24 February 2021

Monster Spotlight - Qualliuk

  In the deepest parts of the ice covered lands of the north, tales are told of the Qualliuk; evil fey spirits that inhabit frozen bodies of water, and lure children to their deaths. One could easily mistake the tales as simple warnings for young children; "don't play on the frozen lake, or the Qualliuk will pull you under". Even the description of the knocking sound they produce could be easily attributed to the sound of ice cracking. Were it not for my own experience with them, I would simply think it a clever tale told to keep children safely away from danger.

  As I ventured into the woods, I came to a large lake, frozen solid in the sub-zero temperatures. As I passed, I found myself distracted by a faint sound coming from below the surface. It sounded like a faint tapping, or a knocking perhaps, coming from the far side of the lake. As I looked up to see if I could figure out the source of the sound, that I noticed a young child, she couldn't have been more than 8 years old, walking towards the ice, with a blank expression on her face.

  I nearly continued on, thinking it nothing to worry about, but couldn't shake off the worry that something could be wrong. My fears were quickly realised, of course, when seconds later a scaled arm, ending in sharp claws, burst from beneath the ice, swiftly pulling the young child under. She barely had a chance to scream before she was gone from my sight. Obviously, not wanting to let her perish, I ran to the spot I last saw her in, across the ice itself, and dived in after.

  The water was so cold it nearly knocked the air straight from my lungs, but I pressed on, swimming down, following the faint sight of her blond hair as it sank deeper. Finally, I saw it with my own eyes, a horrible creature covered in pale white scales, with dark black hair framing its inhuman face. It stared at me with eyes as black as the void, and it bared its teeth, each pointed like a wild beasts, as I tried to wrestle the girls unconscious body from its grip. After receiving a number of scratches along my arms, I was able to free her from its claws, and I quickly swam us both to the surface...

  After leaving the water, I quickly carried the girl away from the creature, and set up camp for the night. As I lit the fire, she began to stir, scared and confused. I was able to explain the situation to her, eventually, as I made her a cup of tea from locally foraged ingredients, and her face sank. She told me the stories her grandfather used to tell her of the Qualliuk, and how she had never heeded them, and it was then that I was finally able to put a name to the terrible creature I met below the lake. The next day, I accompanied the young girl to her village, where I met with her family and explained the situation.

  I can only imagine the number of children who were not as fortunate as the girl I rescued, and shudder to think of their poor families, never having a true answer to their loss. If you ever plan on travelling to the frozen lands, be extra careful around icy lakes, and if you hear it beginning to knock... well...

Opportunistic Hunters. The Qualliuk prefer to hunt by luring their prey to them. Usually young children, and very occasionally lone travellers, the target of a Qualliuk are drawn to the creature by a knocking sound. It is unknown what causes it, but the intended target will find themselves compelled to move towards the sound, after which the creature will pull them underneath the ice.

Amphibious. The Qualliuk live underneath the ice in lakes and rivers in arctic lands, but are more than able to survive above the surface as well. Underwater, they attempt to drown their prey, where they tie the bodies at the bottom of the lake/river beds with vines, but out of the water they rely on their razor sharp claws to take down any prey they may encounter.

Köldväsen. The unfortunate souls that drown due to the hand of the Qualliuk are unable to find rest, even in death. After a Qualliuk ties their prey to the bottom of the lake/river, their soul becomes tied to the location too. At night, the soul of the drowned rises out of the water, as a Köldväsen, bound to haunt the location until their body is recovered and given a true burrial. The Köldväsen are twisted, and retain no memories of life, their only motivation to keep other living creatures from finding their true bodies.

Horrific Visage. The Qualliuk are unpleasant to behold. Their bodies, covered in pale white scales, appear as slightly twisted and distorted versions of humans. Their eyes, deep black, are set deep into their faces, and are often half covered by matted black hair, intertwined with aquatic reeds and other flora. Out of the water, the Qualliuk also reek of sulfur, its scent lingering for up to hours after one has passed through an area.

Qualliuk Statblock
Köldväsen Statblock (formerly known as Isspöken)

No comments:

Post a Comment