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Under The Cold Moon is a supernatural-horror web novel by Lightysnake, the sequel to Girls on Film, and Nights In Lonesome Arkham and the third full-length entry in The Kindness of Devils. It can be read here.

A year after the events of Nights in Lonesome Arkham, The supernatural world stands almost exposed to the mortal one, with panic and confusion setting in. Hardestadt and Erin receive word of a supposed refuge from the supernatural known as Pine Creek with deep suspicions involving in, as well as someone investigating it: a woman from Hardestadt's past, the mysterious Grete Ravenhallow. Arriving at Pine Creek, Hardestadt realizes the presence of an old enemy, forced to confront dark secrets from the past as he and his allies grapple with the evil hidden in Pine Creek, leading Erin to confront one of his final secrets.

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The work contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Abusive Parents: Siegfried has been breeding new werewolves for nearly two thousand years to raise as disposable cannon fodder to cover his escapes and to die in his wars. He is also viciously abusive to any who disappoint or step out of line, sends one of his sons to be experimented on by Nomura and mentions that he used to murder children who didn't live up to his expectation.
  • Action Girl: Female werewolves tend to be really, really strong and just as powerful as the males. As a Jaeger, Grete is a particularly impressive example, and puts up a good showing against Siegfried.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Hardestadt has a number of pet names for Grete: 'Mon petit loup' and 'mon ciel etoile' meaning 'my little wolf' and 'my starry sky' in French.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Grete has noticeably darker skin than most werewolves in the past and alludes to her difficulty in pre-colonial and post-colonial America in flashbacks.
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  • Anachronic Order: Some of the flashbacks that litter the story are told out of order, particularly dealing with Hardestadt and Grete. The prologue begins in 1450, Paris when Hardestadt helps to rally the people of Paris to defeat the invading wolves.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Hardestadt and Grete exchange these when he's badly wounded. The twist being it's the love between a father and his daughter rather than romantically.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: Grete Ravenhallow. Or, if one goes by her full name, Grete Luciana Alevia Delac.
  • Bait-and-Switch: For a while it seems like the twist is building up to the reveal that Grete is Thorunn, Hardestadt's old lover who changed names. Instead it's revealed Grete is Thorunn and Hardestadt's daughter.
  • Big Bad: Siegfried Gunmarsohn is the head of the werewolves of Pine Creek and the main villain of the story. Though he's later revealed to be subservient to the Ithaqua.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
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    • All the way back from Nights in Lonesome Arkham as it turns out. Siegfried's ace in the hole? Ithaqua, who was put back into its can by Azmodan and the others in Arkham and is freed after years of steady sacrifice from Siegfried to take its revenge.
    • Grete was mentioned in Nights in Lonesome Arkham as well. She was established to be someone important to Hardestadt but who she was and the exact nature of her relationship with him wasn't revealed until this story.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Erin's talent with lockpicking comes in handy again.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Gregory Haines, a wealthy businessman who specializes in human trafficking and provided the financial backing for Pine Creek in exchange for being turned into a werewolf.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Grete Luciana 'Alevia' after her late-grandmother... granted, not so late anymore, but at the time she was born?
  • Deal with the Devil: Siegfried made one with Ithaqua in exchange for immortality and being given the Earth once he summons the Ithaqua into our universe.
  • Died Standing Up: Thorunn goes this way; even after she finally expires from her wounds sustained from Siegfried and his forces and reverts to her human form, Thorunn remains standing straight up as valiant as she was in life.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Hardestadt doesn't like breakfast cereals at all.
  • Duel to the Death: An accepted part of werewolf culture. In the past, Hardestadt killed Siegfried's father, Gunmar, in fair combat to stop his bloody expansion. Siegfried then dueled his mother, Gunhild, to take over control for her. The only difference is, Siegfried has no interest in fighting fair, and poisoned his mother with silver dust beforehand.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: The details of Thorunn's death are revealed in chapter 10 — and she goes out swinging against Siegfried's wolves, after she's mortally wounded by a silver blade. It's noted that she should be dead, but instead she rips her enemies apart and cause Siegfried to nearly crap himself in terror.
    Thorunn: Look closely, craven! Brand this into your eyes, all of you! See the way a warrior dies!
  • Eats Babies: Siegfried is well known to prey on human children.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: Siegfried is freezing cold. Because of his pact with Ithaqua.
  • Evil Is Petty: Siegfried's got a lot of nasty Kick the Dog moments, but one of his pettier touches is kicking out a (seemingly) infirm Hardestadt's cane just to dick with him.
  • Expy: Gregory Haines's relationship with Siegfried is similar to Wallace Hargrove's relation with Jacobs. Both are Corrupt Corporate Executives backing supernatural creatures with promises of becoming supernatural themselves. In Haines case Siegfried could not convert him even if he wanted to.
  • Eye Scream: Grete ripped out Siegfried's eye when she was little. With her teeth.
  • Fantastic Racism: Siegfried thinks nothing of humans.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Those blizzards? All the references to the howling wind? The descriptions of the wind as 'hungry' and Siegfried's freezing cold body temperature? All helps to foreshadow Ithaqua's presence.
    • Grete and Hardestadt's tense relationship, the flashbacks to Thorunn spliced with Hardestadt's behavior in past and present? help to foreshadow that Grete is not Thorunn. She's Thorunn and Hardestadt's daughter.
  • Frame-Up: Siegfried was the infamous Werewolf of Chalons who framed an innocent tailor for his crime, resulting in the man being burnt at the stake after being horribly tortured.
  • Friends with Benefits: Hardestadt's relationship with Thorunn, he loved her but wasn't in love with her.
  • Gaining the Will to Kill: Erin, when confronted by the lecherous werewolf Kieran, ends up shooting him — and noting for that as many bad guys she's helped to slay, she's never actually killed one herself until now.
  • Godzilla Threshold: When Ithaqua, a Great Old One, is released by Siegfried, the only naturally response to fight it back on the requisite scale? Free another Great Old One, Cthugha, the Great Old One of fire.
  • Good Parents: Hardestadt himself is a loving,protective father whose child means the world to him.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Not necessarily, as it turns out. Erin confesses that her tumultuous relationship with her ex resulted in an unwanted pregnancy she terminated after a while of keeping it a secret, and she's no less a wonderful human being for it — and Hardestadt tells her such upfront.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Grete has a tiny scar on her neck. Siegfried has three slashes on one cheek while having a nasty set of scars around his missing eye.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Ithaqua turns out to be the presence behind Siegfried, even though all the plans are Siegfried's own.
  • Hate Sink: Siegfried's got none of the class or charisma of Nyarlathotep from the previous story while remaining just as vile regardless. Every moment he's onscreen is dedicated him to making him as horrid as possible down to the pettiest details.
  • Human Sacrifice: While the hunts at Pine Creek are fun for Siegfried and his children, they serve a duel purpose in acting as human sacrifices to summon Ithaqua.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The true purpose of Pine Creek's "draws" — Siegfried is selecting victims from the town under the guise of moving them to another county, hunting and butchering them in reality. And, as it turns out, they are sacrifices to Ithaqua.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Siegfried and his wolves love human flesh. He also forces his human ally, Gregory Haines to partake with promises it'll help him change eventually. Siegfried's breed of werewolf is born, not made. Siegfried is simply amusing himself.
  • I Am What I Am: Grete, a dark-skinned werewolf, lived in an era where attitudes were rife with both Fantastic Racism and the much more mundane sort of racism. Hardestadt offers her his silver ring to disguise who she is — but she rejects it. "I won't hide who I am."
  • Interspecies Romance: Gunhild, the former werewolf chieftain, had a romance with a human named Corvus, resulting in her daughter. Besides that, Hardestadt and Erin are the obvious, and Hardestadt had a friends-with-benefits relationship with Thorunn, a werewolf, in the past.
  • It's Personal: Siegfried has this with Hardestadt for his vile actions in the past, as well as Grete given all they've been through. On another level? Ithaqua may have Blue and Orange Morality but it hates Hardestadt for taking its eye in the last story.
  • Karmic Death: After teaming up with the Ithaqua to cause the apocalypse, Siegfried is killed when Grete, who's mother he murdered, drops him into the freezing fires of Ithaqua's realm.
    Grete: You chose your God. Now embrace his hell.
  • Leitmotif: It seems Black Sabbath's Snowblind is one for Ithaqua.
  • Mad Scientist: Sieglinde Nomura, the 'doctor' of Pine Creek is a genius werewolf who prides herself on her human experimentation.
  • Names to Run Away From: Gunmar the Black. And his son, Siegfried Gunmarsohn.
  • Noodle Incident: Siegfried refers to a time in Hardestadt's past when he wasn't what Sieg considers a fool, making reference to him as 'the dragon.' This is the second time he's been referred to as such following a reference in In the Castle of the Night.
  • Not Quite Dead: Siegfried tends to survive a lot of things that should kill him over the course of the centuries, even when he's thought dead. In the climactic showdown he's cut down by Hardestadt, only for the Ithaqua to make him his avatar and imbue him with his strength for one final fight.
  • Obviously Evil: The second Siegfried walks into frame, even before he's named, he's practically carrying a "don't trust me whatsoever" sign from the way he talks, acts, and looks.
  • Offing the Offspring: Siegfried casually opens his own son's throat to use him as a sacrifice when he needs one.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: This specific breed descends from Germania and is thought to be descended from Fenrir, as well as having the blood of the Valkyrie Gondul. They live a long, long time, and some particularly strong speciments are immortal. They don't need the moon to change, but it does heighten their senses and strength, and they become huge, bipedal wolves once they change, in addition to the moon making them very, very hungry.
  • Papa Wolf: In a work filled with werewolves, the ultimate papa wolf is Hardestadt himself. Do not ever try to hurt his daughter.
  • Predecessor Villain: Gunmar the Black was this for the werewolf clans, being Siegfried's brutal father who has a brutal, expansionist, supremacist mindset. Hardestadt had to kill him — and seeing him die gave a younger Siegfried the resolve to act on his own ambitions...
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: From Grete, to Siegfried before she tosses him into the icy flames of Ithaqua's realm:
    Grete: "You chose your god. Now embrace his hell."
  • The Quisling: Haines is willingly helping Siegfried in his apocalyptic plan in exchange for being turned into a werewolf himself. He even eats raw human meat at Siegfried's insistence to prepare himself for the transformation. The deluded twit doesn't even realize wolves like Siegfried are born, not made.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Siegfried pretends to be one of these. His nephew, Joseph, is the current leader of the werewolf clans and is extremely reasonable and personable. Thorunn was one when she was the werewolf clan leader as well.
  • Relative Error: Erin believes Grete is one of Hardestadt's old lovers. In reality, she's his daughter. When the mix-up is revealed, Grete has a zinger of a response.
    Grete: I'm not sure what I'm into less. incest...or guys.
  • The Renfield: Gregory Haines is serving Siegfried in order to be turned into a werewolf. He doesn't know that werewolves like Siegfried and his children aren't turned, they're born.
  • Rousing Speech: Grete gives one of these to Siegfried's Vargulf army (actually an army of disposable cannon fodder he's bred), imploring them to turn against their monstrous father and the few upstarts among them quickly quieted.
  • The Scarpia Ultimatum: Kieran, a slimy werewolf, pressures women into having sex with him in exchange for being spared from the lottery. He's lying.
  • Shout-Out:
    Grete: "I bet Eliza'd have a few words for us if she could see us now."
  • Slasher Smile: Siegfried and Nomura both love flashing very terrifying grins with their fangs out.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: To fight Ithaqua, the team summons Cthugha, the Great Old One of fire to counter him.
  • Take That!: After Grete reveals her sexuality she takes one at the military's "don't ask don't tell" policy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Erin is better than she's ever been to the point she and Hardestadt can now qualify as a full Battle Couple.
  • The Unmasqued World: At the end of the story the masquerade is over and the supernatural world is revealed at large. After what Ithaqua did, covering it up is no longer possible.
  • The Un-Reveal: No real fanfare is made of the reveal that the mysterious Grete is a werewolf after the mystery to her in Nights in Lonesome Arkham. Because there's a much bigger reveal to her after.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Siegfried snaps after Hardestadt easily cuts him down again and gives himself entirely over to Ithaqua, becoming a much stronger werewolf, but also a ravening, completely inhuman beast.
  • Volleying Insults: Siegfriend and Hardestadt do quite a bit of this when they're forced to be chummy with each other when Hardestadt first enters Pine Creek, tossing underhanded barbs about their history to set each on edge.
  • Wham Line: Several.
    • Grete after Hardestadt tells her he loves her.
    Grete to Hardestadt. I love you. I love you so much, dad!
    • Siegfried declaring the truth...
    Siegfried: The king of Borea, prince of the snows! He who will sear this world in ice and freeze it with flame! The Wind Walker! The White Silence! ITHAQUA!"
  • Worf Had the Flu: All the damage Hardestadt has taken over the course of the last stories? He's been left badly injured and is no longer as strong as he once was. In Girls on Film, he likely could have torn a werewolf pack apart with ease despite not being armed. Here, he's wounded so badly he collapses after, with no guarantees he'd have been able to win if not for receiving his sword.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Siegfried eats, sleeps and breathes this trope. His preferred prey were children, and he was the Werewolf of Chalons who killed dozens of children (even framing an innocent tailor for his crime). He also abused and tortured his sister when she was a child and tried to murder his own niece when she couldn't have been older than three.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Hardestadt, while not knowing Erin is there, tells Grete he loves her. Her response being "I love you so much, dad!" means Erin only thought it was this trope at first.
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