Regina’s Guide to Monster Hunting

Here you can read some of the more “technical” information about the different types of supernatural creatures in my book series. In Pulling Teeth, this info-dump is preceded by a little vignette of Regina in a classroom setting so be sure to check out the full version 🙂

This list includes werewolves and vampires because technically every supernatural being in my series is a Void Creature.

What is a Void Creature? Find out here 🙂

You will notice there is a ton of information about vampires here. This will be important later. Vampires and Mages have the widest range of traits and talents out of all the other supernatural species. While the main story arc of The Slaughter Chronicles follows Regina, I have many supporting characters who have their own stories to tell.

REGINA’S GUIDE TO MONSTER HUNTING

Everything comes from the Void. The Lost Sisters of Swarm and Scourge, Seirios the Dog Star, the yaguara of the Americas, the garuda of East Asia and Mongolia, the Baba Yaga in Russia, and the progenitors of werewolves. All of them have the same point of origin.

Contamination is spread one of two ways:

  1. Transmission like a disease, where the genetic material of the Void is absorbed and recombined with the DNA of the living host. 
  2. Reproduction, where the genetic material is passed from parent—usually a Void Creature or Mage—to offspring.Void Creature

Void creature

Void Creature: A generic term for anything that is not a werewolf or a vampire; a supernatural creature originating from the Void Dimension. Still carbon based but definitely not from here. Most Void Creatures cannot contaminate humans the same way the werewolf and vampire species can. They can, however, reproduce with humans and animals and create offspring with Void characteristics.

  1. For imaginary references refer to the works of H.P. Lovecraft, Caitlín R. Kiernan, and China Miéville. They may well have some basis in reality. 
  2. SEE: Monster, Demon, Abyssal Abomination, Lesser-Spotted Majestic Death-Danger Noodle, etc.
  3. How to kill one: You are very, very lucky.

mages

Mage: The offspring of a human—or sometimes an animal—and anything that is not from this planet (See: Lesser-Spotted Majestic Death-Danger Noodle). They can look like squishy humans on the outside, but they are extremely durable and possess preternatural skills or talents inherited from their nonhuman parent.

The most common of these talents are:

  1. Teleportation
  2. Transmutation
  3. Clairvoyance
  4. Telekinesis

There are many variations of these talents.

  1. Transmutation of organic matter vs. inorganic matter
  2. Pyrokinesis vs. levitation (different from teleportation)
  3. Past vs. future sight and how far each way
  4. Distance traveled vs. phasing through objects
  5. And many others

No Mage is reported to have more than one talent, and like the werewolf and the vampire, the potency of their power reduces as their genetic material is passed down through the generations. Mages can also look like their Void Creature parents and exhibit frightening and/or unsettling physical features. Best not to eat before you go out hunting.

  1. How to kill one on Earth: Depending on their talent, the same way you kill any other human. It just might be hard to get close to them. Or they might turn you into cheese if they touch you.
  2. How to kill one in the Void: The same way you kill one on Earth.
  3. Please note: Sometimes Mages are the hardest to kill because they look just like regular people and they don’t know what they are. The hunters of Prometheus’s Shame are required to cultivate a special kind of fortitude.

werewolves

Common characteristics of werewolves include but are not limited to: Increased muscle mass, extra teeth and increased aggression during key points in the lunar cycle.

They can live independently or in packs. Like vampires, werewolves like to clump together. Also like vampires, there is one central authority figure in a pack.

A werewolf can spread its contamination to another human by biting or other fluid exchange. A contaminated human takes on the characteristics of the beast or humanoid werewolf that bites him or her.

  1. Pros: Increased strength, durability, and endurance. Werewolves are not hindered by sunlight and can hide their contamination by changing shape whenever they want. A werewolf, no matter the strength of their strain, can easily hide in human society.
  2. Cons: Silver is toxic to them and, even though werewolves can change their shape any time they please, they do become more aggressive and unpredictable during the week of the full moon and they are compelled to change shape.
  3. • How to kill them on Earth: Most werewolves do not have the staggering regenerative capabilities of vampires, but they are very hard to kill. Destroying the head or any substantial trauma to vital organs will work. Sometimes heavy firepower is needed to take one down. Most werewolves are also susceptible to poisons. Lots of silver works too. During a full moon a werewolf’s aggression overrides pain and self-preservation.
  4. How to kill them in the Void: No one has (so far) ever seen the species of Void Creature that  causes werewolf contamination in humans. However, it is safe to say that any encounter would prove immediately fatal.

Vampires

Vampire: A human who has been contaminated by a Swarmer. The Swarm, or Swarmer when there’s only one—there’s never only one—closely resemble mosquitos and lampreys; a kind of slimy, slinky snake thing with long, thin legs, one pair of narrow paddle-shaped wings, and large iridescent scales.

In the Void, females spend the majority of their lives in the air while the males are sessile; after a male hatches, he glues himself to a rocky outcropping in the mountain regions and waits for females to fly by and pick up his reproduct-y bits. In the Void, there are two types of females: queens and drones. The queens lay the eggs and the drones care for and protect them. After they hatch, females spend nearly all of their lives in the air.

Vampires can also be normal humans contaminated by another contaminated human. When that happens, the resulting vampire is usually weaker than a vampire turned directly by a Swarmer. The weaker vampires are nearly indistinguishable from normal humans, except for the bloodlust and aversion to sunlight.

A human contaminated by a drone will pass on weaker contamination than a human turned by a queen. (Similar to the differences in werewolf contaminations.) Humans contaminated by queens or males experience a more severe version of contamination. While some of them can still pass as human, most lose all of their human physical features and look like the Swarmers that made them.

Most of the vampire contaminations you will encounter are caused by female drones. HADES has only two recorded cases of contamination by a male, once they settle in one spot, they do not move and rarely encounter humans to contaminate.

Human vampires like to swarm just as much as their Void Creature counter-parts. Drone vampires are drawn to king and queen vampires. Very rarely will a vampire live a solitary life, usually they enjoy gathering together in hives or courts with established hierarchies.

The most common characteristics of vampires include but are not limited to sensitivity to sunlight, increased dexterity, and spontaneous regeneration of tissue when organic material—blood, sometimes raw flesh—is consumed.

  1. Pros: Increased speed and dexterity make vampires very difficult to track. Excluding some Void Creatures, they are the most stealthy predators in the supernatural kingdom.
  2. Cons: Sunlight is usually fatal. Some can stand it if they’re in the shade so don’t let your guard down. Royal vampires can rarely appear in public because their physical appearance is permanently altered after contamination.
  3. How to kill them on Earth: To kill a vampire it must be completely dismembered and the torso pinned to the ground, through the heart, and set on fire until it is burned to ashes and bones. For the more powerful ones, the ashes should be divided and many miles put between them. Mere scattering or mixing with running water isn’t good enough. The ashes must be mixed in cement or ceramic and then the bricks must be left out in direct sunlight. When exterminating a nest, it’s a good idea to mix several vampires’ remains together, that way if they try to regenerate, the genetic material won’t match and the flesh will get confused.
  4. How to kill them in the Void: You can’t. They regenerate too quickly. If you shoot a Swarmer out of the air, she can heal herself before she hits the ground and then attack you. The best thing you can do is wound her severely enough she runs away. Swarmers are very lazy, and if she thinks you’re too difficult to eat she’ll give up and look for food elsewhere. Defense perimeters with mounted turrets and flame throwers work only if you don’t plan on leaving your camp. If you need to move and a Swarm is on you, you’re pretty much fucked.
  5. Note: There are no actual mosquitoes, eels, or bats in the Void.

end credits

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Thanks for reading and keep on keeping on!

*Note: The Slaughter Chronicles is only available in ebook format.

Author: Jessa Forest

Jessa Forest writes poetry and dark fiction. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks and The Slaughter Chronicles, a grimdark, Lovecraftian-esque paranormal fantasy about werewolves. Her stories question the definable borders of reality and indulge in the gritty, visceral aspects of contemporary fantasy. She was born in Arkansas, USA.

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