prayed for. She had not protected his beloved, her priestess. She had not protected her temple. And, she had failed to protect him from the Lycan curse that was passed onto him from the original Big Bad Wolf. Her own lack of knowledge about his suffering as well as her unwillingness to accept any blame for what had happened to him or what had been done by the Big Bad Wolf served to only enrage the Envy Alpha and their fight drew the Big Bad Wolf to them.
The Big Bad Wolf arrived in time to witness Ceren drawing the lycan curse from the Huntsman in the form of a shadow wolf, and demanded that she free his Envy Alpha or die. When she refused, he shifted into his largest and most intimidating Direwolf form and attacked. Ceren, too, took on her largest lupine form and the titans fought for control. Unexpectedly, the Big Bad Wolf shifted back into his human form unexpectedly with what seemed to be an injury. Instead, when Ceren too had returned to human form, he unleashed a frightening wind that harmed Ceren grievously. She had expended so much magic combating first the Huntsman and then the Big Bad Wolf that she could not use magic to overcome the trauma to her body and perished in the Yarrow, in the Big Bad Wolf's arms as he wept over the woman that some part of his still loved.
Immediately following her death, the Big Bad Wolf once more assumed his large Direwolf form and swallowed her body whole so that he might be able to take her to Maleficent who had promised to make him (or one of his Lycans) the new god of the hunt.