|“||I used to be someone. But that was a long, long time ago, and I don't care to remember. It was a different Age and the world has moved on. Now I live in a tree and make tea out of bark. Life's a funny old thing, isn't it?||„|
Cucuvea is one of the supporting characters in the M.M.O. The Secret World. While only possessing a simple walk on role for the main-story and a couple of straight-forward action missions, the game's lore reveals Cucuvea as one of the major background characters responsible for centuries of peace and balance in the faerie-world. She is the main-reason that, prior to the Vampire Crusades, Transylvania was a region completely at peace between the human-world and secret world.
Cucuvea landed in her tree ages ago, literal Ages. It is unclear when precisely as even Cucuvea can't recall the dating period. Cucuvea was chasing her sister, Lilith, in a vengeance for killing her best friend. After recovering from her exhaustion, Cucuvea contemplated her situation; Lilith had gotten too much ground on Cucuvea to be picked up easily. Cucuvea did not wish to be dominated by obsession and as she puts it, "Decided to stop hunting and start living.". Cucuvea made the tree her home and decided to ply her talents to making the forest she landed in a worth-while place to live.
Cucuvea lived to see the ages change several times. As the modern-world grew, the faeries' world shrunk. Humans had been base prey for many creatures of the wilds since inception but they advanced much faster and as a whole the human race was far more dangerous than any monster. The faerie-folk saw war with humans as the only option, however Cucuvea intervened. The humans had no desire to harm faerie-folk as long as they could live in relative peace, likewise the faerie-folk did not wish to be cast out of their own realms. Cucuvea established a peace accord to placate all parties. Cucuvea gathered representatives, leaders, wise-men and alphas of all faerie-folk. Fata Padurii, Blajini, Fauns, Fairies, Werewolves, Trolls, Golems, along with numerous other changelings and the humans of the Transylvanian country side. An understanding was reached between all involved - Faeries, would keep to their forests humans would keep to their towns and cities. Both sides knew exceptions would need to be made on occasions, but that during such excursions, those who wandered into the other's realm were not protected and their deaths would be seen as acceptable losses that would not be avenged or begrudged. The werewolf that eventually came to raid a cattle ranch would likely be killed by humans and the occasional human who needed to go out into the woods to get a rare herb or chop wood, would likely be killed by any one of the numerous changelings who considered them tasty and no hunting party would be sent in to recover or avenge them if they did not return.
This tiny section of the world eventually became a supernatural melting pot. As humans proved themselves more and more the fiercest of all creatures across the world, fair-folk and monsters immigrated to the forests of Transylvania to live in a land where no mass-actions would be taken against them, on conditions their only human prey would be stragglers. Many of the faerie-folk in-fact could not exist if not believed in, fear of them gave them power and re-newed health. Humans of Transylvania kept stories of the creatures that dwelt within the forests alive and used superstition to scare their children into keeping out of the woods and mountains. Cucuvea's tree was used as a marker between the two worlds, no major human progress was expanded past it, and the creatures of the forest marked it as an end of their hunting grounds.
In recent history The Truce has come to an end. Fair-folk had begun to turn up dead, acceptable numbers at first, but the death count expanded exponentially. The violated terms came at the same time as a mass uprising of vampires, marching into the region. Though the vampires did not sabotage the peace, they did exploit it's end and re-purposed the werewolves in-particular as their attack-dogs. The Fata Padurii went mad and began killing indiscriminately, the faeries were compelled by the Padurii to aid them. Through all of this Cucuvea was left with no time to attend to the peace accord, the vampires allowed her no peace. Many of the fair-folk were prey for the vampires and newly mobilized werewolves, and so they went to help the humans, using their towns as make-shift-citadels. Though the humans were happy to have the help, both sides know, as soon as the vampires are dealt with, neither side will be able to coexist with the other and with no-accord in place any longer, the future of the two world's is unclear, save that humans have a knack for exterminating all rival predators. Cucuvea's only remaining aid at this point for former Truce parties, is to offer them sanctuary and healing from the Crusades. Cucuvea's presence had not only symbolized The Truce, but was in-fact mystically important as it locked away the cruelest of non-humans - The Deathless. Cucuvea's need to tend to the Deathless prevents her from meeting with the humans and so her Truce has fallen apart.
Dracula, Mara and The Deathless
Cucuvea's first fight against the vampires occured in the mid-1400s along with then ruler of Transylvania, Vlad Tepes the Dragon, AKA Dracula. Contrary to the title, Dracula (the Dragon) was not a reference to the secret society of The Dragon, but rather an honorary title conferred by their rivals, The Templars; Though, as Dracula was one of their less subtle agents, the Templars had been steadily wiping their hands of him publicly.
There were monasteries of monks in Transylvania which had been completely re-purposed as temples to Lilith, the monks within - converted to devotees of Lilith and reformed as a cult to her. Dracula's wife Mara, had been turned into a vampire while attending one of the masses at one of the monasteries that had secretly turned to worship of Lilith. Mara had been turned because Lilith knew Mara would be able to get closer than she to Vlad and convert him thus giving her access to a small kingdom and numerous Templar secrets as well. The plan had failed and Dracula had been too stoic to fall for his perverted wife's wiles. Dracula was a veteran vampire hunter and knew all the tricks of their kind. Upon realizing his wife had been corrupted by the disease Dracula saw the vampire version of her as a completely separate person and attempted to slay her to preserve the memory of his beloved wife and foil the machinations of the Mother Of All Monsters, who had converted her. Mara escaped initial attempts on her life, returning to her mistress/mother.
Lilith had more than vampires at her command, for indeed the title of Mother Of All Monsters was apt. When Dracula and the Drăculeşti, his private army, tracked down Mara to the monastery he found the cult of monks, perverted into worshiping the very entity which had corrupted his wife. The monks had been taught powerful black magics and were able to hold down their monastery. Dracula reached out to Cucuvea, as the oldest and most powerful mage known in the region. Cucuvea agreed to help both out of altruism and because she had no intent of letting her sister harm more lives. With the Drăculeşti and Cucuvea's magic the monks of Mara fell but Mara escaped from one Monastery to another. Mara made her stand at a town, now only known as "Iazmaciune" (the evil place). The residents within were thought at first to be loyal citizens of Transylvania, living a pious life as religious Christians, however it was revealed shortly after the Drăculeşti arrived that the town had been converted by five cult members who had infiltrated the town Bailiff Tarek, Misha, the Butcher, Sergei, the Potter, Herald Juan and Deacon Claude. Dracula and his men were betrayed from within as they found themselves surrounded by an entire town of converts to Mara's dark mistress. The Drăculeşti were able to overcome the ambush with Cucuvea's help. But this time Cucuvea would find out a new aspect Lilith had gifted her followers. With Cucuvea now in-mind, Lilith gave her followers a blessing, immortality, true immortality. Whenever killed the monks would arise less than a day later, eternally, the cult would be re-titled as The Deathless.
To counter-act these Deathless, Cucuvea placed a powerful ward around the town, one which prevented the Deathless from escaping. The force-field only countered Deathless and other monsters, not mortals, thus allowing Dracula and the Drăculeşti safe passage on and off the grounds in their pursuit of Mara. Mara would escape again and Lilith, if she was ever there at all, would evade capture, remaining as a whispered rumor at best. Cucuvea told Dracula that Lilith would return and try to mobilize her Deathless one-day and so Dracula decreed to his Drăculeşti they must return one day and cleanse the town of all the Deathless once and for all. Cucuvea's magics remain in place until that one day when the Drăculeşti return to slaughter all the members of the Deathless at once, breaking the curse. Mara would leave Transylvania and go into hibernation. Lilith continued to spread vampirism among mortals but with her plans to convert Dracula long passed, this was done purely as form of experimentation.
Dracula would never find Mara again in his life he asked for the help of both Cucuvea and his bard Alessandro Farussi. Alessandro had been seduced, then converted to vampirsim by Mara and she had re-dubbed him "Callisto". Though Callisto had betrayed Dracula in the intial attempt to convert him as well, he was utterly guilt-wracked even in undeath and refused to help in Mara's greater plans, realigning his loyalty to Dracula. With Mara firmly lost Dracula returned to Callisto and told him he would only be able to redeem himself to him if he helped with a plan that could take thousands of years to act-out, Callisto would agree. Cucuvea was never fully made aware of the plan, however Dracula told her of a ritual he had undertaken, one which Callisto would ultimatly play a part in. The rite was designed to undo Mara's evil forever the next time she appeared. With Cucuvea and Callisto as his immortal arbiters, each with a piece of the plan, Dracula had ensured Mara would one day fall and no-one could foil it ahead of time, by making sure neither of his allies knew about the others' part in it. While Callisto went into solemn isolation as repentance for his weakness, Cucuvea continued holding up the barriers against the Deathless, who would remain in place until the Drăculeşti returned to kill them all at once, something they would never do until their primary foe, Mara was slain so as not to put themselves into a weakened position.
The Vampire Crusades
In 2013 a second Vampire Crusades would take place. This one not just of Mara's vampire minions but of ghouls, werewolves and the Deathless. Mara's vampires had re-emerged with, the Truce broken as it meant they could rally many around them against the humans. With the Truce broken, the werewolves now served their kin as hunting dogs. These Crusaders were built up from the various criminals and vagabonds through-out Europe who had fallen victim to the disease as it had only festered in areas that had never been modernized. (According to Kirsten Geary, the Illuminati had long come up with an inoculation against vampirism and lycanthropy which they had slipped into the food supply, thus the only areas where vampirism and lycanthropy could spread freely were areas where food was not overseen by the government, more rural farming areas.) Even with Vampirism only able to spread in the forgotten corners of the world, the centuries spent building up had created thousands of vampires, upon awakening from her hibernation this time Mara was charged by Lilith to lead the current vampire population in a grand march on Transylvania to take as their holy land, made famous, ironically by assigning Dracula as a vampire himself. Cucuvea would be a primary target of the more organized members of the Crusades.
While Cucuvea is able to point the player in the direction of uncovering Dracula's plan, she is also facing something of a dilemma against the hoards of vampires - She can always make a quick escape if her vampire assailants attack her, however if she leaves her barriers keeping the Deathless at bay will fall and then Mara will have an army of immortal sorcerers to add to her cause. To help Cucuvea the player will be given the chance to both dismantle the team primed to attack her and body-guard her while she strengthens the wards around the Deathless. In thanks Cucuvea will give the player a crystal to command the earth, a golem to help protect them, and as of Secret World Legends, a pet Owl, presumably Cucuvea herself in owl form who, with the Deathless resealed can finally explore the area beyond the thicket of her tree.
- "Cucuvea" Is Romanian for 'little-owl', her sister, Lilith,'s name means 'screech-owl' in Hebrew.
- Cucuvea is voiced by actress Susan Brown, who also voices Olga Dimir (a cruel farmer who hunts and cooks faeries) and Julia Beatrix Tyburn (One of the heads of The Templars.)