Dangerous lurk far and wide. Be ware traveler, for there are many things to behold in the wild. Always stick to the path. Part eleven of my 2021 Worldbuilding Challenge inspired by this reddit post from a person named Faranesque:
Tales of Beasts from parsnip farmer Roger Wilfried
You are just strolling home from your day out on the field, till you suddenly see the smoke arising from past the hills where your farm lies. You run towards your burning homestead, which already is lighted up in bright red and orange hues. Your wife and your children are safe of course, but they are shocked and without words, for you just lost your whole existence in one attack.
While ever more Mardakin grow accustomed to the ways of the humans, enough are still living out there in their wild tribes. They hunt and gather, sleeping in rudimentary hovels and dirt holes and sometimes, sadly, come out to attack the nearest human settlements to raid them. They hardly ever kill anyone, for the wild weasels, badgers and raccoons are not inherently evil. Most of them are just lazy buggers who have now god damn respect.
Flöffs – The grey tide
Image that. You had a good harvest, winter is coming around and you are just peacefully chopping wood in the garden outside, besides the crooked wooden tool shed. Then you hear that dreaded sound. Do you know what a tumbleweed rolling around sounds like? The tiny bristles rolling around on hard ground or soft grass? The Flöffs sound exactly like that. And they look pretty similar too. Dark gray balls of fur and wool. Most of the time they come in big colonies. They will look like a oily black ocean wave from afar, only that they slowly spill over hills and canyons instead of the bright open blue of the sea. Some of them are only as big as your hand, others the size of a small dog. And before you say, oh, how cute, wait till I tell you of their giant yellow tooth-ridden mouth. They have no eyes or nose or ears. I think they all do that my tasting. They are tasting all the time. You can see them eating almost anything and only seldom spitting it back out after taking a test bite. Your house won’t be any safer from than that your home I can tell you. If you’re lucky they will leave you with a bite-mark ridden hovel and a couple of sacks of vegetables left. If you aren’t, then you should probably begin running once you see them.
Well, at least we can be happy that they are not traveling in groups. You know what is worse than a goose? One that is about the size of a bear. No, they don’t posses magic and no, they don’t spit fire. They are just oversized goose. But I tell you, even the hardiest adventurer is no match for them. For the ferocity of the goose just increases with their size. We can be thankful that they have not developed a taste for meat yet or mankind would not have prospered as it has.
Ghosts exist. We all know that in some way. But there is a huge difference between these moaning, translucent shades and a real Oldshadow. These beings always come from the greatest of dead. Those that really achieved something in their lifetime, be it for good or bad. Be it grand thief or high ranking priest. Be it bright, clever hero or rude, evil overlord. If the will of the person was as high and mighty as their deeds, they might not want to let go of the mortal world. And thus they won’t. Unlike normal ghost, Oldshadows know that their dead. They know of their former glory of their fame and their story. And unlike ghost they do not fade. At least, at the beginning. All ghosts fade. That is the law of the Fourth One. But normal ghost don’t have the will to do something about it. See, the will of others can be kinda siphoned off. And that is what Oldshadows do to those in their vicinity. They suck the life right out of you, like a straw trough an overripe orange. You won’t notice it at the beginning, but eventually you will feel tired. Sad. In later stages depressed. You won’t go out anymore. You won’t visit friends or family. Someday you just stop going to work. And it will go on until you run out of will to even eat. To drink. Maybe even breathe. Then you just die. People who die by overexposure to Oldshadows never leave behind a ghost. They were already dead inside, before their bodies gave up.