Gaegoed: Liquid Legs
Those rippling, dripping things would visit often in the night, waiting for the time when I might let down my guard. But they could never best me, for my dreams would never be left out where they could see.Gaegoeds are small watery eldritch entities that hide in bodies of water near sapient beings, and feed on theirs dreams when they sleep.
Gaegoeds are relatively small in size, typically little larger than the average human head. Their bodies are made of a clear liquid akin to water, making them difficult to see when in hiding, and when on the hunt. One can spot a gaegoed by keeping an eye out for the distortion of light through their bodies, and the undulation of their forms. Their bodies are formed from a central bulbous shape from which myriad legs sprout upwards, sharply turning downwards towards the ground and terminating in sharp, jagged edges. The number of legs possessed by a gaegoed is ever changing, as new legs grow and old ones recede at every moment— one can have anywhere from eight to twenty-four legs at any given time.
Upon reaching their sleeping prey, gaegoeds will envelop their head with their body. Their legs will then turn inwards, snaking their way up the victim's nostrils to reach their brain. Upon contact with the brain, the gaegoed will begin to suck the dreams from their prey, until their prey inevitably drowns. This makes them significantly less effective dream-eaters than shulhoa, but much more dangerous. Gaegoed tend to travel alone, as each requires multiple minds to sate their hunger. After they are filled— a process which can take one or several nights— they will retreat into the water and not appear again to hunt for several months— sometimes years, depending on the size of their last meal. If attacked, a gaegoed will either attempt to climb on and drown their attacker, or retaliate by stabbing them with their many jagged legs. While attached to a victim's head, gaegoed are also able to defend themselves against attacks by stabbing outwardly with their remaining legs.
Killing and capturingGaegoed cannot be killed by conventional methods, if one were to swing at one with a weapon— the weapon would simply pass through the creature without doing it any harm. Instead, one must engorge a gaegoed by daydreaming. Daydreams do not offer power in the way that sleeping dreams do, rather, they are a sort of filler food for gaegoed— nutritionally empty. This can be done while in contact with a gaegoed, be it with one's head or hands, all they need to do is withstand the creature's blows and continue to daydream. Doing so is no easy task, of course, and requires intense focus, especially while being attacked by the creature. Eventually, the gaegoed will become overfull, and explode— leaving a mere puddle in its wake. Capturing a gaegoed is just as difficult, requiring a water-tight container, and a way to trick the gaegoed into it. One can act as bait and place the container within their own mouth or nose, one can place a hidden container between themselves and a gaegoed, one could set up a small pool near where they plan to sleep— and have someone nearby to seal it the moment a gaegoed reveals itself— any method, be it a simple bait and switch, or an elaborate trap, can do the job. Once contained, one must be quick to perform the proper ritual to calm the gaegoed, and stop it from breaking through the container.
I eventually discovered a way to recover the dreams they stole. To catch one inside was not wise, and yet remained the goal. And so I sewed some skin to my skin, the skin of my esophagus, what better way to catch an unwanted guest? I slept outside, waiting for the moment they'd find me blind. Once I awoke, my vision blurred, I spoke a forbidden word, sucking the thing inside no matter how much it stirred. Soon it would find itself no longer the hunter than hunts but the prey that prays.For those who work with the power of dreams, gaegoed can prove to be great source of extra strength. Harvesting one is no easy feat, however— and requires their capture first and foremost. The same is true for those wishing to utilize gaegoed bodies in alchemy. Once captured, however, a gaegoed— or its body— can be filled with occult dreams, at which point the body will shrink to the size of one's fist, and take on a gelatinous viscosity— allowing one to either harvest the dreams within, or brew it into a potion.