Specters

I think there's something following us.  
— Last journal entry from explorers lost in the Labyrinth
  Specters are the half-spirit spawn of the Labyrinth, human-like things that haunt the twisting darkness. Neither spirit or beast, specters are as much part of the Labyrinth as the rock and the darkness, an extension of the forgotten and the mad within it. No specter is the same, each one a mockery of the human form or the half-remembered idea of what one might look like, but they all share a wild madness. Every explorer who has set foot in the Labyrinth has recorded encounters with the Specters, always prowling the shadows for intruders and victims.  
Some claim to have seen the Specters outside the Labyrinth - searching for something, or someone.
   

Description

  Specters are almost human, but there is always something wrong about them. Joints that bend backwards, legs that end in sharpened bones, faces that lack feature or sport too many. They have pale, dead skin and milky eyes that glow when hit by light. No matter what form they take, only the blind would mistake one for another human. Some sport scars or jagged, seeping wounds, or flesh that twist and break as the Specters scuttle around the Labyrinth.  
by MrZarono

Most specters have two arms and two legs, but not all. Legs and arms twist and bend, split into lesser digits or sprawl long. No matter how clumsily they are arranged, the Specters never seem to lack ways to navigate the Labyrinths twisting passages with haste. Even when they lack eyes or ears, they find their prey. Many older Specters possess some ability to change their shapes - elongating limbs, opening maws wide enough to split their heads and sprouting terrible fangs.   Many who face Specters find themselves struck with a dreadful sense of recognition - remembering nightmares from childhood or other phantasms.
  Just as often, Specters take on aspects of the wild; fungi growing like a grove on their back or specters with animal-like features, grafted on with blood and bone still seeping out of the seams. Ancient Specters are thought to draw their forms from memories older than mankind, but few who meet such creature tell the tale.      

Behavior

 
They're just watching us. Why are they watching us?  
  Specters are unpredictable, driven by a purpose that no one have been able to guess. With few exceptions, the Specters only interaction with intruders into the Labyrinth is to stalk them, haunting them from the shadows and follow them as best they can. Although not particularly intelligent, they possess a keen instinct into the ways of the Labyrinth and are able to navigate through its strange architecture without trouble. When the tunnels bend and warp, Specters can be seen skittering across ceiling or walls as readily as they walked on solid floor.  

No one passes through the Labyrinth without the Specters running into them - sooner or later. They will chirp or scream or roar, making noises that belie their human form - others claim to hear song and laughter, like the giggle of children. If it is the specters of another phantom of the Labyrinth, no one can say for sure.   Many times, Specters will attack and harry their quarries. Some parties are pelted with rocks and dung from afar, others face screaming charges of Specters spilling out from the darkness.   While Specters have been seen indulging in the flesh of slain victims, they are as likely to engage in slow, ritualistic mutilation of the bodies - splaying them out according to patterns only known to them.
Maxime André.jpg
by Maxime André
 
On occasion, the Specters will spare its prey from immediate destruction and instead carry them off into the darkest parts of the Labyrinth and into the Dark City, never to be seen again.
     

Life-Cycle

 
It is where nightmares go when they grow up from haunting children.  
  Birthed from the madness of the Labyrinth, the Specters spawn and dissolve at whim, crawling out from walls that seemed solid a moment ago or appearing in empty darkness. Like the Labyrinth is forged from a thousand parts of Araea, the Specters are nightmares made manifest.  
by David Szilagyi

Ancient Specters only barely resemble humans. Those who survive grow bloated in the shadows of the Labyrinth, twisting into bestial and terrible things that even other Specter fear. These bloated monstrosities often rule over their lesser kin, playing out games of petty tyranny for explorers to stumble on while lost in the dark.  
Others believe that the Labyrinth is a Hell, where souls of the lost and damned go to suffer eternally as mad Specters.
     

Labyrinth Spawn

  Ever since there was an Labyrinth, there have been Specters. These half-spirit things are made from the same fragments that make the Labyrinth, but made into flesh and nightmare instead of stone and darkness. But more and more often, whispers speak of Specters crawling out of their dark dimension to visit the rest of Araea. They have become part and parcel of every urban legend and drunkard tale across the underworld   It is uncertain how much truth there are to the stories. There are many ways for someone to disappear in the dangerous caverns of Araea and many reasons for little to be left but gnawed bones. Others worry that the Specters have followed those who have escaped the Labyrinth, stalking after the smell of terror and appearing when they dream of their time there. Certainly, no one leaves the Labyrinth without leaving a part of themselves there and many feel it calling them from the dark, forgotten parts of the world.
The Labyrinth   A space between all other, the Labyrinth is a realm in the dark, part way between the real world and something else. Made from stitched-together memories and half-forgotten glories, the Labyrinth is the home to Specters among other horrors. Few willingly enter the Labyrinth and its gateways are many - from long abandoned tunnels and filthy, out of the way alleys within busy cities. Once there, there is no way out but through.   Read More About The Labyrinth
by Wraith: The Oblivion 2nd Ed
 

The Key

  Within the blasphemous tome of the Black Star, there are few pages dedicated to the ghoulish Specters. It speaks of the children of mad dreams, of things from both below and above - but many of the illustrations within the book are too fantastic to correspond to anything witnessed by survivors. As the book rewrites itself with each new discovery, fragmentary mentions of the Specters creep into the text.   Read More About Key of the Black Star  
Some have come to believe that Specters only exist when there is a human mind there to fear them - that those who walk the Labyrinth without fear will see no shadow nor specter.   No one has been able to put this theory to the test.
 

The Dark City

  Deep within the heart of the Labyrinth, the Dark City festers like rot on a corpse. It is the center of the Labyrinth, made from fragments of every city that has ever been - and perhaps will ever be. Specters swarm the City in a facsimile of life, chanting and screaming, performing forbidden and blasphemous work far from prying eyes.   The city itself is mix of perfect order and a chaotic jumble of buildings and streets, caverns and complex tunnels collapsed upon each other. Doors that lead to sheer drops or towers jutting out straight from the cavernous wall - the city is always shifting and no path ever lead to the same place twice.   Read More About The Dark City  
 

Thaumaturgy

  Thaumaturgy draws Specters like maggots to dead meat. The ichor of spirits resonates with the dark essence of the Labyrinth and weaving powerful spells within it is like ringing a gong - or a dinner bell.   Specters react in a a bewildering range of ways to the presence of Thaumaturgy, from fear to fury. Some rumors insist that one Thaumaturg have carved himself a kingdom among the Specters, even as he slips further away from his own humanity with every dreadful spell.  
by The Rake Creepypasta
 
Even now, I can't help but to feel that something is following me. It's been years since I walked the streets of the Dark City but every time I look over my shoulder, I feel like there will be one of them here. It is getting difficult to sleep. They are there, too.  
— Journal



Cover image: by The Rake Creepypasta

Comments

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19 Jul, 2020 03:33

I feel like this article quote is also describing Araea:

It is where nightmares go when they grow up from haunting children.
Well written and haunting, as always.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.