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Literature / The Wolves of War

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The Wolves of War is a supernatural horror story by Scraggle and Lightysnake, and officially the third entry in the crossover between The Never Mythos and The Kindness of Devils, the Lonely Dreams Cycle. It can be read here.

Almost 170 years after Blatna, Eliza and Hardestadt have built a life as one. The growing fires of World War II ensure they cannot remain content for long, and when Adam returns to them with news of a horrific conspiracy in the heart of Germany, the two must travel to the heart of Nazi territory amidst the burgeoning war, to stop a dark plot that threatens to envelop the world.

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Tropes present in this work:

  • A Father to His Men: Adam loves the Sodality, who revere him as a father in turn.
  • Action Girl: Jeanne Dreyfuss is a talented French Seer who is just as capable as any fighter.
  • Alien Blood: Dietrich Boehmer now bleeds dark black.
  • Ambiguously Human: Dietrich has incorporated pieces of the City of Never into himself. Whatever he is, he barely qualifies as a human being any further.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • Heydrich has Mengele harvest the brains of Seers, keeping them alive to create his own mental web; alive, conscious and in agony.
    • The final fates of several Nazis at Adam's hand (Sindermann, Dirlewanger, etc.) when he claims their minds and sends them to Xi'Acerbia, but most prominently Dietrich; Adam decides to visit some Cold-Blooded Torture on him first and tells him he'll never forget it even with the eternity ahead.
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  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Eliza, in a moment of pain when conflicted over Aisling, finally tells Hardestadt she loves him and has for a long time.
  • Asshole Victim: In chapter 3, a Nazi named Karl Silvan is thrown to the City-Beasts called Slag-Fathers as a snack. As he was a cruel Nazi, not many tears are shed on this one.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Elazar uses his fight with Dietrich to target the Nazi juggernaut's few vulnerable spots to finish the battle.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hardestadt and Adam fight the monstrous soldat creatures nearly back to back, in an exceptional display of teamwork.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: With the small exception of Eliza not being quite as dead as she wants, the Shadows' Consultant gets everything she wants in the end, hopping off back to the City without a scratch on her after having raped Hardestadt and driven Eliza apart from both him and Aisling.
  • Berserk Button: Helga Boehmer aka the Shadow Consultant does not like hearing the name The Crawling Chaos aka Nyarlathotep.
  • Bed Trick: Lucia, the Shadows Consultant, after ruining the happiness of Hardestadt and Eliza, takes Eliza's form to sleep with Hardestadt to rape him and seal her victory.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: Reinhard Heydrich is the Dragon-in-Chief and true mastermind behind the Nazi conspiracy, but Helga Boehmer—in actuality the Shadows' Consultant—is patiently manipulating everyone in the conspiracy for her own ends while using her husband Dietrich as a figurehead. The Consultant firmly secures her place as Big Bad the second Heydrich is out of the picture.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Dietrich Boehmer distinguishes himself well, but the only reason he's able to play in the league he's in is because of the Shadows' Consultant, who under the guise of his wife Helga has been empowering him with the City. When Dietrich loses his temper at her, "Helga" makes it vividly clear who the true power between them is.
    • Heinrich Himmler himself is ostensibly the mastermind of the supernatural Nazi conspiracy which would nominally place him as Big Bad, except his ostensible lesser Heydrich is playing him just as easily as everyone is.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Barely avoids becoming a Downer Ending. While Heydrich and Dietrich are stopping from taking over world and Nazi Germany falls, this leads into the Consultant moving to take her revenge. In the space of two chapters, the Consultant destroys Eliza and Hardestadt's happiness by threatening to kill Aisling (and countless more people) should Eliza not abandon him, before raping Hardestadt and torturing Eliza almost to death. By the end, Eliza and Hardestadt's blooming happiness is ripped away from them and Eliza is left marooned in the space between dimensions. The only thing preventing it from becoming a Downer Ending is the Foregone Conclusion in play; Eliza manages to gather enough energy to send a Seer-seeking artifact back to Earth, setting up the events of The City of Never and the Consultant's eventual defeat, and Eliza will eventually return to Earth to meet Hansel.
  • The Brute: Dietrich functions as this to the Nazi conspiracy. Unlike Himmler and Heydrich who tend to stay behind-the-scenes, and the Consultant, who seems content to use the conspiracy as a front to her own ends, Dietrich is right there in the midst of the battlefield, squaring off against the heroes directly in the battlefield to sate his Blood Knight tendencies.
  • Body Horror: People in the town of Chzeg are implanted with City spawn that gruesomely burst from their victims.
  • Book-Ends: The final scene of Wolves mirrors the opening scene of The City Of Never, with Michael Seer finding the Seer slab, its origins revealed as a lure cast by Eliza to escape where she had been languishing for decades.
  • Brain Food: Manfred and Klaus, the Nazi Seers, happily devour the minds of their victims.
  • Cain and Abel: Xol Malig, one of the Ix-spawn, is a a brother to Adam, and like his father is sadistically obsessed with inflicting pain on others.
  • Call-Forward: Sigfried Gunmarson from Under The Cold Moon is mentioned a few times, being allied with the Nazis. After there downfall, he goes to America with his daughter to begin there plans with Pine Creek.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Hardestadt and Eliza's feelings are as obvious as ever, and they're married in all but name now. Hardestadt implies, however, that they've never told one another "I love you" due to a variety of issues and hang ups both still have.
  • Charm Person: The Nazi Seer duo are able to trick the minds of others. Elazar and Eliza do it to far less harmful extents as well.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Elazar the Seer is a skilled, intelligent warrior who showcases swift planning and tricks in battle to coincide with his mental talent.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Adam's reaction to catching Hardestadt and Eliza in bed while enjoying bondage is to believe it's ritual torture and Hardestadt has gone insane from eldritch forces.
  • The Comically Serious: Adam's utter stoicism can make for darkly hilarious moments, like interrupting Hardestadt and Eliza in while being totally blase about it, commenting only that he 'should have knocked' before then knocking on the door...and then standing there when they ask that he let them dress before conversation.
  • Common Law Marriage: Hardestadt and Eliza have been living together for years, and are a married couple now in all but name.
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Heydrich planned for even his death and how to remain underground.
    • Elazar earns special props for carrying a solution to stop even creatures from the City.
  • Cult: Adam comes across one dedicated to the worship of Ix-Nagoth to Ending Eye. It consists of people savagely torturing each other and themselves and enjoying every minute of it.
  • Cyanide Pill: Himmler takes one, like in real life but Hardstadt reveals that Heydrich replaced it with a pill that causes a much more painful death.
  • Day of the Jackboot: The Nazis are already in charge, but the story begins not too long after the Night of the Long Knives, when the Nazis purged their enemies.
  • Death of a Child: Dietrich oversees notorious Nazi Oskar Dirlewanger's slaughter of a Belarusian village, a crying infant catches his attention and a soldier moves to shoot it—but Dietrich snarls at them not to waste the bullet, turning away just as the man raises his boot.
  • Death Glare: When Elazar reveals his teacher was Aisling Vallee, Eliza has a genuine shut down over. When Hardestadt learns, he gives Elazar an absolutely furious and terrifying look that makes the Seer freeze.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: The fate of anyone Adam uses the full potential of his eyes upon, sending them to his home realm of Xi'Acerbia and the horrific tortures of his father and younger brother.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Reinhard dies offpage, when he is assassinated the same way his real life counterpart did. Subverted when he reveals himself to be alive as he a seer.
  • Dehumanization: With Nazis around, what do you expect? Entire races of people are reduced to untermenschen.
  • Due to the Dead: The Sodality holds a respectful funeral for Byron after he dies.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Dietrich Boehmer, an officer of the Third Reich, is introduced overlooking a horrific experiment involving City Beasts, only to grin chillingly when he views the work.
    • Reinhard Heydrich is introduced leading the Gestapo, and uses the 'Heil Hitler' greeting to entrap a Jewish man for answering automatically. He then seems to let the other go with a Hope Spot, only to have him dragged along as well.
  • Evil Is Petty: Heydrich enjoys tormenting people under him, even little gestures like reminding Dietrich he outranks him after the rank Obergruppenfuhrer is introduced.
  • Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Helga Boehmer is a gorgeous woman with flawless face and figure. She's a willing participant in Dietrich's monstrous schemes and upon being rejected at an attempt to seduce Hardestadt, she eats a young guard alive, revealing she's far from human. In fact she is the infamous Shadow Consultant.
  • Fangs Are Evil: Helga Boehmer is a wicked nonhuman and has a set of monstrous fangs to prove it.
  • Fantastic Racism: Interestingly, one of the heroes is subject to it: Eliza holds Seers in high regards, believing them beautiful and special beings. The idea Seers can be just as venal, evil and prejudiced as humans truly rattles her.
  • Fascist, but Inefficient: As in real life, the Nazi bureaucracy is insanely inefficient and corrupt.
  • Fed to the Beast: Karl Silvan is punished by Dietrich Boehmer for 'ruining' a Jewish prisoner by being fed to the monstrous slag-fathers.
  • Final Solution: The literal one. Heydrich is seen planning out the Holocaust.
  • Friendly Sniper: Elazar is an accomplished sniper and a humble Nice Guy when he's not in battle. He even uses these skills in the Remeditary, getting the final blow on Heydrich through a psychic bullet.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: The final section of the story shows Eliza sending a psychic slab back to Earth, where it eventually finds its way into the hands of Michael Seer.
  • For Great Justice: Discussed. Grete, above all else, truly believes in justice and seeks it in her quests and battles.
  • Gambit Pileup: The schemes of the Nazi conspiracy ends up being a tangle of three interlinking plots underneath the overarching Final Solution plan: Heydrich intends to use psychic Seer rituals to capture the energy of all those who die in the war to become like a god, Dietrich intends to destroy Germany and preserve those Heydrich seeks to kill to use them as slaves instead, and Helga seems to be content letting the two play against each other for her own gain.
  • Ghostapo: The Nazis are using the supernatural, including the City of Never.
    • Dietrich Boehmer's wife Helga turns out to be the infamous Shadow Consultant.
    • Werewolf Sigfried Gunmarson is mentioned a few times to be allied with the Nazis.
    • Heydrich turns out to be a seer with plans to overthrow Hitler.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Used when Dietrich oversees notorious Nazi Oskar Dirlewanger's slaughter of a Belarusian village. A crying infant catches his attention and a soldier moves to shoot it—but Dietrich snarls at them not to waste the bullet.
    Dietrich lost interest, turning as the man raised his boot. The crying stopped soon after.
  • Historical Domain Character: Some of the Nazis such as Himmler, Heydrich, Mueller, Mengele, and Dirlwenger. Other Nazis such a Helga and Dietrich Boehmer, Kurt Sindermann, Klaus von Richter. and Manfred Eberhard are fictitious creations.
  • I Have a Family: One of the collaborations Adam kills tries this on him. It doesn't work at all.
  • The Infiltration: Hardestadt and Eliza pose as a Count and Countess to infiltrate a Nazi ball in Berlin and get the intelligence they can from the highest ranking Nazis they can find.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Adam psychically announces his intentions to visit Hardstadt and Eliza, only to show up immediately before they can get dressed. Both of them are shocked even though they normally think little of privacy. Happens again later during the war with Adam catching them engaging in bondage. He thinks it's ritual torture.
  • Karma Houdini: The Foregone Conclusion ensures she can't outrun her fate forever, but the Consultant suffers absolutely no repercussions by the end. She's outlived even Nyarlathotep, outlasted Heydrich and Dietrich both, and manages to accomplish her revenge against Hardestadt and Eliza while remaining completely undetected by even Adam.
  • Killed Offscreen:
    • Bryon, one of Adam's followers, is introduced as dead, having died in his sleep.
    • Heydrich, of all people, is killed by the Partisan resistance in 1942 as in real life.
  • Large and in Charge: Dietrich Boehmer stands at a massive 6'6 and is a high-ranking Nazi officer as well as one of the chief villains of the story.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Many find it best to simply ally with Nazis for wealth, power or to protect people close to them. Adam is only too happy to kill those he finds.
  • Literal-Minded: Adam can take things quite literally. When Hardestadt asks him for 'a second,' Adam gives him exactly that.
  • Mad Scientist:
    • Dr. Kurt Sindermann is Dietrich's, involved in creating "slag-pits" within concentration camps where he experiments with City-beasts known as slag-fathers.
    • Josef Mengele is introduced as a creepy little bastard experimenting with humans and monsters alike. He plans to create a network of Seer brains to help Heydrich ascend to godhood.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Eliza takes getting shot in the head pretty lightly, and Elazar is likewise blase about getting two bullets put in his body. Justified as they're Seers and their bodies will regenerate as long as their minds are intact.
  • Master of Illusion: Eliza, Adam, Elazar and Jeanne all excel in fooling the sight of humans with their Seer powers.
  • Mind Probe: Done by most Seers to check the minds of those they interrogate here.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Saviri, of course. He admits he loathes humanity for all he has seen and fights to help them regardless for the sake of Adam and the rest.
  • Mutual Kill: Elazar fatally wounds Dietrich, but gets a huge chunk of debris thrown at him. Subverted as Helga is able to save him, but is surprised how near death he got.
  • Necromancy: Adam calls a deceased Nazi's soul back for horrible torture in an effort to interrogate him.
  • Not So Stoic: Dietrich is a vicious brute of a man, but maintains a composed, stoic demeanor. When combat comes or he has a chance to deal pain, that cracks and he reveals how much sanity he lacks.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Heydrich's tenure in Prague begins with his Einsatzgruppen having massacred people with corpses swinging from gallows.
  • Odd Friendship: Misanthropic, withdrawn Saviri seems to actually bond with the more optimistic werewolf Grete.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Helga taunts Heydrich for keeping himself hidden away to keep up the image that he is dead. Of course he can still mentally communicate with Eliza, being a seer.
  • Parental Substitute: Adam is a father to those of the Sodality of the Aberrant, but he raised Byron from infancy and considers him and Saviri as his true sons.
  • Passed in Their Sleep: Byron dies before the story begins. He passes of pneumonia, peacefully in his sleep.
  • Piggybacking on Hitler: Hardstadt, Adam, and Eliza discuss the rise of Hitler, and Adam notes that "there is something else there, using this as a backdrop".
  • Politically Incorrect Villain:
    • Reinhard Heydrich and most of the Nazi high command believe in the extermination of the 'undesirables.' They're Nazis, what do you expect?
    • Dietrich Boehmer is different, but no less revolting. He views Jews and other undesirables as 'animals,' fit to be livestock and servants, and should be treated as such.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • Dietrich takes issue to the idea of wiping out the Jews, as he thinks they can be useful. He is annoyed by a Nazi abusing a Jew, only because he is ruining livestock, and kills them both. He later takes issue to a soldier about to shot a child, as using a gun on someone so helpless is wasting bullets.
    • Himmler has issues with Mengele's experiments because he finds them personally distasteful.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Klaus and Manfred use an elderly woman named Darcia as a mind-crushed puppet.
  • Rape as Drama: The single most dramatic and horrifying instance of it in the entire Neverkind Saga. At the end of the story, when the war is won and Hardestadt has proposed marriage to Eliza, the Consultant takes it upon herself to force Eliza to abandon Hardestadt and destroy their happiness. When Eliza is gone, the Consultant completes her revenge against Hardestadt by taking Eliza's form and tricking a drunken, despairing Hardestadt into sleeping with her.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Just as in real life, the Nazis vehemently disregard anything resembled civilized warfare to slaughter wantonly in occupied territories. Dietrich is shown carrying out most of this, overseeing the atrocities of the infamous Dirlewanger brigade.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Played with in the case of Dietrich Boehmer. He regards Jewish prisoners as useful livestock and is annoyed at men mistreating them...except then he shoots the abused prisoner and feeds the guard who hobbled him to the monstrous slag-fathers.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Since the 1700s, Hardestadt and Eliza are now a loving, happy and committed couple.
  • Sanity Slippage: Dietrich's state of mind is loose to begin with, but he starts becoming worse and worse the longer the war goes on. Dietrich's continued injuries result in Helga having to treat him, which degenerates to awful medical torture that leaves Dietrich a rotting, delirious shell of himself.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Josef Mengele escapes Auschwitz after the death of Heydrich and manages to find a life in South America. Dozens of years later, Adam tracks him down and sends him to Xi'Acerbia.
  • Shoot the Dog: Adam hunts down collaborators to the Nazis in Poland and executes them, regardless of how sympathetic their reasons.
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Dietrich Boehmer has a habit of grinning disturbingly when he views the death agony of others.
    • His wife Helga bears a wicked fanged one when converging on her own prey.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: Many Nazi soldiers are this, but especially the Dirlewanger brigade who slaughter there way through eastern Europe, not sparing children. Helga Boehmer describes his worst qualities with pride.
  • So Proud of You: Eliza doesn't hesitate to inform Grete, her daughter in all but blood, how proud she is of her. Nor her student Jeanne who takes well after her.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Both Dietrich Boehmer and Reinhard Heydrich are quiet men, but are devious, cruel sadists who find joy in the pain of others.
  • The Starscream: Both Dietrich and Heydrich are this to the greater Nazi conspiracy, and neither intends on sparing the other.
    • Heydrich plans to use his Seer abilities to shatter the minds of Hitler and the Nazi High Command.
    • Dietrich intends to outright destroy Germany with his slag-brood to prevent the Final Solution from coming into place.
  • Supernatural Team: The heroes consist of multiple Seers, an eldritch being like Adam, a devil in Hardestadt and whatever Saviri is. Not to mention the supernatural eventually joining the allies against the Nazis.
  • Take That!:
    • H. P. Lovecraft is noted as a "prejudiced, terrified, vile little wreck of a human being".
    • This story is not shy about what it thinks of the Nazis at all.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Helga Boehmer—or rather, the Shadows' Consultant—is this to the entire Nazi conspiracy. She's content leaving Heydrich and Dietrich mostly to their own affairs to disguise her own actions, funding the entire scheme out of her own pocket for her own convenience until the moment the conspiracy collapses, which results in the Consultant immediately pouncing on the new opening to destroy Eliza and Hardestadt's happiness forever.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Klaus von Richter and Manfred Eberhard are a pair of Nazi Seers who could almost be mistaken for twins for how close they are.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Nazi Germany is introduced as a major threat, and 1935 has Hitler announcing German Re-armament.
  • The Stoic: Adam is as relaxed and unemotional as ever.
  • Unholy Matrimony: One of the main villains is Dietrich Boehmer, a high-ranking Nazi officer, who is married to an equally villainous woman named Helga who knows all about the City of Never because she is the Shadow Consultant.
  • The Unsmile: Adam's attempt at a smile is a stiff bearing of his teeth while the corners of his mouth don't move whatsoever.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes: Heydrich has the supernatural community targeted by his forces as well, to wipe out any potential rivals with the unseen aid of the evil werewolf Siegfried Gunmarsohn.
  • War Is Glorious: Dietrich Boehmer believes war makes people stronger, and he's willing to kill countless innocents for his own glory.
  • War Is Hell: The story makes it completely clear war is painful, brutal and horrible.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Eliza weaponizes this. She's no fighter, but her skill with the Remeditary is second to none, and she undoes thousands of seals laid by Dietrich in Chzeg without much effort.
  • Wham Line:
    • Chapter 4: Dietrich reveals the Nazis are fighting World War 2 with the power of the Eldritch.
    • Chapter 5, when Elazar reveals his teacher: Eliza's former lover and Lost Lenore, Aisling Vallee.
    • Chapter six reveals what exactly is up with Helga:
    Helga: But when you consult with shadows, boy, you must learn to watch your tongue.
    • Chapter 9, when Heydrich is revealed to be alive.
    Heydrich: You are like me. You are ubermensch. Beyond-Man. Like me, you are a seer.
  • What Is This Feeling?: Adam has a hard time identifying emotion at times, particularly care for others. He tries to understand the grief he has at the death of Byron, his adopted son.
  • Worthy Opponent: Elazar being Jewish means very little to Dietrich in terms of fighting "as well as any German I have seen." It's entirely one-sided, as Elazar deals him nothing but venomous barbs in return.

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