Volpeus is old, even for an animal spirit. It is old, it is crafty, and it utterly loathes humanity (the spirit has nurtured a grudge against Man for thousands of years). It is difficult for mundane authorities to understand just how much bleak hatred Volpeus has in its heart for humans: this hatred has in fact ground away many other parts of both Volpeus’s personality, and its memories. The spirit itself no longer even remembers the origins of its hatred for humanity — and it no longer cares that it has forgotten, either.
Fortunately, Volpeus is also incredibly weak. Volpeus would love to have the power to rend and tear enjoyed by bear- or wolf-spirits, but it has never been able to draw on that much energy. Instead, it does what it can to subvert, to weaken, to gnaw. Accordingly, Volpeus is the ultimate origin of trickster fox legends, with the understanding that the ‘trickster’ part is fueled by impotent spite, not cleverness. This is true for all fox-related legends, in all cultures; true occultists know to never call on “the spirit of the fox” for aid, for Volpeus itself might answer that call, and it can hurt those who ask it directly for help.
Which is, of course, why the nature of Volpeus, and even its very name, is effectively unknown to the public. Those who work with the supernatural on a regular basis tend to be unwilling to reveal information that is: potentially dangerous to the mundane population; awkward or embarrassing, from the point of view of occultists; or just generally controversial — and the nature of Volpeus fits all three categories. People generally do not have an overwhelmingly negative cultural opinion of foxes (indeed, a fox not controlled by Volpeus is no worse than any other wild animal), and this modern era reacts badly to the suggestion that exterminating an entire species might be, supernaturally speaking, advisable.
This is all background for the Tower of London situation, you understand. In short: Volpeus is trying to get at the Ravens of the Tower. Well, it’s always trying to do so; but it’s got a little more power than usual, because of, well, the foxhunting ban. Not too much more power, as it turns out that ceremonial foxhunting works almost as well as regular foxhunting when it comes to weakening Volpeus. But it’s that ‘almost’ that’s the problem. Volpeus absolutely wants to kill the Tower Ravens, and it’s putting a lot of effort into the problem.
And why is that a problem? Well, you are familiar with the legend about how absolutely vital the Tower Ravens are for the survival of England, right? Yes, please, take those legends seriously. The Crow-Spirit Morrigan certainly does — she most assuredly exists, and she is not powerless. She also most assuredly and fully expects that, as per the ancient treaties, she will be able to “draw at need upon the skills and zeal of the duly-appointed Emissaries of Man.”
Which is to say, upon your team. Enjoy London! Just Mind the Gap. …It’ll take too long to explain. Just mind it anyway.
2 thoughts on “Monster Seed: Volpeus.”
So you are telling me that fox hunting evolved out of a ceremonial process to keep a spite-filled fox spirit impotent? And that the doom-crow will destroy the English crown if the ravens of the Tower of London are not protected?
I’m going to end up riding a merry-go-round across the Welsh border before this is done, aren’t I?
Keep your eyes out for a pleasant, middle-aged nanny with a bottomless carpetbag and a surprisingly lighter-than-air umbrella…
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