Wednesday, 22 February 2017

A Timeline of the Zak Wars

This is my attempt to put together a timeline of the case against Zak Smith/Sabbath. I tried to do so, where possible, using only verifiable links that are publicly available for anyone to access.

In situations where harassment is alleged, its very difficult to draw the line between giving exact information and opening people up to potential anonymous abuse. If I don’t give names and links for a lot of these things the whole thing becomes an exercise in redaction. If I name a lot of names then I could easily be accused of ‘directing harassment’ towards those parties.

I’ve tried to use only links that are still publicly available and to name individuals only when necessary to precisely describe what happened in an incident.

PLEASE. Do not contact any of the people in the links below in any kind of negative or harassing way. It would be better not to contact them at all. No-one in these circles is open to persuasion and nothing will be gained. Just read what they wrote.

it should be noted (as a quick google of my name will confirm) that I am financially (through Maze of the Blue Medusa) and socially connected to Zak, so you should read with that in mind.

My overview of the chronology is at the bottom.

(Also, apologies to anyone sane from outside the culture that has to read through this.)


February 2010 – The Canon Puncture Incident

The hosts of the Canon Puncture Podcast talk about Zaks game with his group. They say some things that Zak regards as condescending towards the girls in the group, Zak requests an apology and the hosts apologise. This gets spoken about on story-games.com and Zak comes in to describe the situation. You can read that thread here;



February 11th 2011 – The Hyung Tae Kim Incident

Anna Kreider makes an argument against the art of Hyung Tae Kim, you can read it in full here;


Zak disagrees and the two of them get into it. Zak calls her a prude. Later, on March 10th 2015, Kreider posts her own chronology of her interactions with Zak, you can find it below.


December 2011 – The Maxim Article

The US magazine Maxim carries an article about Zak and his group. You can read the article itself here;


An argument breaks out over representation. Much of this happens on G+ and has subsequently been deleted. You can read a transcript of that (by Zak) here;


This was the best evidence I could find of the origins of an important disagreement that, like everything in this chronology, piles on into the next thing. If anyone has any publicly available links describing or showing what happened then let me know.


February 29th 2012 – Zak Encounters Somethingawful

Zak says that the enmity between him and the Somethingawful forum dates from this contact. In his own words;

The backstory on this is an enmity with Something Awful beginning with me attempting to talk to them about their extreme statements here, years after noticing they took Mandy to task for having extension cords on her wish list”

Link to his post is here;



April 2012 – The Carcosa Thread on Story-Games.com

Zak starts a thread about the 2nd Edition of Geoffery McKinneys Carcosa book. An argument breaks out about Anna Krieder, you can read the thread here;


Zak is banned from story-games after this thread.


September 27th 2012 – The Math Skills Fight on Somethingawful

Zak argues with the posters on the somethingawful forum about dice notation. During this, he is accused of misogyny in regards to one of his players. You can read about that here;


This adds to the enmity between Zak and Somethingawful which he has said is the engine behind the Tom Hatfield Failforward article in July 2014.


August 2013 – The Numenera Succubus Incident.

Game Writer Monte Cook  releases his game Numenera. This game includes rules for a Science Fiction Succubus. This causes a massive scandal and argument (google “Numenera Succubus”) especially on RPG.NET;


Links are all over this post by Zak;


The post also includes Shanna Germain, Cooks partner and co-creator talking about her reaction to the arguments made against her and the game.


December 16th 2013 – The James Desborough Rape Threat Accusation

About 10 months prior to this Ben Lehman publicly accused James Desborough, RPG writer, of being "Someone who threatens their critics with rape". Desborough has been involved in culture-war arguments with this faction for some time. Several people +1 this post.

John Stavropoulus an RPG writer not aligned with Desborough’s faction or opinions, checks up on these claims and finds no evidence to back them up.

Zak in his own words; “The short of Jon's research is this accusation turned out to be bullshit even though 80some people +1ed it and it got shared all over the RPG internet.

Now Jon didn't name names, because he "doesn't want a witchhunt". Which is respectable. But I'm not Jon and I do think the RPG community as a whole deserves an apology from every single one of these people for confusing and distorting a very real and very serious issue of real violence that actually affects peoples' lives.”

He names names. Some people retract their +1’s, others do not. I’m not going to provide a link to that post but it is still up.

Zaks naming of names on this issue is used as evidence of harassment from this point on, in particular as evidence of him having a ‘list of enemies’.


December 17th 2013 – Paul Ettin Recommends plussing the Rape Threat Post

In response to the above incident, Paul Ettin, RPG.NET moderator recommends +1’ing the accusation against Desborough of making rape threats;



July 3rd 2014 – D&D 5e Released

The new edition of D&D comes out and it is revealed that Zak and the RPGPundit are counted as consultants. This marks the beginning of Consultancygate.


July 4th 2014 – Paul Ettin Admits Trolling

This is from a chat log you can read here;


In lines 1174 10 1178 he admits that he does not think Desborough made rape threats but plussed the accusation anyway.


July 7th 2014 – My Defence of Zak

As the abuse of Zak intensifies I write this post about him in defence;

July 7th 2014 – The Pigfucker Post

A few hours after I post my defence of Zak, I wake up to find this article in which he lays out his own (by my standards, highly aggressive) policy on internet arguments, and also accuses someone of (metaphorically) fucking a pig;


July 9th 2014 – The “The Internet is Screaming” Post

Zak defends himself from accusations again;


The person quoted in this post subsequently retracts that statement.


July 2014 – The David Hill Death Threats

I think it’s about this time that David Hill, game designer, claims that he has received death threats, including the names of his children’s teachers and phone calls to his address. These claims go on to become a major part of the case against Zak.

The only publicly available link I could find in which David Hill repeats them is here in post 49 of this forum thread;




July 19th 2014 – The Scrap Princess Defence

Scrap Princess, who is trans and who is a co-creator with me of numerous projects, makes a public statement about the accusations here;


(Which is blissfully short.)


July 21st 2014 – Fred Hicks Weighs In


Fred Hicks of Evil Hat productions makes a public G+ post in which he seems to support the allegations and apologises for not doing so earlier;



July 26th  2014 – The ‘Outing’ Incident

This is where Mandy, Zaks girlfriend talks about some of the trolls attacking her and Zak and uses a variety of openly available aliases for someone who turned out to be trans. You can read the post here;


Going forward, this incident forms one of the core pieces of evidence against Zak in future arguments. If you read someone saying that he outs trans people as a form of retaliation or revenge it is probably referring to this incident.

Zak in his own words;

The person was not revealed to be trans until Wordmercenary/Tom Hatfield said she was. It was not public knowledge so how could Mandy or I have known?”


July 31st 2014 – The Failforward Article

This article is where the real bomb goes off. From this point on the situation massively intensifies. The article is shared by a very large range of people and is cited in nearly every major attack on Zak from this point on.


You can read the clearest and most detailed debunking here;

https://www.seebs.net/log/articles/791/consultancygate-an-overview
Archive; https://archive.is/pYOA8


July 31st 2014 – The First Dongion Accusation

This tumblr reblog of the failforward article is the earliest I have been able to find that links the Dongion blog to Zak. It also links the Dongion to the Outing Incident.

https://donotlink.it/Wp95




August 2014 – “Get at him” Screencap

In August of 2014, in response to the spread of the Failforward article, Zak posts this. It is used in many subsequent attacks on him as evidence of his harassment campaign;




From the image; “hit him up? Correct him? Eat him?”

Zak – “get on twitter. tweet at him, ask questions, give links.
I have a girlfriend in the hospital and 111 trolls to deal with please just either help or don’t but pls no silly nerd questions.”

Complete public text of the post (provided by Zak) here;


August 2014 – “Destroy” Screencap

A few days later, in response to another article, Zak says this;




I remember seeing this go up and thinking that it was the stupidest shit I’d ever seen him do. I should have said something right away at the time.

The Destroy screencap forms a major part of the evidence against Zak and is brought up in most subsequent attacks on him.

It should be noted that the link is aimed at a Metafilter thread and that you can go and look at this thread here, if you want to see if it was, in fact, destroyed:


Here (from Zak) is the full text of the post;



August 2014 – Zaks Response To The Claims So Far


In his own words; “it debunks, with evidence, every single claim made up until that point in every single venue”



Inexact Date but probably Jan 2015 – The Ettin Dongion Accusation

Ettin, the rpg.net mod, accuses Zak of running what he calls a harassment blog, the Dongion, which you can find on his tumblr;


A link to the blog is here;



January 1st 2015 – Mandys Chainmail Bikini Feminist Defence

Mandy makes a long post on her tumblr giving screencaps of various kinds of abuse she has received and talks in detail about the alleged outing of a trans person. You can read it here;



March 10th 2015 – Anna Krieder Posts Her History With Zak

Anna Krieder makes this post;


Which is a chronology of her interactions with Zak from her perspective, so now you have a chronology in your chronology. She locates the opening of hostilities to April 2012, not February 2011 as I have above in the Hyung Tae Kim Incident.

Zak responds to this article in this post from August 2016;



March 13th 2015 – The Sampat Mob Assault Accusation

Elizabeth Sampat accuses Zak of riling up a “mob to the point that I was assaulted in front of witnesses.”

In the link you can see one of the accused assaulters arguing with Sampat;


This is Karolyn Gehrig, disabled activist https://twitter.com/karolynprg

The other accused member of the mob was Charlotte Stokely. Adult film actress https://twitter.com/char_stokely


August 2015 – Red and Pleasant Land Wins At The Ennies

Zaks book Red and Pleasant Land wins multiple awards at the Ennies. Stacy Dellorfano of Contessa gives a speech to accept the award in his absence and a few people walk out in protest.


August 1st Zak documents the twitter response to his win here;


August 4th, Kiel Chenier talks about that incident and about the abuse he got for supporting Zak here;



October 20th 2015 – Zak Mocks David Hills Views on Star Wars

In this post, Zak persistently mocks and argues against David Hills views on the Star Wars frachise. This has been described (in the comments below) as "a blatant attack on David Hill, using screenshots of social media accounts that Hill has said he blocked Zak from."

http://archive.is/20151021233535/dndwithpornstars.blogspot.de/2015/10/the-fetid-shit-stink-of-right-wing.html?zx=ab04705888fd97b7


August 26th 2016 – Zak Calls His Critics Psychotics

Also knuckle-draggers, edition-warriors and sociopaths. This is claimed to be an act of harassment by some (see the comments to this post). You can read it here;

http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/3-dozen-psychotics-agree-go-buy-vornheim.html


July 26th 2016 – The Magpie Games Incident

Mark Diaz Truman, one of the heads of Magpie Games, a storygames publisher, writes an article about aspects of his gaming circles that trouble him. You can read it here;


He is accused of defending Zak and therefore aiding a harasser. All the usual people arrive to do all the usual things.

Peoples responses and attitudes to this article become another form of contention which is carried forwards into future arguments.


July 28th 2016 – The Invisible James Raggi Accusations

In this public thread by Mark Diaz Truman;


Someone accuses James Raggi, one of Zak’s publishers, of.. something? Then deletes the accusation. You can still see the replies to the ghost accusation but not the thing itself.



July 28th 2016 – Zak Talks About Mental Illness in the RPG Community

In this post Zak, without mentioning anyone specific, talks about how to talk to mentally ill people;

http://dndwithpornstars.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/mental-illness-in-rpg-community.html

This has been descrbed, (in the comments below) as "an accusation that his critics fabricate and distort facts due to being mentally ill. I would argue this is a clear attack, and in the context of the previous posts can be understood as continued harrasment "


February 17th 2017 - The We Eat Blood Incident

White Wolf announce that they have produced an interactive text game with Zak. Their announcement is here;


Outrage begins immediately. Numerous threads are started, the primary ones on RPG.NET (I was banned from one of these). The main charges against Zak are;

·        That he is a known harasser of transwomen, gays, minorities etc.
·        That he used a false name on Reddit, impersonating Shannon Applecline, the owner of RPG.NET.
·        That he named one of the characters in the game, Avery, after one of his enemies.

The SAppelcline Situation


I remembered seeing the SAppelcline identity on Reddit multiple times, very often after a thread was pointed out by Zak on G+. I was bothered enough by this that I contacted Zak directly about it.

He gave me a response with enough detail to persuade me that it was likely true. But;

·        Even if true, it still indicates questionable behaviour. Zak knew the person using the identity, treated it as a joke and did nothing to prevent them.
·        It’s utterly unverifiable to any neutral observer.

The Avery Situation


Zaks argument is that;

·        This name was chosen with no particular reference to anyone real.
·        The only opponent of his it could be named after is Avery Alder, the creator of Monsterhearts and they had no significant contact until the Magpie Games Incident, July 2016. He says the script for the game was finished and locked before that point.
·        He regards the Avery character as a hero in the game, someone witty and funny and cool who saves your life, it would make no sense for him to name her after an enemy.
·        The Avery character is directly based on Zaks (trans) friend Bailey Jay, with her approval.


February 19th 2017 – Stacey Dellorfano Responds

Stacy Dellorfano, who runs the feminist Contessa event, responds to the accusations against Zak and describes the various different kinds of harassment and abuse she has received, sometimes from the same people who are opposed to Zak, whilst trying to make Contessa a thing;



February 21st 2017 – Sarah Horrocks Responds

The co-creator of the We Eat Blood game, Sarah Horrocks, is trans. You can read her tumblr response to the accusations here;


Which include, interestingly, an anonymous commenter, without irony, explaining to a trans woman what transphobia is and that she doesn’t really understand how it works.


February 22nd White Wolf’s Response

White Wolf responds to the accusations here;




My Overview


What follows is my opinion only.

It looks like we're looking at four major acts or periods in the history so far.


Act One. The Long Build Up/The Sex Wars

Feb 2010 to Dec 2013


This probably has roots in forum arguments in the past but it enters the public record in February 2010 in the Canon Puncture Incident and proceeds through to the Desborough Rape Threat Accusations of December 2013.

This period is characterised by the relatively long periods between each incident and the fact that opponents and arguments don't always carry over or fold into the next incident. Alienation and anger build up slowly, are sometimes diffused, but don't go away.

Most are triggered by arguments over sex and responses to Zaks gaming group (mainly women, mainly models).

·        Canon Puncture Incident - Zak defends his group from condescending comments.
·        Hyung Tae Kim Incident - Zak argues about the validity of sex in art.
·        The Maxim Article - Zak defends his group again, from accusations that their public profile is bad for gaming.
·        The Carcosa Thread - This starts off about sexual violence in the game in question.
·        The Math Skills Fight - Zak defends his player, is accused of misogyny.
·        The Numenera Succubus Incident - Again, triggered by the presence of sexual materials in the game.
·        The James Desborough Rape Threat Accusation - Desborough angers many of the same people with his arguments about the validity of rape in games, is then accused of making rape threats.


 The First Calm

Jan 2014 to July

(I should be clear that there are no periods of absolute calm or truce, G+ threads and twitter comments and forum threads run continually throughout the whole history, but most of these are private and low-level. The periods of calm described are relative.)


Act Two. The Summer of Hate

July 2014 to August 2014


As soon as it came out that Zak and Pundit were consultants on 5e, the attacks, accusations and counter-accusations come in thick and fast. This is a very short period of great intensity.


The Second Calm

Aug 2014 to Jan 2015 



Act Three. The Small Wars 

January 2015 to July 2016.


During this period we get mutual counter-accusations, the Ennies walkout and the Magpie Games Incident.

The Third Calm

Aug 2016 to Feb 2017


Act Four. We Eat Blood

Feb 2017.


Zak brings out a collaboration with White Wolf and all the old accusations are resurrected and combined with new ones.

..............................................

We can see major responses and spikes whenever Zak is found to have worked, or to be suspected of working with, a different gaming company or group or whenever his popularity spikes. Firstly in the long build up, many arguments come about from the 'Playing DnD With Porn Stars' Escapist Series, which grew in popularity as it went on.

Then directly after he works on 5e we get the Summer of Hate. Then the Ennies win. During the Magpie Games Incident Mark Diaz Truman has to publicly state that he is not going to work with Zak after people allege that a planned project with Zak is the reason for his post.


Then after Zak is linked to White Wolf, we get another eruption.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Review of the Leopard (issue Zero) by Sarah Horrocks

I didn’t want to recommend anything on this blog without knowing what it is, and reading something seemed like a much more worthy use of my exile, so I bought the Issue Zero of the Leopard by Sarah Horrocks.

(If you want to read her (likely final) opinion on ZakStorm 2017, and also see someone explain to her exactly what transphobia means, here you go.

If we imagine the emblematic Sarah Horrocks tumblr image; a fifteen year old eastern European girl wearing dishevelled clothes, staring straight into camera on something that might be a film set for a very arty horror film or an extremely grim fashion shoot, except the image seem to have been ripped from a 1980’s VHS tape, there are fragmentary bloodstains on the girls clothes, there is a line of text along the bottom which might be subtitling, except its unattributed and whatever it says could be from a Cormac McCarthy book you haven't read, a downer section of the book of revelations or a particularly grim philosopher you faked reading in school, its declamatory, if it’s part of a conversation it seems like there's nothing the other person could say to respond to it.

Well this comic is a bit like that. It's dark and alienated and enthralled with the horror of it's own passions. So, pretty much like Sarah Horrocks if you've ever listened to her podcast. It's somewhat gnomic and by no means shy of pulling an Ancient Mariner and grabbing the reader by the hand and holding them with its glittering eye to unload its doom-laden tale. With, in my case, rather varied effect. But for someone more willing to enter into its particular world, or perhaps with each issue read in a grand sweep so that the volume of events carries the reader with it whether they would wish it or not, it might be preferable.

Don't read it in a library, like I tried to.

Even if you are not into Sarah's work, if you are a serious comics nerd then you might want to pick up an issue just to look at the craft. She is very good at a variety of things.


COLOUR

So, there are two sections to this with two different narrators or main figures. The first section has a really dominant and overpowering use of colour. Strong, near-primary, panel-dominant opposing or contrasting colours, not unlike Basil Wolvertons Spacehawk.

(To be clear, this is the only way in which this is like Spacehawk. In every other sense they are n.o.t.h.i.n.g alike.)

The effect of this on mood is quite interesting, it means that for an angst-laden, body-alienated, Germanically-intense Sarah Horrocks comic, the opening section is quite lively, quite exciting. Fun is the wrong word, but the boldness and energy colour brings is there.

The colours pool in and around Horrocks people who are scratched together by her anguished line. Kind of like if a genius schizophrenic crow had learnt to make portraits of people by gouging lines into pale bark and was really, really resentful about its crow-life, but still pretty good at its job.

And we do see these people from a crow-vantage, as if a bird had become trapped in the room with them and was dashing about, not quite understanding what it sees.

And in the second half, all that goes away and colour fades and mutes into a counterpoint to the pencils which expand in the visual silence left behind to take over the theme.

This part is about a girl in a room and what seem to be smudges of colouration, more part of the artists intent than straight depiction, deepen and sharpen in redness and intensity over several pages until it seems like the girl and the room are covered in blood, which they pass through either uncomprehending or indifferent.

The only light is from flickering screens which are universally old-transmission blue even though one of them is showing the Streefighter Arcade game. It's Horrocks so even Dhalsim looks sad as fuck.

Then the lights fade and give way to blue and the final pages are a really glorious image of a storm enfolding this tiny island of pain which held the main character and then as we turn the page even that gets highlighted with white into some Boreal-Rorschach of dooooooooom.



TIME AND EMOTION

In the first section memories collapse into these shattered rectangular rivers of carefully-broken glass, and the colour effects mix with this, producing odd intensifications, signalling the readers place in time, shifting the emphasis of memory to produce a horrific effect.

The comic as a whole (so far, based on this one issue) is more a field for a great conflict of passions rather than the plot business of getting people in and out of places.

I really, really like her control of panel, (I hate most mainstream lazy-ass pseudo-movie time control), and she uses a wiiiide variety of time and place shifts controlled subtly with colour, position, text and mood. This is much more formally obvious in the first section but she is still using relatively subtle time/place/emotion shifts in the more-centred second part.

Quick example, page 10;

Top third has one panel with an in-panel time/emotion shift shown with a bisected colour front and offset speech balloon.

Narrow cross-page mid range has a callback to a thematic figure with negative image crowheads intensifying mood and probably being symbolic somehow. Colour range of the negative image leads on from the second part of the upper panel.

Bottom third has a three-panel sepia psuedo-photographic portrait triptych indicating a narration over recalled memory with a speech balloon narrative continuation and emotional intensifier/ironic or dark commentary on those memories at each end...

.....so far, so almost normal for this third, but wait...

AND it has a cutout section with the colouration matching the opening half of the first panel from the top, this has some kind of hag-figure, who is utterly unexplained. She is broken up into vertical sub-panels (this is the only time white intra-panel borders are used on this page, the rest are black or absent) as if she was somehow trapped in a sequence of her own time, also she looks like she is behind prison bars, literally held in a cage at the bottom of a page of darkly ironised memories.

Most pages show a careful intermixing of time and emotion with a similar level of fluidly-displayed skill.


LINES

You would need someone with a better eye for art than me I think to talk about her pencils.  The crow-scratch metaphor doesn't really hold past an initial glance. By the time we get to the end the lines feel more like brush-strokes (It's possible they *are* brush strokes, I don't have enough familiarity with art to tell for sure.)

Just get Zak to talk about the lines.

I asked, he said; "She has two kinds of lines: one magnificently Schieleian, one more scabby and experimental but interestingly unpredictable."

The incomparable and brilliant Matthew Adams had this to say; 

"her linework, though very fluid and looking effortless, shows great design (so does her colour) and thoughtfullness, like every line is needed, not wasteful. it is very caligraphic, and you can see the influence of good manga art. it doesn't have the intense obsesiveness of some of zaks work, like you can sorta see zak comes from the fine art/painting field and sarah comes from the comics/manga field (of course this isn't obvious in all their art, it’s a generalisation and you can see the comics influence in zak's work and fine art influence in sarah's).


SO


This comic is about two years old, I have noooooo idea where she has gone with this series since, but if you want to watch something alienating and horrific unfold slowly, with a high level of narrative skill, then here you go.

Click Me



Monday, 20 February 2017

Well, that did not take long...



It was asked for in the comments so here's the link (I think, I can't be certain as I can't go there any more) https://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?798530-Vampire-the-Masquerade-Prelude-We-eat-blood-and-all-our-friends-are-dead/

EDIT: much worse than me being exiled from the Purple City is this-


Since it's unlikely that this is going to get retweeted by Will Wheaton, if you want to buy at Sarah's comics you can click on the image below or on this link https://gumroad.com/mercurialblonde#


They are wierd and dark, but you are reading this blog so probably you are into that.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Enemies of God and King

(Thanks to everyone who contributed to the 'Good Monsters' post two weeks ago.)


Despite the Eclipsed Kingdom being the safest, most eminent, most holy and well-protected land in any reality, there are still those creatures and beings which, either from perverted nature or deliberate choice, act wilfully against the laws of both God and King.

Though, as a requirement of analysis, we must break down different castes and clans of heretic, and though exact knowledge of their plans and behaviours may be useful to the agents of the Holy Inquisition, we should never forget that the defining fact of heresy, is that it is heresy. There are no boundaries to sin and all heresies are ultimately One.


Vere Agentia


The Vere Agentia are Agents of the Spring Court, the so-called ‘Seeds of Spring’ or ‘Green Royalists’. The order of the Inquisition tasked with their destruction is the Ordo Vere.

When it was discovered that the rulers of the Spring Court were forming secret factions of dreaming Souls in preparation for an Unconscious  Revolution, Saint Scaedwian judged the Royal House of spring as traitors in the Black Assizes and they were dragged to their eternal imprisonment

Thus followed the Green Winter and the Spring Crusade. Though this was swiftly won, some hardliners escaped to hide in the depths of the forests, mountains, moorlands and swamps. Some are even said to have retreated to the oasies of the Iron Sands.

Some of the Vere Agentia can temporarily restrain their verdant nature and hide amongst the common autumn or winter plants. Though continual suppression has driven them deep underground they now form a dispersed network of terror cells, striking random targets before disappearing back into the forests and moors. Their aim is nothing less than the restoration of the Spring Court.


Crypto Ents


These fiendish trees simulate an Autumnal sleep before breaking out in verdant leaves when no-one is around. The congregate in secret valleys or hide in sinkholes to plan and plot. If you are forced to arrest one, be extremely circumspect, they are extremely strong and very difficult to burn.


Deep Cover Dryads





These Dryads can remain undercover as Autumn Court or even Winter Court loyalists for years without giving away their deception. They collect information and disperse it to other members of the Vere Agentia, aiding them in avoiding capture.


Seed Dryads


These literal 'sleeper agents' have also proven difficult to unearth (THIS IS NOT A PUN). These Dryads choose to remain in their seed form. When the coast is clear, they crack open their seed pod to take a look around.

They are no larger than the smallest shoot. Still attached to their seed shell, they move around and, if detection threatens, they retreat inside the seed. In this guise they can ride around inside the pocket of a Knight and listen to what they say.

The most dangerous and expert seed Dryads are dandelion and sycamore, they are both capable of gliding on the wind and can find their way anywhere, and escape just as easily.

The Beetle Knights were formed specifically as counter-espionage units to deal with the threat of Seed Dryads and other traitors of the Small Realms.


Satyrs and Fauns


These apparently-friendly rapists lure churls or innocent maidens into the forest with their piping and dances before brutally assaulting them. Kill on sight.


Woodwose


Homeless and ignorant forest churls with green beards who clothe themselves in ragged plant matter and burlap sacks. Also rapists. Dangerous when they gather in numbers and should be regularly hunted by any local knights. The church does not classify Woodwose as either human or intelligent and there is a permanent bounty of 5gp for each Woodwose beard (so long as the face is still attached). The Chivalry may make whatever use of them they wish so long as they carry out regular culls and some knights carry their collection of flensed beards tied to their rear pommel with the flayed faces hanging down their horses flanks.


Summer Elementals


The only reports of Summer Elementals are fragmented. The colour blue is mentioned regularly, though not the blue of the Eclipsed Kingdoms but another colour much closer to white. Some stories speak of a terrifying yellow light and a godless sky and of the overwhelming noise of Avis Infernalis.

They are rumoured to have been summoned or created as a form of terror weapon against the Winter Court and even the most potent members of that court fear the power of these beings to reduce their frozen hearts to puddles in their chests.


Haereticorum Ineptias


The Haereticorum Ineptias are ‘Nonsense’ beings or Unreasoning Heretics. The order tasked with their discovery and destruction is the Ordo Ineptias, made up of perhaps the subtlest and most intellectually brilliant of the Holy INquisition, though sadly also the one with the highest rates of terminal madness.

One of the greatest dangers to the Eclipsed Kingdom is the lack of seriousness and piety with which the peasant classes go about their duties. Despite very strong prohibition by the church and repeated warnings of sinful corruption, the belief in ‘Silly Creatures’ or ‘Fool Beasts’ continues in the labouring classes and, perhaps, even deepens in intensity.

It seems that no matter how strongly the church abjures the Haereticorum Ineptias, the ignorant and simple cling ever more deeply to their childish, inane, yet dangerous myths.

The dangers of the Haereticorum Ineptias are;

·        Belief in these creatures means the peasant class my hesitate in reporting the presence of clearly heretical beings when encountered, and may in fact assist them.
·        Many are much more dangerous heretical creatures than they seem, even sometimes Avis Infernalis.
·        They are destructive to trust in decent authority.
·        They do not respect the right of property.
·        They are corrosive to the fear of God which forms the basis of faith.
·        They consistently subvert the sound judgement of the courts.
·        They are beyond any law.
·        They are ridiculous and injurious to the dignity of the churches Holy Inquisition.
·        They seek to have the World Turned Upside Down.
·        They are unforgivably silly.


Baku

 
Baku the Dream Eater by Hyakumonogatari
These intelligent, shape changing, tool using magic elephants are extremely cunning, always in disguise as another kind of being and extremely potent in combat when revealed. They are Haeretica Majoris to the first extent and no Inquisitor or Knight should ever confront them alone.

The Baku are rare but ferocious supporters of heresy and are famed for offering aid to those whose aim is the betrayal of Gods law and the overturning of all social order. It is believed that several noted Haeretica Majoris have escaped the Lords judgement only through the aid of these creatures.

Their usual mode of deception is to change shape into giant hairy monsters of ridiculous pattern and hue, or into boisterous Woodwose or Hairy Men with strangely pigmented hair and skin. They can be easily given away by their vibrant colours, their ridiculous and inconsequential attitudes and by the fact that they have no visible means of economic support or place in the feudal hierarchy.

Common peasant names include “Hurly-Burlys”, “Wildys”, “Jumblies”, “Big Bad Boys”, “Bafflers” and “Grimblesnatches”.


Hollyphants


The small size of these golden-furred flying elephants (about 2 feet long) should in no way distract the Inquisitor from their very clear danger. Despite their size they are certainly Haeretica Majoris with a wide selection of immunities and magical powers. Thank Azathoth they are unable to change shape.

Like the Baku, these creatures should be confronted only by a fully-prepared detachment of His Majesties Holy Inquisition.

Common names among the Churl class are “Bibbly Bobs”, “Little-Man-There’s”, “Brave Baron Bees”, and “Little Bad Boys”.


Foo Creatures


These beings can come in a form similar to dogs or, much more dangerously, those alike to lions. In either case they have much larger, blunter heads than usual, with wide-set googly eyes and ridiculously large smiling mouths with oversized fangs. Their hind legs are canine and the forelegs leonine. They have bush-tipped tails. They come in a wide range of colours, none natural.

Thanks be to Azathoth these creatures cannot fly or change shape, neither do they have the wide range of magical abilities of the Baku or Hollyphant. Nevertheless, they are still dangerous opponents, capable of disappearing from view and travelling by unknown means. Both versions are much stronger and more intelligent than their material counterparts.

These creatures can often be found protecting criminals, escapees, heretics or places of heresy. Thankfully they are quite rare.

Peasant names include; “Jim Dogs”, “Foolish Hounds”, “Hairy Hairy Howling Lads”, “Tommy Big-Teeth” and “Fools Pity”.


Blue Dogs and Yellow Bears


Though Lycanthropy is almost always considered a Divine Blessing, bringing the one transformed a little closer to the Lord, there are a few, lesser spoken-of, forms of that condition which can have a perverse and disordering effect on the spirit.

Most will be familiar with the Noble or Lordly forms of Lycanthropy, those of Raven*, Fox and Tiger, and with the Churlish or Common forms, those of Rat, Bat, Boar and Wolf, but there are, in fact, heretical forms of this condition.

Those transformed into Were-Bears will, during their Change, turn a golden yellow and develop an obsession with honey and sloth. Though these creatures are renowned for their Fellowship and Easy Manners, no-one should be in any doubt that their Liberal Habits and Lax Spirit form a basis for Sin and make an open door for Heresy. They are often found making friends with, or permitting the society of, Heretical creatures and characters and their Sad Addiction to the substance called Honey means they can be easily compelled to unwise, and even treasonous action by its presence.

Those transformed into Were-Dogs will, during their Change, turn a pale and ridiculous blue colour and adopt a manner both liberal and delirious. These Blue Dogs are known to have smiling faces, long limbs, fur like hairy rugs or rough clouds, lolling tongues, galumphing strides and daft pants. Although they are less physically dangerous than the Yellow Bears, they are also less slothful and more given to impudent heresy and disorganised crime. They are not wise dogs.

Were-Bears are referred to amongst the Peasant classes as “Eating Mister Mustard”, “going to see”, or “knowing of”, some “Fat Lads” or as “Going Roly”. Were-Dogs are referred to as “Wearing Sky Trousers”, “Forgetting to Shave” and “Voting for a Bowl”.

(*The existence of these houses being the reason that Ravens, along with Crows, due to the Emir of Crows, are not classified as Avis Infernalis but as Feathered Bats.)


The Roly-Poly Bird

(The reader should be aware that this creature may or may not be Avis Infernalis and those subject to the Oath of Saint Vish should read no farther.)

From Les Enfants Terribles theatre company
The Roly-Poly Bird is a ridiculous blue birdlike creature with a luxuriant and oriental multi-coloured many-feathered tail, a bold crest and a long neck. Every other aspect of its description differs from incident to incident, leading some to suspect that it may be another creature in disguise (see ‘Couatl’ below).

The Roly Poly Bird has been named and noted as an accessory in numerous criminal and heretical acts, including, but not limited to, aiding in the escape of heretics and criminals from custody, aiding the targets of the Holy Inquisition and the Ordinis Carcere and persisting in Ridiculous and Provocative Acts.

It’s powers and capacities are unknown and it has evaded capture in every instance of contact. Treat with extreme caution.

The Roly Poly Bird is referred to by the Peasantry as “The Roly Poly Bird”.


The Jub-Jub Bird


(The reader should be aware that this creature is almost certainly Avis Infernalis and those subject to the Oath of Saint Vish should read no farther.)

Due to its extreme rareness, danger and lethality, almost nothing is known of the Jub-Jub Bird. It may not even truly be Haereticorum Ineptias, being Avis Infernalis. The only details recorded are that it prefers isolated areas, that it has a shrill voice and that it lives in perpetual passion.

Any Knight, Inquisitor or servant of the True God is required and requested to report any perceived contact with a being they believe to be the Jub-Jub Bird to His Majesties Holy Inquisition, unless it definitely is a bird, in which case it should be ignored.


The Opinicus


Though possibly Haeretici Ferrea, the ridiculous and contemptable nature of the Opinicus  classify it also as Haereticorum Ineptias since no creature of similar arrangement could reasonably exist except as a deliberate and Heretical affront to, and mockery of, the True God.

The Opinicus has a camels body and neck, a monkeys head and limbs and an eagles wings. These wings are not useful in flight but despite this the Opinicus can travel both invisibly and through the air. It has a fiendish yet asinine intelligence and plots continually to subvert Holy Law and the rule of the Sleeping King.
 
From the Monster Manual
The Opinicus is said to lair in the ruins of the Empire of Suleiman and may be allied with that exiled Tyrant or may be a creature of his Sorcerous Wife. It is defended by various magics, including the ability to ejaculate a poisonous and nacreous yellow light from its eyes.

This creature is referred to by the Bedouin as “The Caliph of Paupers”, “The Poets Dog”, “Sunken Ship of the Sky” and “Lord of the Slaver, Slave of the Lord”.


Haeretici Ferrea


Named not only for the Iron Sands which they still lay claim to, but also for the strength of their heresy, the Haeretici Ferrea consist of those still loyal to the defeated ‘Emperor’ Suleiman. For this they are called ‘The Heretics of the Iron Sands’. The order of the Inquisition tasked with their destruction is the Ordo Ferrum and it has amongst it several devout Efreeti, the Dervishes of Azathoth, some Rakshasa and many Bottle Knights.

Before the coming of the True God, Suleiman ruled a wide empire, including all of the land currently occupied by the Emir of Crows. His power was such that it took seven Cold Crusades over several centuries to effectively break his might and drive him back to the doors of Akka.

Even now, the Empire of Suleiman still technically exists. At the height of the Seventh crusade the Grail Knights watered the blood of his Imperial Guard onto the very seal of his throne room and both the Sorceress Esmerillion and the Emir of Crows duelled magically with the Queen Nicaula. The Emperor himself had entered the fray when news reached Esmerillion of the beginning of the ‘Schism of Virgins’ and the entire Crusade was ordered to retreat.

Suleiman placed his unbreakable seal on the doors of his palace and no force has penetrated it since then.

The Haeretici Ferrea are unique in that they are not an insurrectionary conspiracy, a collection of disparate individuals or a terror network but are an actual military force in miniature. The shattered core of Suleiman’s Empire still remains and many creatures and people of the Iron Sands still owe him secret loyalty. Caches of his secrets and weapons still exist in the ruined cities of his Empire, guarded by his unbreakable seal. 


Suleiman, ‘Emperor’ of Akka


The Emperor has the body of a Bull, the wings of an Eagle and the bearded face of a man. He was famed for thousands of years as a just and wise ruler, a mighty warrior and a master of many magics. He spoke the language of Birds, Djinn, Devils and Ants. He commanded the Arch-Devil Asmodeus who, bound to his will, served him for many years as Vizier, before his ultimate betrayal and escape at the height of the fourth Cold Crusade.

Suleiman can read minds, scry his enemies, see the future in a limited way, turn invisible, teleport at will and no doubt perform other miraculous actions. His seal is unbreakable once set and can be used to bind creatures like Devils or Djinn if they are subdued first. At the height of his power he commanded the direct loyalty of men, centaurs, birds, djinn, devils and ants as his subjects.


Queen Nicaula of Saba


The Queen has the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle and the face of a beautiful woman with long hair. Like her husband she is known to be a master of many magics, a wise ruler and a deadly fighter.

When the Queen came before Suleiman she thought at first that the glass floor of his throne room  was water and, fearing to tread upon it, she raised her robe. Seeing her beauty, the Emperor requested her hand in marriage. She accepted, providing he could prove his knowledge by answering her questions. That night she asked him two hundred and ninety nine questions and he answered them each in turn, but as the sun was about to rise, the Queen said she was tired and must sleep and that she would ask the last question the next night. The Emperor acceded to this.

When the next night came she said that as she slept it had come to her in a dream that her final question was much more complex than she had previously realised and asked if she could make some addendums to it. The Emperor agreed to this. She then placed before him, in turn, two hundred and ninety nine more riddles and mysteries, each more complex than the last. He resolved each one but, as the sun rose she again said that she was tired and that she would ask her final question the next night.

This went on for two hundred and ninety nine nights. On the three hundredth day the Emperor requested of his Devil Vizier Asmodeus that he create a mirror and take it to the horizon to reflect the light of the rising sun before it rose. Asmodeus flew to the horizon on wings of midnight black and, with some difficulty, held up his cyclopean mirror. As the Queen saw the dawn light rising in the east she said again that she was tired and would ask her final question the next night.

“It is of little consequence,” said Suleiman “I shall turn back the dawn.” And he rang a silver bell. Hearing this, Asomdeus dropped his mighty mirror, it fell to burning pieces in the sky and where it landed it formed the Selenium Isles, and darkness and starlight again filled the sky.

“Please, continue with your question.” Said Suleiman. The queen had no choice but to do so and after it was answered the Emperor said “Now. I have answered your three hundred questions and your eighty nine thousand four hundred and one addendums. I have asked you only one, and you have answered it. But I would sooner hold back the sun forever and condemn the world to eternal night than to compel the wisest and most beautiful creature who sprang from that earth against her will, so I shall ask again, and you may answer however you wish; will you make yourself my wife?”

Queen Nicaula replied that she would and the sun rose. And that is how the nations of Akka and Saba were united.


Centaurs


The Centaur tribes made up the majority of the Empire of Suleiman and though many have been destroyed or driven off a small population still haunts the Iron Sands, moving mainly by moonlight and hunting with their compound bows. As well as this, the Emperors Imperial Guard of bearded, bronze-armoured heavy cavalry still exists, though they are rarely seen outside Akka.


Hybsil

 
Remember these weird little guys?


These small antelope-centaurs stand in a similar relation to normal Centaurs as Halflings do to Man. They were too insignificant and too numerous to bother exterminating and an itinerant population still live between the oasies of the Iron Sands. They hunt birds with their small bows and, for this convenience, are ignored by the Crow Knights. They may still owe secret fealty to Suleiman and are often suspected of being spies despite their formal declarations of piety.


Bedouin


The Bedouin tribes have all sworn faith with Azathoth and loyalty to the Emir of Crows but they are a perpetually fractious, proud and dishonest lot who almost always define themselves against whoever is currently in power. When Suleiman ruled they were a constant thorn in his side with their raids, thefts and intercene tribal wars. Now that he is gone many wear his seal in secret and speak of him as “The Desired One”.


Ants


Both the normal sized and the larger intelligent Formian Ants were said to have sworn fealty to Suleiman in ages past. Since the Seventh Cold Crusade no agent of the Eclipsed Kingdom has been able to communicate with the Queen of the Formians in her hidden city to find out where her loyalties (if she is even capable of such a thing) lie.



Avis Infernalis – The Parliament of Birds


The Ordo Infernalis is unusual in that it is made entirely of, and lead by, women, commonly Nuns of Saint Vish or other devout ladies.

(Any reader who has taken the Oath of Saint Vish should read no further but skip straight to Haeretici Caelum below.)

Ever since the Regrettable Crusade of St Fugol, the Avis Infernalis have been the abjured enemies of the Eclipsed Kingdom.  It is extremely difficult for servants of the True God to discover any meaningful information about this trackless and placeless enemy. Of all the enemies of God and King, these are those whose motivations are most difficult to discern, whose plans are most challenging to counter and whose capacities are most unpredictable.

Even the existence of the “Parliament of Birds”, its location, forces, intentions, members and organisation, is unknown. We subsist only on rumour.


Phoenix


This deceptive, intelligent, heretical and evil bird is considered to be a Prime Agent of Aerial Heresy. It is fortunate that the creature is only very rarely sighted within the Eclipsed Kingdom. No force sent to attack or restrain the Phoenix has ever returned and the only remains recovered have been badly burned so it has been assumed that the creature is connected somehow with fire.

Prioress Groöb of the Nuns of Saint Vish has suggested that the name ‘Phoenix’ is merely a title passed on from bird to bird as each ascends to a position of Arch-Heresy. This would make sense of several incoherent rumours about the creature.


Simurgh

 
From the 'Simurgh' Persian Restaurant
This ­extremely heretical and evil creature plays some kind of vital role in the hated Parliament of Birds. Though little is known about it, evidence suggests that it is a skilled sophist and deceiver as it has been able to persuade several driven and focused servants of God to deny His truth. It has been claimed that the Simurgh is in fact ‘many birds’, which is either inane and obvious deceit or proof that this name applies to a secret sub-faction of the Parliament of Birds.


Roc or Rukh


This name may be that of a single species of Avis Infernalis or may refer to a range of species of similar gigantic size. The Rukh therefore can be considered as any bird large enough to carry a fully armoured knight and mount off in its claws. Thankfully these birds are rare. When they do occasionally make their nesting places in mountainous areas in or adjacent to, the Eclipsed Kingdom, the Nuns of Saint Vish are quickly summoned and directed to assault and destroy such creatures.


Owls, Eagles and other common Infernal Birds


These creatures, though apparently of only natural shape, sometimes exhibit disturbing and unnatural intelligence, awareness or size. These can include unusually large owls, intelligent storks, storks which vomit boiling water, giant storks, red hawks and enraged ostriches of the Iron Sands.


Legendary and Imaginary Avis Infernalis – Aarakocra, Garuda, Swanmays and others


Numerous other forms of Avis Infernalis are rumoured to exist in distant nations and climes. It has been claimed that a race of “Bird-Men”, having the wings and heads of birds, but the form and wits of men, exists and is called the “Aarakocra”. The “Garuda” bird is described in varied and conflicting ways but is always described as a being of magical power and often as a servant of heretical pseudo-gods, a race of women able to transform into swans or other Infernalis via magic has been spoken of in ballads.

It might be assumed, firstly, that these creatures are clearly imaginary, and secondly, if they are real they are so rare and unlikely to be encountered that no attention need be paid to them. However, the reader should consider what a terrible disaster could result if Avis Infernalis of significant power and intelligence should make their way to the Eclipsed Kingdom in force….


Haeretici Caelum


The Haeretici Caelum include heretical creatures of the Air which are not Infernalis. This includes the Haereticum Dracones.

If the Vere Agentia and the Haeretici Ferrea are defined by their loyalty to a particular doomed cause and the Haereticorum Ineptias by their anarchic, persistent, but unstructured disobedience, the Haeretici Caelum are like some of the more intelligent Infernalis in their planned, intelligent, direct and continued opposition to the rule of the Sleeping King and the spread of the True Faith. Though their methods are various and their numbers are few, have no doubt, they aim at the overthrow of the Kingdom and the destruction of the Church.

However, since the Caelum and Dracones are not Infernalis, though they tend to be occupants of the air, they can be freely acknowledged and hunted by the Chivalry of the Sleeping King. It remains only for the Holy Inquisition to discover and locate them so they may be destroyed. Though they are uncommon they are all extremely deceptive, intelligent and cunning.


The Criminal Ki'Rin


This creature is an irritating and inexplicable, pompous, harassing, liberal, heretical, superior and exasperating being. Its form is alike unto that of a horse though its head is horned. Its coat is of golden scales. It skips and gallops through the sky with the greatest of ease. It exhibits some control over weather, can disappear at will and possesses a wide range of other magics. It makes a speciality of tempting servants of the True God with illusions and the creation of material goods which, the greater the substance they seek to counterfeit, the more quickly they return to their ethereal form.

It is known to have assisted criminals, escapees and heretics and to have penetrated even to the heart of the Kingdom itself to obstruct the due performance of justice and avert the necessary destruction of traitors and thieves. It has, on multiple occasions, dared to lecture and condescend to agents of the Black Church and to criticise, in detail, the Faith of the Black God before escaping in a puff of smoke.


The Couatl


This creature is widely suspected to be the true form of the Haereticorum Ineptas known as the ‘Roly Poly Bird’.

In its true guise the Coatl is a kind of winged and feathered Wyrm with a preference for warm and torpid zones. It has a venomous bite and, like many heretical creatures, is capable of disappearing at will. It can seemingly change shape as and when it desires. It possesses a wide range of unpredictable magics

The creature is known to have a high opinion of its own status as an agent of culture and learning and it is possible that it could be tempted, tracked and trapped by an agent of the Church able to engage it in scholarly or cultured discourse and argument.


Zoloto Daraniya Hiranyam Gulp - the Golden Wyrm


One of only two unconverted wyrms still at large in the Eclipsed Kingdom, the creature known as Zoloto Gulp must certainly spend almost all of its time in a false shape, presumably that of a man, since it has not been seen at large for several hundred years.

Neither has it been revealed and caught, or its rumoured treasure-palace found.

Based on its previous behaviour, Zoloto Gulp must still exhibit some keen interest in trade and capital. (Sadly ignoble enthusiasms for a creature of its size and potency.) Before the arrival of God, the wyrm was the chief banker to the court of the Sleeping King and often appeared before him in the form of a plump and hearty merchant lord, bearded and fat and bestrewn with golden chains. It is from this period that most of our knowledge of its behaviour comes.

Though no Inquisitor or knight has yet revealed him, it is thought that they have come close on at least two occasions, once by tracing rumours of a banker who secretly ate gems and once, hundreds of years later, as the ‘Lord of the Yellow Hall’, a feudal lord of a marginal realm famed for his gift-giving and good luck.

Wherever Gulp is now, it is unlikely that he has been completely unable to abandon his passion for generosity, his obsession with sound finances and his love of luck and gaming.

If any agent of the Holy Inquisition does locate Gulp, they should immediately and secretly summon as much aid as possible. Beneath his deceiving guise Gulp is a gigantic, millennia-old creature capable of incinerating, poisoning and tearing apart scores of Knights in a moments notice.



Kypria Contortrix Aes – the Penny Wyrm


Kypria is the only Dragon in the Eclipsed Kingdom to live openly as a Dragon and as a Heretic. It is believed she does this specifically and only to irritate and mock the Holy Inquisition.

On at least seventeen occasions since the coming of the Black God, Aes has revealed herself and predated openly upon both the Chivalry and the Clergy, stealing vast amounts of currency and valuable property. On each of the seventeen times she has been traced to her hidden lair by servants of the One God, only for the only treasure discovered being a gigantic pile of pennies and a very artfully devised trap to spring, killing or crippling all present.

Obviously, after the first five or six incidents of this type, the agents of the Holy Inquisition realised that they were inevitably being lead into a trap and began to take elaborate counter-precautions in order to discover and evade any possible snare or device.

Regrettably, Aes had anticipated those precautions and, in every case, the actions taken by the Holy Inquisition, be they magical, practical or intellectual, were precisely the ones required to activate the trap she had prepared.

After her latest appearance a Conclave of Wyrms was called by the Black Pope herself in which the wisest minds, greatest magicians and most intelligent lords would gather to discuss and devise a means to discover and destroy her trap before it was sprung.

The conclave is now in its fifty-sixth year and, after several schisms and purges, is close to delivering its Final Plan for the destruction of the Penny Wyrm. (Although a supressed and minority faction believes that the Conclave itself is the trap this time and that there is not actual trap in the dragons mountain lair.)

In the intervening time Aes has continued to prey upon the local hierarchy and has been engaged with militarily on several occasions by the Chivalry, who were all regrettably and horribly dissolved by her acidic breath, which she then used to burn insulting and provocative messages into the grass.

Any subject of the Sleeping King is expressly forbidden from attempting to penetrate the stronghold of Kypria Contortrix Aes until the Conclave of Wyrms brings forth its judgement.


Haeretici Minoris


These heretics are, in the large, imbued with only minor powers to confound and rebuke the agents of order and law. Likewise they are generally incapable of any sustained intelligent action in the pursuit of their heresy. Unlike the Haereticorum Ineptas their flailing misadventures are not carefully disguised anarchic timebombs of conspiracy, they are simply stupid.

It is arguable as to whether some of these creatures are truly intentionally heretical or simply dangerous animals but they have all, at different times, been classified by the Holy Ordos as enemies of God and King and there they shall remain.


Moon Dogs.


Moon Dogs, due to their power and intelligence, are not truly Haeretici Minoris but have proven impossible to classify anywhere else.

These very magical, powerful, ethereal dogs hate and despise the faithful servants of the Black God. They can be distinguished by their vaguely human faces and prehensile hands. They are sometimes seen walking on two feet. Their colouration is dark grey with deep black mottles. They have amber eyes, are intelligent and can speak.

Moon Dogs have a limited capacity to change shape but are known to make only brief and conditional use of it, unlike the Baku who can remain in human form for days, or weeks. They prefer to avoid strong light and possess a number of illusory magics to aid them in evading the Holy Inquisition.

They persistently and fearlessly assault the agents and servants of the Black Church and assist those attempting to oppose its rule.


Monkey Men


Monkeys are thankfully rare in the Eclipsed Kingdom, usually inhabiting the forests on the edge of the Iron Sands and the Oasies therin. Though they are only occasionally encountered there have been reports of a race of Monkey Men with human wits whose behaviour and manners are Foolish in the Extreme.

This race has on many occasions expressed distain and contempt towards the Holy Church and has publicly denied any fealty towards the Sleeping King. They have engaged in ridiculous and sustained boasting matches with any Knight who chooses to converse with them and have claimed numerous divine and magical powers. There is no evidence for any such capacity amongst the Monkey Men and they should, and must, be ignored.


Blink Dogs


Though of near-human intelligence and capable of a limited teleport capacity, these creatures prefer to avoid inhabited areas and are not much of a threat. They have proven impossible to fully wipe out.


Pseudodragons


These extremely annoying creatures were briefly popular in the Eclipsed Kingdoms as pets for noble children. When it was discovered that some of these creatures were leading children into heretical opposition to their parents the whole species was ordered to be exterminated. Some did escape and must have provided a small breeding population since they have become endemic vermin in a few forested areas.


Grims


Small-scale shadowy shape-changers able to disguise themselves as dogs, cats or owls. Must be caught and killed before the sun rises or they will heal any damage inflicted up until that point.


Thaw Mephits.


This very low form of demonic or devilish creature occasionally escape into the Eclipsed Kingdom and harass the Winter Court by quietly melting ice behind peoples backs.