GIANT: Giants are a sad race. Hunted endlessly for the fearsome presence they impose, they are unable to congregate and form any semblance of community. Their huge statures create a demand for food that they can never meet. Constantly malnourished, they are forced to scavenge and raid small settlements and outlying farmsteads, which only acts to further daemonise them. While physiologically they have the capability to match humans in intelligence, they are invariably rendered feral and moronic by social isolation and a lack of sufficient nutrition. Giants are ostracised by their fellow Fey Folk for their bestial decline, and fearfully butchered by all others. Adorned in the pillaged accoutrements of a culture that glorifies those who slay his kind, this giant masks his face and binds his scarred and oft-besieged feet with the shields of felled soldiers. Stooped and bowed by gravity, the giant has become victimized by the fear his size instills.
REPTILE HYKSOS: Shepherd King of the 15th Dynasty, and disciple of Sobek. Lording over the Nile, the Hyksos repels invasions, while their King personally rides at the front of the defensive lines in a war chariot to rally the troops.
PESTILENTIAL ADVENT: Blood flooded the dusty foreign streets and beaded upon the sword of the crusading knight. As years passed the knight’s armour grew crisscrossed and his face wizened, leaving him satiated to return to civilized lands. Turning home he saw a fellow countryman fallen on hard times, swaddled in rags. Hefting him up onto the back of his horse, the knight told him “Come, we return to the warmth of our own hearths.” The thin man stared, saying nothing as a weakened flicker of joy seemed to wash across his gaunt face. The two rode across the continent, backtracking the knight’s scorched and blasted path. – The days passed silently. “You say nothing, friend, but your companionship means much. Though I worry your health seems worse.” The passenger stared at the knight, who himself seemed tired by their journey. On their many stops for water the knight found himself too weak to carry on, but his companion held him up in support. – “Resolve fills me as I look upon you, so ill and yet mustering strength enough to aid me. These sores pain me so, and spread ‘cross my body in mockery of our righteousness spreading across heathen land. Looking upon you I’d swear you were dead, but your compassionate efforts betray you as a saint!” The knight’s eyes welled with tears, and in his vision a corona formed around the now starkly thin passenger’s head. Lolling in his saddle, but supported by the gaunt man sitting behind him, the knight pointed feebly to his hometown in the distance. The sudden baleful braying of the passenger’s horn drowned out the knight’s last rasping breath as it rattled in his iron helm. – The townsfolk cry out in joyful congregation at the sight of the single man upon his horse; not seeing the curled figure of pestilence crouching behind him, only bearing witness to their errant knight’s pregnant homecoming.
PATRON OF POOR MINSTRELS: Proud arm in the pantheon of misfit gods. Her cacophonous playing offended all but her own misshapen taste. Mutilated, hanged twice, and wrists nailed to tree trunk by the other gods whose ears bled. On she played. And during that playing she gave life to a daughter never meant to tread the earth, and slain before birth.
WITCH PUPPET: An Obeah servant of a witch, fashioned from wood, bronze, and gourds for work in the fields. A monkey is sacrificed to inhabit each limb, and a still birth is encased in the head to manifest a controlling spirit. Wholly subject to the wills of their creator, these puppets are usually utilised for menial tasks and are kept out of sight. Folk tales tell of a time when the witch kings would rase whole villages with witch puppets leading packs of cackling hyenas, the cracks of whips cutting the dusty night air. *Key Features- – Eyes on the mask are closed, and the puppet sees through the painted third eye. – Cured, hollowed gourds, and bundles of tied grasses used as limb parts. – Tanned skins drawn taught over bowed, wooden frames. – Spry and strong saplings used as feet. – Long, sharp fingers for threshing millet terminate the Puppet’s second pair of arms. – Scythe for reaping the witch’s harvests. – Branch from a cemetary tree fools the soul into thinking of the Puppet as a resting place. – Bone dagger m. skull; if removed the puppet collapses, lifeless.
TIKBALANG: An untrusting skittishness is prevalent among the communites surrounding the mountainous regions of the King Filipinas archipelago. The skewed, furtive glances exchanged when family members ask to be accompanied somewhere are a habit formed from fear of the Tikbalang. Often eerily mimicking the appearance of victims’ relatives, this forest spirit will lead lone people out to the heavily wooded depths of the mountain ranges, occasionally breaking the increasingly uncomfortable silence with short bursts of reassurement, and stilted gratitude for the assistance. The suddenly pungent aroma of tobacco and drunken swaying motion adopted by the false family member is noticed before their face blurs into something that resembles more that of a horse’s than a human’s. Delirious town folk who have stumbled their way into town after long absences tell of how this apparation pushed and slapped them, often knocking them over and not allowing them to right themselves; all the while shaking with nervous, childish giggling. People say that the cessation of resistance or protest will suddenly lead a victim to find themselves alone in the woods, plunged into darkness; the sun long set. The path home, recalled by the few who return after a disappearance, is hampered by a severe sense of disorientation and a forest that seems to curl in on itself repeatedly.
DAMNED 02: Men who have committed such unimaginable atrocities in life that Hell has purposefully barred their entry in death to ensure that they continue their work on earth. Stiffened and deformed by the enveloping scar tissue from constant injury, and devoid of any trace of rationality due to pain, these immortal creatures can only be imprisoned, contained, and hopefully forgotten. This one has just escaped. Number 02 was executed by immurement.
DAMNED 03: Number 03 was executed by hanging
DAMNED 04: Number 04 was actually Rasputin in life, assassinated by poisoning, shooting, beating, freezing and drowning.
DAMNED 09: Number 09 was killed by a policeman’s shotgun during a shooting spree.
SCRIVENER: Invaluable to the theurgical community, the scriveners rotate their pelvises to give each pair of legs resting time during their relentless task of producing the reams of glyphs and charted incantations demanded of them.
NUKED MOOSE: Sickened by radiation and scarred by biological and chemical weapons, this Bison Moose spends its short life madly attacking any living creature it comes in contact with. Drunken with pain and maddened by neurotoxins, this sad beast bays at the dusty sky where the sun could once be seen.
WERECORDOBA: Bred and infected from an extinct chain of Argentinean pit dogs for the purpose of killing encroaching werewolves in an urban environment. The plastic milk jug holds water that he can guzzle as his metabolism is so accelerated (he sweats profusely and pants simultaneously) that he constantly needs to rehydrate and eat. The baseball bat has sharp strips of jeweler’s silver hammered into it with wire wrapping around to prevent the bat from splitting. This tool is specifically used on werewolves.
SLEIPNIR: Long ago the god Loki, in the form of a white mare and impregnated by the horse Svadilfari, gave birth to Sleipnir the eight-legged. When Loki reverted to his natural form he gave Sleipnir to the god Odin, announcing that the steed could carry his rider swifter than any horse, by land, sea or air and had the power to enter the land of the dead and return. *Key Features: -The tail is not bobbed, but tied up on itself to prevent it being used as a handhold in battle. -Heavy iron shod shoes for dashing the heads of ice giants. -Runes instill the steed with protections from ice giants and the grasping hands of the dead. -The six legs at Sleipnir’s front can lay down us barrage of Levades during an airs above the ground Mezair maneuver.
UNDYING FLAGELLANT: Unable to fully reach true devotion, and resultantly undeserving of entry to the Kingdom, the Brotherhood of the Holy Scourge divined a method of self abuse that would cleanse them of sin, but send them into a state of half death. Wandering the land and collecting alms, the undying monks seek worthiness through their self debasement. They deceive themselves with notions of piety, but secretly derive pleasure through their pain. This sin of pleasure negates their purpose, and their path has cost them their mortality, binding them to the earth, and robbing them of any chance to die and ascend
ANTHROPOPHAGUS: While not undead themselves, these corpseherds bear down on the aftermath of battle fields, reanimating the strewn dead and consuming the irreparable. These beings loom up eight feet, headless with unreadable faces set in their chests, mumbling to each other as they collect their cattle and return to the hills. “And portance in my travels’ history; Wherein of antres vast and deserts idle, Rough quarries, rocks, and hills whose heads touch heaven, It was my hint to speak- such was the process- And of the Cannibals that each other eat, The Anthropophagi, and men whose heads Do grow beneath their shoulders.” -William Shakespeare
COBBLED SKALD: When a talented skald of the Swedish courts, renowned across Scandinavia for his unparalleled musical prowess, revealed himself as a disguised woman, she was swiftly executed, and the embarrassing events were stricken from polite conversation. Her sudden return to court functions shook even the staunchest war veterans, but not enough to stay a second wary, though swift, summary execution. Upon further returns, each revealing the scald to be strangely repaired in a manner befitting tailor more than physician, the court began to almost embrace the eerie presence. This cycle of returns and executions leading to a more and more transfigured court poet became something of an exalted tradition.
PRIPYAT BEAST: When the secondary explosion occurred at the reactor, spewing an almost immeasurable torrent of radioactivity into the jet stream, surrounding locales could only survive long enough to form mass graves for their dead. The under supplied, unprotected and ultimately doomed clean up crews sent their overseeing emergency committee a flurry of distress signals and sporadic reports of beasts emerging from the piles of bodies on the outskirts of towns. These beasts were said to vary dramatically, and appeared to be sickening amalgamations of people and livestock
LILI: The twisted children of Lilith and Adam, these creatures are almost as old as the earth itself. Able to don complete facades, it is said that even the busiest settlements are riddled with their presence. They tend to only be discovered when they carelessly let their personage last, unaging, for unnatural stretches of time. The presence of a lili seems to sow distrust and confusion among people. It is not unknown for ships to be found becalmed at sea, the crew dead by their own hands and a single woman alive on board, strangely unshaken by the ordeal.
WENDIGO: While the pillis hail the coming of the deity Quetzelcoatl in the form of the white bearded man who calls himself Cortés, others in the higher echelons of the Aztec Empire believe the visitation to be that of mere men from foreign lands. Cadres of elite panther warriors are sent out into the wild to hunt the pale imposters. Driven by apocalyptic visions, these warriors degenerate into frenzied murderers, eating the flesh of their victims to gain their strength, forgoing the confines of humanity. Depraved and twisted with flesh stoked potency, the wendigos decimate the conquistadors in a bloody harvest
GHOUL: As crops fail and famine wracks the land, those who turn to the last resort of cannibalism contract kuru, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, and their brains become pitted like sponge. As they degenerate the ghouls form into familial packs which whoop and laugh uncontrollably as they pull down the healthy in mob attacks. However they only feast on the bodies after weeks of decomposition, as the notion of consuming fresh meat disgusts them. The ghouls numbers are disproportionately comprised of pregnant or child rearing mothers. They are particularly resistant to the pull of despair and suicide, if only to care for their single child; the greatest number a desperate mother can afford to care for in such conditions.
LEICHEOBERSCHÜTZE: Many commanders panic as the Allied forces press on to Berlin. Some disappear, others commit suicide, and most don blinders to the future, continuing their tasks regardless of the futility. A select few however begin to pull back from directionless rationalism and pore over the occult texts so commonly passed around among the officer classes. This infusion of unwholesome study coupled with the inventiveness of a strained weapons industry has seen soldiers unable, or unwilling to continue defense of the Fatherland return to the front cinched into obscene contraptions. These mutilated puppets are often left behind during controlled retreats, erupting from piles of corpses amidst the oncoming Allied troops working their way through the wreckage.
APOLLONIAN WIGHT: When experiments testing the viability of tapping into the quantum vacuum for energy were performed on the Apollo 21 Lab Station, reports devolved into strange ramblings about how their conclusions were inconceivable to human minds. Before all communication ceased, garbled messages were sent to earth from the astronauts about their experiments revealing to them the “howling face of the sun.” A rescue crew was violently repulsed from the station by corpses in the astronaut’s space suits. Footage of the incident show ghostly images of tormented figures hanging just behind these corpses, struggling, but seemingly unable to pull themselves apart from their decaying bodies.
SARACEN GHAST: Atrocity matches atrocity as the crusades grind onwards, and most hope to only suffer the moaning ghosts of the massacred heard during moonless nights. A sudden increase in caravans and pilgrims found slaughtered has led to the clergy admitting their knowledge of a raiding force of ghasts haunting the crusader’s supply line. It is later unearthed that the warrior monks tasked with confronting the threat have been intentionally lax, benefiting from the drop in pilgrims living to reclaim the money the Knights Templar hold in safe keeping for them during their travels.
FUNGAL ZOMBIE: An entire division dropped out of communication with Le Premier Consul in the eastern campaign when they hacked forth into uncharted marshlands. Written off as lost to desertion, or more likely victims of the harsh elements, it was with great surprise that their madly twisted forms returned only to attack and consume their fellow countrymen. Shambling and mutilated, these corpses harbour a crop of fungus that animates their stiff forms. Acting as though consumed with a ravenous hunger for dead or living meat, these beings are only driven by a neurologically enforced desire to transmit their carried fungus to new hosts via saliva or blood.
NECROMANCER: Madame Theodosia hearkens from the Aeolian islands and is part of a long lineage of necromancers. Growing up in a family with a long tradition of raising the dead, she was uncharacteristically shaken to learn of her barrenness, and in a rather emotional state vowed to give birth, if not to a new life, then to an already passed life. For this purpose she had found assistance in fashioning a steel, pressurised womb in which the souls of the freshly dead were to be trapped and condensed. This gestating entity came to be referred to in hushed tones as The Collect. The expectant mother now unnerves her followers with a detached resignation towards her eventual agonizing death; a necessity to feed her newborn babe in a self-sacrificial fashion akin to a mother spider.
THE COLLECT: Formed in a steel womb fitted to a female necromancer, the Collect is composed of souls captured at death and contained under high pressure with liquid aglaophotis. These souls were condensed into each other until enough life force was coalesced for the birth of a unified entity. The Collect now hangs in the upper stratosphere, a collection of uncountable eyes overseeing the earth and influencing world events. As humanity is led towards war and strife, the souls of the dead rise in large clouds which the Collect drifts through, absorbing more and more souls into its fold and growing ever stronger for it.
NECROTIC COLOSSUS: Towering hulks of reshaped and animated flesh are a common sight in the Northern Steppes. Once terrifying siege engines employed in the Horizon Upheavals, a prolonged spate of peace has seen them decommissioned and adapted to cultural rituals. This specific necrotic collossus is actually functioning as a nomadic funeral temple. A site of excarnation that can follow tribes in their caravans, the collossus, once directed by a whip cracking beast master, is now only directed by two weary oxen.
YOKAI: As an object is used over time it begins to take on a personality of sorts, and once one hundred years pass this personality has had time to physically manifest in the object, a twisted, half-formed soul either viciously mad or functioning with motivations incomprehensible to man. Perverting everything they can gain influence over, they are invariably hostile to people, killing them and staking their own claim to seemingly random spots in the wilderness or along roadways. Once settled in their now blighted locales they dwell and wait for something that never arrives.
MEDVED: Churned out of Soviet factories with the initial intent of recapturing Stalingrad, the Medveds tore a path through the panzer divisions in the great armoured conflicts at Kursk in July 1943. A wartime expedient, the Medved was just as temperamental as the earlier MBWs used in the war, but they still shined when pitted against German mechanized troops and cities. *Key Features- -194mm calibre field gun primarily fed with 80kg HE shells. -Plated shielding to protect loading crews from shrapnel.
LICHE: High priest and prime demagogue of a people displaced and driven into inhospitable salt plains. Disease and famine poised to kill the tribes to a man when their high priest declared that he would go alone into the salt flats, commune with the heavens, and return with the answer to their salvation. Days later, when his desiccated form reappeared on the horizon he announced the discovery of a divine solution to their plight. He appealed to the medicine men to conduct a drastic form of trepanation on him. A large hole was cut into the top of his skull as his third eye with which he would commune with the heavens. After a day and night of mantras a holy pillar of light descended from the sky into the priest’s pate and burst forth from his face, removing much of it in the process. This beam of light acted as a guide to lead his people to a land of plenty. Once safe and settled, the priest announced that he was leaving, much to the lamentation of the saved tribes. It was blasphemy for him to dwell amongst them any further, he explained, for he had died on the first night he ventured forth into the flats to find his answer.
PONTIFF: Pontiff of the sea. Presented here personally acting as a missionary from the deep. He carries a gallows, the sign of their martyr. He smokes a hallucinogenic kelp from his long pipe (smoking being one pleasure dry land can offer him). He’s actually wearing pilgrim’s garb, and his papal attire at home in the sea is stunningly beautiful in comparison to this dour travelling wear. The bleached driftwood tied to his girdle is an element of his ecclesiastical dress. An emissary of the Fey Folk kisses his coral ring in supplication to their developing alliance against man.
JUDITH & HOLOFERNES: Conviction took her as she approached the wretch; he lay swooned from drink and debauchery. She gripped him by the hair as she brought his own weapon down upon his neck. Halfway did it stop and and he lay there breathing quietly from the cleft in his throat. “Beast of land with tough neck as if of knotted wood!” she lamented. Again a blow rained down sending the head of Holofernes rolling from the bed and across the carpeted floor of his tent. “Glory! Glory! Glory!” crooned the scaled cherubs “do not settle as of yet, dear lady, bid your maid do retrieve the head and place it in a ration sack.” This she did, following the urges of the divine voices, and she rolled his body off the bed, and rent the canopy from its posts.
WARDEN: The Fey Folk, being barren, steal away human babies and raise them as their own, twisting them into fair forms. Often the fairies leave one of their own in the raided crib as a spiteful taunt to the oblivious parents. The Warden was a young fairy who took the place of a babe stolen from an old woodsman’s house deep in the forest. He would twist his face hideously as the old man and woman tried to love and care for him. Mischievously, the fairy would break valuables, set fires, and make the animals ill. Still, the parents patiently raised him. This continuing love puzzled the Warden, and he slowly became accustomed to it, growing tall and healthy as a young man would from such compassion. He knew that he could never live as a man in the city, so he stayed with his new parents in their isolation until they eventually died, still thinking him their ugly, troubled son. In bitter grief, the warden took to the forest with the intent of returning the same sorrow the Fey doled out so generously. He now stalks through the forest, his size immense for a fairy from his humans’ diet, and the nurturing of the old couple. He captures all Fey Folk he comes across and lets them slowly waste away, savouring their pleas as they cry out in a language he hardly remembers. A young fairy with his wings clipped is chained to the turret in the Warden’s hat, where he is forced to use his man-catcher to snag those flitting high in the trees. An adder lives in the warden’s sleeve, darting out to bite enemies.
“Imperial Propaganda Poster”
VIRAEMIA: The civilised world lies on its knees, a sickness wracking its body. The affliction causes a necrotising of tissues so perfectly uniform in distribution that victims take on the appearance of corpses long before death occurs due to organ failure or secondary infections. The crumbling remnants of academia swing from fatalistic resignation to maddened optimism in their addressment of what could be done to fight the sickness. The vast numbers of doctors attempting to stem the tide of infection, invariably falling victim to the malady they treat, have begun to form fanatical extermination squads whose policies are condoned by authority. A notion forms, twisting the tenets of the Hippocratic oath to say that when the oath taker is subject to the half-death of infection they are obliged to spend their lasting days attempting to destroy the source of the contagion. The paramilitary forces formed from the infected medical practicioners find themselves deigned to mete out persecution to the sufferers they were formally treating. Equipped with the leftovers of dissolved military forces, the Doctors’ Militia are organised to burn all infected areas and sufferers; a campaign which stalks across blasted lands, mirroring the wave of infection in an addled attempt at backtracking all the way to some imaginary source. *Extensive bombing campaigns start firestorms that incinerate whole cities. Squads of “scorched earth” units are tasked with eradicating outlying locales. The distinctive appearance of the plague doctors, the only sight originally associated with any idea of hope, often causes the confused survivors of bombing runs to rush, open armed, towards the oncoming squads.
“Status Quo: Meeting of the Four Horsemen” ~ An insidious meeting takes place in Hell. To hear their words would serve thee well. – DEATH: “The time is soon upon us, the Apocalypse draws near. Now my brethren, tell me what I want to hear. As the end draws close, there is something I must know. How goes the battle? Have you met your status quo?” – WAR: “Hear me now! I am War! All is now accounted for! Hatred in the name of God. None are right. All are wrong. Children given tools to kill, All according to my will. Blood is slain, waste is lain. This is what I have to show. I have met my status quo. – FAMINE: “When crops are burnt and livestock slain, I, Famine, begin my reign. Unequal distribution is the key To bringing about my misery. The rich throw all their food away, While the poor cannot even eat every day. That’s my tale of pain and woe. I have met my status quo.” – PESTILENCE: “Those mortal fools, in arrogance, Believe themselves immune to pestilence. But just how many have I silenced? Ravaging their bodies from the inside, out. That is what I’m all about. And when help is needed most, The mortals simply turn blind eyes. Out of sight, out of mind. Now I’m sure that you all know, I have met my status quo.” – DEATH: “You, my brethren, fill their days with strife. But I send them to the afterlife. For I am Death, and all roads lead to me. All mortals share this destiny. Suicide. Genocide. Homicide of every kind. Sometimes quick and sometimes slow. I have met my status quo. – Now let us turn our gaze to man. The greatest servants in this master plan. They have set their standards low, and, man, in doing so… Made sure they met their status quo.” – MSA