Monday, February 1, 2016

January re-read V: Last one, I swear!

OK, much like the Vampire one I wrote last, explaining the plot behind The Last Battle by Bill Bridges requires a bit of a recap of everything that came before. (Also, I promised that Gehenna would be the last re-read for a while, but I started this one on the way to the library and decided to finish it.)

Much like Vampires, Werewolves are real. Werewolf introduced the Triat, Wyld, Weaver, and Wyrm. Wyld was chaos, Weaver was order, Wyrm was balance. Somewhere way back, Weaver spun Wyrm into her webs to prevent it from destroying her beautiful creations. This drove Wyrm mad. Wyrm is less balance and now "I WILL DESTROY EVERYTHING SO I CAN GET FREE OF THESE WEBS!"

Werewolves are dying off. While not the only changing breed, they really don't get along well with others, which may have to do with them pretty much trying to kill off the rest of them back in prehistory. Werewolves divide themselves by tribes and Auspices, based on parentage and what aspect the moon was in at birth.

One whole long lot of really fun fiction later, we come to this, the time when the Prophecies play out, and the world of Werewolf: the Apocalypse ends.

We mainly center on Albrecht, Mary, and Evan, who were first introduced in the original rule book. Over time (and in the old RAGE CCG), Albrecht became Gaian King, wearing the Silver Crown of leadership of the non-Wyrm aligned tribes. Not that he doesn't have competition for this, but...

We also check in with the Silver River Pack, who's journey was the focus of the Tribe Novels; Zhyzach, the crazy wyrm aligned werewolf prophesied to kill the last Gaian King; and Antoinin Teardrop, who's following Zhyzach on her way to free the Wyrm.

Much of the werewolf population winds up in battle in the Umbra, the spiritual reflection of the universe.

The rest of the make their stand in the Womb of the World. Given this is the end, there's much noble sacrifice and death, and not really a lot of happy endings.

While I never liked playing Werewolf overly much (the mechanics were often unwieldy) the much more detailed world building behind the game was very good and quite fun to get sucked in to. Thankfully, Werewolf also made for some really engaging fiction. (The Tribe Novels made more sense than the Clan Novels, and Albrecht's pack's first novel, The Silver Crown, was wonderfully action packed.) While I wouldn't recommend this particular novel to anyone not familiar with the setting, it is a heck of a lot better than it had any right to be. It also well outdoes the game supplement that covered this same time period, that really didn't offer any satisfying conclusions.