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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

More Monsters(?) of Mihrne

The Lands of Mihrne have many creatures lurking in it: some mere beasts, some perhaps anomalies of nature but wholly of this material world. And some, maybe, which might be in fact unnatural creatures existing beyond the natural laws of the world. This time I've added more concise bullet points on possible setting explanation and how it could be used.

Giants

Art by Christoper Bernades.
There are many stories told across the land about giants. Some say they are an ancient race predating mankind while others state they are the offspring of Men and Gods, towering demigods who bodies are the pillar which link earthly matter and heavenly, divine essence. Giants are known to have existed for an absolute fact since, in ancient times up until the current age people have found the skeletons of giants. These skeletons vary widely in size and shape but are generally humanoid, ranging from the size of a tall man to gigantic skulls the size of two grown men standing on each others. In the older days these were crushed and used in magical reagents or incorporated into weapons and armors. Some learned individuals have speculate that, perhaps, these were not all the skeleton of giant demi-gods as some displayed traits associated with the men-like monsters known as 'apes'. Alas, these days there are few skeleton left and none are intact and giants have mostly faded to myths.

Until fairly recently.

The past few decades have seen a slow mounting of evidence of the re-emergence of giantkind in the wilderness. Hunters frequently find giant paths carved in the woodlands as something immense crash through the wounds. There are remains of dead elks and bears, in pieces, showing massive bite marks not unlike the teeth shape of humans. There are and always have been rumours and stories of men of great stature, some large and powerful while others are crippled: a disease of the flesh called, of course, 'gigantism' which even in the men of Mihrne understand to be a condition of the blood. Some claim that, in wilder lands, more children are born with this growth sickness. Some believe children conceived around mountains and other places where giant bones are buried imbues children with a portion of Giantsblood. Others still believe the Giants emerging across the land are the same creatures as those of old, having slept through the eons and awakened in modern Mirhne. Of course, perhaps it is most likely that the creatures we call 'giants' are not a unified whole and might be creatures of disparate and unique origin.
  • 'Giants' could very well be a form of alternate hominid, like the Gigantopithecus or the cryptid Sasquatch and Bigfoot which could be very real in Mirhne. The cavemen of Mirhne could be akin to a missing link of sort.
  • Giants could be indeed akin to the Nephilim found in Ezekiel. They would be the offspring of the mating between human and the Gods. Of course, the true nature of these 'Gods' would be far more Lovecraftian than some simple Ancient Aliens story. The Giants could be Mirhne's equivalent to the spawns of Shub-Niggurath.
  • 'Giants' are simply another mutation or corruption of humans run amock, this time distending the human form and expanding it with uncontrollable bone growth. In that case, such monstrous transformation could be easily coaxed to further advance and mutate through exposure to some corruption and/or through special means.
  • Some giants may not even be large humanoids at all, but rather some eldritch monstrosity which lurks in the deep wood and the mountain peaks. What form it takes might be difficult to ascertain for sure.
  • In any case, the bones of Giants is a 'magical material' in Mirhne, akin to what Mithril or Adamantium is in many settings. It is rare and stronger than bronze and is a substantial upgrade.

The Sorcerers

From Legend of Zelda
Mirhne both has a lot of magic and yet no true magic to speak of, unless one wish to delve into the darker powers of this world and brave the eldritch corruption. That said there are many things in Mirhne which blur the boundary between what we 21st century humans call science and what the people of Mirhne call 'magic': medical knowledge, chemical production and metalworking being a good example of what does work alongside more questionable practices such as trepanation, palm reading, astrology and so on. Openly magical effects as we recognize them in tabletop RPG are virtually unknown: there are no fireballs or healing spells. Even the darkest, blackest magic powered by eldritch knowledge and human sacrifice isn't so straightforward.

Except, maybe, for the Sorcerers. If the legends are true, anyway.

The Sorcerers are each unique individuals and they been woven through the history and myth of Mirhne. They are immortal and in the shape of men and women but beyond that who or what they are is unclear. They are said to possess unique powers, can speak all languages, curse the land, summon dead gods and travel all corners of the earth even beyond Mirhne. Sometimes the stories say they were the chosen servants of the Gods of old while others claim they are the last survivors of an older race of men, one closer to the powers of the gods. Others make them out to be evil and jealous individuals who have taken into themselves dark powers which no mortal should ever bear inside their flesh and soul. Some say they are all as old of Mirhne itself and were there when the land was young while others claim they are evil, foreign people with foreign magic and foreign gods to be feared and reviled by 'all good folks' (as the people of Mirhne often fear strangers from faraway lands). Their exact nature is unclear but so are their numbers, with an estimate around nine and twelve, assuming some names which pop up in myths are alternate names or conflation of different sorcerers.
  • Sorcerers, if they exist, are unique high HD npc/monsters woven deep into the history of Mirhne. They are less like the Wizards of modern D&D and more akin to figures such as Merlin, Medea, Circe or Gandalf, but adapted to the more sword & sorcery-meet-Lovecraft tone. What powers they have beyond seemingly immortal in some shape or form is ultimately unknown until it pops up.
  • Sorcerers could be indeed the rarest breed of humans: people who have indeed understood some fundamental knowledge about the world and how to warp it. Or they could very well be former slaves of ancient Gods who have broke free.
  • Alternatively, the Sorcerers aren't innately magical. Rather they are the last remaining members of some older and more advanced civilization whose 'magic' they guard and keep to themselves for reasons only known to them.
  • The Sorcerers aren't native to Mirhne and come from an alternate reality where the fundamental rules are different. Their magic is unique to how their biology function, yet they are also weakened by Mirhne. Alternatively they are aliens in the extra terrestrial sense.
  • The Sorcerers aren't remotely human and are basically like the Istari of Middle Earth, only they are not 'angels' but rather servants of some ancient cosmic power from the darkness beyond. They are the rare eldritch threat which is fully able to think and act like a human, having faked it for so long.

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