The hólderkin are creatures that come from Trollskóg
. They look like humans for the most of their lives, and require humans to reproduce. Hólderkin live in very secluded groups deep within forests or mountains, occasionally leaving to capture humans or to steal resources.
Hólderkin cannot breed. The only way for a hólderkin to get children is to infect a human with eggs. Hólderkin do not have a specific gender.
This form of reproduction forces hólderkin to kidnap humans. Hólderkin are adept hunters and often infiltrate villages and seduce humans to capture them. The strategies range from luring humans into the forest and kidnap them, to infiltrating human villages and slowly take over the whole community.
Once infected, humans fall ill. They get a fever and turn delirious. Once the eggs hatch, the hólders eat their way out of the host which kills them.
Nobody have been infected by hólderkin eggs and survived, so there are no records on how people get infected.
Hólderkin take the appearance of androgynous humans, but they all also have a cow tail.
Hólderkin live very short lives. The oldest recorded being 12 years. Throughout their first 10 years they take the appearance of humans from baby up to about 40 years. After this they change more rapidly into a feeble and ugly creature, barely recognizable as a human.
Hólderkin are experts at hypnotizing people. They can enthrall a single person at a time, and that person will be willing to follow simple commands given by the hólderkin. It is unknown what the hólderkin does in order to hyponize a target.
Hólderkin also have a keen sense of smell and a good night vision.
Hólderkin do not have a language of their own and can only communicate through basic words and genstures. But hólderkin are expert mimics and can mimic human speech. They don't know what they're saying, or even if it makes sense.
Hólderkin are not intelligent creatures. They do not know how to use tools or weapons, and do not build any homes or shelters. They do have an ability to learn, and if they observe humans use a tool over a long period of time, some might be able to utilize that tool. This is not to be confused with their mimic ability. They can mimic using a tool quickly when observing, but actually utilizing the tool is something only a few hólderkin manages to do over their lifespan.
There are many stories about the hólderkin. The common thread amongst them is that a beautiful young woman wanders through the forest. Her beauty lures a man (sometimes a lumberjack or a trader) to follow her and try to befriend her, but she always seems to slip through their fingers. After a while, when the man finally catches up with her, he realizes that he is lost, deep within the forest. He then sees her cow tail and the story ends.
The hólderkáll is considered the leader of any hólderkin tribe. It is unknown what they're role and power within the group is, but they are known to be stronger and capable fighters compared to other hólderkin.
Unlike other hólderkin, hólderkáll are intelligent and known to be able to use weapons and can arrange plans.