The Shadow of the North.

Written by WDMichael



  The hunters of Wolveshire and the fishers of Kaltvindur have been spreading myths surrounding the uninhabited peninsula in the northern reaches of Worheim for centuries. The harsh weather and the voracious beasts who inhabit the land unchecked have made settling the area near impossible. Some brave adventurers venture into the territory, fewer have returned. A favorite tale from the Ice fishers of Kaltvindur is of a mythical shapeshifter the Akin; a powerful beast that kills with impunity.  

The Shadow Of the North:

  The Akin is a mythical creature of fairy tales in the land of Magmoia. Tales depict a great shadow stalking the land and sea around the icy uninhabited peninsula of northern Worheim. Commonly referred to as the Shadow of the North. The Akin is a voracious beast, killing any animal it feels as it gets hungry, culling the icy region of the north. Blood trails leading to the ocean with large paw prints pulling a carcass into the sea are a commonality in the tales.    

Common Physical Descriptions:

  No one alive has seen the body of the beast, just the shadow of a monstrous creature with piercing purple eyes.   Despite never seeing the beast descriptions of the creature's appearance still exist. A more standard version of the Akins appearance depicts the animal being taller than any elk, with the scales of a water lizard, the body of a wolf, fangs of ice, and eyes with an eerie purple center.  
Akin Sketch by Jesse

Current Usage:

  The tale of the Akin is an old fable now used as a means to keep children from playing too far from home, or past sunset.  

Story of the Akin told from a mother to her child:

  Years ago, a young Dwarf lived in this very neighborhood, and he had three older siblings. As the youngest dwarf in the family, he would sometimes be picked on or bullied by his older siblings. Being bullied in his own home, the child left his family and went to live alone in the mountains. He packed enough food and water to survive a few days, and he would create a cabin and live here for as long as he needed. The young dwarf unexperienced in navigating the terrain soon became lost. He ate all of his food within the first day, stepped in a puddle of water and soaked his foot in ice water, and even lost his satchel when he ran from a hungry bear. Now lost in the woods and far from home, the young dwarf tried to find shelter for the night near the edge of the forest. The sound of the ocean and the wind hitting the tips of the trees could be heard as the young dwarf hunkered down for the night. Unfortunately, that was not the only sound. Out of the water came a colossal splash followed by a loud thud as a massive beast stood on the edge of the ice. The young dwarf poked his head out to see what caused the noise, and as soon as he did, the terrifying purple eyes were upon him. He tried to hunker down deep into his hole that he crafted and covered himself in branches. His actions were folly for as soon as he laid down the beast tore through the twigs and dragged the boy into the ocean. Never to be seen again.  

A Hunters Recount Of The Akin:

A hunt last winter brought me into the base of the Ice Peninsula as I tracked some large elk through the fresh snow. I had finally caught the herd in an opening between the forest line and the ocean. As I was getting ready to move in closer to the heard for a good shot a massive black shadow flew out of the woods and crushed the head of the heard, a large male with an enormous rack of horns. As quickly as the shadow came, it grabbed the bloody carcass and pulled it towards the shoreline. As it reached the edge of the water, I stood up to try and get a better view of the creature who stole my kill, as I began to stand, the beast stopped at the edge of the water. Its kill dropped from its mouth, and the creature looked up at me with those purple eyes, and for a split second, I knew it saw me. The shadow grabbed the elk and vanished into the water. I turned and ran until I couldn't run any further.
— Bulzad of Wolveshire

Cover image: Evil Eyes by OpenClipart-Vectors


Author's Notes

I love feedback let me know what you thought!

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21 Jul, 2019 16:26

Nice tale of a mysterious, hunting creature. I like that people have seen it, but they can’t seem to see anything but a shadow and purple eyes. I also really liked the recounting of the hunter, but I wish you had made paragraphs, rather than one long chunk of text, it would read nicer.   It is a tad confusing whether the creature actually has a body, or if it is made out of shadows. I guess part of the reason for it is that it is a myth. It may be nice to see what exactly it’s told to kids about it, for example, in another quote (like the beginning or the end of a tale about the akin)   Formatting wise: the text which indicate the authors of the pictures are illegible due to the colour. Similarly, the comment box text is illegible as it is being written.

21 Jul, 2019 16:42

Thank you for the feecback I always enjoy it! I will take a look here at those fixes shortly!!   I have plans to work more into the children's tale!!

Grandmaster PBE
William Belley
22 Jul, 2019 05:16

Nice read !   I like particulary the add of the sketch and the story on the right. If i can offer ideas, it could be nice to see some sketches of what people who saw it drew together, like dream paintings of lovecraftian lore. Birdbox made a nice example of this: https://memestatic.fjcdn.com/large/pictures/02/40/02402a_6880721.jpg   Another creepy example could be corpses of large animals. Like a torn up killer whale on the seashore. https://sickcritic.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Cthulhu5.jpg   Aside from that, it portrays well the danger of the outside north and should have worked for children.   Fun read. and have fun in summercamp

22 Jul, 2019 23:16

Using the fear of the unknown and not giving a detailed description of is a great way to maintain that feeling of dread throughout the article. I also enjoy how it is neither confirmed or denied that the beast actually exists which is a great way to further that fear of the unknown. I noticed in the adventurers report you misspelt herd as heard. but beyond that writing was very coherent and didn't feel disjointed. I would add that you might want to expand on the children tale a bit as it feel a bit like it was tacked on at the end. Not much but a small paragraph tale (like the boy who shouted wolf) would go a long way to flesh out the mythos of this amazing creature. The cover art is also a great really drew me into the article and fit in the the mood overall. Best of luck with the rest of Summer Camp

22 Jul, 2019 23:21

That intro paragraph is killer, it hooked me right away. Well done with that! Akins themselves sound terrifying, I really enjoyed the description of them. It combines so many features of other animals, that it paints a terrifying picture in my mind.   I see that you mention that the tale of Akin is used to keep children from playing too far from home, but I'd love to see an example of that. I can totally get not wanting to go out far from home in the dark if these things might be out there to get me! But I'd love to see an actual quote or example, of say a mother to her son, explaining the myth. Might be a nice addition! The sidebar quote is terrifying, so I mostly just want to read more similar to that haha.   I think format-wise, the bottom half of the article could be laid out a bit differently! The image of blood would look good beside the summary paragraph, and the two images at the bottom would look good resized, and put side by side. using columns and other BBCode would help a lot.   I didn't really notice any grammar or spelling mistakes other than the ones already pointed out. Really great article! I'm definitely interested in reading more.

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