Eastern Gothic – Creatures of Slavic Folklore (Part 3)

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Once more, let us tell tales of mighty heroes and frightening monsters.  From steppes below to mountains above, tales of high adventure await.  And with them?  Great foes and allies alike.  You thought you only had to worry about the Baba Yaga?  You are quite wrong!

Author’s Note: I wanted to make some Slavic inspired monsters with a lower CR rating, especially considering the rest have been pretty strong.  Also, here’s a bonus heroic NPC to accompany these troublesome treks!  Also, a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to my readers!

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The Cheerful Stalker – An Eerie Menace for D&D 5th Edition

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“Lovely evening, isn’t it?”

As if the wind called out in terror, I heard a faint cry being carried into the winding streets of urban civilization.  Minutes of silence filled the sloping labyrinth of metal, concrete and wood as the fog rolled in.  Barely within eyesight, he stood there as an outline in the mists.  The unearthly quiet was slain by his sickly cackle, a sound reminiscent of countless madmen laughing and screaming in simultaneous cacophony.  The hunter’s call was likely an attempt to demoralize me, making it easier to take down his meal.  Hunched over, the man creature looked as if ready to pounce; I becoming prey for an incomprehensible predator.  As it fazed in and out of corporeal state, the shadowy figure dashed ever closer, as if only existing in the faint illumination of the street lamps.  Before I could cup my mouth with an empty hand, the ghastly visage jumped directly within a few steps distance.  The monster’s proportions were similar to a man, but far too alien and uncanny to truly be registered as much.  A gaping maw, piercing marble-like eyes, almost digitigrade like stance, a hunched back.  Such a thing couldn’t have been spawned in this world, but an infernal underworld or somewhere beyond.  No matter, I gave into primal fear and reacted in violent defense.  Upon trying to slam an arced punch from my right hand, the creature was pushed back.  However, it looked neither stunned nor truly affected.  As such, I ran as to my house, never gazing behind my back.  I still don’t know what manifestation of evil I encountered, but I revel in absolute ignorance for the time being.  – A survivor’s account of the “Cheerful Stalker.”

Many assume this creature is a vampire who has turned to macabre theatrics to scare victims, a mad wizard whose dabbling in dark magic has turned him into a monster or even a creature from hellish depths sent to punish mortal creatures of a “sinful plane.”  All of these are false tall tales and narratives from the fearful masses. Such takes on this being are the results of political propaganda, mortified storytellers, anxiety-ridden survivors and culturally dependent interpretations.  A local legend, a mystery man, a cautionary tale, a moral avenger, a psychotic murderer, an alien threat.  All of these things could describe a strange “spirit” known by most as the “Cheerful Stalker.”  His name comes from the demented grin he displays to targets of his brutal wrath.  Also, it refers to his obsession with pursuing a target until their death or insanity.

Such a creature is actually fae in origin, hailing from the distant realms of Arcadia.  Like most denizens of said dimension, they follow complex and alien codes of morality; with viewpoints that are equally as surreal to the outside onlooker.  The Cheerful Stalker is no different.  It sees all life from this world as one of two things: objects to toy around with or food.  Sometimes, he’s partial towards both.  On another note, some have questioned if this creature actually is male, despite the fact that he prefers to mimic the form of a well dressed male of high society.  However, it is possible that this is just a preferred disguise.  The creature could very well identify as male as well.  While the creature is obsessed with hunting extraplanar creatures, it does so with intelligent planning and an almost sadistic zeal for prolonging the suffering for as long as possible.  However, he doesn’t hold grudges and will avoid targets that prove to be too strong or can overpower him.  The Stalker is, in the end, a coward.  Upon defeat, debasing and shouting down the remaining essence of the creature is the only way to kill it.

Author’s Note:  Alas, my Gothic and Gaslamp theme is slowly coming to an end.  My reason is simply that I don’t know how much more I want to do with it.  With that, I wanted to take part in Brynvalk’s RPG Blog Carnival theme of The Fae as well!  You can read more about that, HERE.  As I’ve said, the fey theme was a challenge for me.  However, I’ve learned quite a bit that has carried over into some of my other stuff.  Among them was applying the fair folk to horror.  Dark and nightmarish is my forte, after all.  So, with that, here’s a creature inspired by bogeyman legends, serial killers, creepypasta, faerie tales and various folk legends.  And seeing as he’s inspired by the concept of the thought form or “tulpa”, stories of his dark deeds will keep him alive for ages to come.

 

FIND THE UPDATED VERSION HERE!

 

Thanks for checking out my post!  Please, check out the other entries for this month’s carnival!

Image Source: Dracula – J.E. Larson, RPG Blog Carnival – Roleplaying Tips

Made by Doctor Necrotic, for Doctor Necrotic Media.

The Fair Folk – A Fey-blooded Race for D&D 5th Edition

The fair folk have long since been creatures of mystery and whimsy, traveling too and from their alien worlds.  They visit our realms for a variety of reasons; curiously studying how we live our lives or perhaps something more complex.  Some feel they’re interested in us, so they could create fey creatures to blend in with our world.  Perhaps they want to capture us to see if they can turn us into fey.  Most scholars seem to put forth the idea that Arcadians want to create hybrid lifeforms.  But the real question behind any of these theories is why?  At the moment, none have an answer.  Instead, a new question comes up in the form of a new creature.  These creatures are the wyld folk, astral beings of clear fey descent, likely hybrids of multiple fey creatures.  Were they early experiments at hybridization?  Are they the start of planar colonization?  No one is truly sure, but one can’t help but wonder their place in all of this.

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Truly alien, wherever they go

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The Fair Folk themselves are shrouded with just as much obscurity as their elder fey ancestors.  However, these beings as a race are quite diverse, sharing all sorts of traits from around Arcadia itself.  Some carry the beauty seen in the high courts, while others are grotesque like the worst of trolls and goblins.  Within Arcadia itself, they are treated quite lowly.  Mutts, impurities, mutants; these pejoratives and slurs are all but common in the lands of their birth.  As such, they tend to live in the shadows of high fey society or branch away from it.  Despite the conspiracy that surrounds them, many try to break free of their caretakers’ original plans and live lives as they please.  Just as free-spirited and whimsical as their progenitors, they drift through the cosmos in search of fantastic new homes and equally interesting new people.

Author’s Note:  My “Wyldfae” was due for a slight revision, so here it is!  I modified the “Aerial” a little bit based on notes from my Birdfolk race.  Some of the others were tinkered with in other ways, but nothing drastic.  All in all, I hope this update is satisfactory for those who enjoyed the original version.  Also, I didn’t realize before that Wyldfae was part of the Dresden Files universe.  I respect Jim Butcher too much to randomly take terms he uses in his stories, after all.  With that, here’s the Fair Folk.

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