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The Jaguar Universe is a project by Jacques Worther.

History

Origin of the Nagual (Approx. 2000BC)

In the jungles of what is now Belize, a tribe of shaman grew close to the animals around them. They were friendly to a number of different species, and they were friendly in return, but they found themselves closest to the Jaguars that roamed the jungles. Over the years, some of the tribesmen bonded with specific Jaguars, on a level never achieved in human history.

When one of the Jaguars was nearing death, its shaman partner couldn't bare to be without him, and sought a way to save him. The shaman found nothing, and with his friend about to die, he instead chose to attempt something that had only ever been attempted between humans: he wanted to absorb his partner's soul, as a form of immortality. The shaman found he was unable to, and realised that the Jaguar needed to allow him to take it, and so in his partner's final moments, the shaman tried one last time, and succeeded. In the following weeks, he found himself undergoing random transformations, into a Jaguar-esque form, which he learnt to control. He was dubbed the "Nahuālli", the first of what would eventually become the Naguals.

Jaguar Quote 1 He was the first. The start of a long line of mystical shapeshifters, and the beginning of a great dynasty. He was worshipped as a god, the great Tezcatlipoca. To many, he is a sorcerer, or an entity of war, strife, for some he even represents volcanoes. But he was a great man. The best man. Jaguar Quote 2
Dubhan


The Second Nagual

Jaguar Quote 1 The same cannot be said of his friend. Jaguar Quote 2
Dubhan


The Berserker Age (903 - 1087)

Long after the original Naguals came into being, and word spread through the supernatural world of the practise, the Berserkers came into being. In the Nordic regions, warrior groups made themselves into Naguals, using the souls of bears and wolves, which they considered to be strong warrior animals. This proved helpful in battles, and led to the formation of various powerful societies founded on the Nagual arts, that remained mostly hidden from the 'normal' world.

Unfortunately, the Nagual practise became more common amongst their enemies, and they began to lose battles against foes they had easily defeated before. A small village of these bear and wolf Naguals decided that to defeat their opponents, they needed to tap into the animal ferocity of the animal souls inside them. During their next battle, it looked as though they were going to lose once again, and so some of the Naguals let their animal instincts take over, and fought like animals. From that point, the battle ended quickly with their victory, but by allowing the animal instincts such power over them, they were unable to push them back, and remained in the more animalistic state, with their human consciousness suppressed. They were the first Berserkers.

King Harald Fairhair, the first King of Norway, learnt of the Berserkers a few years later, and hired the warlock Daganstjarna (Dagan meaning Daybreak, and Stjarna meaning Star, a branch of the Morningstar Family) to find the Berserkers and bring them to his side. The warlock found a settlement of Berserkers, and found that due to their animalistic nature, couldn't be negotiated with, so instead placed an enchantment on them so they'd follow the orders of the king. With several dozen Berserkers now under his control, Harald gained a much stronger hold over his kingdom, and was more formidable in battle.

When word got out of Harald's greatest weapons in battle, other kingdoms sought out Berserkers for their armies, and soon most of the Scandinavian territories had Berserkers on their side. The battles became much bloodier, and many generals returned from them traumatised by the horrors they saw when the Berserkers fought each other. Entire regions were bathed in blood and body parts, and the kings began to realise that the Berserkers were too aggressive to control, but neither was willing to stop using them, in fear the other kingdoms would invade and defeat them.

For several decades, the Berserkers essentially ruled the Scandinavian region through the fear they inspired, although the kings tried to delude themselves into believing they still controlled them. It wasn't until 1015 that anybody did anything, when Erik Haakonsson, Governor of Norway, introduced a law against Berserkers, which was the first step in the Berserker Cull that soon followed. Anybody conspiring to become a Berserker was arrested and imprisoned, and the Berserkers were picked off one by one, although there were a number of casualties in the process. Warlocks were hired to enchant the Berserkers, so they would leave the kingdom and never return.

Not all the Berserkers were able to be enchanted, as some of them had a background in the mystic arts and as such had a level of immunity to it. They formed packs and rampaged through towns and cities, killing thousands of people in the process. When word of this got out, many citizens fled Norway, and the government sought to invade other countries, so as to escape the Berserkers. Once again, duties fell onto the Daganstjarna family, and instead of bringing the Berserkers under government control as one of their own had once done, they hunted the Berserkers. The only family that is willing to use dark magic, they were able to take down the Berserkers. Of course their were still a number of deaths on their side, but for the most part they were winning the war.

Cnut the Great, the latest King of Norway, regained control of his kingdom, and the Berserkers became so few they posed almost no threat. The Daganstjarna family also hunted the Berserkers of other regions, and by the 12th century they were almost completely gone in those regions. The governments burned all records of the Berserkers they could find, and the citizens were ordered never to speak of them again. Of course, not all records were destroyed, and not everybody stayed quiet, but the word of the Berserkers was so few that they mostly fell into myth.

The 'Berserker Age' acted as a message to the rest of the supernatural world, which hadn't remained all that hidden throughout history, and had inspired entire religions and had become commonplace in many places. They hid in the shadows, and swore to keep the evil away from the 'normal' world, as the worst of the supernatural creatures couldn't be stopped by the average human, as the Berserkers proved. As with the Berserkers, once they went into hiding, word of the supernatural died, and they became stories that were passed off as urban legends, and believers were called insane.

Beast of Gévaudan (1964 - 67)

Jaguar Quote 1 Never has a curse created such a devastating predator. The animalistic instincts to hunt, combined with the human joy of sports, a deadly combination.

Estimates put it at around 200 attacks. That's just the bodies they found and the survivors who lived to tell the tale. The best estimate is around 600. He was a monster straight out of hell. Jaguar Quote 2

Elena

Jean Chastel was a farmer and inn-keeper in Gévaudan, a French province. His son, Antoine, owned several Hyenas, one of which was in fact a Nagual trapped in Hyena form. When the Nagual escaped, Jean shot her in the head, and left her for dead. Several weeks later, a stranger approached him at his inn, and revealed to Jean the truth behind the hyena that he had killed. She then revealed that she was the hyena he had shot, and show him the scarring on the side of her head. He showed no remorse, and called her a monster, before forbidding her from entering his inn again.

That night, while feeding his cattle, Jean heard a growling sound and went to investigate. He found himself face-to-face with a large wolf, but with glowing red eyes and flames across its body: a Hellhound. The Nagual had summoned a Hellhound to kill Jean, but hadn't taken into account the mischievous nature of the hounds. Instead of killing Jean, it merely mutilated him, and left him cursed with what would come to be known as lycanthropy. Jean awoke the next morning in the snow, completely healed, and believed he had dreamt the whole encounter.

Three days later, Jean was again feeding his cattle as the full moon came out. Although the myth of Lycans transforming on the full moon is false, it does cause the initial transformation once the curse has been implemented on them. Jean transformed into a large wolf-like creature, and again unlike the myths, was fully aware of what was happening. The animal instincts that came with the wolf form screamed in the back of his head, and so he gave in. He ran through the woods, killing all kinds of animals, and eventually came across another farm. He saw the farmer woman working in the fields, and his instincts kicked in and he attacked her. Although the bulls on her farm stopped him from killing her, it was the first attack of the famed Beast of Gévaudan.

Despite being unsuccessful, Jean enjoyed attacking a human, and would do so many more times in the following three years. However, not all of his victims died, and part of the curse split off into some of the survivors. Each time, it weakened Jean's Lycan form a little, but he didn't notice for a while. It was only when he came up against one of the Lycans he had created that he realised he had been weakened. He figured out that it was because the curse had splintered into others, and then began to ensure his victims were dead. This didn't work out as he had expected, as there were still survivors who gained part of the curse. He didn't piece together that they didn't gain the curse because they survived: they survived because they gained the curse.

Eventually, Jean's lycan form became too weak, and he realised he couldn't continue the attacks. So in the summer of 1967, he killed a notably large wolf, and claimed it to be the Beast of Gévaudan. As Jean was a trusted member of his community, he was believed, and given the absence of killings by the Beast, any doubts were put to rest. Jean was praised as the man who killed the Beast of Gévaudan, with only a few of the Lycans knowing the truth, but bound to secrecy to maintain the supernatural's hidden nature.

Most of the Lycans fled from Gévaudan, as the aura of death lingered, and they wanted to escape from the grim events they went through. As the splintering of the curse only takes a small piece that grows inside its new host, some of the Lycans turned a few others, making sure not to turn too many and risk losing their powers. They formed packs, like actual wolves typically do, and they stuck to themselves, interacting with the human and supernatural worlds rarely.

Locations

  • Nemshire:
    • Channel Street: The "it place to be", lined with nightclubs and high-end fashion outlets.
      • Morningstar: Mason's nightclub, and the most popular in the city, because it's "magical".
    • Morningstar Manor: The ancestral home of the Morningstar family. It gets redesigned every century or so to fit with the times. Currently looks like a 1900s boarding school.
  • Blackridge Forest: A large forest to the north of Nemshire.
  • Blackridge Falls: A town near the edge of a series of cliffs, surrounded by the Blackridge Forest.
    • The Nemeton: One of the many Druid Nemetons in England.

Species

  • Naguals: People who have absorbed the soul of an animal and can shapeshift into that animal's form (to varying degrees: some can completely transform, others only partially).
    • Were-Panthers: Naguals who bonded with a member of the Panthera genus (Jaguars, Leopards, Tigers, and Lions), but their own soul was so dark it turned their animal form black, like a panther.
    • While there are were-wolves among the Naguals, generally people with a wolf form are Lycans, who are unrelated, and the result of a curse passed on to a number of people.
  • Reapers: People who have passed on into the afterlife, and for whatever reason found their way back to the mortal world.
  • Berserkers: Essentially inverted Naguals, instead of the human soul controlling an animal form, the animal instincts take over, suppressing the human within, creating a ferocious being without any moral limits.
  • Wendigos: Malevolent spirits who find physically weak or unhealthy people and use them as a host, turning them into ferocious creatures with a taste for human flesh.
  • Lycans: The result of a curse on Jean Chastel, who became the famed Beast of Gévaudan, and took credit for killing it when he ended his murder spree. The curse extended to some of the survivors of his attacks, who in turn passed it on to others.

Locations

  • Nemshire: An English seaside city, which is the main setting of the series.
  • Blackridge Falls: A town north of Nemshire, surrounded by the Blackridge Forest on one side and steep cliffs on the other.
  • Blackridge Forest: Self-explanatory, a forest. It's notorious among the supernatural community, as it was once used as a meeting place for druids, and due to the residual supernatural forces has become a breeding ground for all kinds of creatures.

Trivia

  • This universe was created to satisfy my love of superheroes and mythology, which are absent from my other project, the Nebula Universe.
Jaguar Universe
Main Characters
Harry Rayen (Jaguar) | Carson Eads | Alex Fortier | Victoria Monday | Vince Rayen
Supporting Characters
Dubhan McGuire | Lincoln Douglas | Cezar Ochao | Jess Tratten (Obsidian) | Mason Morningstar | Georgie Morningstar
Antagonists
The Panther | Melissa Jordan | Adam Morgan | Callaghan | Hart
Other Characters
Raz | Ciar Blake | Charley Regan | Elena Cameron
Created by Jacques Worther

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