L is for Lemure #atozchallenge

In the crypts below the palace, in the natural tunnels in the earth, at the bottom of forgotten wells thrive the Lemures.

These pale, ghoulish creatures were once human: trespassing adventurers, punished servants or captured enemies of the King and his Maidens who were lowered into those dark places. There, in the dank, mouldy sepulchre, they are caught by these wretched creatures and slowly transformed into one of their own.

The physical transformation is dreamlike and disturbing: the victims are cocooned and undergo weeks of horrific change. Their bodies become corpse-like and pale, their heads hairless and black-toothed and their minds turned to quivering mush. They learn to weave shadows into thread which they use create constricting webs and cloaks to hide their twisted bodies.

The Lemures drink shadows, chew on old bones and gather to weep and shriek at moonlight when it streams down from above. The banal songs of their own kind are their only comfort: a constant humming and chattering of infantile melodies which relieve their pain and anguish.

The first Lemure was once a member of Cadaveria‘s Coven; a witch named Stregharia who was chosen for her cruelty as much as for her beauty. Unfortunately she directed her ire toward one of the other Maidens: Necrotia, a vampire who is bitterly tormented, beyond reason, by her monstrous undead form. Necrotia was particularly hurt by the young witch’s insults and so as punishment she kidnapped her, shaved off her hair, pulled out her teeth and threw her down a well.

However, the Grey Isles did not let her die. They warped her into a creature from nightmares and gave her the gift to make others like her. Henceforth, whenever anyone is punished for a petty crime (i.e., not punishable by death), the Grey Isles encourage the King, the Maidens or Desdemonia to send them to the Lemures.

Anyone exploring the underground places in the Grey Isles are likely to encounter swarms of these creatures. Their main goal is to subdue any potential victims by spitting streams of sleep-inducing webs at them and then wrapping them up into cocoons. If a victim is ever freed from a cocoon before a week (seven nights), they will emerge unchanged (except emotionally: nightmares will plague them for many years).

(Use the stats of a Ghoul or Ghast with a short-ranged paralysing attack).