• Banshees

    Banshees

    While having the appearance of a human ghost, the banshee is a nocturnal creature that wails and weeps in places that have, or will soon, been the site of death or tragedy.

    Category: Nocturnal

    History

    Originating in Ireland, the banshee as a creature of myth is depicted as a female ghoulish apparition, usually wearing white or grey and having long, unkempt hair. They are always crying or wailing when seen, and can be depicted as either a mourning spirit, often a family member that had already passed away, or a screaming ghost whose cries will kill the listener.

    They always appear before a death, though stories vary whether they cause it or are simply an omen. In either case, the banshee wailing would always be the first warning of a death in the family, no matter if the family member in question was miles away or just in the next room.

    Traits and Behavior

    Banshees are humanoid creatures that have the appearance of a human woman. Depending on their origin, they can appear at varying ages, though the most common forms are that of a young woman or an old crone. They haunt or follow one family their entire lives, crying or screaming to warn of impending disasters.

    The banshee is born of very specific circumstances. They will be born, in a word, to a family that is facing overwhelming tragedy, usually the death of a loved one, and will have the appearance of a family member. Not a specific one, but if their face is compared to the other family members there will be a noticeable resemblance. Banshees consider the human family their own, and try to protect them or at least warn them when they are about to face a great loss. While extremely rare, the banshee’s wailing can save someone if they heed the warning.

    Banshees greatly resemble ghosts; they are translucent or invisible, and float rather than walk. They will be dressed in either a long dress or cloak that hides their lower body, and may not even have feet. They will not make eye contact even if directly confronted, and rarely seem to be aware of anyone trying to actually communicate with them, continuing to sing, cry or wail without pause. They only speak to others when they are not currently foretelling a death, and are difficult to find in those cases.

    A banshee can feasibly live forever, if the family they are a part of remains a unit. They only disappear if the family dies, or their descendants are scattered to the point they are no longer a family unit. Banshees are known to last generations, but can fade and return without warning, and can go decades without an appearance, even if there have been deaths or tragedies in the family. What events trigger a banshee warning is not known, but broad data suggests they only wail when the death will be a shock or a particularly devastating blow, such as a beloved parent, or an unexpected accident.

    Banshees that appear as young women are usually from a family that has lost a child, or a family member young enough that their death was a shock. A banshee with an older appearance comes from a family that has lost a cornerstone of the family; a matriarch, or a beloved aunt or uncle. Banshees that primarily weep are generally warning of tragedies that cannot be prevented and therefore are warning the family of the impending grief. Screaming banshees are more indicative of an event that could be prevented. Banshees can change their behavior and appearance apparently depending on circumstances, though as they rarely are visible when not actively mourning (and therefore the only times they can be spoken to clearly), it is unknown if any changes to the banshee are intentional or instinctive. They may appear to be holding or washing bloody clothing, which will belong to the soon to be deceased person.

    Banshees, when they can be communicated with, speak minimally and do not seem completely aware of their surroundings. They cannot be fully seen, only appearing as a vague haze, and generally live in small, unused spaces of the family home or main house, if the family does not all live together. They see themselves as part of their families and will happily speak about them, as much as they are able, and remember every member of the family and events they were present for. If asked about a family member who has died, they will revert to their mourning appearance and begin crying or wailing, and will do so for several hours.

    Banshees do not need to eat or sleep, though they primarily rest when not predicting events for the family. After the predicted death or event, they will continue to mourn with the family for some time, gradually becoming fainter and quieter until they have reverted to their hazy appearance, at which point they will return to their cubby to rest again.

    Weaknesses

    Banshees do not cause bad events, despite their unfortunate association with them, and so removing one is not a solution. They cannot be exorcised or killed, and will follow their family should they move. They only dissipate when their family does.

    The best thing to do in face of a banshees warning is to prepare for a dark event, and attempt to follow their warnings. Watch them to see if they are carrying anything, and if so try to identify who the item belongs to. Contact any and all family members to check in, and if possible cancel any dangerous upcoming plans, or visit a hospital if anything seems off, just to be certain. In many cases, there is nothing that can be done. Make sure one’s will and last wishes are known to the family, and try to resolve anything that can be resolved, in case that is your last conversation. The banshee only wants her family to survive the hurt, or to prevent it if she can. Your best defense is to heed her warnings.

  • Iron Flowers

    Iron Flowers

    Only found in the deepest of underground mines, iron flowers are a rare and beautiful supernatural plant.

    Category: Mountainous

    History

    Iron flowers are often sought out in romantic poetry, as a symbolic gesture of affection to the recipient. They are difficult to find, and incredibly delicate if they are picked, so the few that survive the trip are both incredibly rare and valuable.

    Traits

    Iron flowers are a flowering vine that only grows in complete darkness, and to thrive needs a large volume of metal to thrive. Therefore, they are usually found growing in mines, if they are found at all.

    The blossoms are five petalled flowers that can be as large as an adult human’s hand. The entire plant has an outer coating of metal, drawn from the ground they grow in, and their coloration will match their metal make-up. Iron flowers are the best known, as iron is the most sturdy metal they can grow from, but copper, silver and gold flowers have also been found.

    Once picked, the interior plant material will slowly wither and die away, leaving only the extremely thin outer metal shell. This material is delicate and can break at the slightest touch. The best method of keeping them in one piece is to set the flower in resin once the plant matter has died away, before it has a chance to start crumbling. Outside of this or some other method of containing it, they naturally crumble away after a few weeks at most.

    The plants will die immediately if exposed to any natural light, and tend to wilt in any artificial light, so they are rarely found in good shape by humans. Some species of cave dwellers cultivate them, but even these will be wild gardens; the plants are not overly tolerant of being touched even while still growing.

    Weaknesses

    The flowers are not poisonous, and typically depend on their secluded home for their only defense. If touched, the flowers tend to wilt or die, and if cut they will slowly crumble unless they are preserved. In other words, they are pretty and incredibly delicate, and not remotely dangerous.

  • Goblins

    Goblins

    Goblins are mischievous, humanoid creatures that are commonly found in Europe in forests and mountainous regions. There are similar species found all over the world.

    Category: Forest/Mountainous, Nocturnal

    History

    Goblins in history are depicted as either mischievous or outright evil depending on the source material. In their kinder depictions, they play pranks or serve comeuppance to humans that have committed some slight. Their pranks are usually relatively harmless, but can be permanent. In their less kind depictions, goblins often are an active threat to anyone walking along alone, particularly at night. One depiction of them, redcaps, dye their hats in the blood of fallen humans, often in battlefields, and will die if they cannot keep the hat freshly soaked in blood.

    The term is often used to describe kobolds, gremlins, pixies, brownies and other types of fae, which may account for the wide variety of depictions. In modern times, they are the inspiration for the Smurfs, a much gentler depiction than their usual depictions.

    Traits and Behavior

    Goblins are humanoid, usually reaching 3-4 feet in height by adulthood. Their skin is often green in tone, though this can range from brown-green tones to more vivid shades. They have pointed ears, and their eyes can be almost any color; they are nocturnal and have incredible night vision. Some, but not all, have additional sets of eyes, which can see various other light spectrums.

    Goblins have unusually long fingers, used primarily for climbing, as they live primarily in forests or mountain regions and spend a great deal of time perched in tall branches or cliff faces. Their toes are almost as long as their fingers.

    Goblins can have a wide variety of teeth; some have a mouth of canines, they may have underbites or overbites, some may have flat teeth similar to humans, and a very small number have fangs that can produce venom. They are technically omnivores, but their diet is usually exclusively meat and mushrooms, with occasional other foods if available. While they are happy to scavenge for meat and will eat anything from squirrels to snakes, they are very fond of mushrooms and will cultivate them carefully to eat them all times of year. Their stomachs can handle almost anything, and frequently eat poisonous plants.

    Goblins are remarkable engineers, though their structures rarely make sense to anyone besides them. Their towns and cities are often built into sides of cliffs or into tree tops, hanging high above the ground and connected by various walkways and rope paths. These towns are usually completely impossible to navigate unless one is a goblin or a similarly skilled climber. The only thing in their towns that is at ground level is a large bonfire area for gatherings. Goblins can eat raw meat (and often prefer it), so rarely use this fire for cooking. Goblins love the light and smoke of a fire and it is purely for entertainment. They do brew alcohol from mushrooms and drink lavishly at these fires; one should never consume that alcohol, as it is deadly to most other species.

    Goblin societies are complex, with leadership being a large number of goblins that change often, and appear to be any age, gender or apparent occupation. What, exactly, their leadership does or is even called is unclear, as goblins generally do what they like, and many appear to not know who is currently considered leadership. They all seem perfectly content with this, and often state they find human government systems odd and unclear instead.

    Some goblins implied that being chosen to be a leader of any kind is involuntary, and the goblin in question may not have been told.

    Goblins are incredibly fond of bright colors, interesting textures, and anything shiny, and often collect trash and litter they find to decorate their homes and clothing. They may wear numerous layers of human scraps, goblin woven clothing and even moss. Rather than make any attempt to camouflage, they depend on making a great deal of noise and distraction to keep any humans away from them. While not actively interested in humans outside of their interesting garbage, they will prank or even attack any humans or other species that get too close to their town.

    Goblins are vindictive if slighted, and will pursue a grudge until they either complete whatever elaborate revenge they have decided to inflict, the human manages to settle the grudge in another way, or the person moved too far away to pursue. Even if they die, a goblin may continue with their relatives or children.

    What a slight will be to a goblin can vary wildly, from finding or seeking out goblin towns, littering in the forest (unless the trash was interesting), insulting the goblins, or interfering with another prank. To get a goblin to stop their pranking, you can offer them a gift of interesting items (they are particularly fond of small shiny items such as buttons, but find coins boring), or begin to prank them instead. They take that as a compliment to their skills, and enjoy the back and forth. It can be difficult to tell if the pranks have gone from ill-intentioned to fun, but the best sign is pranks going from potentially dangerous to merely unusual, such as your entire car being painted lime green instead of finding faerie rings in your garden made from poisonous mushrooms. Tread carefully regardless, a prank war with a goblin can easily go back to them trying to cause you harm, and you may never know why.

    Goblins do not have a solid concept of gender, and only have two sets of pronouns. The first refers to all goblins of any age or body type, the second specifically to a goblin who is currently pregnant. When the baby goblins are born, the parent will revert to the first pronouns again. Baby goblins are raised entirely communally, and will not know the name of the one that bore them.

    Goblins as infants are brought up and cared for by volunteers until they are capable of talking and walking, around the age of three, at which point they are fed and watched but largely left alone. During the day they pick a small burrow in the trees, or simply sneak into an adult’s home, to sleep. They are considered adults when they have built their own home, no matter how structurally sound, so some will be adults after only a few years, and others may be decades old. Goblins can live to be as old as 500, but on average reach 350 years of age.

    When a goblin dies, they are buried and above them, their favorite breed of mushrooms is grown.

    Weaknesses

    They create hoards similar to dragons, but they have no specific kind of item, and will get rid of items if they are no longer interesting. Giving them something to go into that collection can distract them from a grudge. As mentioned, returning fire with other pranks is another way to calm their mischief. Goblins are rarely interested in direct conflict, so they do not need to be directly confronted.

  • Wishing Wells

    Wishing Wells

    Wishing wells are semi-sentient supernatural objects that serve to provide small wishes and desires to wishers in exchange for a minor price.

    Category: Object

    History

    Wishing wells have a long history in faerie tales as a catalyst for stories. Most often, they play in stories for women wishing for love or children; in these stories they often can talk, in order to explain to the wisher the terms of the deal. They are often replaced by witches or wise women in later tales.

    Traits and Behavior

    Wishing wells develop naturally, growing within wells that were dug and maintained long enough to be seen as a landmark for any local residents. They do not appear in every well, but it is unclear exactly what is needed to cause the complete change. Some theories include the need for prior belief in the well’s power, or when a powerful wish/ offered price is completed in the well’s vicinity.

    Wishing wells can vary in design and appearance, but will always have certain traits. They will have a roof or lid that will always cover the well even if nobody is currently maintaining it. They may be aged or have plant life growing over them, but will never be degraded to the point of falling apart. While they are usually seen as important landmarks in the towns they are near, they are rarely if ever still used for water. Despite this, there will also be a proper bucket and rope available.

    The ground around a wishing well will be clear and flat, though it can be overgrown with flowers. No trees or larger plants will grow too closely, and animals will generally avoid the clearings they develop in.

    The main trait of a wishing well is, obviously, the aspect of the wish. Wishing wells operate on simple logic: one may make a wish and provide an offering to add to their request. Should their offering be sufficient, their wish will be granted. If their wish is larger than their price, there is no effect. The person wishing faces no repercussions for not giving the necessary price, no matter how short they were in the price. The tradition of tossing coins into a well or fountain stems from these offerings, but the offering does not have to be a coin or even currency. Items of sentimental value are often worth more, but stolen items are worth nothing.

    There is no known limit on the wish itself, only on the amount needed to complete it. In theory, if one was able to provide something of enough value, any wish could be granted. There is also no limit to the number of wishes one can make, so long as every wish was paid for. However, there are consequences for making many wishes, which can be dire.

    First, wishes made to the well will be granted literally, so phrasing must be both clear and with minimal loopholes. The well seems to have some awareness of when wishes are more immoral, such as murder, and these wishes are more likely to backfire on the wisher or fail in their goals.

    The more concerning trait, however, is that the more wishes a person makes, the more they seem to obsess over the well, often becoming possessive and paranoid about anyone else approaching the well or realizing they have made a wish. They are likely to move near the well and chase off other wishers, or stalk them afterwards to confirm what their wish was and ensure it would not effect them. Many of these individuals waste away leaning against the well; their body will vanish, and some believe that the body or soul is used to grant one last wish, but what that last wish was, and what value a soul has is not known.

    To make a wish, if you dare to do so, the wish must be stated aloud, without anyone overhearing, and then the offering tossed into the well. There will be no indication if the wish was granted or not at the time, which leads many to believe that the well is merely a placebo effect and the wish did nothing. Wishing wells are not effected by belief, and therefore are in no way bothered if everyone that visits them comes to believe the well has no power. They do not degrade over time once established, and seem to operate fine regardless of if they have wishes made on them or not.

    Some tales indicate the well can speak, and advise what price a wish may be worth. This has not been documented, but as wishes must be made in private, and many believe speaking the details to another will keep it from being granted, this rumor has not been confirmed. It may be possible another creature is speaking from inside the well to get their own treasures and offerings; even if the well is a true wishing well, one can safely climb inside so long as they are not making a wish.

    Weaknesses

    Wishing wells will take the wish literally, so ensuring your phrasing is clear and has no loopholes is key to keeping it from backfiring. Wishes for small things, or kindnesses, are more likely to go correctly. You will have no way of knowing if your offering was accepted or not, but as a wishing well wish tends to be granted quickly, one can assume that if nothing has happened within a week or two, the offering was insufficient.

    If a wish was made to harm you, and the offering was accepted, there will be no way of knowing the fate is coming, and it will occur. Wishing well magic only comes up for the moment of need, so it cannot be countered, and will continue coming back unless someone makes a new wish and a much larger offering to cover both the original wish and the new one at once. It is unknown how many times a wishing well will be willing to allow this back and forth to go on, and may depend on one party being unable to cover the escalating cost of offerings.

  • Gold Dragons (Dwarf)

    Gold Dragons (Dwarf)

    As with their larger relatives, dwarf gold dragons hoard gold, gemstones and other treasures. Their hoards are rarely found due to their small size.

    Category: Dragon

    History

    Dwarf gold dragons are commonly mistaken as younger members of the non-dwarf species, and are thus rarely remarked upon themselves. Their hoards, which are often small and apparently of little value, are only occasionally noted, usually believed to be small treasure caches of other, larger species.

    Traits and Behavior

    Gold dragons, a type of treasure dragon, are typically gold in color; their scales can occasionally range into shades of copper, but this is uncommon. Their eyes are said to resemble gemstones and can be almost any color. They are of the Western dragon variety, having four proper limbs and two flight-capable wings. They are a non-feathered dragon species.

    Dwarf gold dragons are possibly the smallest dragon species, typically ranging from 3-5 inches from snout to tail tip, with a similar wingspan. They have the same fangs and claws of their larger relatives, though dwarf dragons have a lethal venom that larger dragons do not. They lack fire breathing capabilities, but are heat resistant and have been known to swim in magma. There are other dwarf species of gemstone dragon, but they are exceptionally rare; dwarf golds are the most common dwarf species.

    Dwarf dragons hoard treasure as other species do, but they are significantly smaller than classic dragon hoards, as a dragon’s hoard is only as large as they can guard and maintain. If a hoard grows larger than the dragon can protect, it is a sign of illness and concern for other dragons.

    All dragons are extremely protective of their hoard, and will defend it to the death. This is only ever not true in the case of nesting parents, who will abandon the hoard if necessary to protect their young. However, as dragon eggs closely resemble uncarved gemstones, there are many cases of fleeing dragons being attacked for what appears to be valuable treasure and dying to protect their eggs. Dragon eggs need extreme heat to hatch, and can survive without hatching almost indefinitely, so a thief may never know they have stolen dragon eggs.

    Dwarf dragons, once they hatch, are soft skinned and nearly blind; they will have their golden scales and eyesight after 3-4 weeks, at which point they are fairly independent. They may stay with their parents for years, but are more likely to travel away after 3-4 months. Typically a dragon is believed to reach adulthood when they begin their hoard; at that point they will settle down and find a safe place to store their hoard. Due to their small size, dwarf dragons will have very small hoards, often consisting of only a few coins or gemstones. Many are known to hoard buttons or fabric scraps and set up their nests inside the walls of a home. They are frequently mistaken for mice. Dwarf dragons rarely set up their nests far away from settlements, and are considered a domestic nuisance species.

    As with all dragons, they can sense if anything in their hoard has been moved. If anything is stolen, they will seek to reclaim their possessions regardless of the material value. Dragons are bonded with their hoard, and it represents more than treasure to them. A dragon does not keep any random piece of treasure, no matter the value; each piece is carefully selected, and the criteria will be specific to each dragon.

    Dwarf dragons generally live for 50-80 years. They are of average intelligence and enjoy solving puzzles, but rarely desire companionship or conversation until they begin seeking a mate.

    A dragon of either gender, once their hoard has reached a respectable size, will then lay trails to lead others to their hoard. For dwarf dragons, these are usually carefully made scratches at eye level, and these trails can go for miles away from their home. If they come across a similar trail while out, they may choose to follow it, or they may wait to see if any dragons come to them. Should two dragons meet and choose to mate, they will combine their hoards, often in a new third location. Dragons mate for life, and may raise several groups of nestlings together.

    Dragons have their own language, and dragons of all sizes use it, despite the differences in pitch and tone resulting from their different sizes. Their written language is simplistic as they rarely choose to write, but many dragons learn to read human scripts and can often write with them as well with practice.

    Dragons are omnivores, primarily eating insects and occasional fruit, but they will occasionally scavenge for scraps from other species if there are no better options, as they do not like to be far from their hoard for long periods of time. They do not hibernate during heh winter, so they are more likely to try to steal food from human homes during this time (again, often mistaken for mice).

    Weaknesses

    Dwarf dragon venom can be lethal but as their teeth are not particularly long, thick clothing is an effective deterrent. That being said, dwarf dragons are rarely combative unless their hoard is threatened. If their hoard has something you desperately need back, a trade may be an option, as they are capable of communication and can feasibly be persuaded. Same with a dragon that has settled in your walls. They do not want their hoard to be bothered, so making it clear it will not be safe in your home may convince them to leave.

    They can also be a helpful member of the household as they do eat insects, so a mutually beneficial relationship may be the better option. Simply offer food in exchange for them being pest control, and perhaps some protection for their hoard. It can be insulting to offer something for the hoard itself, if the item does not meet that dragon’s specific criteria, so best to avoid doing so.

  • Book Worm

    Book Worm

    A rare and unusual creature, the book worm is only found in large, old libraries or book depositories; they crave knowledge more than anything else.

    Category: Domestic

    History

    Book worms are often noted in legends as great keepers of knowledge, and many a hero has sought one out for their wisdom. Most stories that they appear in, however, usually give their role to others, human scholars or occasionally dragons instead, as the book worm isn’t an especially grand figure in legend. Because of these changes, they are not accurately depicted in media or myths.

    Traits and Behavior

    Book worms are a small species, rarely being more than 6 inches in length and not especially wide. They can come in a wide range of colors, and usually have the appearance and texture of an aged leather strap or book mark. They can lay almost flat, and can be pressed between the pages of a book without permanent harm.

    As their name suggests, book worms live in libraries, private collections and even dragon hoards, so long as they contain a large number and variety of books. They spend their time reading and reviewing any book in the collection they like, both fiction and non-fiction, and will be able to recall everything they read no matter how long ago they had read it. Their interests can vary from the broad to intensely narrow, and tend to become more specific as they age. Once they have read every book in the collection, they crave new knowledge and will do their best to gather more books. If they are unable to do so, they may attempt to reach another library instead.

    Book worms prefer not to be bothered, so they tend to sleep during the day and move at night when there are fewer people around. They have excellent night vision and can read in almost pitch blackness. If they have settled into a purely human library they may intentionally avoid detection, but in supernatural libraries or dragon hoards they do not attempt to hide their presence, and can be approached for calm conversation about what they have read. Most book worms are happy to discuss the books they have read, or to offer guidance and expertise on topics they have researched.

    Angering a book worm will do little except make them unlikely to help you, but be warned that their grudges can go for generations; they can be forgiving, but they do not forget a slight.

    Book worms can live for centuries, and there are some reports that a book worm can live as long as they are provided more books and more knowledge, and they do not truly die until they can no longer learn. Whether depriving a book worm of new reading material will actually cause their death is unknown, but they do often disappear if their chosen library is destroyed, so there is some possibility that they are tied to it (or are at least vulnerable to fire).

    Book worms are not born from other worms; they appear in a growing book collection as a small egg, nearly invisible; if the collection continues to grow, the egg will grow and eventually hatch. This can occur even if other book worms live in the same library, as they do not seem to be territorial. Book worms are known to either form close relationships with others that share their interests, or intense rivalries within that same group. These rivals will engage in debate, rather than any physical violence, and these debates are known in the supernatural community to be a fantastic competition of wits and knowledge. Book worms may also engage in debate with other species, should that other individual prove to be knowledgeable enough in the topic.

    Despite some rumors, book worms value their spare time and will refuse to engage in debate anyone that does not have the necessary grasp on the topic, no matter how irritating or incorrect the person is, and how easily they might defeat them in debate. Book worms do value different ideas, and will happily discuss any different values or interpretations so long as they are well thought out. If they are approached in good faith by someone with a lack of knowledge, and that person is polite enough about their inquiries, they may decide to provide a teaching moment, but they are notoriously impatient with students and more often choose to direct the person to the correct books instead.

    Book worms claim they do not need to eat, but have been known to consume warm drinks and occasional cookies, so long as they are away from any books that could be harmed. They do not appear to need these things for nutrition, merely for the joy of eating, and can be tempted by unusual recipes or historic recreations, especially if those foods are an interest of theirs.

    To gain the favor of a book worm, either to gain specific information or because you have insulted them, providing new knowledge is the best way to go. This does not need to be a book (though they are welcome), and can be anything from a recreated historic item, artwork, or even anecdotal stories. The key is for the gift to either be something the library can keep for further research, or something that can teach the book worm something new (a new kind of knot, for example, or origami).

    Book worms can learn to speak any language, no matter the vocal range, and may learn dozens throughout their lifetime.

    Weaknesses

    A book worms true weakness is being proven wrong about something. While they are happy to learn something new, they are intensely bothered when wrong about anything, no matter how minor or how they came to the wrong conclusion. Proving a book worm wrong about something will usually cause the worm to retreat until they are able to correct their mistake and become more knowledgeable on the topic than the person that corrected them.

    However, if you are able to actually teach a book worm something new, especially on a topic they already have an interest in, they will be your ally for the rest of your life, and possibly into your descendants.

  • Stump Trolls

    Stump Trolls

    Stump trolls are one of the smaller species of troll, and they live in the woods and fields. While not especially shy, they are rarely seen due to their impressive camouflage.

    Category: Forest

    History

    Stump trolls are a species rarely noticed, as they do not appear at first glance to be anything but a tree stump or another natural feature. When noticed, they are often mistaken for infant giants, goblins or even one of the fae. Therefore they have very few known encounters, and tend to pass below notice in most cases.

    Traits and Behavior

    Stump trolls, despite commonly being mistaken for goblins, are more closely related to giants and greatly resemble them. They are vaguely humanoid in that they have two arms and two legs, and generally walk on their feet. Their overall appearance is that of a tree stump, with their limbs appearing as branches or roots. Their skin resembles bark so closely that it can even grow moss and lichen; some may even develop mushrooms. When they sit or crouch down, and close their eyes, they are impossible to visually tell apart from a rotting stump.

    Each hand of a stump troll will have between two and four fingers, as well as a thumb; their feet many have no toes at all. They have two to three eyes and a small nose set into the cracks of their bark; they have a remarkably strong sense of smell, which they use to find their food from miles away. They are a hermaphroditic species and do not identify by any gender.

    Stump trolls vary in size depending on region, as they will resemble the trees in the area. Stump trolls in the Redwoods, for example, tend to be the largest of their species. They are rarely found in young or new forests due to the limited amount of rotting trees to blend in with. They are not a very social species, but as they are not territorial there can be hundreds in a small area, so long as there is food and water available. Their appearance is not genetic, and two sibling trolls can look like entirely different tree species if they have moved far enough apart.

    Stump trolls are omnivores, and primarily eat food already beginning to rot or decompose. They do not hunt their meat; they are scavengers and can even eat bones and gristle from the corpse of another species’ kill. They are fond of fruits, and will gather ones that have fallen off a tree for later consumption if they are not sufficiently decomposed when they find them. They are very fond of alcohol, and will often seek out satyrs in the woods to attend their parties for some.

    Stump trolls are entirely nocturnal; they spend the night foraging for food and singing to themselves in low tones, below what most species can hear. They use these songs primarily for their own entertainment, but they are also used to communicate to other stump trolls about resources in the area, if they are looking for company, information about predators, and so on. Stump trolls may go for years without interacting with one another, but communicate with their neighbors every night. During the day they settle in one place to sleep; they may have just one nesting site or several, but they will not move until the sun has set. It has been proposed that the sunlight paralyzes them, similar to a gargoyle, but this has not been confirmed.

    Stump troll infants are born in groups of 3-7, to at least two adult troll parents. At birth they more resemble a root ball or chunk of wood in shape and coloring, but their limbs are more of a pale grey and they won’t develop their bark-like skin until they are 3 weeks old. At that point they are effectively self-sufficient and will travel alone to look for food, though they stay close to their parents for a number of years before they slowly increase their distance and find their own nest sites. Troll parents stay in the same area for those years, but do not form permanent partnerships with each other and will leave once the children are grown. They may have as many as 7 litters in their lifetime, but usually have several different partners rather than one.

    Growing stump trolls develop more elaborate camouflage over time, with false branches, scarred bark and even woodpecker holes developing on their skin. Stump trolls have little to no feeling in their skin and are not bothered if actual insects or birds nest on them or eat the outer layer of bark. Lichen and moss growing on them is very common, and even ideal, as it helps them appear all the more stump-like, and they may cultivate it as well. There is some evidence they also use it as a secondary food source.

    Stump trolls can live for centuries, and at this time there is no recorded case of one dying of old age. They get slower and more elaborately camouflaged with age, and may not bother foraging every night over time. When they do die, they simply settle down to the ground and in all respects appear to become a rotten stump on the ground. Stump trolls do not consider these brethren as dead, merely sleeping, though whether this is true or just a kinder way of looking at things is unclear. There have been cases where a stump troll has gotten up and started moving again after decades of sleep, so there is the possibility that they are in fact immortal and just need more rest with age.

    Stump trolls do not actively avoid other species, but as they only move at night and cannot communicate with most species due to their low, deep voices, they rarely interact with others. They do appear to understand speech at human-level hearing. Many will live near or on mountain trolls and can communicate with them, and they are generally fond of dryad groves though the two species are not known to directly interact. Stump trolls are fond of satyr wine and other forms of alcohol, but as satyrs and fauns travel through the year and stump trolls tend to stay in one area, they don’t interact on a consistent basis. They consider social interaction something to be done rarely, and are content to spend most of their time alone, listening to the movement of the earth and rumble of the mountains, sounds that are hard to appreciate without their range of hearing. Their songs, if one can hear them, are said to be some of the most beautiful sounds on earth.

    If a human does come across one, while they are awake, the stump troll will likely continue what they are doing rather than attempt to communicate or even acknowledge the other; unless they were seeking company of some kind, they consider any conversation attempts as rude and invasive, and will try to leave instead of engage.

    Weaknesses

    Stump trolls are content to do their own thing, are too slow to be an active attacker for most species, and won’t take food or resources that haven’t already begun to decompose, so thus they pose no threat to anyone. There wouldn’t truly be a reason to need to harm one.

    That being said, they are essentially invulnerable as any damage done to one will heal over time no matter how severe, and even if they stop moving for decades, that does not appear to be a guarantee that they are in fact dead. Any conflict with a stump troll is likely to end up in a stalemate where you cannot do any harm, and they in turn will outlive you regardless.

  • Satyrs

    Satyrs

    Cousin to the faun, satyrs are a humanoid species with the lower half of a goat and curling horns on their heads. While they choose remote locations to settle, they enjoy dancing and drinking with many other species and are associated with drunken revelry.

    Category: Forest

    History

    Satyrs have a reputation not just for drinking and partying, but also with being sexually promiscuous and at times being rapists. Many stories of satyrs depict them pursuing dryads and other spirits for sex until the other is forced to transform into a tree to escape. They are often depicted as fertility symbols in Greek myths due to this, and often appear at celebrations of Dionysus, the god of wine and revelry.

    The most famous satyr in myth is Pan, an early nature god with the appearance of a satyr, who could inspire madness and ‘panic’ in others and was the inventor of the pan flute. He is also depicted with Dionysus at times.

    Traits and Behavior

    Satyrs are a humanoid species, with the upper body of a human and the lower half and rear legs of a goat. Their human half usually is dark skinned and has thick, curly hair; the men have curly or wavy horns. Their lower half is that of a mountain goat, with shaggy fur and thin hooves. Some satyrs have the horizontal pupil of a true goat, but not all; most of them have brown or yellow eyes.

    Satyrs usually live in large groups that are semi-nomadic, traveling from area to area in a pattern over the year to follow seasonal food sources and herds. Their homes are temporary structures that they can take down when they leave and may carry with them. They greatly enjoy wine and alcohol, and often have the tools to make and age wine at all of their seasonal sites. Because of their fondness for parties and dancing, their campsites will be near large clearings or spaces capable of hosting whenever possible.

    Satyrs prefer living in the woods, partially because of the number of other supernatural creatures that also live in the area, but they are well suited to living in the mountains and have created homes on tall cliffs at times. They are known to be a very friendly race, and rarely turn down the offer for a good time. If slighted or threatened, they are vicious and dangerous.

    Satyrs bond in a ceremony closely resembling a wedding, as they are fond of any reason to throw a large party, but they do not see the ceremony itself as necessary to confirm a romantic bond. They may bond in a couple or in larger groups, and the group may travel between various satyr groups throughout the year or create their own herd if they have enough members to support themselves. Satyr children are raised by their parents and their bonded partners, but may be watched over by other members of the herd.

    Kids will reach puberty by the age of 9, and are considered adults at the age of 20. While a satyr may stay with the same herd for their entire life, it is common for them to leave and join other herds for a time before circling back to their first herd.

    As with fauns, they are very fond of nature and the forests they live in in particular. However, unlike fauns, satyrs are omnivores and actively hunt for food and leather. They create a number of crafts from the materials collected from hunting, and make sure to use every part of any animal they kill. Bones, horns, and even teeth will be used for various crafts and tools, and a thanks will be said over the body before they do anything else. They usually wear clothing made from dyed leather, but may weave their own cloth or trade for it. They are fond of bright colors in their clothing, and use a variety of natural dyes to achieve this.

    They do have a long history of trading for materials not available in the woods, such as metal bands for wine barrels and instruments, or fabric not available in their area. They give away their wine and small crafts in exchange, and usually have some party to celebrate afterwards.

    Satyrs are very fond of dancing, drinking and partying. They will invite anyone they like to join them, and offer food and drink freely. It is polite to bring something with you, whether that is food or an instrument to play, or cards for a game, but satyrs are fairly easy going and so long as you are an enjoyable guest they will welcome you. They greatly enjoy the opportunity to try new kinds of alcohol and food, but it should be noted their wine is supernaturally strong for a wine and it may not compare to anything you can bring. It should also be noted that even a kid will have a higher tolerance for alcohol than most humans; a drinking contest is not advised if you want to remember the next week.

    Satyrs can live up to 500 years, growing tougher and slower as they age, and by the end they may have to be carried when the herd travels. Generally the elders of a herd are the leaders, but younger satyrs can petition the herd as a whole to take up a position if they feel strongly about the herd needing their guidance. Younger satyrs may also decide to take a group and start a new herd to travel elsewhere. Some choose to find settlements with their cousins the fauns instead, if they are committed to their quieter lifestyle. Fauns also may join a satyr herd, and the species are close enough to allow for mixed species children. Mixed species pairs are not uncommon, though they are more common in satyr herds than faun ones.

    While satyrs have a reputation for being forceful and violent, they are generally only violent if threatened. Dryads are not fond of them due to the noisy and energetic they are, but do not fear them. Satyrs will attack violently if their herd is threatened, or if their neighbors (dryads, fauns, any other species they are friends with in an area) are in danger, which may be the cause for their reputation. If properly slighted, they are of a salt-the-earth mentality and will destroy any chance of that enemy ever coming back. Their version of harm is also a bit more broad than others, considering permanent damage to the forest they live in as a threat and even littering can be a slight.

    Satyrs are fast, reaching speeds of 30 miles per hour, and can climb almost entirely sheer cliffs and tall spindly pines. They can also jump great distances, even if they usually use this skill to show off in their dances.

    Satyrs prefer the forests due to the abundance of available foods, but can live in a wide variety of areas, and have a high tolerance for the cold. They may wear coats or cloaks in the snow, but these are usually more for the opportunity to wear more colors than the temperature. Their sense of fashion tends to be bright and eclectic, and they take pride in being able to effectively move through the woods unseen despite these choices.

    Satyrs have a very small amount of magic, which they use to create their wine and make it stronger and provide a feeling of euphoria. The effect isn’t dangerous, generally, as it is only strong enough to make one feel lighter and more like having fun that night, but large amounts in a human can produce a manic feeling. Satyrs themselves only feel a mild pick-me-up, and are not always aware of how much stronger the effect will be on humans. Please party with satyrs responsibility.

    Weaknesses

    Satyrs are hardy and can take a lot of physical damage to be harmed; they at times seem to gain a berserker rage when attacked. If you have reached the point of them physically attacking you, your best bet is to get away, as any satyr that is already that angry will not rest until you are dead, and their herd is likely not far behind them. Satyrs may pursue you out of the woods, but not far; you would be wise to avoid entering any deep woods again, however, as they will spread word of what, exactly, you did to anger them to anyone they meet.

    To keep this from happening in the first place, be polite, a good guest if you go to their parties (there is no shame is saying no!), and don’t attack or harm their friends or home. This could be anyone you meet in the woods, and the woods themselves.

  • Fauns

    Fauns

    A cousin to the satyr, the faun is a humanoid forest creature with hooved legs resembling those of a deer. They are highly attuned to nature and are rarely seen due to their secluded homes.

    Category: Forest

    History

    Fauns are most associated with nature, and are generally benign figures in any legends. Any more aggressive behavior has usually been attributed to their cousins the satyrs, who have a less gentle reputation. Fauns are often seen at revelries held deep in the woods, and are depicted as friendly and cheerful hosts if encountered.

    Traits and Behavior

    Fauns have a humanoid torso and furred, hooved legs closely resembling those of a deer. They are primarily brown, both their fur and skin, and frequently have dark freckles or moles on their skin. Both genders will grow antlers in adulthood; males lose theirs and regrow them in the spring, females lose theirs in spring and regrow them in late summer. As children, fauns have spots on their lower half that sometimes travel onto their skin as birthmarks. These will fade into adulthood. Their hair is also usually brown, but has been known to take green tones with age. Their eyes are usually green or brown, but other shades can occur.

    Fauns prefer to set up small, minimal settlements deep into the forests, as far from civilization as they can. Their homes and buildings are simple, using only what materials were already available, never cutting down any trees foliage. Often their settlements will be partially within natural caves or against cliffsides for protection from the elements. They are fond of running and dancing in the rain, but prefer to sleep with some cover. Fauns that live in more northern areas tend to have strong tolerance for the cold, and grow shaggier fur and long thick hair.

    Fauns bond in couples in a way similar to marriage, but are far less strict about genders and number of partners. While most choose to have a settled partner or more before having children, not all do. Children, or kids, are raised primarily by their parents and their partners, but may be watched over by other members of their community as well. They will have spots on their legs and lower torso until the age of 7-9, at which point they will begin growing their antlers, lose their spots and begin puberty. They are not considered adults until the age of 20. A faun will likely stay within their community for life, unless they form a romantic partnership with someone from another group and choose to move.

    Fauns are herbivores by choice; they can digest meat, but prefer not to do so and will not kill unless absolutely desperate. More often, they may scavenge from another species’ kill. They do not farm, and instead roam through the forests they call home for fruit and vegetation, and may travel for days to gather different foodstuffs to store for the year. They will eat unfertilized eggs and may raise birds for that purpose, but are lactose-intolerant after the age of three and cannot digest milk. Many fauns will gather honey, but will not directly keep hives, and will only take honey if they do not harm any bees while gathering it. Some groups will trade dried herbs and flowers for non-local foods with other species, or even their own crafts, but due to their secluded homes they do not like to rely on anyone that doesn’t live in the area, as depending on travelers is risky.

    They are fond of handmade crafts but are very particular that anything made had to be materials already dead, with exceptions made for leaves or flowers that were safely removed without harming the plant. Jewelry and decorations made from wood, stone or bone are common. A faun can tell if anything was intentionally killed instead of found already deceased; if they find anything intentionally killed for any reason (discluding self defense), they will hold a small funeral ceremony for the deceased. Any time they themselves use a material, they will give a thanks to the tree, plant or animal that provided it. The length of this can vary depending on the amount taken, and for what purpose.

    Fauns can live up to 500 years, and will develop larger and more elaborate antlers as they age. Their communities are typically led by a group of elders of any gender. As their community size will vary depending on available resources, the number of elders will also vary depending on population. If at any point a community becomes too large for the area, one or several elders will volunteer to lead a group to create a new one, traveling until they find another site to settle in.

    Fauns are fast, with speeds of over 30 miles per hour tracked at times, and because of their coloring are talented at hiding and moving through the woods without detection. They are also talented climbers, even on sheer cliff faces, though they prefer the woods to mountains. If threatened, they will usually flee, depending on their knowledge of the woods and speed to get out of danger. They can use their antlers and hooves to defend themselves if necessary, but prefer not to harm others unless forced to. They rarely if ever carry weapons, and if a tool is ever used for violence it is later disposed of.

    While fauns have a high tolerance for temperature changes, they are easily injured and take slightly longer than most species to heal. This is partially why they have a reputation for being delicate, though it is frequently over-exaggerated. Fauns will care for their injured neighbors and family very carefully, and may even call in fauns from other communities for help.

    Fauns rarely live with other species; the one exception being satyrs. If a faun is less inclined to remain vegetarian or stay secluded, they will find a satyr community to live in instead; the species are closely related enough to have children together, and it is common to find mixed species couples and children in both communities. Satyrs may move into a faun community if they are coupled with a faun, and will also live by the community rules of vegetarianism and not harming any living things. Any members of the community to break these rules are required to leave.

    Fauns are not especially magically powerful, and cannot directly cast magic. A group of fauns in an area will likely make the place stronger and healthier, but this is a passive effect and will occur regardless of if the fauns intended it to or not. They often live near dryad groves, and both groups consider the other good neighbors and will protect the other. Neither group considers the other as living in their community, regardless of how close they may, completely coincidentally, live. Because of their affinity for nature, other species may also be found near faun settlements, but because they prefer solitude, they will avoid most other species and may even move if an area becomes too busy.

    There are stories of humans hunting down fauns either due to their nature affinities or due to their perceived weaknesses. Thankfully, few of these stories are actually true, but it has been known to happen. Fauns will run when threatened, but will not abandon each other, so they set up elaborate escape paths and tunnels around their homes to flee to if the settlement is threatened. Some communities will connect to others as backup homes, but most escape paths will lead into wilder and less hospitable locations.

    Fauns do not bury their dead; they are left to rest on the ground some distance from their home, covered in leaves, branches and moss. Fauns rarely visit gravesites, and rarely leave two bodies in the same area unless they died together or were romantically involved. They prefer to give the body to nature, in whatever way nature intends to use it. Any belongings the deceased faun has will be shared amongst the community, with family having first pick.

    Weaknesses

    Fauns are not particularly hardy, therefore a broken leg would be all that was needed to escape if you had to do so. A faun living with satyrs will possibly carry weapons from their new herd, but most will flee whenever possible and are not a threat. As they do not have any ability to cast magic, their strength lies in their abilities in climbing, running and hiding.

  • Faerie Rings

    Faerie Rings

    Faerie rings are not technically a creature, rather a manifestation of magic surrounding a weak point between realms. They are dangerous only if entered.

    Category: Location

    History

    Faerie rings are commonly associated with stories of humans becoming trapped in the faerie realms or Underhill, a faerie town of sorts. To become trapped, one merely has to step completely inside the ring. To the person who walked inside, nothing will appear wrong until they try to leave, at which point they will be revealed to be trapped on the other side of the ring, or find that if they can leave, centuries have passed in what felt like moments.

    Traits

    A faerie ring is a circle of plants, most commonly mushrooms, found often in the woods or wilderness somewhere. They form as a natural marker of a weak point between realms, and usually signify a place where one can move between realms. For the fae and other supernatural creatures, this poses no issue, but for mortal species time becomes unstable. Mortals that pass through the ring can become trapped if they do not carefully follow faerie rules of hospitality, and even if they manage to go back home, there is no guarantee that it will be when they left. While arriving many years after their departure is common, arriving before they left has also happened, resulting in unstable timelines and occasional death from the confusion.

    If one is welcomed into the ring by one of the fae, and they agree to your safe entry and departure, it is safe to travel to the other side, but the rules of the faerie realm still apply, and your guide is under no obligations to help you unless that have promised to do so. Fae cannot lie, so their word can be trusted, but they may twist their words if so inclined. A promise is only worth the exact wording and no further.

    Faerie rings can form anywhere, but commonly form on the sights of high magical activity, or on the graves of dead dryads and other location-locked supernatural creatures. The fae themselves do not create the rings, as they can usually make their own ways between realms. Mushroom sprites have been known to be attracted to their locations. Other species are also drawn to the site of a faerie ring, but whether it is the ring itself or the residual magic in the area that draws them in is unclear.

    Besides being a perfect, unbroken circle of plants, all of which will be the same regardless of which species makes up the ring, there are other ways of confirming a faerie ring. There is a general feeling of foreboding and strangeness around the area. The interior of the ring will be pristine; no litter, animal droppings or even fallen branches. If you leave something inside the ring, it will either be gone on the next visit or set outside of the ring. If it is gone, it has been accepted as a gift to whoever came across it first. Being left outside the ring is a sign it has been rejected.

    While it would not be recommended to enter the ring without a guide you trust, leaving gifts inside can earn you the goodwill of your supernatural neighbors. If you are leaving gifts, things like milk and honey, or handmade items, will usually be welcomed. Only leave meat if nothing else has been accepted. If you have started gifting, you may stop at any time, but it would be wise to ensure at least one gift has been accepted before stopping, lest whoever has ben rejecting the others is disappointed and seeks you out for more.

    Faerie rings will only form in places of high magical energy, and therefore are rarely anywhere near residential areas. If one is found near a neighborhood or town, it’s almost certainly because a fae (or more than one) lives there. It would be best to avoid any such rings, as a faerie living amongst humans will likely be more paranoid than most and won’t appreciate any gifts or anyone present near their ring. If you find a faerie ring in a more secluded area, it’s less likely to be claimed or to belong to any one person.

    Weaknesses

    Faerie rings are only dangerous when entered, and can safely be avoided without issue. The only issue that could come up is if one appeared on your property; a blatant move onto personal property can be taken as either a very strong invitation or a threat. Best to place an offering inside the ring and avoid stepping into it unless a person actually shows up to clarify further.