The Monsters of the Harrowlands
The monsters found throughout the Harrowlands can be identified by six major ur-types:
Unfortunate souls completely bereft of feeling or emotion, effectively, and sometimes literally, heartless. They are empty inside and express it with hard cruelty, longing, or hunger. Empathy, remorse, and mercy are impossible for these wights. Walkers have a strong affinity for death, and nearly all have physical characteristics in common with corpses, skeletons and other death motif. They are also the most likely monster type to rise from deceased, be it the recent dead or ancient corpses from forgotten kingdoms.
- hungry dead - Walkers who cope with the emptiness and cold inside by feeding on the living. They desire flesh, blood, warmth, or human emotion.
- lonely dead - Walkers who long for life and the souls they once had, or were so consumed by their own narcissism they simply did not notice their death. They will do anything to have the feeling of being alive once again.
- grieving dead - Similar to the Lonely Dead, these Walkers have lost something or someone and their grief is so great they live on in death, desperate to get back what they lost or right the wrong in some manner.
- cold ones - Walkers who have become iron-grim and are ruled entirely by cruel logic. They are heartless, often physically as well as emotionally.
Wargs or Trolls, the complete opposites of the Walkers, are so filled with destructive emotion they lose all control and act with wild feral impulse. Rational thought is not their strength, and completely disappears when they are consumed by their passions and hungers. Inhumanly temperamental, inhumanly strong, inhumanly stupid. Wargs tend to be bestial or trollish--or both--in appearance and nature, though some may hide it for a time.
- teeming - These monsters are like bubbling cauldrons filled with hot emotion that sweeps over them in floods causing them to lose all control. Any little thing will set them off like a volcano with irritable bowels.
- ravenous - Wargs so bitter and slighted at injustices dealt to them that they feel they must consume the entire world. They must feed and feed until there's nothing left, and then they feed some more. They feel owed the flesh, the blood, and they will not be sated.
- jaeger - Cruel and petty Wargs who prey on the weak and the outliers to get the power they so crave. They are the bullies of the monster world and must be dealt with accordingly.
- witless - Trolls of this nature simply don't have much going on in their head(s). They are controlled by simple appetites and have no thoughts beyond what is directly in front of them. About as smart as a turkey, but much more dangerous.
As far as monsters go, Jormungand's brood are the weirdest and most foul. Their insides are corrupted to the core, so much so that they cannot bear the sight of purity, beauty, order, or creativity. Polluted by jealousy, spite or shame, the Wyrm seeks to spoil all that is good around them and put the world into ruin. They are the crabs that try to pull you back down into the bucket. Physically, they tend to have characteristics in common with dragons, snakes, fish and frogs, though some are able to disguise their true form.
- tainted - Wyrms driven only by the desire to cause harm, chaos, and entropy. These monsters find and destroy nice things, definitely the type to specifically go out of their way to walk through a child's sand castle.
- lurkers - These jealous and hateful monsters use deception to lure in the beautiful, the pure, and the creative before they strike. Most can change their shape in some manner, and can use this to lure victims to danger, but others create long drawn out schemes to trick their prey into corrupting themselves.
- listless - Wyrms without motivation or direction. Gnawers will constantly chew or partake of anything around, not really consuming, but more going through the motions--destroying in an absent, almost masturbatory fashion. They are the epitome of waste and spoilage. The listless come from the same lack of motivation, and often drift upon whatever current may take them, but then lash out suddenly when prey is near.
Heid's clutch are juvenile tricksters lacking purpose or direction, prone to infantile pranks and poor impulse control. Imps act out like cruel children as they desperately seek some type of identity or worth, and they try to find it in the worst places. Boundary testers and threshold crossers, they are full of infantile daring, compelled to take things too far.
- bewildering - Compelled to mislead and cause confusion, these Imps thrive on the fear of the lost and isolated. Some feed on the corpses of those led astray, while others feed on the emotions of the victims.
- baleful - The more discomfort and harm these sadistic Imps cause, the better, for the suffering of others is the key to their self-fulfillment. They are definitely the ones burning bugs and worms with a piece of glass on sunny days.
- thieving - Need to steal or collect objects which the Imps have imbued with great, but artificial, importance. Some steal common valuables such as gold and jewelry, while others are compelled to take items that are a little more... unexpected.
Ghosts are entirely cut off from the physical world, trapped within their self-made mental constructs for they are unable to travel to the worlds of the death without any form. The Ghost is isolated and lost. Left alone with but their own thoughts, the Ghost latches onto something in the physical world, or a specific event, otherwise they give in completely to anxiety and fear. Different from other monster ur-types, the Ghost's broken soul is directly caused by their lack of physical form. Not all wights that seem to be incorporeal are Ghosts, for they bear some physical aspect, such as a hidden bone or a buried corpse.
- bound ones - Ghosts who desperately cling to what they knew from life. They are terrified of becoming lost and never finding a final resting place. Bound ones are completely focused on a particular locus or individual it once knew. They are possessive and jealous, for what they know of reality is slipping away and the physical world is moving on.
- echoes - Instead of clinging to something in the physical world, these Ghosts find succor in a particular pattern, often the pattern of their death. They are unable to let go and are forced to repeat the same actions over and over again until the pattern is finally broken.
- fearful ones - These poor souls do not have anything to hold onto in the physical world and are filled with fear. They are terrified, paranoid, and distrustful, or blindly reach out for any kind of comfort. They often create anxiety and panic attacks in the living, if not much worse.
Just as ghosts have been cut off from their physical forms, Thralls are cut off completely from any spirit or soul. They are crude material which have no spark of life and are disconnected from the weave of wyrd. This however, leaves them vulnerable to possession and control, and to become the bane of the living. Thralls can be taken over by sorcerers, dominant personalities, other monsters, and places imbued with power or loss.
- puppets - Controlled by a sentient master, these Thralls can be given the most basic instructions and are able to perform rudimentary tasks. They are slightly more competent than your average workd-for-hire adventurer.
- vessels - These are similar to the Puppets, but they are actually possessed by the wandering spirit of some sentient wight, be it man, monster, or something older. The Vessels are easier to control than something with a spirit, or fettered with their own story in the wyrd, but the physical form can begin to deteriorate itself or the master's mind.
- gorging - Compelled by a basic primal hunger, there mindless ones will gorge themselves on anything around them.
- guardians - These Thralls are bound to a particular location, sometimes through a powerful force from the location itself, but sometimes simply from a lack of motivation or thought to go elsewhere. They tend to be aggressive to intruders or sometimes just anything that moves.