A Field Guide to Fey, Elementals, Spirits, Sprites, Pooka, Gremlins, and Other Odd Creatures
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Feeders - These shadowy creatures are well-captured in Terry Brooks' trilogy, where he depicts them as neither bad nor good precisely, but dangerous as a snake or tiger might be. They feed off strong negative emotions such as fear or anger, and will do everything they can to increase those emotions in their prey. Feeders lurk deep in shadows, unseen but clearly felt; if you are in a seemingly-empty area whose shadows suddenly seem threatening or if you walk past a dark alley and get the heebie-jeebies, odds are good there are feeders around. While they are physically unable to cause much harm, on an emotional and spiritual level they can be incredibly destructive. They do have a purpose, however: if there is an area tainted by something horrible, it is the feeders that slowly draw out all the negative energy, gradually 'cleaning' the place. When they have devoured the tainted energy, the echoes of the unpleasant deeds, they will die out or move on. If you're looking for a feeder (and I don't advise doing so) try a back alley in a busy city, or the darker nooks and crannies of a battlefield.
Hunch - Humanoid creatures that feed off of rubbish and walk with a distinctive hunched limp. Hunches are often mistaken for winos, bag ladies, and homeless people in general. They give the appearance of wearing quite a few layers of clothing; in reality, their torso and legs function similarly to a camel's hump or a rodent's cheek pouches, storing food and water until it is needed, and it is the swelling of their body that gives them their large shape. Hunches have two stomachs and, much like goats and pigs, can eat just about anything. Alcohol aids in digestion, helping to break down the oils and metals they ingest, so you will often see a hunch sipping at a bottle of whatever booze they could find. They are scavengers, and while they will stay for days or weeks in a temporary den, they are nomadic in nature and thus never really claim territory or settle down. Hunches are not dangerous to humans unless a haggle (haggle - a cluster of hunches, particularly female hunches) comes across someone sleeping, unconscious, or otherwise helpless.
Lizard Girls - These creatures have the appearance of female humans with tanned or brown skin and dark hair streaked with blonde, frequently with vaguely Hispanic features and unsettlingly long legs. The only easily-visible clues to their fey nature are their ears, which are pressed flat against the sides of their head, their eyes, which are usually gold or coppertone, and the unusual sharpness of their teeth. Lizard girls are in a sense asexual, laying eggs rather than giving birth and not requiring any genetic material but their own. However, most of them will seek out human males at least once or twice, using their sperm to fertilize the egg rather than self-fertilization to ensure genetic variation. They tend to hiss when startled and communicate with clicks, hissing, and gestures more often than with speech, though they are quite able to speak at least one human language. Look for them around pools or walking on sidewalks on a hot day; they enjoy basking in sunlight, particularly on rocks and sand, though concrete and tile seem to work just as well and are easier to find in the city.
Pyreflies - these mirage-like little creatures appear most often in magically potent areas, such as a sacred pool or a ley-line crossing. They are also spotted frequently dancing in the sky above lakes and hotsprings. They give the impression of hundreds of twinkling silvery sparks hovering and darting about. Depending on who you ask, pyreflies are said to be souls who have not yet been gathered up by the Stiyon, creatures that feed off excess magical energy, the scraps of excess magical energy themselves, or the smallest of the fey creatures, so tiny that it is impossible to make out wings and body without a magnifying glass and good eyesight. If you want to see them, try looking up at the sky on a sunny, fairly clear day while standing in a graveyard.
Windwalkers - Any city with buildings at least five or six stories high may have windwalkers in residence; cities with skyscrapers will have droves of them. These fragile creatures travel on the updrafts, soaring high overhead, sometimes for hours, before drifting down to the streets just long enough to be swept up again. It is difficult to spot a windwalker, as they are semi-transparent and have learned to gather bits of rubbish, leaves, scraps of paper, whatever is convenient, around themselves as they twirl and glide about, making it even harder to discern the creature within what seems to be just a bit of trash blowing on the breeze. The key to recognizing them is the movement, which is just a bit steadier and more purposeful than wind ever gets, and the gleam of blue or green eyes somewhere in the flotsam. You'll spot them easiest on nearly still days, when the sight of windblown paper is unexpected; they are just as numerous on windy days, of course, but they are much harder to see and it becomes difficult to tell a windwalker's dancing glide from a handful of trash at the mercy of the wind.
Wirekith - These little creatures live off the energy transmitted through power lines and phone lines, darting back and forth along the wires. They are nocturnal for the most part. Wirekith are frequently mistaken for the gleam of a streetlight or headlight off the wires that they call home. They can move at an astonishing rate, and are able not only to leap from one wire to another but can hover for a few seconds between the wires as well. Any major event (magical or electrical) will draw them, and once they've taken stock they will dart off to tell others all about it, as they love to gossip, and they will also talk amongst themselves about the things they overhear while running along telephone lines; one of the best ways to keep abreast of what is happening in a city is to pay attention to the wirekith. If you are looking for wirekith, wait for a thunderstorm. The electricity in the air draws them all out from their hiding places.
...yes, I'm finally getting around to posting some of what I've been scribbling notes on while I was in too much pain to sit at the computer.
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