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Night-Wanderer

Three years ago, I met another Scavenger who was less interested in texts on magic and how to wield it than in the mythology that each magical group had built, such as the original Mechanicals, the near-God status of the leader of the Deathwalker Council, and the Night-Wanderers.

Summary

According to the Weightcasters, the Night-Wanderers are Weightcasters who were consumed by the pull of the planet and sucked into it, body, mind, and soul. During the neap tides, they reappear, trying to escape their gravitational prison. They are often seen walking along roads. Though they seek help of someone who will help them break the force that binds them to the planet, said force is too strong, and they only ever succeed in pulling the others into the planet with them, and thus creating more Night-Wanderers. Thus, whenever Weightcasters perform a work of magic as a group, they always do it at high tide, to be sure they are not working with a Night-Wanderer that may seal their own fate inside the planet.

Historical Basis

There have been several historical accounts of Weightcasters who have died when they were overtaken by the gravity of the planet. The oldest, and perhaps the most dramatic, example dates back more than 1000 years, when An Bove in an attempt to drive her enemies into the ground during a war, but instead drove herself into the ground. Her body was found folded in on itself, similar to the way one might crumple a sheet of paper.

Variations & Mutation

It is likely that the myth actually originated among Werewolves, who have long held the belief that the spirits of those who die violently or painfully will return to haunt the living, but the myth was not commonly seen among Weightcasters until Pavlo Glen wrote a poem about An Bove, more than three hundred years after her death. As the legend became more popular it was adapted to reflect Weightcaster practices--the most violent deaths among Weightcasters usually being those who are overtaken by the planet's gravity during magic practice. The importance of the force of gravity appeared again five hundred years later, in a collection of myths by Haylie Winton. This is the first known version of the myth in which the spirit is seen only at the lowest tides.

Cultural Reception

Just about all Weightcasters are familiar with the myth, though not all of them believe it. It is, nevertheless, the basis of a taboo against performing group magical workings at low tide.

Telling / Prose
Weightcasters

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Cover image: Weightcaster Symbol by Molly Marjorie

Comments

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6 Jul, 2019 13:32

Wow, that was a cool and somewhat gnarly read!! I may be a morbid person but I really like the slight detailing of An Bove's death but without falling into gratuitously painful or "edgy". I think especially the evolution of the myth from where it originated to how it was adapted and edited into what it is today makes it feel realistic!! Nice work!!

6 Jul, 2019 18:33

Thanks! I had a lot of fun writing this one.