The Official Collection of Fantastical Creature Information--Updated Randomly

For all your fantastical creature needs! This is the beginning of my encyclopedia, and I'm collecting as much information as I can on various fantasy creatures. Most of my stuff can be found on wikipedia. However, no source is perfect, so the stuff that is my input is often italicized. Help me by sending me more information at Questkid13@gmail.com

Side Note: There have been concerns about my using Wikipedia because it is not a reliable resource. I am well aware of wikipedia's unreliable nature--but that's exactly why I use it. Fantasy creatures are available to all, and everyone should have a chance to add their "discoveries." This website is supposed to be a fun collection of fantastical creature information with fun images to go with. I am not a reliable source--I'm just a collector. Though at this point, I am flattered that people are concerned with the validity of my site. :)

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Monday, May 11, 2009

RedCaps

The RedCaps owes their name to the fact each one wears a red hat. They murder travelers who stray into their homes and dye their hats with their victims' blood. It is said, redcaps must kill regularly, for if the blood staining their hats dries out, they die.

Description
The RedCap is a thoroughly evil creature. They are short and stocky, with long gray hair and claws instead of hands. Redcaps are very fast in spite of the heavy iron pikes they wield and the iron-shod boots they wear. Outrunning a redcap is supposedly impossible; the only way to escape one is to quote a passage from the Bible. They lose a tooth on hearing it, which they leave behind. He is also particularly afraid of crosses. Though few RedCaps weild daggers, more often than not, the Red Cap would use an iron pike as his weapon of choice.

Redcaps are always hungry, and usually ill-tempered or violent. While some may attempt to deny this nature, and others may strike to harness it, these matters always lurk inside a Redcap.

Redcaps are the nightmare kith, born from the inevitable death that surrounded early man, from the freezing cold to the deadly starvation. Most commonly Unseelie, they can often be found as thugs, schoolyard bullies, gang leaders, brigands, rabble rousers, monster hunters, or sometimes even hunted monsters. It’s also possible, albeit somewhat rare, to find the occasional Seelie Redcap, sometimes even serving a noble as a knight, cook, or even a food-taster. Every family has its black sheep.

However, RedCaps are not blatant cannibals. That doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t eat human flesh, but they don’t go around letting the whole world know. Going around announcing the murders they’ve committed usually isn’t worth the legal and societal trouble of paying for them. Of course, bragging and intimidating someone are two separate things entirely.

Habitats
They live on the Scottish Border in ancient ruins of castles, especially in those with a bloody history of war and murder.
History
Feared and hated by the other kiths, Redcaps were spawned from the hunger and biting cold of the first Winter, and they’ve just gotten nastier since then. From feral hunters and meticulous monsters to rabble rousers and even the occasional restrained beast, all Redcaps bear an insatiable hunger and potential for inhuman cruelty. Often feeding from the fears, angers and hungers of the mortal populace, few Redcaps fear the coming Winter, and many eagerly anticipate a return to the season that spawn them, where their cruelty will lead them to rule the wasted lands. While the fae of hunger, cold wind, and other forms of natural destruction were not limited to any single location in their origins, the form that Redcaps now take is traced back to between 400AD – 1100AD, in “Pictland” (early Scotland and environs). Redcap scholars hint that some great violence committed by their ancestors in that period defined their entire fae species.

Life Cycle
Wilder Years
Redcaps in their Wilder years almost inevitably are drawn towards trouble. Their violent tendencies can lead Redcaps to join (or lead) gangs, whether they’re normal street gangs or Redcap Corbies, and their antisocial tendencies can often drive them to run away from their earlier homes, living either on the streets or in the wilderness. Drawn towards the anti-social and aggressive, the average Wilder Redcap delves into the seedier aspects of society or withdraws into seclusion.

Most Redcaps never make it past the dangerous Wilder years, but those that do are almost always the strongest, meanest and most merciless Redcaps, and their appetites only continue to grow with their age. What’s more, this appetite tends to extend out to other pursuits, from political power, knowledge, or cold, simple cruelty.
Grumps
Redcap Grumps can be among the most vicious creatures in the World of Darkness, combining a natural talent with a lifetime of practice, driven by a perpetual, gnawing hunger. Even the most refined Redcap of such age contains a great potential for antisocial behaviors, and they often become more withdrawn and solitary as they age.
Chrysalis
Redcaps Chrysalize most often through violence, anger, or near death (although on rare occasions, it’s happened after experiencing a culinary masterpiece). The dark, primal Glamour in a life-or-death struggle often sparks the bloody memories of their fae spirit, and a newly Chrysalizing Redcap is wracked by terrible hunger pains and frigid cold. Because of this, it is not uncommon for newly awakened Redcaps to leave bloody trails behind them in a temporary madness.

SOCIETY
Structure & Traditions
Redcaps, being generally antisocial fae, are not generally disposed towards ordered, kith-wide structures, but there are many common positions and traditions that a Redcap may fit into.

One of the oldest of these “traditions” is the Corby or Warband. Redcaps may unite to form a gang, either for mutual strength, protection, or to generally cause havoc. Almost always Unseelie, these bands can be as informal as a motley of two or three ‘caps (usually called a “Corby”) to as powerful as a regimented, trained army of dozens of Redcaps under one leader and multiple lieutenants (usually called a “Warband”). Infighting can be a problem in such bands, and any leader who can hold power must be powerful and never show weakness.

Other common positions or titles for Redcaps include “Laird”, which is a Redcap who has taken control of a freehold and holds it through his own power, and “Fimmrarch”, which is a Redcap sorcerer, specializing in mastery of the Arts. Lairds are somewhat rare nowadays, as freeholds are desperately guarded, and any Redcap who wants to take them will often have to share them with other commoners, or at least the gang that helps in keeping it. Meanwhile, there are no official rules for “becoming” that terribly feared paragon of Redcap arts, the Fimmrarch, (sometimes called “Hag-Queens” or “Lich-Kings”) nor is there any sort of entrance exam. The only real rule is that if you start calling yourself one, you’re going to have to have the power to back it up.

Relations & Attitude
Redcaps have a very chilly relationship with the rest of the kiths. Ranging from a bully-prey relationship with Pooka (who most see as irritating pups) to an outright hatred of the Sidhe (who are usually seen as pompous loudmouths who get away with murder because they look pretty), there are no kiths that are automatically close to them, although individuals may bridge the gaps on their own. The closest kiths to them are Sluagh (who they see as being just creepy).
A special thanks to Wikipedia as usual--and to the Redcap players online guide for the exceptionally in depth information.
And to the wizards of the coast for this slightly stolen image.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These things are real you can read a story about two families that were terrorized by a Red Cap in Portersville California near the Tule River. A chilling account of how mean and evil these beings are.