Kub-Glorrha

Our bodies twisted. Our lives unending. This is our fate, a punishment for forbidden ascending.
— A Kub-Glorrhan chant
  A people cursed with immortality for a forbidden ritual, their bodies warped, and forced into eternal servitude to the very being they offended. Most are trapped within their cursed city of Shoal'Ghnu, and those who find their way into the larger world live in seclusion as many fear them to be monsters .    

Gaol of Flesh

Their bodies warped by a curse from an eldritch being long ago, the Kub-Glorrhans are almost unrecognizable as human. They appear— quite literally— twisted, as if some unseen force had pulled at them like clay. Their sickly pale-green skin is pulled tight under their ribcages and around their spines— compacting their internal organs and shoving them lower into their abdomens. Their organs— being compacted into their lower abdomen— can be seen faintly through their skin, and their forms leave the surface bumpy and uneven.   It's a mystery how they are able to walk upright— but they have proven to be a surprisingly resilient people. Their fibulae have detached from their lower legs at the bottom— extending backwards, like some kind of spur. This gives the Kub-Glorrhans better footing, making it more difficult to knock them down. The ends of their hips jut up and out at strange angles— appearing like organic greaves protecting their more exposed organs— ending in bony points about six inches upwards. Somehow, their arms appear to be bursting with muscle— but only at the shoulder, growing skinnier towards the hand.  
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  Two four-inch circular holes have been punched through their chests where their nipples and lungs would be, angled inward and meeting to make a six-inch hole in center of their backs. And yet, they still breathe. The insides of these holes are covered with a thin layer of skin, in a vain attempt by their bodies to heal the wounds. Whenever one dies, they are reborn through the chest of another— an excruciatingly painful experience for both.   Sunk into their torsos, their heads have been melded between their shoulders— facing upwards so that their chins rest in their chests, and their foreheads rest where their spinal columns would normally have ended. Their spines, rather than disappear where their heads had sunk, have adjusted to this— and instead wrap over the scalp— jutting out like some macabre horn just before reaching their foreheads. Hair only grows in a ring where their scalps meet their backs, in long, wispy black strands.   Immortality, and a lack of food within their home leads to most being emaciated, and as such, their eyes and cheeks are often sunken, pronouncing the shapes of their skulls.    

Forbidden Ascension

Long before even the predecessors of today's nations were founded, the Kub-Glorrha thrived. They were part of a great nation now forgotten to even them— the largest city of which was their own, Shoal'Ghnu. Occultism was the norm, knowledge of great beings and forces beyond the comprehension of mankind was common— as were rituals to tap into their powers. For some, this was simply not enough. They desired more, they needed more! Nothing short of ascension— godhood would suit them. Their number grew, many of the Kub-Glorrha began to lust after the same power and it was not long before a plan was formed by their high priest.   They would steal the child of their patron deity— Ytnolshola and take its strength for themselves. Ytnolshola however, had already foreseen their plan, in a time before even matter had been conceived. Punishment was swift, and excruciating. On the day of the ritual, the denizens of the city were pulled into the sky and twisted, maimed, killed, and reborn into the horrid monstrosities seen today— their deformed heads always fixed to the sky, where the being they betrayed lived— so that they may never forget their place.   A small girl, Aeol, was sacrificed for the ritual. Ytnolshola brought her back to life, embedded in an obelisk in the center of the city— where she now acts as their high priestess. All matters of governance go through her, and as a result, many give gifts to win her favor— some even worship her.  
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  Their civilization became dust against the grindstone of time, forgotten even by them. They were trapped within Shoal'Ghnu, which was built on an island. Death awaited them in whichever direction they may try to leave, the waters surrounding them had become treacherous and the closest land was that of a great desert. Inexplicably, ships will find themselves at the island's shores— and those attempting to leave similarly find themselves granted passage for reasons they cannot understand.   They may be given a direct order by Aeol, travel in their dreams, or open their door one day to find themselves in another land. However they escape, they are never truly free. Those who travel outside of Shoal'Ghnu are given a task by Ytnolshola to complete— either directly or guided by perceived luck. Should they die— and one way or another they will— they will find themselves reborn through another Kub-Glorrha in the city, their memories reset to the day after the ritual.      

Traditions

Greetings & Farewells

A simple look in the eyes is utilized for the grand majority of greetings and farewells.   However, for major events concerning close friends and family such as reuniting or separating, one will bring both of their fists in front of the holes in their chests, symbolically granting them their breath.

Milestones

Death is constant for the Kub Glorrha, and they are unable to reproduce. The land around Shoal'Ghnu is cursed, no new food can be grown, leaving most in a constant state of starvation. Those who do somehow find sustenance succumb to age in time. Death is known to all the Kub-Glorrha, and not something that requires any sort of ceremony.
   

Ideals, Love, & Gender

Relationships

The cycle of rebirth and memory loss only compounds the issue of their warped appearance by keeping previous beauty standards from evolving. This makes long-term relationships incredibly difficult to maintain— and these are consequently rare.   Aeol, jealous of affection now impossible for her, meddles in the relationships of many. On a bad day, she may force couples to separate or fight for her amusement. On a good day— she may force unlucky Kub-Glorrha into a relationship, playing matchmaker, punishing them horribly should the pairing not appear suitable. Most try to keep their relationships behind closed doors.  

Beauty

Beauty standards have been unable to evolve with their appearance. Many will try to give the appearance of their previous bodies by filling their chests with stones— but they cannot truly gain their original appearances, leaving most disappointed— and alone.  

Gender

With their warped bodies, it is quite difficult to tell a woman from a man. The Kub-Glorrha, as a result, tend to ignore their previous gender standards. When they are discernible, however, women are expected to become priestesses and practice the occult. Supposedly this power grants them smaller stomachs (it does not), and food should be given to men first as a result.    

Art, Architecture, & Dress

Art & Architecture

Each Kub-Glorrhan is compelled to draw the same repeating patterns and words in a language known only to Ytnolshola. These are drawn on the sides of homes, the ground, furniture, or their bodies utilizing strange pale-green stones found after the curse began— or their own blood if necessary. Whatever artwork they had created before has been twisted like everything else within Shoal'Ghnu, most twisted into images of Ytnolshola.
The entirety of the city's architecture has been warped into alien make, places of worship sprouted from the ground, and the population is stagnant. There is no more need to build, the structures that stood thousands of years ago continue to stand today— their strange blue-cracked metallic purple stone seemingly more resilient than anything they could build on their own. However, on occasion, Aeol will demand a statue— but that is all.
 

Dress

For those within the city, rebirth is always looming. One cannot don a robe, for it will likely be torn to shreds when a Kub-Glorrhan is forced through the wearer's chest. Death, too, leaves one without objects on their person.   Most importantly— materials that could be used for clothing can be put to better use as food to stave off starvation. It is thanks to these factors that clothing is rare, though a greatly determined few carve coverings out of stone.   Outside of the city, however, these are non-issues. However, many fear the Kub-Glorrha, believing them to be monsters or apparitions. As death can follow discovery— those who travel the world must cover themselves. Before reaching civilization they will always find dark hooded robes to cover their grotesque features. Wooden framing is placed inside the hood, with wooden masks placed in the front— giving the appearance of a normal head. Small holes in the mask's chin allow them to see. Long stone sandals are fashioned to accommodate their fibulae, which are then covered with cloth.    

Religion & Myth

Ytnolshola is the only deity the Kub-Glorrha are allowed to worship, and by extension, Aeol. Should one disobey— they will find themselves as a permanent fixture upon The Wall of Sinners— unable to move, and unable to die. Kept in excruciating pain. Five hours of each day must be spent within one of the great churches that sprouted from the ground on the day the curse began, and worshipers must do so fervently.  
Ytnolshola! Ythgran, kl'atyn routh, Ytnolshola! Translation: Ytnolshola! How kind and generous are you, Ytnolshola!
— A common chat
  Priests and priestesses hold more sway within their society, as they hold closer bonds with Ytnolshola. They are practiced and capable of utilizing eldritch magics— for use in ritual and in tasks given to them by Ytnolshola.
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Languages spoken

Naming

The names of the Kub-Glorrha were given by Ytnolshola upon the first rebirth of each, emphasizing their changed states.   Families fell apart, not recognizing one another in appearance or name. Friends, too, lost track of one another, and lovers would find themselves forever apart.   The Kub-Glorrha's original names were purged from their memories, and only a scant few know the meaning of their new ones.   Examples include: Yoluk, Shraeg, Nugh, Go'gush, Logn'tol, Tonu, Ey'st, Mog, Diraeu, Uong.    

Taboos

Do not cast a glare towards a church, or worst of all— the obelisk. This will earn Aeol's ire, and can lead to the punishment of all in the dissenter's proximity.   Do not speak Ytnolshola's name in vain. One will find themselves among the Wall of Sinners should they commit this sin.   Do not fail to apologize, each and every single day.   Do not forget what you have done to deserve this.  
 
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Test subjects

The alchemists of Louh, always in search of new materials for use in their work, hold Kub-Glorrha in high regard as test subjects.   The alchemical properties of their bodies are not found anywhere else, and some believe that they can create a potion for immortality if they could only find the right combination of ingredients.   Of course, this is made quite difficult by the fact that the Kub-Glorrha do not leave corpses behind. They must painstakingly be kept alive as alchemists extract organs and body parts to experiment with, a period of horrible suffering at the hands of especially skilled alchemists.   At least they may find some solace in the fact that they will not remember this particular suffering upon their rebirth.  
 
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Related articles

Shoal'Ghnu
Settlement | Jun 24, 2020

The only remaining city for the Kub Glorrha. A cursed island city. Their prison of dirt and stone.

Ytnolshola
Generic article | Jul 3, 2019
Average Kub-Glorrha Household
Building / Landmark | Nov 7, 2019

Strange, warped homes. Cursed like those who reside within them.

Aeol
Character | Jul 3, 2019
The Wall of Sinners
Building / Landmark | Dec 18, 2019

A terrifying reminder to the Kub-Glorrha of what happens to sinners.


Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
15 Dec, 2019 00:41

Ooooooo that's terrible, horrific, and awesome! Nothing less than expected when I see that notification. It is well described.l and fairly unique. I don't think I can truely place any one thing that remotly comes close to them. Excellent work!.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
15 Dec, 2019 01:14

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed them! I've had them in my pocket for a long while and have been wanting to write them out for just as long, glad I finally got around to it.

15 Dec, 2019 14:37

Hahah, holy shit. That's some grade A body horror in the way these poor saps look :D Awesome stuff!!


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.   Current challenge article: Peculiar Plant - the Mind-Shadowed Lotus
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