In the fog-ridden forest at the northern end of the Tolorak Mountains, the native people worship a set of animistic spirits they call Fog-Wights—Arakam Valash, in their tongue. They are said to be creatures innately of pure spirit, but which can manifest a physical form when they wish to—curiously, the linguistic convention is to refer to this body as if it were a kind of flora. Their religion centers around an ancient pact, forged during the War of Shadow, in the aftermath of the battle between Velir-of-the-Dawn and the Treacherous Mountain, which cut the steep valleys for which the Tolorak region is now known. The people were starving, the lands ravaged by war, and so they bargained with the Fog-Wights—simply put, the spirits would bring the people plenty, and protect them from anything short of invasion, so long as the people would provide the spirits with worship and secrecy. As the region seems to lack any of Vassar's corruption, there may be some merit to the story, but unlike other animistic peoples, these spirits are seldom seen even by their worshipers. This is derived from the spirits' demand for secrecy, which requires even their worshipers to never see or hear them—that is a priveledge given only to the priests which officiate said worship, and even then only rarely.
The physical manifestation of a Fog-Wight is a vast, animate fungal colony. They possess four growth which approximate the limbs of more conventional creatures, another growth which houses sensory organs, and are covered in white fungal tufts, which an ignorant person might mistake for fur. These tufts possess an adhesive quality which the spirit controls, allowing the body to stick to nearly any surface at will. The body is burned by salt in a manner similar to if it were an extremely potent acid. The Fog-Wight is capable of folding and contorting its physical form into the shape of a completely hairless human. This disguise lacks a number of minor features of the human form, such as the small muscles which control facial expression, and as such can cause discomfort in real humans they encounter. If the body is sufficiently damaged, its connection to the spirit will be severed, causing the spirit no small harm. Severed from the spirit, the body is incapable of persisting long, disintegrating in less than a day.
Genetics and Reproduction
When Tekum trees draw fog down into the earth from the cloud layer, godsbreath is drawn down with it. The trees absorb this through the bark to sustain themselves, but will often absorb more than they can process, resulting in build-up over time. However, this build-up will eventually include a sufficiently high concentration of the Breath of Glory to develop a rudimentary consciousness. This rudimentary consciousness is a nascent Fog-Wight, with the godsbreath build-up comprising its spiritual essence.
Growth Rate & Stages
Nascent Fog-Wights leech off the godsbreath of their host Tekum tree, gradually drawing more Breath of Glory into themselves, allowing their consciousness to grow more and more complex. Eventually, they remove themselves from the tree, having developed a sufficient consciousness for sentience.
Ecology and Habitats
The Fog-Wights lack a means to moderate their spiritual essence, and are as such can only exist in environments which filter out the Breath of Glory from sunlight—such as the fog of a cloud forest—or which are hidden from sunlight.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Fog-Wights only exist int he Askem Valashor.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The spiritual form of the Fog-Wight is capable of detecting the presence of nearby spiritual creatures—both those of purely spiritual nature, and souls which are animating bodies. Additionally, the physical manifestation of the Fog-Wight possesses sensory organs—two each for sight, smell, and sound, approximating those of humans, though of lesser capacity.
80 - 95 kilograms (manifestation, unfolded)
2 - 2.4 meters (manifestation, unfolded)
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