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Author Topic: That-Which-Devours, a cute little gift for Azhira  (Read 12216 times)
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #45 on: 21 August 2009, 01:37:25 »


Category; Apparitions

The monstrous entity known to the inhabitants of the Osthemangar region as That-Which-Devours has puzzled many generations, and will most likely continue to do so for a long time. There are precious few consistent and verified facts to be found about this apparition that lurks in the dense mists of the area, and theories run as wild as the creatures of the frozen wastelands it calls home. All in all it might be wiser not to try and find out.

(Since this entity is mainly known to the Osther-Oc, mention in the overview the orcish name for it. The name "That-Which-Devours" could be a name given as a rough translation of the orcish one by other explorers or perhaps a single survivor of the entity who managed to tell the tale.)

Little is known about the actual appearance of this monstrosity. Most survivors of an attack claim to have seen nothing but a seething mass of dark mist, with rare glimpses of sharp, bone-coloured teeth or claws and n'orsidian-black skin underneath. Others recount stories of an impossibly fast moving giant humanoid of shadows, a swarm of black butterflies, even their own mirror image outfitted with horrendous tusks and claws. The only unifying aspect to these encounters seems to be a cloud of suffocating, eternal malevolence that surrounds That-Which-Devours.
Several survivors also recount hearing soft voices upon the wind just before the creature struck, alternating between faraway screams of inhuman agony with the soft whispers of malevolent voices talking to the soon-to-be victim, and telling him or her of their imminent, unavoidable death and the horrors that await beyond it.
As far as research has managed to confirm, the apparition has no scent, at least not one that trained wargs have been able or willing to follow, nor does it leave tracks of any recognisable kind.

(The appearance is good. Keep in mind that there are -very- few survivors of the entity, and even fewer explorers ever see this creature. The Mists of Osthemangar is a dangerous region and all but the most brave (or foolish) compendiumists would stay away. Most of the lore surrounding this creature comes from the Osther-Oc, who have lived around the mists for centuries and can recount tales of the entity and the appearance. So for this entry, an interview with an orc would be best.)

Special abilities;
That-Which-Devours seems to be invulnerable to weapons made by Man, Orc or Dwarf, and in fact cannot be touched by even the fiercest warriors, as was proved by an orc who bravely tried to punch it.  The only result of his bravery, of course, was his finding that his hand would pass right through, but not without large strips of flesh being torn away. Although the Osther-Oc mentioned was fortunate enough to survive the encounter, the wounds That-Which-Devours inflicted could not be healed, mutilating him permanently.
This leads us to the second noteworthy ability of this entity: the ability to, while immaterial in itself, touch the living world with apparent ease. That-Which-Devours strips a victim to the bone without even scratching the underlying skeleton, with perfectly straight and cleanly cut wounds as a result.

(Recount some lore and stories here about the entity. Much like the Mists's Mystran creature, That-Which-Devours is something that cannot be conclusively proven to exist. It lives among the Mist and most victims of it never survive. A piece of mythology about how an orcen explorer once got caught in the entity would best tell the creature's horrific abilities)

That-Which-Devours dwells, as far as anyone can tell, solely in the dense fogs that surround the Deep Winds portal of Osthemangar. It lurks only in places where it cannot be seen, and rarely, if ever, ventures near settled areas, preferring to prey on targets that do not have the protection of a shelter and fire.

(Its never been proven that the entity stays away from fire and if the creature is more or less incorporeal, then no shelter could protect you. But, according to most orcen and the few explorer's who have seen or heard the entity, there is no similar phenomena outside the Mists. This leads to the conclusion that the entity solely lives within the Mist (and from a developer's view, it does.)

As That-Which-Devours has never truly been seen, no observations have been made in regards to its behaviour when not hunting. Additionally, it would appear impossible to mount an expedition in order to retrieve such information, with regards to both the extremely dangerous conditions within the Mists of Osthemangar, as the specific dangers that appear to arise whenever someone encounters That-Which-Devours, namely being eaten alive.

(You tend to state many facts above, but this section remains vague. Its hard to write vague entries on an entity that is hard to observe, let alone study extensively. Much of the entity's characteristics is based on conjecture and myth, like most everything in the Mists)

While this ghastly entity inflicts terrible flesh wounds upon its victims, it is unknown whether it requires such sustenance to live, or merely enjoys the senseless pain and suffering it causes in its victims. If it does feed off its prey, no resulting droppings have even been found or properly identified as such. Of course, given the unnatural nature of the Mists of Osthemangar and many of its occupants, it is entirely possible that this ravenous entity merely kills and maims for its own enjoyment.

(Obviously, the creature eats flesh. The other aspect of the entity is that it devours the spirit and "soul" as well. The flesh vanishes at the entity's touch. But also, the voices and noise from the creature is also thought to be the lost, mad consciousness of the many victims of the creature. One's thoughts and "essence" is also devoured and added to a collective group. In essence, the entity is one huge "predatory ghost".)

With a creature as obscure and hard to track, not to mention lethal when encountered as That-Which-Devours, and the supernatural nature of the Mists of Osthemangar, it is nigh-impossible to distinguish between truth and myth. While there is most certainly a fearsome creature in the Mists that kills or maims those it encounters, this is also the only fact that can be considered a truth without any such remaining doubt.

Often heard speculations include it being a Demon, drawn through the Deep Winds Portal but contained within its field of influence yet eager to devour all life it encounters, or That-Which-Devours as a guardian entity, created by the selfsame mage whom first opened the Portal, to it being a manifestation of the lost souls of dead explorers, trying to take back the life they lost from hapless travelers.
Some even stand by the ridiculous notion that it is the incarnation of Coór, the Dark God of elven myth himself, although this theory does not quite manage to explain why such an all-powerfull being would be locked away in the Mists for so long.

(The speculations are fantastic!

1. The demon aspect is one good example. I have always thought of the Mist as not really an undead creature, but a sort of spiritual half of an evil being. A demon fits this well. Perhaps, when the portal was opened, a demon was caught between the gates, somehow unable to proceed into the Santharian world. It's physical body was trapped in the other side while its spiritual essence was left to live in the Mist, unable to rejoin its physical body.

2. The lost souls of explorers is also a fitting explanation. There have been many, many soldiers and explorers over the years who have died before and after the Third Sarvonian war. Its possible the Mists collected the souls and formed a malevolent entity, the predatory ghost of sorts. Its also possible that Osthemangar is the remains of a lost necropolis, where many dead were buried below the ground and in the tower. The entity is a collective manifestation of the restless dead.

3. Another possible aspect of the entity is that it is the wandering soul of Ezzorak'laddan, the undead dragon that is believed to live in the Mists. As a punishment for betraying the Master of the Tower, the dragon's body and spirit were split and forced to live apart. The body is a frozen stasis, somewhere in the highest reaches of the mountain peaks, still physically alive. Its spirit, conscious and roving, wanders the Mists, furious at being punished and devours any living thing in its path.

4. Finally, the manifestation of Co'or is a brilliant explanation. However, only the elves could possibly have come up with this one as the orcs have no idea of the elven myths and gods. Perhaps a lone elven explorer coined this myth somehow?

Overall, the entry is a nice beginning. As Deci said, it could use alot of myth and lore to this. Also, making the entry vague and non-defined would also fit this best. Think the Mystran or the Wisps for an example. There is alot more conjecture than actual facts and that should come across in the entry.)

No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
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