The Order of the New Moon

A Roman Mosaic depicts a party of hunters killing a Lycanthrope.

Greek physician Aëtius writes of them: “They are said to descend from Lycaon of Arcadia, who defied Divinity and was punished. This Curse, carried in the bloodline, turns them into a foul beast that hunts men.”

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, some families carrying the Lycan blood rise through the ranks of nobility. They take hold in several places of Europe but thrive the most in the Iberian Peninsula, where the dynamics of power shift during the Muslim Conquest of 711.

By David Romero

A Medieval triptych showing an alternative interpretation of Christianity.

In 1194, the secretive Order of the New Moon is formed by King Alfonso VIII of Castile. Formed by Lycanthrope nobles, they believed themselves to be the Heirs of Lycaon, chosen people of God.

A Medieval sword and a bone rosary bead belonging to a member of the Order of the New Moon.

The Heirs of Lycaon believed they were above common men. Just like a pack of wolves keeps the rabbits from overbreeding, they thought it their holy mission to cull the population.

By David Romero

Imprint on a shroud, believed to bear the image of Lycaon.

Lycanthropy is carried in the bloodline. The purer the blood, the stronger its effect. If it is too impure the carrier will be unable to control their transformation, turning into a wild beast during the full moon.

Lupus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.”

The Tooth of Saint Lupo.

This relic carries a canine tooth. It is believed to belong to the ferocious wolf St. Francis tamed in the city of Gubbio in 1220, which then lived among the townspeople. The Order of the New Moon considered this wolf a Saint and gave it the name of Lupo.

Though the truth behind the story is unclear, during 1872 renovations remains of a large wolf skeleton were found under the Church of Saint Francis in Gubbio. A second burial was arranged for them, with many influential people of the time attending the ceremony.

By David Romero

The lavishly decorated skull of an unknown Lycanthrope.

This skull of an anonymous Saint was exhumed from the catacombs in Rome in 1574 and given to the Order of the New Moon as a relic. It was kept under a church in Toledo and exquisitely adorned with gold and gemstones.

“May we keep our fierce beauty in death. May our Holy Mission continue wherever we go. May our howls still ring long after we are gone.”

— Extract from the Prayer to the Anonymous Saint

A statue representing a Lycanthrope holding his own human skin in his arms.

It is thought to have adorned the private hall of the French King Louis XIV in the 17th Century. It likely represents Saint Edmund, shedding his human self after his martyrdom.

Saint Edmund’s story usually involves him being executed; his head thrown into the forest. It is found by searchers following a wolf that leads them to it.
The Order of the New Moon saw this wolf as the resurrection of the Saint, who through piety was gifted a pure new form.

The French House of Bourbon is believed to have carried Lycanthropy, but this information was carefully kept secret. Their association with the Order of the New Moon can only be assumed from the few private artifacts that survive today.

By David Romero

Preserved body of Blessed Mary of Padua.

Daughter of a nobleman, she spent her life in a cloistered convent as she could not control her Lycanthrope transformations. She was said to be so pure of heart that in death, her transformed body did not decompose.

18th century engraving depicting a Lycanthrope ritual.

Over this century, the focus of the Order of the New Moon on Catholic faith slowly weakened. It would start adopting traits from Hermetic Orders like the Freemasons, but keeping their core tenets of family and blood purity.

“Lupus non mordet lupum” (a wolf does not bite a wolf) was a Latin saying that was later incorporated into the Order’s vocabulary. It represents their ideals of unity and collaboration.

At this point, the Order of the New Moon was still composed entirely of Lycanthropes. Europe’s noble families who were part of it were encouraged to marry among each other in order to keep their Cursed blood pure. They believed Lycaon’s Blood was only to be kept within the Order.

By David Romero

Portrait of an unidentified member of the Order of the New Moon, early 19th century.

The Order focused on intermarriage over the centuries to keep the Lycan blood pure. This ended up proving too taxing, as signs of inbreeding started showing among many noble houses in Europe.

Pictures of a 1915 meeting of the Order of the New Moon in Scotland.

The ranks of the secretive Order have opened. Lured by the promise of joining the Lycan Bloodline, many powerful people enter. Only the ones reaching the higher ranks will be allowed to marry into the Family.

In the first picture we can see the aging Grand Master of the Order of the New Moon, though he would be replaced by his son (pictured right in the second picture) a year later, after his health failed. He would be remembered as one of the great Reformers of the Order.

The Order’s Rituals traditionally only happen at night or when the Moon is near-Full and visible during the day. During the Full Moon itself, meetings among Lycanthropes are forbidden. That is the night their power is strongest, but they have the least control over their forms.

By David Romero

Personal portrait of █████ , a member of the Order of the New Moon.

Today, the higher ranks of the enigmatic Order are formed mainly by the rich and powerful from across the world. Their cumulative influence over the world’s economy and politics is thought to be immeasurable.

A wedding among members of the Order of the New Moon.

A powerful individual has reached sufficient rank and is marrying a Lycanthrope to enter the Bloodline. Their children will carry the Lycan Curse, thus maintaining the power of the Order for years to come.

This story was created and written in collaboration with David Romero. It is an open project, many other artists have contributed and added their own art and writing to this setting. All these pieces can be seen in this Twitter collection.

The Order of the New Moon’s setting and characters are free to use, adapt and modify. The individual pictures shown above are © Eduardo Valdés-Hevia and David Romero.