Monsters and assorted weird things
A corporeal ghost, the Wiederganger can be encountered anywhere in the world. They died trying to reach something and cannot rest before they do so. They resemble decaying bodies, that shuffle slowly towards whatever they are returning to: it can be a site or a person they’re trying to reach so they can move on. They reek of death and frighten all animals. Unlike the more aggressive undead, Wiederganger aren’t generally dangerous unless you try to stop them, but sometimes the Wiederganger wants to return to carry out vengeance on someone they perceive being responsible for their death. While they are slow, they tend to be extremely strong.
Irrbloss appear in marshlands and swamps as balls of glowing light, that upon closer examination are glowing grimacing faces , trying to hypnotize passersby into following them. According to some researchers, the Irrbloss might be especially common in swamps and marshlands that have been used as gravesites. Sometimes they guard hidden treasures, which is frequently indicated by a clear blue flame arising from the place where the treasure is buried.
Nattravn is the souls of evil men that linger on after their death and burial. They tend to appear in groups, taking the shape of a murder of crows. They normally are encountered near old churches and cemeteries. Mostly harmless to the living, the appearance of nattravn usually heralds the arrival of the Kyrkogrim, who they fear.
The Kyrkogrim is a relic of the God Forgotten worship: animals sacrified and entombed into church walls. They can take the form of a monstrous grey-skinned humanoid with glowing eyes and inhumanly long arms. They only appear at night which is why burials on ancient cemeteries only take place during the day. Kyrkogrim aren’t evil per se, but jealous and protective of their churchyards and churches. The Nattravn fear the Kyrkogrim.
The Näcken or the Neck are solitary spirits of streams and water that appear in a human form with a pleasant outlook and elegant clothes alongside rivers and streams. They try to entice people to go into the water so they can attack. They drown their victims and eat them. Sometimes, the Näcken play music on fiddles as part of their masquerading act and some bards know that with the correct sacrifice (usually a few drops of blood, a black animal of any kind, a bottle of strong alcoholic drink and some tobacco), the Näcken can be persuaded into teaching the secrets of their otherworldly music.
Moss people are typical in the Hercynerwald and the wildernesses of the Danubian Empire. They appear as four foot high dwarven-shaped creatures that are entirely made of twigs, moss and leaves. They waylay travellers and drag them off to unknown fates.
The Aufhocker is one of the most feared creatures of the Danubian Empire, though luckily, it is also extremely rare. It appears as a six-foot tall shape covered in spiny bristles, eight eyes, frog-like legs and a wide mouth that holds several rows of teeth. The Aufhocker gets its name from its method of attack, it pounces on their victims, holds them down with its body while it devours them live.
Grindylows are a lesser cousin of the Näcken, but just as dangerous. While the Näcken tries to get people to get into the water with them, the Grindylow lurks below the surfaces and grabs hold of anyone passing near. They are fast and strong, despite being extremely thin and looking like famine victims. They have small eyes sunk deep into their heads and small mouths that can extend far below their chest so they can swallow smaller victims whole.
The Marras are the wandering ghosts that tend to appear near settlement during the late autumn. They are incorporeal wispy forms that sometimes cohere enough to resemble people. They moan as they go. While extremely discomforting, they aren’t usually dangerous unless you wander into a larger crowd of them. After the first snowfall, they disappear.
Krattis are laughing ghosts that haunt abandoned buildings and ruins. Their laughter, giggling and tittering never stops and it can drive even the strongest adventurer insane over time. They seem to have no physical shape beyond appearing as wisps of smoke. However, they always appear in places where there’s hidden treasures and once this treasure is found, they disappear.
Draugr are among the most feared undead creatures in the north. They appear as emaciated and mummified human forms, with gleaming eyes and bluish skin. The Norsemen of Hålogaland are more familiar with them than anyone else, and they fear them greatly, because even a single draug is stronger than any living human. There’s no real explanation for their existence or purpose, but they often appear near ancient burial mounds. Because their name itself is a dirty word that’s not spoken in polite company, they are frequently referred to as the Jealous Dead, because it seems they hate everything that lives.
Haugbui are closely related to the Draugr, but never leave their barrows, unlike the draugr. They appear as extremely bloated corpses and seem to have a never ending hunger for flesh. A single haugbui can eat a horse in a single night. The Draugr are silent as they wander, but Haugbui are extremely noisy. Sometimes their growls and shouts and terrible sounds of eating someone can be heard from far off.