Friday, March 30, 2012

Rarebit Fiends

Try as they might, the Dream Lord and his gnomish Sandmen can’t keep all nightmares quarantined in Slumberland. And perhaps they don’t always try; there are always rumors of rogue Sandmen taking bribes to smuggle oneiric nasties. In any case, some nightmares do escape and return to the Material Plane. Bugbears are a common example, but there are lesser (and lesser known) nightmare forms collectively called “rarebit fiends,” as they seemed to have emerged from the sort of strange dreams that seem to follow an evening's indulgence in a too-rich meal. Here are a few examples:

Hebephrenic Stag: Sometimes it’s known as simply “The Gump,” a name of unknown derivation. The mounted stag’s head appears on a wall and begins to laugh madly and incessantly at anything the homeowner does. It will appear as a normal taxidermied specimen when anyone else is present to see it, but its raucous noise can be heard by others--and is almost invariably attributed to the home owner. It can be appeased and moved to silence by placing an opened can of dog food made from horse meat beneath it on the night of the new moon.

Voluptua Lilies: Lascivious plants that seek to seduce the receiver (generally a woman) into heedless pleasure. Those failing a saving throw are enthralled (as per spell) by the delicate caress of the flowers. Victims have, on rare occasions, been so enraptured that they allowed themselves to die of dehydration rather than give up the lilies' embrace.

Moonface: Scholars disagree on whether this fiend actually inhabits the moon (or its image) or merely the mind of the victim perceiving it. In any case, a mostly grinning, perhaps inebriated-appearing face appears on the moon (or it’s image.or in the perceiver’s mind). In a vague but definitely foreign accent the moon rambles on almost incoherently, yet the victim will be convinced the monologue is a mocking commentary on his or her actions. Men have been driven to desperate acts including suicide and murder under the moonface’s unforgiving glare.

9 comments:

The Angry Lurker said...

I could do with a lillie just for the touch...any touch!

Ben L. said...

Nice shout out to McCay. I've thought myself about trying to incorporate a dreamlands into my campaign that was more McCay than Lovecraft.

The Happy Whisk said...

See, I'm still newish to these monsters in game. At first I thought her head really came off, but then I got it.

I'm learning so much from you gamer guys.

Hope you have a great Friday. I'm off from work for four days.

Woohoo.

Jack said...

Hmm, I wonder if voluptua lillies are used in the production of the black voluptua from my poisons post...

...perhaps Poison Mages from the World Between routinely travel to the land of Weird Adventures to gather ingredients for their concoctions...

Trey said...

@Ben - Sounds like a worthy endeavor. I'd be interested in seeing that.

@Whisk - You have a great Friday too.

@Jack - It's a very real possibility. Or maybe the lands of dream connect them both?

The Happy Whisk said...

Thanks. I'm cleaning and reading blogs. Tim's been cleaning mostly all the time with the bum leg and me working weekends.

So I wanna get this all done today and then neither of us will have to clean, come tomorrow.

Cheers and boogie boogie.

Porky said...

Another great sprinkle of inspiration. I like the idea these also pounced on your imagination after a bit of rarebit. Rich and varied meals work that way here too, maybe for the sensations in the flavours and textures themselves, but maybe also for the extra work of processing the body has to do. And now I've become intensely aware of a need for a similar snack...

garrisonjames said...

A bit of undigested cheese can sometimes do wonders...and in this case, you've delivered some really cool stuff. Excellent stuff! Lovecraft isn't the only person to write about dreams, dreaming or some sort of dreamscape, so let's not let him be any sort of final word on the matter. The dream-realms are many, varied and always changing...just like waking reality, only at different rates and in peculiar, often eccentric ways. Windsor McKay is a great source of inspiration. More please!

christian said...

i used to live with a deer-headed creature that had wild eyes and a surly disposition. Oh, how it mocked my every step and for years it chastised me daily.

Um, wait a minute. That was an ex-girlfriend. Uh, nevermind.

Great post as always!