Nightsdeep: Creatures in the Gloom
Nightsdeep is the kind of place where a howl at night is likely a werewolf at your door. A place where inviting a stranger to shelter them from the rain can mean having your life drained completely by a vampire. There are all manner of strange creatures and fantastic monsters that plague the land.
If the vampire is the manifestation of man’s predatory nature, the werewolf is man’s rage given form. The werewolf is a creature that is trapped between worlds. During most days, the werewolf is merely a man. Filled with regret over his actions and fear of the monster within him. These repentant men and women only hope to calm the rage within their hearts and fear the pull of the moon. Some however, revel in the freedom of the monster and take every opportunity to bring it to the fore.
The beast however is power and strength, muscle and claws. It is mindless but for the next hunt. It is said that strength one werewolf is more than a match for five vampires. This beast only seeks to destroy and consume. Some believe that the man is awake and aware within the beast, screaming the whole time. The full moon almost always brings the beast out. It’s pull feels inevitable but, it isn’t the only time that the beast may appear. In times of great stress and anger, the beast takes advantage and breaks the chains holding it back. Though the werewolf holds great regenerative powers, it isn’t immortal. The man is a normal, mortal man. The wolf is still able to die by decapitation or immolation. Both the man and the wolf are mortally wounded by silver.
Though most werewolves are solitary souls who deal with their tortured existence alone, some werewolves run in packs. The pack is almost always headed by an alpha who leads due to it’s ferocity and deadliness. Any challenge to an alpha is always a challenge to the death. Alpha werewolves are almost always unrepentant killers who thrill at the carnage that the monster within them can unfold.
The Hollow Ones
The hollow ones are a strange alien hive-mind of green flame that possesses the living body of a person, animal and sometimes even plant. It fills it with it’s green flame and grants it entirely new properties. All hollow are one and don’t seem to be limited by distance. This means that there is no communication to intercept, nothing to negotiate with and what one knows or sees, all know. An individual hollow one doesn’t exhibit much intelligence though the more hollow in one area, the more cunning the hollow ones become as a whole. The hollow ones don’t even know that humanity exists really. They are a force of nature hell bent on making all living things become part of it.
Traits of the Hollow Ones
The hollow ones are no more strong or fast than they were before. In fact individual hollow are rather weak in that they do not possess any abilities or skills that they had in the past. A once competent hunter and tracker will now bumble aimlessly, a shadow of what they were. They do however possess such incredible regenerative abilities that killing one is a matter of completely destroying the body. Even decapitation may only slow it for a moment as it comes back together in a disgusting sort of way. It is known that the hollow eat the flesh of the living, what is unknown by the common people is why some are not eaten at all but instead dragged away.
How are more hollow made
Those who are dragged off by the hollow are taken back to the deep where they undergo a terrible ordeal as their mind is torn asunder and all their knowledge, skills and personality are assimilated into the thing below. The tiny sliver of self that remains is snuffed out under the sheer size and power of the combined minds already consumed. Once a person becomes a hollow, they are forever changed and cannot be saved. Only destruction can bring peace to their poor soul. Vampires, being dead are unable to become hollow. In fact, though the hollow may physically see a vampire, it doesn’t perceive the vampire at all. It’s as if the vampire is seen on the same level as a stone.
What is in the Deep?
Within the deep is the great, enormous body of a sleeping alien being of unimaginable destructive power. This being knows only to consume souls and make them it’s own. It’s enormous body is contorted into unknowable shapes with appendages that defy description. Simply gazing upon the body of the being has driven men mad even before the assault on their minds begins. Physically the being within the deep is truly massive but, it is in fact merely a child compared to the growth that it will eventually undergo. With each mind fed to it, it grows ever so slightly. If it were to awaken and rise it would already tower over mountains. The thing within the deep doesn’t destroy out of malice, it destroys because that is it’s very nature.
The risen is a name given to a class of creature composed of dead flesh given life by infernal science. They may be incredibly beautiful or they may be patchwork beings made of the flesh of multiple cadavers. Some risen are even made of animal body parts or machine parts integrated into their grotesque forms. Anyone who comes across a risen creature is almost universally put off as simply being around one will make a person feel like their skin is crawling. Each risen is unique. Some may be as intelligent as a cunning animal, others may be fully cognizant and aware of their disgusting situation. They are a parody of life missing a soul. Inevitably driven mad by their unfinished nature.
Risen are given life by infernal science. A strange type of magic consisting of using vile liquids and terrible machines. The infernal science seems like a twisted and corrupted form of alchemy. Where alchemy seeks to unlock the secrets of the physical world, infernal science wants to unlock the secrets of life and death. Practitioners of infernal science, called scientists believe that the world and everything in it is able to be controlled and understood. They want to wield powers held only by gods and will stop at nothing to have them. Almost all infernal scientists are insane and out of touch with the world, concerned only about their experiments. Though no official cabal exists, it is common for a scientist to take on an apprentice or two at most in order to carry on the great work.
Why Create a Risen?
Ultimately, the goal of creating risen is to create the perfect risen. A pure and perfect simulacrum of ordinary human life in an immortal shell. Though every scientist has different reasons for wanting to do so, many scientists currently believe that an army of risen is the only way to defeat the hollow ones. The worst part is that given the fact that the hollow ones completely ignore the dead; the scientists may actually be right.