Hateling Species in Nascindor | World Anvil


Hatelings are not a specific species per se, but rather the physical manifestations of the Adversary's seething nightmares spilling into reality from its restless dreaming. Varying wildly in shape and size, hatelings can appear to be almost anything, from clearly humanoid proportions to nearly formless abominations of gnashing teeth and flailing limbs.


Hatelings emerge from the Heart of Hate, crossing the boundary between Nascindor and the Adversary's nightmare in a mockery of the miracle of birth, extruding from the fleshy mass of the heart at a constant pace. These newly arrived Hatelings are little more than lumps of squirming flesh, but rapidly begin to sprout appendages, limbs, eyes and mouths before growing into a fully formed Hateling in a matter of minutes. What determines the type of Hateling that is born from any given lump is a mystery, though it matters little when they are all equal affronts towards nature.


Hatelings are encountered only within the borders of the Black Forest, as any that attempt to leave the cursed woods are destroyed on sight by Seeker patrols. They are extremely dangerous and cannot be communicated nor reasoned with, and usually spell the end of anyone unfortunate enough to come across one unarmed and untrained. At rare occasions, Hatelings swarm and form what is known as the Host, a massive gathering of Hatelings that is hellbent on breaking out of the Black Forest.


While there is a dizzying variety of different kinds of Hatelings, there are some that can be categorized via their recognizable forms and behavioral patterns.
These include;


What are they?

While it is clear that the Hatelings are offal from the Nightmare that spreads through the Tapestrum Arcanum, it is unclear as to what they actually are. Humans and Arachnitha dream and experience nightmares, yet these do not taint the tapestry in such a way that the Adversary's disturbed dreaming does.
  It could be argued that the Adversary is a god, and therefore bears a unique influence over the Tapestrum Arcanum that transcends mortal comprehension, but this would be the easy way out, academically speaking. Some theorists posit that the Hatelings are echoes of primal fears and anxieties that pool in the tapestry through collective mortal experience and that it is this wellspring of terror that the Adversary is, consciously or subconsciously, drawing from to manifest the Hatelings.
  Other, more traditional views suggest that the Hatelings are entirely of the Adversary, fragments of its fathomless malice that seep into the fabric of reality, twisting and corrupting the very essence of the Tapestrum. The existence of the Nightmare lends credence to this point of view, and proponents of this theory argue that the utter derangement and otherness of the Hatelings proves that they cannot be the products of mortal minds or collective fears alone.
  Adherents of the Lucid Path, the Varlemites, consider the Adversary and its nightmare to be endemic to Nascindor. To them, this reality is merely another layer of the Nightmare and that mortals should flee before it is too late.
  They believe the anomalies surrounding the Varlem Desert are the consciousness of a benevolent god pushing through and offering a way out, which is why they frequently journey into the desert in search of this god. No definitive evidence of any tangible presence in the desert has ever been uncovered, and the few pilgrims that do return claim simply that they did not find their god because they were not ready yet. Still, their view on the matter is worth pondering.   Whatever the truth may be, one thing is for certain; the Adversary must not awaken from its slumber, for the Hatelings and the Black Forest represent a mere glimpse of its nightmare.
In the forest the Hatelings dwell,
  Where the light of the sun cannot swell,
  Don't stray too far from the path you know well,
  Or they'll snatch you up and drag you to hell.

  –Cautionary limerick often sung to children by their parents
by AI-generated
by Midjourney
by Midjourney
by Midjourney
An assortment of Hatelings

Cover image: by AI-generated


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Jul 12, 2023 03:39

Yay I am in!! I am so glad too, this is even better than I was hoping!! I particularly enjoyed the limerick. Great article!!