Continuing last month’s expose on the many good and bad monstrosities in the eastern lands of Thea, we’ll talk about some more demons and the scourge of the unliving.
The un-living are those poor wretched beings who’s soul was destroyed/torn out or taken, yet the bodies remain animated by dark, gruesome magics. Unlike demons, who can also be born out of death, the unliving were made by necromancers, twisted warlocks or wicked witches. Such magic is deadly, dangerous and forbidden by the gods, yet its scourge remains a constant threat in Thea. While last month we gave an account of varied creatures who may or may not wish you harm, today’s selection is rather more keen on human demise.
During the long century of darkness, it has been recorded that the unliving gained strength and numbers and while the sun has awakened more than two centuries ago now, the shattering has once again de-balanced our world and brought out yet another wave of the unliving plague.
Skeletons and unliving corpses – the two main types of the unliving are skeletons and corpses. Scholars argue to whether the two forms are separate in type: do they require different rituals to raise? Are they different in nature? Some insist that the two are simply raised at different stages of the body’s decomposition cycle, thus some will be mere skeletons and others will still carry flesh. But some experts suggest that unliving corpses have been known to bite and even devour the flesh of the living, while skeletons seem to work more as bodyguards or fighters, and seem rather uninterested in any form of sustenance. There are few written accounts to draw a single conclusion, but the latter carries more weight.
Ghosts and wraiths – The differences between wraiths and ghosts are often subtle yet mistaking the two can amount to a life or death situation. In short, ghosts are not aggressive by default, or bound to cause you harm by design – although of course some can be so inclined. Ghosts are the souls of the dead who yet retain some of their former self. They are lost, sometimes bound to an object, place or person. At times seeking to finish something left undone before their death, sometimes seeking closure, more often simply unable to cross over to the underworlds.
Wraiths on the other hand are the souls who have lost all sense of self, or have gone mad, either in life of after death. They seldom make much sense and more often than not, they will seek to destroy the living out of spite, or simple instinct. There have been cases where wraiths were the result of some heavy curses and thus the victim could be restored, but these are rare.
Water demons– water demons have grown in both number and power after the shattering. Where previously creatures such as the rusalka, vodnik or utopiec lived and hunted strictly in lakes and rivers, some have adapted and claimed the vast seas that surround our islands. Such water lords as the vodnik are now known to command not only other demons of their kind, but also the ever growing sea-life. There are rumors of deep sea monsters who can also align with the vodnik – a truly terrifying thought!