Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Monster-Folk is an all-inclusive term for sapient human-like creatures who have one or several extremely abnormal attributes [relative to the human standard]
This classification includes humanoids who are part animal (centaurs, minotaurs, wolf-heads, dog-people), humanoids who display characteristics of multiple monsters
or animals (myreauthogue, mauristatia, mongrelmen), humanoids that look like humans but with abnormal features (snitch-men, filchers, ogres) or creatures which are sapient
but clearly unrelated to humans in any other regard (zutt, mercanes).  Many of these folk have always existed, but since the Great Cataclysm their numbers and varieties
have exploded.  Many are hostile to humans, but it should be remembered that the majority are not "evil".  Nonetheless, many humans have a policy of "kill on sight".  In most human societies, they are received as second-class citizens or worse.

Monster is an all-inclusive term for unintelligent creatures who display composites of animals attributes (frog-dogs, cave-lice, serpi), have magical abilities (cave-anglers, gem-spiders), or otherwise
show drastic deviation from pre-Cataclysmic animal norms (chop-hawks, lowders, kraw, Pelgrane).  They are generally hungry, predatory and unafraid of humans.
Monsters have always existed, but never in such great numbers or so many differing forms as they do now.

Animals are unintelligent creatures who existed before the Great Cataclysm and continue to do so in a largely unchanged state.  Some animals such as Kossic Hounds
and Carnivorous Goats could debatably be classified as monsters, but since they are largely domesticated, people consider them animals.
The primary difference between a "Monster" and an "Animal" is that an animal responds according to basic needs and stimuli - hunger, fear, discomfort, desire to mate, etc
Monsters, on the other hand, behave according to laws which are largely foreign to humans and "normal" animals.  they may assume a hostile attitude without any logical provocation, behave in a manner which seems irrational, or seemingly defy presumed laws of physics and physiology.  they are often belligerent

Beasts act like animals but are unusually large or otherwise dangerous to humans

BLEED-THROUGHs (also known as Ghosts, Demons, Dimensional Flotsam, Undead) are inhabitants or elements of the Other World (sometimes called Under-world, Otherworld, Spirit World, Afterlife, or Anti-Space) which
manifest themselves in the material world.  These manifestations take innumerable forms.  All are inimical to life and to the substance of existence in general.  They are generally uncontrollable and


  1. "These manifestations take innumerable forms. All are inimical to life and to the substance of existence in general. They are generally uncontrollable and

    This is what I like. It reminds me of Chinese mythological stuff where there's a flying dog-crab that burns with green fire and they refer to it as a ghost. What are examples of some of the innumerable forms might they take?

    btw. I've got a mysterious +1-er too and I'm not sure I like it ;)

    1. but yeah, i love those flying green fire crabs and ladies with extendable necks who live in roadside shrines and shit too. With Bleed-Throughs i imagine them being more like if a peasant encountered a radioactive mutant except worse. not undead but un-life, most of them don't even hate life or want to drink blood or whatever like classic undead, it's just their existence is so foreign to the normal world that they are an unfathomable toxin. the normal world also destroys them, gradually. same as if you were thrown into the spiritworld. you'd be fucking shit up left and right without even realizing it, just flailing around in confusion and agony as everything was different in indescribable ways. there are many unique Bleed-Throughs, such as the Crawling Thing, The Gruesome Man of Wander Marsh, the Thing that Nods (which has rendered the South-Eastern peninsula of Kos, where once women sang beautiful songs, wholly uninhabitable), the Wild Man of Windy Moor, the Pale King (who wishes to exterminate all life), the Six Slain Thanes, etc

      flying green crabs and shit i picture just being more in the realm of Monsters - magical beings with strange motives and abilities, but accepted by the people of Kos as part of the post-apocalyptic magical ecosystem. i actually draw a lot of inspiration from the sheer weirdness of early nintendo games. i think i'm a lot younger than most of the OSR crowd so when I was a kid, those bizarre monsters in games like Fantaxanadu and Legend of Zelda II were some of my first exposure to non-typical non-western monsters. here's some monsters that tend to dwell in Kos:

      Agni's Eyes - flying eyeballs that shoot fire everywhere, burning up crops. unfettered servants of the Fire-God Agni, who lives in South-East Kos and is jealous & possessive

      Bale Snail - evil snail that causes bad luck. the only way to avert the bad luck is to take care of it for a week. it is large, slow and secretes a powerful toxin. it likes to be fed large quantities of rare plants

      Oracle Snail - beneficent giant snail. eating of the snail slime produces visions that predict future events and can help avoid bad luck or find treasure.

      Bagu - Extremely large arthropod, the size of a small house. dwells in forests and lakes. Often buries itself during the day. Survives on carrion and fallen forest detritus, but may attack if startled

      Boon - A small, viscous, protoplasmic blob which may have rudimentary intelligence. As a defense mechanism, they have developed the magical ability to produce a small, valuable treasure out of nowhere in the hopes that it will allow them to escape

      Blagger - Helium-fueled floating creature with jelly-fish-like tentacles tipped with small claws/mouths. Eats plants and small animals, converting them into methane in order to stay afloat. No good reason to fight one, because they explode when killed.

  2. - SLITHE possibly raw manifestation of spiritworld, sort of like if a clump of dirt or a gallon of water got flung into the spiritworld, or possibly just a very simple creature. dissolves everything it touches in fractal patterns

    - MORTH inimical being of the spiritworld inhabiting the corpse of a person. generally continues to dully enact whatever the body did whilst alive - a laborer Morth stacks stones mindlessly until its fingers wear away, a robber Morth hides by the side of the road and kills passerby, etc. MORTH are created when a corpse is not protected by the INCANTATION for SAFE REPOSE

    - DRETCH is a Morth which has been intentionally created by an evil wizard. does the wizard's bidding

    - UNRIGHT a Morth which still remembers its former life. retains skills, spellcasting abilities, etc. filled with hatred for the living. capable of commanding lesser undead

    - FARROPE created when a bunch of animals or monsters die in one place. the bones and sinews and viscera and skulls collect into a composite shambling monster. difficult to kill and desirous of more corpses to add to its mass

    - GHOST when a bleed-through cannot find a body to inhabit and is not powerful enough to create its own, it becomes a ghost. some have memories of a mortal life and others do not. Generally, they are tied to a location but this location can be vague such as "roads" or "the Endless Mountains". Incapable of effecting physical phenomena in the material world, instead they can only produce sensations - images of loved ones, strange sounds, unusual cold, etc.

    - DEODAND loping, agile creature. vaguely seal-shaped. dark to a degree that is painful to look at, like the opposite of the sun. very intelligent and hungry for human flesh.

    - GIBBOUS also known as "Glowing Horror". Causes all nearby organic material to rot. You can tell their approach from a ringing sound in your ears and a metallic taste in your mouth. Vomits toxic acid. able to communicate through telepathy

    - NIRRE haunted, rotten creature. Like the GIBBOUS, destroys organic material, but is sedentary. it sings this song:
    “In the desert,
    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.
    I said, ‘Is it good, friend?’
    ‘It is bitter - bitter,’ he answered,
    ‘But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart.’”


  3. - RIVER DEVIL High-level bleedthrough. Takes the form of an enormous beast, amorphic blob with spider-like legs, dark and fuzzy-edged like a collapsed star. attracted to running water for unknown reasons. Squats in the middle of a river or stream and just sits there. It will kill anything that tries to cross the river but otherwise remains stationary. You can tell the presence of a River Devil because faint buzzing will be audible from up to a mile away, growing stronger as you get closer. Your vision may also start to fail and you will get dizzy and confused. Plant life wilts and dies in a large radius around a River Devil’s haunt, and many dead fish will be found downstream. The presence of a River Devil near a village can be a serious misery to the residents

    - YEXIL one of the more powerful high-level dimensional flux-creatures. Takes the form of a dark, winged humanoid creature with long taloned legs. Their sole weakness is that they cannot abide the sun’s light. Generally, those snatched by a Yexil are considered forever lost. One Yexil dwells in the mountains near Ar-Arak, several more near the Seven Deserts, and a few others in the Land of Falling Water west of Barbarian Prax.

    - ARTARCER Horrific high-level bleed-through, roughly equivalent in power to a Yexil or River-Devil. Takes the form of a random assemblage of bones scaffolded into a nightmare-shape. the Red Knights consider an active Artarcer a Factor 5 Threat, highly inimical to natural life. Surrounded by an anti-corona of negative light that illuminates only the Artarcer and blots out everything else in rampant darkness. Produces a sound like many distant, windy voices moaning. Leaves huge swathes of death wherever it goes. Anything organic that gets near the Artarcer ceases to exist in a matter of seconds

    INDUST - massive bleed-through. plasmic amorph the size of a city. inhabits only the Endless Mountains. Slowly rolls around, collecting detritus and transforming it into non-matter to add to its bulk

    forthcoming blog post will have pictures and something like stats

  4. Very nice work. The bleed -throughs seem to have a strong sense of, well, bleeding through, like they are themselves rifts between the real world and a significantly more unpleasant and hostile place, inimical to all life.

    These guys; "the Crawling Thing, The Gruesome Man of Wander Marsh, the Thing that Nods (which has rendered the South-Eastern peninsula of Kos, where once women sang beautiful songs, wholly uninhabitable), the Wild Man of Windy Moor, the Pale King (who wishes to exterminate all life), the Six Slain Thanes" are *very* much up my alley. I've got a great book that describes all of the folkloric figures of English Legend encyclopedically, shire by shire (kinda like a hexmap really) and these things you describe have that same feel.

    Oh, and you can get rid of your captcha if you like, it makes commenting a little bit smoother

  5. i was not even aware that i had a captcha, thanks! and thanks for the kind comments :)