A Little Piece of Home
Song of the Hearth
Don't call him Rascal.
As a man, Song of the Hearth (Hearth, for short) is a tall and handsome figure with lean muscle and darting eyes. In his spirit animal form, he is a larger-than-average raccoon. In his beastman form, he is a terrifying creature of base instinct with ravening fangs and claws of silver moonlight.
You might want to stay away from him when the moon is full.
Having lived the life of a Casteless Lunar outcast for upwards of five years, Hearth does not venture into “civilized” company very often. His clothes are old but surprisingly well-maintained and mended, and the only sign of his lunar blessing is the shadowy mask around his eyes, usually only serving to give him somewhat of a dashing, outlaw look.
Now, having been discovered by a certain Lunar retriever, Hearth has been welcomed into the Silver Pact and given the caste of the Changing Moon with moonsilver tattoos. Having also braved the Moon-Bright Maze as his Luna-tasked Test and retrieved the as-yet-unnamed moonsilver weapon from its depths, he has earned several scars of renown and is well on his way to becoming a prominent member of the Eastern Pact.
Song of the Hearth is a Lunar who, until very recently, was living the life of a Casteless family man near Ash’s hometown of Fortune’s Glory. Five years ago, he was just a young man in love with a beautiful girl that wouldn’t give him the time of day; then her tragic death from a fall from the cliffs near town drove him to leave without a destination, finally finding himself lost in the woods with only the crescent moon to keep him company. Something made Luna smile on him – maybe his steadfast determination to survive despite his sorrow, or his repentant attitude toward a death that was not his fault yet still couldn’t help feeling responsible for. Whatever the case, Hearth was blessed with the kiss of Luna and given the spirit shape of the raccoon.
Casteless as he was, Hearth was at the whim of the moon when it came to his abilities. Worse, he was defenseless when the light of the Full Moon drove him to Limit Break, leading him back to the town of his birth to terrorize and terrify the townspeople. That may have been the end of his story, had a brave young woman not followed the beast back to his lair, where he collapsed into his human form, senseless and hurt.
Iva was a midwife’s daughter, and she had secretly always thought that Song of the Hearth was handsome. The death of her friend Nightingale always weighed heavily on her, and while she half-believed the rumors that Nightingale and Hearth had run off together, she never really understood why. Now, nursing the broken man before her back to health, she learned how Hearth blamed himself for Nightingale’s death and the aftermath of the tragedy, and she found herself falling in love with him – even his terrifying beastman form couldn’t do anything to make her turn away from him. Hearth, too, found himself falling for her, and together they said their marriage promises under the slim light of the new moon.
Hearth and Iva have two young daughters, Joyous Dawn and Florin – due to Hearth’s casteless nature, both were born as beastmen. Another addition to their family came when Hearth found a young escaped slave in the forest, her foot caught in a bear trap with no way of escape. He freed her and Iva did the best she could to set the broken ankle bone, but Saffron, once the best dancer in the slave caravan, could only walk with a limp from then on. She chose to stay with the people who nursed her, and together the five made a happy, if unconventional family.
Now a part of the Silver Pact, Hearth is learning how to harness his Lunar gifts to the best extent, and his family is finding their first exposure to Lunar pack life to be strange, but surprisingly comforting.