That was a fateful moment, for Mezomel’s body crushed several pups and injured the mother, who attacked her at once. Flushed with adrenaline, Mezomel killed the animal with her dagger. She was struck by the Skinwalker curse, and became a wolf-like creature herself, an agonizing process. She grew equally infuriated and obsessed with Hazen-Shu, whom she felt certain had arranged everything that had happened to her, including the wolves and her transformation. Kitsune were known to be merciless tricksters.
But Mezomel could not easily track down a shapeshifter. She wandered alone, searching listlessly, and found herself near the Mistwood. The moon was full one night, and she could not. sleep, so sat and brooded on a hilltop. There, she was besought by one of the Fae Court: the Duke of Moonlight, a powerful and utterly mysterious being, holder of great but ineffable power within the incomprehensible politics of the Fae, and wielder of lunar magic. Tales say he appears as an Elf, a scintillant white bull, or even as a silver puppet on strings of moonlight.
The Duke explained that Hazen-Shu was aligned with one of his great rivals, the Prince of Reeds. Why Reeds and Moonlight should stand opposed was not Mezomel’s place to question. He offered her revenge, and answers, if she accepted his suzerainty. She would become Fae-touched, unlike all other Skinwalkers, and share the Duke’s connection to the Rhythm – but only in the aspect of the moon, the Duke’s domain. In exchange, she would be his knight and strive against his enemies, and thereby find her chance to confront Hazen-Shu. Mezomel agreed to the bargain, seeing her place in mortal society as already tenuous. They say that the Duke of Moonlight anointed her with dust gathered from the moon itself, and the pact was sealed. Her lupine body grew larger, stronger, and faster. Her limbs and claws elongated, her skin toughened and her fur grew denser. For a few moments she reveled in a surge of newfound strength. Then, clouds obscured the moon, the Duke vanished, and Mezomel returned to her normal Skinwalker self – but it would not be long before she was called upon once again.
For an unnaturally long span of years, Mezomel did the Duke’s bidding by moonlight. When beneath those cold rays she could channel the Duke’s blessing, becoming filled with terrifying strength and ferocity enabling her to fight like a one-beast army. Confessor Grolus, a Skinwalker-hating demagogue of the Sacred Order, led a party to track her down, only. for Mezomel to crush his heavy plate armor like an eggshell and leave him a pile of mangled organs and snapped ribs. The Prince of Reeds once sent his servant Archelon, a wise and ancient snapping turtle the size of a house, to deal with Mezomel – she bit into Archelon’s neck and ripped its head from its body, and feasted on the meat within its massive shell. These and other savage exploits sowed the seeds of a million tall tales of Skinwalkers being touched by the moon.
But as to her fateful reunion with Hazen-Shu, and the end of Mezomel’s legend, accounts do not agree. Some say the Prince of Reeds was too canny and kept Hazen-Shu well-hid. Others say Mezomel eventually realized she had been tricked again, and that the Duke of Moonlight had discarded his end of the bargain sometime over the decades. And yet others say Mezomel and Hazen-Shu did meet again, but the outcome of that encounter is lost, or was occluded by the Fae themselves.