Weird Things

Weird Things (or Weirds) are a classification of naturally occurring beings with otherworldly or extraordinary powers and qualities. In less advanced societies, they are often likened to demons, devils, angels, ghosts, spirits, cryptids, and other representatives and avatars of forces beyond mortal comprehension. No two Weirds, even within the same classification, portfolio, or even serving the same forces are alike, as they have a degree of control over their appearances for deception, self-preservation, or because it suits their fancy.

Weirds are surmised to come from a series of pocket dimensions called the Weald. Upon destruction of the physical body within the world, a Weird's essence and 'soul' returns to the Weald to re-coalesce. Powerful Weirds will have a good recall of their demise, and may be spurred to take action against their killer, or their associates. Weirds destroyed within the Weald are destroyed permanently.

Magicians and Psions are most readily associated with being in contact with Weirds, along with those who are (un)lucky enough to become the object of a Weird's interests, ire, or long-term goals.

Note: A Weird Thing can still reside wholly in Reality, without having to return to the Weald. The Weird Thing moniker can also be applied to locations, objects, localised and recurring natural or unnatural phenomena like lights and sound, or other unspecified sources of information.

:!: Notice: Player Characters are not permitted to play as Weirds unless they have the GM's permission.

Classification Scale

A classification scale for Weirds is as follows, as agreed upon by Kingdom of Albion and the Unity Protocol. The more powerful a Weird is, the less likely it is to appear or be summoned into reality.

Rating Description Examples How to Deal With Them
0
Null
Acts passively or poses little to no threat individually or as a group to people, or a natural feature of a location. Pretty Butterflies, Spectral Songbirds, Notes on the Wind Treated as natural phenomena in many areas, like bugs or birds, or a feature of a natural landscape. Can be dismissed, avoided, or dealt with easily.
1
Youngster
The appearance of these Weirds, or a self-driven group may be construed as a threat to a handful of individuals if driven to ire. Pixies, Benevolent/Service Imps, Spectral Sighthounds, Benevolent Familiars, Ancestor Spirits, Household and Natural Spirits1) Can be managed, persuaded, fed, paid, or otherwise handled easily with household items and little threat to self.
2
Teenage
These Weirds have the potential to be a threat to an unspecified, large number of human lives if misused or angered. Weirds of this category are generally considered the limit for civilian grade summoning. Spectral Mastiffs, Malevolent Imps, Ghosts, Familiars with hazardous agendas, Spirit Animals, Youkai Additional checks and balances may be required to summon, keep, or interact safely with one of these Weirds. Some special or specific equipment may be required, but it isn't out of reach for many civilians.
3
Adult
In this category, Weirds start becoming threats which require monitoring, as they can be a threat to an entire city if left unchecked. People possessed by Familiars, Sadistic Imps, Dead Flesh, Vengeful Ghosts, Basic Elementals Many societies have a measured and practised response for dealing with these Weirds when they arise, suitable for able-bodied laymen (read: police force) and magical professionals alike.
4
Old
Weirds start to have trouble influencing reality due to their growing power, owning vast freeholds on the Weald and the ear of many followers. As such, they can pose a threat to multiple cities. Spellcasters possessed by Familiars, Intelligent Dead Flesh/Liches, Dead Flesh which spreads contagiously, Haunted Locations, Combination Elementals Leave this to the professionals, and the army. But mostly the professionals. The key to dealing with these Weirds is where deviations occur, and more intimate knowledge of the creature in front of you is required.
5
Elder
Weirds in this category are more likely to work through numerous proxies and followers, willing or otherwise. As a result, many of the examples here are capable of posing a threat to an entire civilisation or space-spread society. Phasma, Star Men, Gaia's Wrath, Fonts of Knowledge, Blood Moons, Creeping Terror, Charged Elementals Some of these Weirds cannot be fought physically, or their presence renders a fighting force irrelevant or docile through subversion. Otherwise, it poses too overwhelming a force to deal with conventionally - and no two ways of dealing with these Weirds is alike!
6
Master
Can pose a threat to the entire galaxy, if properly aggrieved and motivated to undertake such an act. Thankfully, most are completely incapable of entering into reality. Even so, they lend their influence and power to an untold number of followers and other Weird subjects. Elder Phasma, Space Whales, The Grim Reaper, Orbital Object: Null, Natural Portals to the Weald No, really, leave it to the professionals - or better yet, let the other Weirds to bring this one down … or rein it in. Meeting or interacting with a Weird of this category is a very big deal - mind your P's and Q's.
7
IMMORTAL
If something can pose enough of a threat to exist in this category, that's bad. Such a Weird would be a threat all of to reality itself - not just the galaxy it happens to be host to. Could even be a threat to the Weald! ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? No idea! You're on your own, buddy!

In relation to the conventionally understood models of physics, Weird Things by all accounts shouldn't exist, as they violate numerous laws including but not limited to thermodynamics. However, the study of thaumatology helps to fill the gap in conventional physics, determining Weirds to be natives to a series of pocket dimensions called The Weald, where there are laws of being, but ones which simply do not fit neatly into human or alien understanding2).

Contacting Weirds and the Weald

“Do not call up that which you can not put down.”
— H.P. Lovecraft, “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”

Contacting the Weald is an easy task, and it is assisted by learning more about the entity the caster wishes to make contact with, and getting a hold of offerings and associated objects the Weird would like. These things aren't necessarily of monetary value, but they are of value or interest to the Weird.

For example, for the best chances of summoning a Spectral Sighthound, it is recommended to bring things a dog would like, such as tins of dog food, a fluffy blanket and a bed, a leash and collar, and the promise of walkies.

Reaching the Weald

The Weald is not an easily reachable location by casting some form of gate spell - to go to the Weald in person is an undertaking which can take months of travel, gathering materials, undertaking tasks. It is a journey and a quest first, and not a mere convenience. When travelling through the Weald, many precautions must be taken.

In the worst of cases3), a person can be drawn into a pocket of the Weald by a powerful Weird.

:!: For GMs As explained, travelling to the Weald is not a convenience. A story arc could involve undertaking the steps necessary for travelling to a portion of the Weald, and contacting the relevant Weirds and authorities to have a welcome that won't kill the players on arrival.

Weird Things are organised into the following categories. Keep in mind that these are not definite, and these are just what has been observed and catalogued by scholars across the galaxy.

More will be added as they arise.

Dead Flesh

Creatures of Dead Flesh4) are the animated remains of deceased creatures in part or whole. They can be artificially made using foul rituals, can arise naturally from areas of dreadful magical phenomena, or be passed via horrid diseases. Diseases like this take effect once the person dies. As long as the person is alive, they can still be an infected carrier and cured later, as well as vaccinated5).

Dead Flesh are hostile towards the living by default, but stronger Deads can accept and obey simple orders from their creators, or retain fragments of their motivations if the life force belongs to the body. In particular, Dead Flesh are repelled and weakened by faith and conviction or sunlight, and are easily dealt with via blunt force trauma and any form of damage to the head/cranium/brain. When destroyed, the life force inhabiting the Dead Flesh dissipates.

Individually, a single creature of Dead Flesh is a shambling nuisance which can be dealt with using a cricket bat or bullet to the head6). In large groups, Dead Flesh become a problem, and it is recommended to call the local police officers or pest control specialists unless the 'tools for the job' are on hand.

Elementals

Living, pseudo-intelligent forces composed of the building blocks of the world according to primitive societies, Elementals escape the cycle of decay - constantly reconstructing themselves. Their temperaments are without prejudice or malice, merely existing, consuming as they need, and protecting themselves. Unless provoked, summoned, or curious, they have no reason to leave their surroundings. Their measurements vary by their age and strength, with the smallest being two feet across in all dimensions, and the largest being around ten feet across in all dimensions.

They are often bound into service by mages to provide their element for a purpose: A fire elemental and air elemental can stoke and fuel a forge. They can also be named and called upon to provide materials or power for a spell, via a Familiar, or direct contact. However, when the bindings of their containment fray, the magician fails to provide fuel or tribute, or the being is improperly dismissed, an Elemental can break out and unwittingly wreck havoc on the mage's workshop, and then the surrounding area - or stop lending their power to the practitioner in the case of long-distance calls.

In their native environments on the Weald, they thrive. Rarely however, these Weirds can crop up in unspoiled areas of their natural element in reality, especially if area has not been disturbed by settlement, colonisation, building, or pollution. To fight an Elemental, a quick way of dealing with them is to use an opposing element or directly attacking their being appropriately and proportionately7).

Elementals come in a variety of types and compositions. The following types of elemental have been observed, and categorised into three levels of intensity.

Classical Elementals

These are the most basic of Elementals, and are highly adaptable for most situations with the powers they exude. Of the elementals, they are considered the 'easiest' to summon, for their relative simplicity. Failing to summon them properly merely results in a lump of dirt, a puff of fire, a temporary deluge, or a gust of wind in the caster's workshop.

These are the most likely elementals to be spotted in reality, when they are seen.

  • Air - Essentially a living gust of wind. When calm, they are a gentle breeze, merely a vague outline of a figure coalescing in place. When sufficiently plying themselves or roused to anger, they form a whirling vapour or swirling clouds. They can arise naturally from the hearts of tornados and cyclones, and attack by lifting up and dropping or buffeting their targets.
  • Earth - Walking masses of stone and rubble, Earth elementals are slow, ponderous, and heavy. The largest of these elementals are almost like living hillocks, and they can glide through solid earth. They are most likely to be found close to a planet's core, where the outer mantle meets the crust near mineral veins. They can be unearthed by mining operations, and they attack by smashing things with their rocky appendages.
  • Fire - A walking tower of flame, shower of sparks, or roaring bonfire on legs, Fire elementals heat their surroundings, providing warmth and heat at a distance, and burning anything within reach of it. They attack by bear-hugging and burning their targets to a crisp. They can be easily destroyed by dousing them in water or starving them of oxygen, and they despise moisture.
  • Water - A living wave of the ocean, which can appear to be a soft and flowing ball of water, or a swirling white capped squall. They are most often encountered at the bottom of primordial oceans. Water elementals fight by rolling over and sweeping up targets then attempting to drown them, and whipping themselves into whirlpools within bodies of water to smash foes against nearby hazards. They have an aversion to heat and evaporation.

Combination Elementals

The following Elementals are created through mixing the classical elements together during the summoning process. The fusion can lend itself to unstable results if the balance is incorrect, and the elemental will crumble back into their base elements, potentially flooding or blasting the workshop and the mage.

Though uncommon compared to their basic elemental peers, these combination types have been spotted in reality in the most ideal and undisturbed of conditions.

  • Dust (Air + Earth) - A swirling gust of dry, stinging wind, Dust elementals are used as abrasives who can sandblast surfaces clean. They arise naturally in windy, arid areas like heavily eroded, flat and rocky deserts.
  • Lava (Earth + Fire) - A rocky, burning hot mass of smoking, acrid stone and fire, Lava elementals burn and scorch everything they touch and roll across. They are most likely to be found amidst the magma in an active volcano.
  • Mist (Air + Water) - A ghostly looking and hazy being, Mist elementals are capable of controlling fog and cloud, often leaving a film of cleansing moisture on those who come into contact with them. They are most likely to be found hovering around moors and cloudy highlands.
  • Mud (Earth + Water) - Also called 'mud men', these ambulant masses of clay and silt plod and bubble, providing their being for creating things from clay, or very in-depth skin exfoliation. Mud elementals can be found in the bottoms of swamps and marshes, barming away quietly. They attack by grabbing and crushing targets within them.
  • Smoke (Air + Fire) - These elementals manifest as a pouring column of smoke, whose intensity cuts itself off abruptly, leaving wisps in its wake. They thrive in the heart of a bushfire in a forest, and do not arise from artificially created smoke such as the byproduct of burning coal, since it has too many impurities.
  • Steam (Fire + Water) - They are utilised to regulate airflow in steam powered systems, and provide sauna-like conditions. Steam elementals are most often encountered simmering above hot, tropical stretches of ocean, close to volcanoes.

Charged Elementals

The following Elementals are charged versions of the classical elements, with a 'positive' or 'negative' pluse applied to them during the summoning. They are considered highly dangerous and specialised, requiring supervision and meticulous preparation during the summoning process; Lest the caster find themselves and their surroundings blown apart in the elemental's presence, or flub the summoning and cause a catastrophic misfire.

These elementals existing naturally in reality or within the Weald are unheard of, and it's a terrifying prospect if they do.

  • Ash (-Fire) - The manifestation of impermeance, physically a moving heap of burning debris and cinders, Ash elementals sap life from things around them with their cinders. They do not have many practical or industrial applications, but they are highly effective at killing living matter. Even so, they are particularly vulnerable to gusts of wind, and do not stay out in the open for long.
  • Crystal (+Earth) - Known also as Mineral elementals, these are veins of brilliant gemstones and hardy ore with a breath of life. They are commonly used for harvesting crystals for magical or technological applications, and can refract and direct light through their bodies to attack foes with lasers. They can also exhibit magnetisation properties when the balance of ore exceeds the balance of crystal in their composition.
  • Grime (-Earth) - Also named Decay elementals, Grime elementals thrive in detritus, and their touch rots living matter, rusts metal, and wears away at anything else. Anything caught within these decomposing beings return to dust soon enough. Due to this quality, they make effective waste disposal mechanisms, but must be properly contained lest their nature destroys their containment.
  • Ice (-Water) - Appearing to be a crudely made, walking statue of ice, these elementals chill the ground they walk on, and are capable of walking across water by creating a bridge of floes. They're often purposed for refrigeration, and their cold nature lends themselves well to manipulating and shaping ice. They are highly averse to heat, and will attack anyone wielding an open flame.
  • Lightning (+Air) - Floating motes resembling ball lightning, these crackling and sparkling elementals are constant power sources, shocking and zapping everything near them. The logical application would be to provide an ongoing power source, but they do not appreciate being used this way for 'limitless energy'. They are better used as an intermediary or stabiliser for power sources, and can travel through power grids.
  • Radiance (+Fire) - Blinding balls of light, Radiance elementals shine bright and everlasting, dazzling those nearby with their brilliance. They are utilised as a power source for laser weapons, and provide UV and IR light for deep-cleaning things. Radiance elementals are easily capable of firing lasers of multiple spectrums at targets, and are countered by darkness.
  • Rainbow (+Water) - Taking the shape of a dazzling column of rainbow light formed of backlit water droplets, these elementals embody all of the colours an eye can see and beyond. They excel in providing their boundless hues and luminance for a handful of spells, refracting and modifying light, providing IR and UV, and lending colour to art. Even so, they are more likely to be summoned as instant disco balls by drunken casters - and they don't appreciate it.
  • Shadow (Positive and Negative) - An entirely unnatural Elemental, created by attempting to balance and bind the forces of positive and negative charge into one entity. Shadow Elementals serve as equalisers, cancellers, and negaters, bringing all around them into a baseline state. They are incapable of direct harm, but they are walking(?) nullifiers of magic and psionics. Left to their own devices, their inherently unstable nature causes them to fray and dissipate in a few days unless maintained by a mage.
  • Vacuum (-Air) - Also called Space elementals, Vacuum elementals are swirling vortexes, embodying the absence of breathable air and pressure. They choke the life from and decompress everything within their forms. Oddly enough - Vacuum elementals make surprisingly good air filters, and can provide a barrier between breathable air and the vacuum of space.

Familiars

Familiars act as go-betweens, allowing users to bargain with an unseen master who lends their power to them. In return, the user may be assigned tasks on behalf of the Familiar's master, such as caring for the Familiar as they would a person, making personal sacrifices, or undertaking tasks. Some demands may seem odd or contradictory and a Familiar will not divulge their master's intentions, but they ultimately further a cosmic agenda unseen to the user. Even with vague outcomes or little inconveniences, the reward for the user is more power.

Familiars take the shape of domestic animals, local wild critters, or objects such as communicators or idols so as not to arouse suspicion. The relationship between a Familiar and their users can range from staying in house and acting as an intelligent house pet for a lone practitioner, to waiting for on a shelf for an unlucky buyer, to living out in the woods and lending or thrusting fractions of their master's power to passers by - roping them into doing their bidding.

Familiars who are comfortable around their users, or sufficiently roused to anger will embrace aspects of their true forms, which can often be distressing or unreal in full.

Ghosts

The restless souls of the dead with unfinished business in the world of the living, Ghosts resemble a person at in the moments of their demise. They are able to evoke a frightening appearance to scare people away, move through solid objects, perform telekinesis on nearby objects and furniture to throw them around the room8), and haunt their surroundings with a sense of unease and dread.

Not all ghosts are actively hostile and driven by spite, and many are indifferent to the the presence of the living, unconsciously affecting their surroundings. Some don't even realise they are dead, while others revel in it. In addition, they are not beholden to the Weald like other Weirds, and are instead bound to the location of their death and nearby surroundings or a place of significance to them - often repeating the actions and motions they performed in life when observed.

Putting a ghost to rest may involve any number of steps, ranging from fulfilling a task they failed to do, passing on a message, returning something that belonged to them, or getting vengeance on their killers. Hostile means of dealing with a ghost have a better chance of working if it mimics how they died, or if it ties into their activities in life. Otherwise, energy weapons generally prove most effective as bullets pass right through them. A ghost's spirit passes into the afterlife when put to rest, destroyed, or exorcised.

Imps

Imps serve as messengers or emissaries on behalf of powerful Weirds, or are independent agents looking for people to tempt, harass, or roll with for their own amusement. They are around two to four feet tall, with exaggerated proportions in the hips or shoulders, technicolour bodies with strange patterns and texture, prehensile hair, elongated arms, claw-like fingernails, no visible primary sexual organs9), and wicked grins which speak volumes of their devious minds and impulsive attitudes.

They spend time studying their potential victims to figure out what makes them tick, so as to use their bonds, goals, and flaws against them. It isn't uncommon for two different Imps to compete against each other if they find the same victim, eventually ignoring the target and becoming fixated on one-upping each other. However, small groups of of 'siblings' buck the trend, and will work together to toy with a victim.

When confronted or revealed, Imps often continue heckling their target, using illusion and misdirection to frustrate direct fights. However, it is possible for the target and an Imp to come to an arrangement should the Imp find itself outclassed, or for the Imp to decide its more fun to assist the target if they find them amusing by themselves.

Summoned Imps

Many spellcasters summon Imps as assistants and servants, and they can act as Familiars; imparting knowledge and lending power to the caster from beyond. This requires negotiation with the imp to make a contract. Generally, the caster uses something the imp considers valuable, and uses it as payment in return for the outsider's services. The fiery personalities of these imps are tempered out by their continued experiences with mortals, curiosity, and prospect of easy money and long-term havoc.

Imps paid and treated well by their summoner will follow their orders to the best of their abilities, while shortchanged imps will look for loopholes and other technicalities to deliver the task nominally, or sabotage it outright.

Perfect Strangers

Looking perfectly human, if well dressed and kept, except for everything above the shoulders which stubbornly remain in shade, even when physics demands it be revealed in light, only the dim glow of what appear to be two eyes where the head should be shine through. They rarely talk except when required and only heard by one person at a time, suggesting a telepathic ability, or limitation. They are generally polite, competent, and will provide helpful advice and comfort for those in need. Their movements are generally slow and measured.

Often seen around areas with heavy magic use, Strangers will generally find jobs where their heads can be constantly in shadow so as not to startle normal citizens, while being strangely people orientated. They are often found working enclosed fast food stands, as barbers, or as research assistants to particularly powerful magic users.

Phasma

In a broad sense, Phasma are considered Weirds. Extensive information and the danger they pose are considered a category unto themselves. See more on them in the relevant article, or for specific Phasma see Known Phasma.

In a sense, the Witchspace created by a Phasma is an offshoot of the Weald. Many other Weirds cannot tell Phasma apart from Elder or Master Weirds.

Spectral Sighthound

A Spectral Sighthound is a creature frequently summoned and bound by magicians to provide security and companionship for their domains. They are named for their resemblance and similar behaviours to sighthounds, such as greyhounds, whippets, borzois, wolfhounds, and similar long dogs. The similarity ends there, as Spectral Sighthounds are visible as a furry white outline of a dog with a pair of glowing white eyes, and a much more expressive face than a regular dog.

Sighthounds are incapable of speech, but they understand their summoner, and other hounds. A sighthound attacks with its mouth, biting and restraining the target, and using their running speed to chase them down. Abused or neglected sighthounds will turn on their masters before returning to the Weald, and do not forget what was done to them.

Spectral Sighthounds are said to be ruled and governed by a Master Weird known as OTTO. OTTO is analogous to a deity figure amongst the Spectral Sighthounds, but little else is known about them, aside from being a compassionate and loving being - if the behaviour of his subjects is anything to go by.

2)
There are many instances of specific Weird Things and other related phenomena reported amongst Aliens. Xenocryptids are a rapidly growing subject.
3)
Or best of cases, depending on how you look at it.
4)
Also called the un-dead, zombies, walkers, slackjaws, rotters, and many other names.
5)
Get your local zombie shots up to date, folks!
6)
Don't forget to double tap.
7)
Such as a fire extinguisher against a fire elemental. It'll work on the small ones, but bigger elementals will need a fire truck or a sudden dunking!
8)
Ghosts who specialise in this are called Poltergeists.
9)
They usually appear masculine, feminine, or somewhere in between.