The Wailwoman, sometimes known as a "Wailing Mistress" or "Banshee", is a fearful and legendary figure. Being an entity that embodies such sorrow in its creation, when looked upon (however long, or short, that time may be) a sensation of pity and fear cannot help but be felt by the witness. A dead elven maiden is said to be the source of a Wailwoman, having died with a crime or sorrow to her name so terrible in her life that the gods themselves cursed them to an endless unrest. With a bone chilling, mind shattering cry, the Wailwoman is a powerful and fearful opposition.
|Image description. A Wailwoman standing amidst some forest graves. Picture drawn by Arbaon.|
Appearance. The appearance of the Wailwoman varies from apparition to apparition, dependent on the soul that it originates from. They are wraith-like figures, with no corporeal form to call their own, and things such as walls or other obstacles do not limit them as they would a real body. Colouration outside the milky white to gray is rare for a wailwoman, though the mythical but most feared Wailwoman of a shadow elf is rumored to have the appearance of an inky, cloud-like substance. A few adventurers lucky enough to return alive and sane from an encounter with a Wailwoman have described them as menacingly beautiful apparitions, seeming to shimmer in and out of reality. Some have been recorded to move incredibly fast, to the point of reappearing at will in different places, and it is widely acknowledged that these undead women are not bound to the ground.
The most noted and terrifying aspect of the Wailwoman is her wail. The
ear-splitting song or cry from the undead
elf maidens can cause the mind to shatter into
a horrifying insanity or, if lucky, death. Some apparitions have been noted to
entrance their victims with a softer song or call, sometimes masking their voice
as another, to captivate the witness. It is said that this is just a less
effective form of the insanity-inducing cry, for those that have fallen victim
to a Wailwoman’s seduction are never quite the same should they survive the
The touch of the cursed ghost is bone chillingly cold to the point of causing a kind of burn to the flesh. If the spirit is to pass through a body, it can freeze the body solid, whether by fear or shock. This is the most notable ability of the famed Shadow Wailwoman, the ghost of a shadow elf, who are rumored to be able to instill such a crippling fear by simply blowing on the neck of a victim that they are frozen in a state of terrified shock until imminent death.
Territory. A Wailwoman is said to be the spirit of an elven maiden, cursed by the gods themselves whether through great sorrow or great crime. It is the scene of this fate-sealing event that the spirit is condemned, destined to haunt the area with the intent to relive the moment over and over. Very few Wailwoman locations are recorded, though many areas have their own stories and rumors, whether fueled by truth, ale or the intent of scaring children.
Habitat/Behaviour. Condemned to relive their defining moment over and over, the behaviour of the Wailwoman revolves around the crime or loss that she took part in during her past life. The most common stories involve unfortunate men being drawn into the Wailwoman’s lair. In some cases, as the ghost seeks revenge for the death of the elf’s lover, and in others, to recommit a murder long forgotten. The stories vary from Wailwoman to Wailwoman and sometimes even from telling to telling.
Myth/Lore. A Wailwoman is the result of such an intense emotion of malice or lost hope at the time of death that it is said to be a perversion of the Dream itself as the elves like to say. Humans believe that such is the act of Queprur, acting upon her bitterness of her loss of Armeros to Jeyriall. It is said she takes from the elven women, the epitome of beauty among the mortal races, their freedom after death and instead cursing them to relive the defining moment of their existence repetitively.
The legend of the first Wailwoman is known as the myth of I’airn, a mistress of two human men who resolved their battle for her love by a battle to the death. Queprur took from her the elf’s right to pass into the afterworld, cursing her to continue shattering the minds and hearts of the men who come before her.
The elves, on the other hand, believe that Queprur is only maintaining a balance between the cleansing of death to return to the All Mother’s creation and the keeping of these women on our own plane of existence. While the Wailwoman is to live a tortured existence in her state, it is said that should their deeds be repaid, the spirit will finally find rest. One myth tells of a brave warrior who confronted a woeful Wailwoman, roaming the forests where she had lost her child in life, and by laying down an offering of a live fawn released the spirit from her prison. Despite this, no elf takes the subject of a Wailwoman lightly and unfortunate events surrounding a death of an elven woman only lead to unrest among the tribe.
Information provided by Luca the Thief