History of Loria
Long ago, in the time before, the lands of Loria were nothing more than shallow hills and vast, barren wastelands. There were no leaves to rustle in the winds and no birds to sing songs at daybreak. Loria was a quiet land, empty and dead.
When the Creators discovered Loria, they decided to bless it as they had blessed many other worlds before. Order gave the land shape and form, and Energy filled it with life. After many summers and winters, an Eden took shape. With their work done, the Creators then moved on to other parts of the Universe and left the new World alone to prosper.
Loria blossomed into a paradise of life, beauty, and harmony. All manner of creatures evolved and prospered, with the Elder Wolves chief amongst them. Elder Wolves were the first of their kind, ancestors to all modern wolves. These proud beings had strength and intelligence in equal measure. They grew to twice the size of the largest Dirus wolf and had thick, beautiful coats that shimmered in the daylight. Because the Elder Wolves valued above all else the sanctity of life, they naturally became the guardians of Loria and maintained its order. And so, the time of the Elder Wolves began.
As the Elder Wolves ascended to their seat of power, all creatures benefited from their fairness and just rule. It was an age of unimaginable peace and bounty. But it was not to last. The virgin landscape drew the covetous eye of another god-like being, one whose poisonous mind compelled him to desire this perfect Eden for himself. This evil presence was known as Chaos, a demon of turmoil and twisted desire. As soon as he gazed upon the perfect lands, he knew he must have them for his own. Chaos’s evil influence soon spread like a plague to every corner of Loria.
Thus before the verdant world had even a chance at life, it was doomed. The once tranquil forests turned savage and their inhabitants became locked in turmoil. Plants outgrew their roots and strangled the trees above, great herds grew in number and stripped the lands of their resources, and the proudest beasts were reduced to mindless monsters that killed without reason. The system of birth, life, death, and rebirth that had kept order during Loria’s peaceful primal years was thrown into disarray. Those who feel victim to Chaos’ poisonous influence soon lost their ability for rational thought and joined the hordes of mindless Plaguebeasts.
In desperation, the leaders of the Elder Wolves gathered together and formed what is now known as the Pact of the Elders. Through it, the wolves pledged to come together in unprecedented unity to fight as one against the demon’s plague. Together with other noble creatures, they vowed to fight against Chaos and his minions and drive them from their precious world. The Pact proved successful for a time, as they easily defeated the more secluded and disorganized groups of Plaguebeasts. However, for every monster they destroyed, another would take its place. No matter how hard the Elder Wolves fought against the growing threat, there seemed to be no end to Chaos’ horde.
But all was not lost, for the growing disorder and unrest of Loria drew the attention of its long-departed Creators. They felt the World's suffering from across the universe and hastily made their way back. When they arrived, they were horrified to discover their perfect Eden had been destroyed, and that a vile demon had taken residence within. They flew to the heart of Loria and confronted the evil presence there.
The mighty gods demanded that Chaos remove himself or be removed by force. Chaos sneered at them. He declared that Loria was now a perfect World, exciting and challenging, a paradise of anarchy. The World that the Creators built had been dull and unremarkable. They should be thanking him for its transformation to greatness! Furious, the Creators launched all of their combined powers against him. The demon stood no chance against the attack and was easily subdued. The Creators reached into the heart of Loria and attempted to rip the evil presence out, root and stem. But as they pulled, they heard the land cry out in pain. Their attempt to remove Chaos had inadvertently destroyed countless lives. The Creators recoiled in horror. Chaos triumphantly exclaimed that he would never leave Loria. Like a parasitic vine, his evilness had infiltrated not only the spirit of Loria, but her very core. His being was inextricably one with these lands. If he were to be destroyed, then Loria would face the same fate.
The Creators debated what to do for a time, then despaired when they realized the only way to completely eradicate Chaos and his weeds was to destroy their beloved creation. Then, they could rebuild Loria anew. As they rose up to perform the deed, Energy spotted a patch of frenzied activity in the plainlands. Looking closer, they realized that there were many battles being fought in every corner of Loria. Curious, they investigated the activity and discovered that some of the unafflicted beings were fighting back against Chaos’ horde. The Creators were astounded by their courage.
The Creators assumed their physical forms and met with the beings, who called themselves the Elder Wolves. There, they learned of the mortal’s plans to halt the spread of Chaos. The Creators looked kindly upon them, and decided they would not destroy the world. If these beings wanted to fight back, then they would give them every chance at success. They asked the Elder Wolves to present their mightiest warriors. They unanimously decided to call upon the sons and daughters of Totema, who were renowned for their prowess and unparalleled courage. Totema’s five children bowed before the mighty gods.
The Creators declared that they would bestow the gifts of the gods upon the siblings, who would in turn become the champions of Loria and lead in the attack against Chaos. They blessed each wolf with singularly powerful gifts. Luana the firstborn was given the power of strength. Orrin the secondborn was blessed with the power of fortitude. Mika the thirdborn became the master of cunning. Elius the fourthborn was blessed with the power of wisdom. And finally, Korvo, the lastborn but largest of his siblings, was given the power of restoration. They bowed their heads in gratitude and swore to defend Loria with their lives. And so the Spirit Wolves were born. The rest of their pack rejoiced and celebrated their new Champions.
One by one, the Spirit Wolves gathered followers and set off to the five distinct territories of Loria. Luana departed for the southern swamps of Murkwood, Orrin travelled to Icerun in the north, Mika went east to the forests of Darkspine, Elius traveled to the western plains of Goldsea, and finally Korvo went to the central valley of Mistvale. Once there, the Spirit Wolves aided their brethren in driving back the plague of Chaos.
The Spirit Wolves enjoyed great success. The Plaguebeasts stood no chance against them and their new powers. The outer lands had been cleansed of Chaos’ plague by the eldest Spirit Wolves and the central lands of Mistvale were successfully transformed into a refuge, thanks to Korvo. The youngest Spirit Wolf bounded along the shores of Lake Viridia, celebrating his achievement in restoring the land to its former beauty. The wolves rejoiced; victory was inevitable!
Or so they thought.
For though Chaos had been severely wounded by the Creator’s powers, he had not been ignorant to the creation of the Spirit Wolves, nor their progress in driving back his advancement. With every Plaguebeast they destroyed, he felt his powers growing weaker. Desperate, Chaos searched the lands for his own champion, intent on finding a creature powerful enough to defeat the Spirit Wolves. After searching many moons, Chaos’ gaze fell on Mistvale, and the young wolf that guarded it.
Korvo did not feel the presence of Chaos in his soul until it was far too late. The demon’s wishes first presented as evil and twisted thoughts in the back of his mind that the young wolf easily brushed aside. Then, the thoughts became voices, more persistent and charming. Soon enough the voices became a consciousness that Korvo could listen and even respond to. The presence would whisper sweet, empty promises and falsehoods that easily swayed Korvo, for Chaos was a master of deceit and charm. Chaos convinced him to do innocent things at first. But after a time, Chaos was able to persuade him to perform more and more evil acts.
All the while, Chaos wormed his way into the young wolf’s soul. He would tell Korvo that he was the strongest of his siblings, and that his was the greatest power of them all. He tempted Korvo with the idea that he could one day rule over all of Loria, with his brothers and sisters obeying his every command. Korvo initially disregarded these thoughts as wildly ridiculous, but soon enough, he gave in to the fantasy. In a matter of weeks, the once good and dignified Korvo was reduced to an insecure, jealous creature full of lust and anger. Chaos knew then that he had succeeded, Korvo was his.
The rest of Korvo’s siblings continued to push back against Chaos, mile by mile. They remained completely unaware of the evil that was slowly consuming their brother’s soul. If only they had known early on, perhaps they could have saved him.
As if in unison, the Plaguebeasts suddenly halted their advancement and retreated. The Spirit Wolves were puzzled by this, but gave chase. After some time, they all wound up in the central territory of Mistvale, where Korvo was supposed to have been building a sanctuary. What the wolves found there was no sanctuary, however, but the most twisted and horrifying sight they had ever seen. It was as if every beast they had ever destroyed had risen to fight them again. Even the plants were diseased and mangled into impossible shapes that made their stomachs turn. The air smelled of death and rotting flesh. The once beautiful refuge meant to shield their kind was transformed into an asylum for the living dead. The Spirit Wolves halted at the very edge of the plagued horde, eyes wide in terror.
Just then, a voice called out from behind the mass. It was a rough and ghastly sound, yet it somehow seemed familiar to the Spirit Wolves. The voice commanded them to surrender to Chaos, or be destroyed. The Spirit Wolves stood their ground, snarling at their sworn enemies. Then, as if in unison, the horde parted down the middle, and from the rear walked a strange figure. It wasn’t until the figure was almost upon them that the Spirit Wolves recognized their brother.
Korvo, who once sported a coat of shimmering greens and yellows and glowed with life energy, was now twisted with wretchedness. He was much larger now and covered in a black shadow that even the sun could not penetrate. His eyes burned in a toxic green and large, twisted horns sprouted from his hide. He was a slave to Chaos, evil incarnate. In unison, the Spirit Wolves howled and cried out for their transformed brother. Orrin called out to him and pleaded for an explanation. Mika whimpered his name, and soon all of the Spirit Wolves echoed a mournful howl of anguish. Korvo waited for them to quiet, then answered in a cool, uncaring tone. He explained that he was now the leader of the Elder Wolves, and that they swear themselves to the service of Chaos, or be killed.
Elius tried to reason with his brother, explaining that Korvo had been tempted to follow the demon through no fault of his own. He pleaded with Korvo to renounce Chaos and rejoin his family. Korvo refused his brother. He explained that Chaos had opened his eyes to the truth, and he now understood his true purpose. That he, Korvo, was Totema’s greatest son, and no wolf alive was his equal. Not even his siblings, who were grossly envious of his power. His eyes burned brighter, those eyes that had once been gentle and kind. They stared unblinking at them, hating.
Luana addressed her family. She told them that their brother was lost, but their mission had not changed. They must drive Chaos from the world. Maybe then, Korvo could be saved. Her siblings reluctantly agreed. They leapt into the horde with the remaining Elder Wolves and ripped through the Plaguebeasts with renewed strength. The loss of Korvo drove them forward, past the point of exhaustion. Chaos had taken their beloved brother, and he would pay dearly for it.
The battle that waged between Chaos’ horde and the Spirit Wolves lasted deep into the night. Each side fought desperately. Korvo tried many times to engage with his siblings, but each time they retreated from him. Though their brother had fallen to evil, they still had no wish to fight him. Chaos screamed in frustration, as all his Plaguebeasts were eventually defeated. Soon enough, only Korvo stood between him and the Spirit Wolves.
Once more, the siblings pleaded with their brother to rejoin them. Instead of responding, Korvo bounded towards them, his lips curled in a terrible snarl. He flew at Mika first, but she was cunning and easily dodged his attack. Korvo then swiped at Orrin, but his brother was resilient and withstood the impact. Orrin swiftly grabbed his brother by the foreleg and bit down hard. Luana followed suit, locking the flesh of Korvo’s neck between her iron jaws. Mika and Elius clawed at his legs, then flipped him over. The demon’s champion, fueled by hatred, screamed and struggled with unnatural energy. He flailed about like a wild animal, but could not break from their grip. The Spirit Wolves called out to the heavens in unison. “Now!” they howled.
The Creators were poised at the edge of the astral plane, ready to strike at the heart of Chaos once more. When the Spirit Wolves gave the signal, they unleashed their might and disabled him. With the demon subdued, they bound his form in a winding chain of unbreakable energy. Once he was secured, they lashed the holy chain around Korvo as well. They then cast the demon into the center of Lake Veridia where he swiftly sank to the bottom. Glowing clouds of energy trailed behind the demon and bubbled towards the surface, disfiguring the once beautiful lake into vortex of toxic greens and blues. The Spirit Wolves released their grip as the chain pulled Korvo towards the water as well. Mad with frustration, Korvo promised them that he would one day return to Loria, more powerful than ever, and they would suffer dearly for their actions. The siblings bid their brother one final goodbye as he slipped beneath the surface.
The weary Spirit Wolves regathered at the edge of the lake to rejoin their followers. The Elder Wolves howled and cheered for their victory, yet the Spirit Wolves did not celebrate. They mourned the loss of their younger brother. After a time, they addressed the mortal wolves and told them that they would now depart for the astral plane to join their Creators and rest. Before departing, they each summoned a part of their Aura. They told the wolves that should Chaos ever break free from his prison, they could call for their aid by wielding the Auras in unison. The Elder Wolves bowed and accepted the offerings, then bid the champions farewell.
In the aftermath, the lands of Loria were still very much in disarray. Life was out of balance, and it was left to the Elder Wolves to restore it. The original followers of the four Spirit Wolves formed their own distinct packs that returned to their respective territories. Luana’s followers became the Murkwood Pack, Orrin’s became the Icerun Pack, Mika’s became the Darkspine Pack, and Elius’ became the Goldsea Pack. They placed their respective Auras in sacred shrines that would ensure their protection for the rest of time. They continued the practices of their risen champions and developed distinct traditions that have lasted even to today.
To keep the Auras safe, each pack developed a system of training new wolves to rise through the ranks and eventually become an Aura Master. An Aura Master had the right and responsibility to wield the Aura and protect their pack from harm. Rising through the ranks was arduous but doable for wolves worthy of their power. This assured that only the greatest of their kind would become Aura Masters.
These histories of Loria were passed down by word of mouth from generation to generation. Eventually, the truth of the story faded and became the stuff of myths and legends, used by grandmothers to frighten pups into behaving. The once mighty shrines that housed the Auras crumbled with the passage of time, and those who keep them now know little of their original purpose. But the Auras remain eternal. They lay dormant in the shadows, awaiting the day a new Master will wield their power and summon the Spiritwolves to save Loria once again.