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The Heart of Gaia

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The Heart of Gaia was a ten-part prequel story written by Phil Brucato specifically for ASC Games' Werewolf: The Apocalypse - The Heart of Gaia. For archival purposes, all parts of the story are found below.

The dream begins long ago, when a noble race of werewolves known as the White Howlers were corrupted by the forces of the Wyrm. The village of Kil na Korr - the town the Howlers once protected - was destroyed and almost all of its inhabitants killed. Among the inhabitants is a woman with child who just might hold the key to the savior of the White Howlers--will she make it out alive?
Elyr Ma Cullough escapes and gives birth to a son, Alyn. Fathered by a White Howler, Alyn is the last uncorrupted member of the once-noble race. Unfortunately for both of them, the Wyrm knows that one has escaped the corruption of the Bane. Can Alyn's Kin-Fetch (spirit guide) protect the boy or are the White Howlers done for?
Fat with the power of many a vanquished White Howler, the Bane comes for Alyn and makes short work of his Kin-Fetch. Possessed by evil of almost incomprehensible magnitude, the sworn protector of the boy turns on he and his mother. The dream ends with the fate of the White Howlers resting on the shoulders of a woman ravaged by childbirth, malnutrition, and exhaustion--
Sean McCulloch's alcohol-addled mind is racing. The Red Book he picked up seems to beckon him to execute the arcane procedures it outlines. The candles are lit, the diagrams are drawn--maybe THIS will make his blood-soaked dreams stop.
Sean opens the door to Malfeas - a horrible spirit world not meant for human eyes - just as his son, Ryan, walks in on his nefarious ritual. But as Sean crumples into a vomiting mess at the sight of his doing, there's something in Ryan's eye that glimmers with--recognition.
The Bane is back and is reaching for Ryan through the Malfeas. Sean - half-drunk and terrified - won't let him go. What will happen when Ryan's mother, Clarissa, interrupts the ceremony? Can this be the end of the White Howler?
Clarissa stops the unholy ceremony before it can claim the life of her only child. As Clarissa kicks Sean out of their home, the unsated Bane watches in impotent rage from the Malfeas as the last White Howler gets one more chance to unravel an aeon's-worth of corruption.
Time passes. The dreams that once tormented his father now torment Ryan. But - almost unbelievably - the horror isn't from the pure content of the dreams. It's from the ethereal taste of blood that brings an uncontrollable smile to his face... what is happening?
Another fight. At least it's not in school this time, so he won't get suspended for it. But something's different this time. There's a smell in the air Ryan recognizes from the night his dad left: the sick, curdled smell of a soul gone wrong. It's all he can think about as his body performs miraculously during and after the fight he would ultimately consider to be "fun."
An old evil is coming home to roost as Ryan becomes unconsciously aware of his Gifts. Can the last of the White Howlers harness his inner power in time to save the world from enslavement by the Wyrm?

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