Whitecliff

Slagging Fiends

Continuing from my last post about Whitecliff, today I’m introducing a few Fiends.

The Abode of Fiends

One of the more notable lesser worlds, the Abode of Fiends has existed for nearly as long as the core worlds. Some believe that it was created by powerful angels who abandoned their duties to the All-Mother. Others believe it was created by one or more of the Divine Forces for their own purposes. What is agreed is that it has existed since before the All-Father was created and that from a human perspective it is an evil place.

Throughout the divine space, Life Essence is the source of life and though it differs in form and flavour between the worlds, it is nowhere more different than the Abode. So perverted and unusual that it is instead called Fiendish Essence by those mad few who dare to study it. The Abode is a harsh and barren landscape, where everything is carnivorous and cannibalism is unremarkable. Somehow, several sapient species survive, plundering and murdering their way across the country side. The most notable group of fiends are the ghasts.

Fiendlings

At the end of the first age, the All-Mother made travel between the worlds much harder and some fiends were trapped in the Natural World, unable to return to the Abode. Cut off from all but the tiniest trickle of Fiendish Essence and surrounded by the abundant Life Essence of the Natural World, these creatures slowly changed. Now referred to as fiendlings, they are amongst the most deadly and dangerous of creatures in the Natural World.

 Slagfiends

These fiendlings are eight-legged with bulbous black bodies streaked with green and purple markings and a poison-barb tipped tail. Slagfiends are arguably the most dangerous beast on the Natural World. Their bodies are largely armoured except for a small part of their underbelly and the reverse side of their leg joints. Their front legs have sword-like edges and a spear-like tip.

They hatch from grapefruit-sized eggs ravenous. It is usual for the first that hatch to attack the other eggs, killing their siblings. After this destructive frenzy, they will hunt large insects or small rodents. They prefer to drop from high places on their prey, killing them with their front legs. Where that’s not possible, they charge at their victim spitting acid in their face to blind them, pinning them with their legs and stinging them with their tail. After their first feeding, they are no longer aggressive towards their own kind. They live in communal nests, generally in dark caves.

Slagfiends grow until they die and none have been reported as dying of illness or age. The largest reported slagfiend was the Beast of Embwengi who towered over city walls and spat blobs of acid the size of a large dog. She was slain by dragon-riders from the Order of the Broken-Snout in an epic battle that saw all but a handful of the order slain. After the battle the All-Father rewarded dragons with intelligence and Fionella’s Baraxos was ascended to godhood.

Slagfiends hunt at all times of the day and night, but are averse to bright light and some report they are sluggish in it. They periodically hibernate. When young the hibernation periods are short (days or rarely a few weeks) and relatively infrequent (once every year or two), but as they grow they become longer and more frequent. The Beast of Embwengi is believed to have hibernated for a hundred years before awaking for only a few days.

When slagfiends are found near civilisation, the community has only two choices: relocate or fight. Fighting slagfiends that are smaller than horses is a dangerous but not herculean task and is best accomplished with pike and flame. The typical method involves tracking them back to their nest and finding all of the entrances. Groups of Fire and Air elementalists then work to together to burn out the nest, whilst pike and spear wielders skewer any that escape. Often a few small slagfiends will escape or eggs will have survived the inferno and the process will need to be repeated several times.

Up Next

There’s lots to still talk about. Six more patron gods:

  • Naajae the Dancer and her dealing with a fiend;
  • Enyden the Insightful’s unassuming brilliance;
  • Brave Ikhael losing his hand;
  • Iseana the Painter taking her vengeance;
  • Learned Witanzimwah and his wanderings; and
  • Taetaami the Healer and her sacrifice

I also want to write about the main species of fiend, ghasts, and to talk about the three (four) main classes of magic.

I guess we’ll see what happens next…

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