22 February 2021

Monster Spotlight - Ijat'Ria

I have decided to try a new approach to the Monster Spotlight posts on this blog, opting for a more story-telling approach, with first-hand accounts of the creatures. To test this new format, here is my introduction to the Fey creature from my latest battlemap post, the Ijat'Ria.

  In my years of travelling across the world, there are few creatures that I have encountered that have stuck with me quite like the Ijat'Ria. My encounter with these creatures does not stick with me for what I remember, however, but for what I don't. It seems that these creatures have some kind of amnestic effect on those unfortunate enough to encounter them, and the information I share with you now is only in part from my own experience, and mostly comes from the local folklore from the frigid lands these creatures inhabit.

  The Ijat'Ria appear to be some form of shape-changer. Able to shift their form to one of many indigenous species. Local legends tell of their glowing red eyes; the only way that a traveller can tell one of these creatures apart from the animals they imitate. The local elders warned me, during my stay in their village, of these creatures. Telling me stories of travellers lured from the roads and paths, into the woods to be never seen again. I did not, of course, believe the stories at first, but listened intently as they may have proved good inspiration for a story I could tell in the future. 

  It was a couple of days later, when I continued on my journey, that I remember encountering a strange sight. Most of the encounter evades my memory, but I recall red eyes shining between snowy fir trees, and an unnatural compulsion to follow them into the tundra. The next thing I recall is waking up in an unfamiliar bed roll, surrounded by the faces of the natives of the land. My hand was bound in rags, to stop me from bleeding out of a bite wound I appeared to have sustained, and I was certainly worse for wear than I would have liked, but at least I was safe.

  The locals explained to me that I had become the victim of a wandering Fey Spirit, that preys on travellers. The name, Ijat'Ria, that I was now familiar with from the last village I stopped in, came up again. It was then that I realised that I should have maybe not taken their warnings so lightly.

  I may not remember much of my encounter with them, but the nightmares I still have of glowing red eyes in the snow, and the scar on my hand, remain proof of these creatures, and the danger they can pose.

Arctic Predators. The Ijat'Ria are fey spirits, that make their homes in the arctic regions of the world. Wherever you find snow and ice all year round, you will likely find the Ijat'Ria. Many different cultures have tales of these creatures, and they are known by many names, though the most common of these is the Ijat, or Ijat'Ria. Tales tell of them luring travellers off of the path, and children out of their villages, and into the woods where they are devoured. 

Amnestic Nature. Nearly none who encounter these creatures are able to tell of the experience. The Ijat seem to have some way of erasing their existence from the minds of those that escape, though it is now currently known whether this is a conscious effort on their part, or simply a by-product of their otherworldly origin. Even those who are able to recall the encounter find themselves struggling to remember fine details, so most stories told about them are vague at best.

Shapechangers. The one thing all tales of these creature have in common is the fact that the Ijat are able to take many forms. It is told that an Ijat can take the form of a bear, a giant wolf, or even a giant raven. The only way that a creature can tell the Ijat apart from a true beast is by looking at its eyes; the Ijat cannot change their eyes, which always glow red, no matter the form they take. In their true forms, the Ijat are average size humanoids, who have pale white skin, gaunt faces, raven black hair, and sharp fang like teeth. There is very little art depicting these creatures, however, due to their amnestic nature.

Irresistible Aura. Whilst disguised as a beast, the Ijat are able to, through unknown means, emit an aura from their bodies. This aura is invisible, and is used to lure an unsuspecting creature away from the safety of the path or their village. Those who follow the Ijat are seldom seen again, and even if they survive, rarely have knowledge of their experiences.

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