Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Merle the Dead Part 1 - A Note Excerpted From Loethe's Demonological Survey

Ygala - A man-like variety of hell-spawn inhabiting the wider and wilder fiefdoms of Panagaea.

Appearance
The Ygala have a fearsome aspect. Most immediately one notices the bony knobs that protrude underneath their purple, leathery skin; at places breaking the skin. The knobs become more prominent as the Ygal ages. Each Ygala is said to have unique patterns of knobs. An experienced demonologist can identify the specific beast according to it's pattern, as well as estimate the relative longevity (there is some debate as to the absolute lifetime of a typical Ygal). To the untrained eye, however, the knobs appear nothing more than a grotesque affliction, appearing as boils might on a plague-stricken man.

An Ygal's facial features are humanoid compared to most demons; possessing two narrow eyes set low against the misshapen lump of a nose. The mouth is wide - thinly lipped if lipped at all - and filled with large conical teeth. At present no specimen has presented itself for anatomical research – a fact many demonoligists greet with genuine relief – but the number of teeth is estimated to be far more than a natural complement.

The Ygala are generally tallish creatures, gaunt in a way that might seem dignified were it not so utterly ghoulish. Reports of Ygal of 2 metres are common in the extant literature. The arms are wholly disproportionate to the body of these creatures, reaching to the knees or below.
If undaunted by the repulsive of sight of one of these demons, one might next detect the repulsive odor of the Ygal. It is theorized that Ygala have a rudimentary capacity for a sort of olfactory language, apart from the primitive language they share. This is unconfirmed, but may explain the pungent stench that invariably accompanies an Ygal. Other theories follow from the study of social, rather than biological, factors.

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Evidence of Social Structure
Of the higher demons the Ygala exhibits an unusual level of social sophistication, which has allowed them to live in an uneasy proximity with humans and natural animals. This should not be taken as a sanctioning of the beasts; they are unnatural affronts to the Gods, mankind, and the natural animals. They cannot escape their base, nether-worldly origins. Make no mistake, the Ygal is as loathsome a fiend as any demon, perhaps more so because of their ubiquity and relative innocuousness.

Little is known of the exact Ygal social order, other than it's implied existence. The Ygal avoid contact with humanity - a mutual arrangement, to be sure. Some contact with the Ygal has become profitable, however, and their observed behavior hints at higher order affiliations among themselves. Certainly the beasts have demonstrated an understanding of the human notions of contractual obligation and economy. The author reports this fact warily, it should not be taken as encouragement to enter into dealings with the Ygal, but the Ygal have proved to be experts in the arts of embalming. What dark methods or magic are involved, and to what dark purpose this art is applied to humans can only be speculated. Some of the wealthier denizens of the fiefdoms indulge these creatures' expertise, however, against the propriety and decency of Humanity at large.

The Ygal may not often exhibit open hostility to their fairer cohabitants of our homelands, and their presence is tolerated as a matter of pragmatism, but bear witness always: these are demons. The day will come when their evil purpose will be uncovered, and on that day the price in blood will be paid to send the Ygala back to hell.

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