Yūrei (‘faint souls’) are figures in Japanese folklore, analogous to Western legends of ghosts. Onryō are vengeful yūrei who return from purgatory to a avenge a wrong done to them during their lifetime.
DAZ Studio and Photoshop.
Humakti warrior. DAZ Studio and Photoshop. Click for full-size image.
They were not.
Too silent to be real, they appeared—eleven gaunt and empty warriors—out of the fog-cloaked gors at dawn. Black cloaked, blood-banded, they sought the fyrd fight, the game of iron.
Halting but a spear-throw from our fires, the sword-troop stood motionless as sentries raised our sleeping camp.
Black-cloaked, horse-crowned, lacking in armour. Kin-less ones, their clan markings faded and pale. Death-hungry.
Our spearthane hefted his great ash and bellowed a challenge.
The answer came on the world’s breath from nine ragged throats. A song, a summoning, gentle and in an ancient mode, as if uttered by maids calling kin to a wedding.
The sundered ones began their advance with slow and measured step, singing their swords. Each held a blood-band, iron-black and high of hilt, gleaming against the dawn with blueish unlight. They came not as a shieldwall, but as blood brides, arrayed in three open columns, their order wyrded by lot. Three firsts would fight till felled, then one behind would step to take their place. Their feet were wrapped in rune-pocked leather: there would be no healing.
This was not mercenary work, this was death song.
We raised shields. Wall-holders we, fyrd-strong, our band some six hands in number, and none a stranger to the emnity of edges.
The foe advanced. The spearthane weighed our wyrd, gave voice to thunder.
Wind-born, storm-swift, we fled for the safety of the trees.
Razorhurst, Gunhurst, Bottlehurst, Dopehurst – it used to be Darlinghurst, one of the finest quarters of a rich and beautiful city; to-day it is a plague-spot, where the sporn of the gutter grow and fatten on official apathy. By day it shelters in its alleys, in its dens, the Underworld people. At night, it looses them to prey on property, decency & virtue, & to fight one another for division of spoils. Truth, 23 September 1928.
Razorhurst, Sydney, 1926. That wild and haunted city. The Turn of Midnight Waters. Rendered in DAZ Studio and Photoshop. Click for full size image.
The crouching image with its cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park; and I studied it long and well, finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship …. I thought … about the primal Great Ones: ‘They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.’
H.P. Lovecraft, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’.
Sydney, 1926, that wild and haunted city. There are gangsters on the streets of the Big Smoke. There is a mysterious idol in the Australian Museum. There is something nasty in the Harbour. And stone the crows, it’s coming ashore.
Check our our briefing page for The Turn of Midnight Waters, a two session Lovecraftian horror module to be run at Phenomenon, 10-13 June 2015.
(Idol model rendered in DAZ Studio and Photoshop).
‘The crouching image with its cuttlefish head, dragon body, scaly wings, and hieroglyphed pedestal, was preserved in the Museum at Hyde Park; and I studied it long and well, finding it a thing of balefully exquisite workmanship, and with the same utter mystery, terrible antiquity, and unearthly strangeness of material which I had noted in Legrasse’s smaller specimen. Geologists, the curator told me, had found it a monstrous puzzle; for they vowed that the world held no rock like it. Then I thought… about the primal Great Ones: ‘They had come from the stars, and had brought Their images with Them.’
H.P. Lovecraft, ‘The Call of Cthulhu’.
Draft render for a Lovecraftian roleplaying project, DAZ Studio and Photoshop. (Click for full size image).