Lily the Snow Demon

To some, she is a fearsome nightmare. To others, a local legend.  
The demon is coming for me. I can hear her sniffling at the door, pawing at the windows. She haunts my every dream, and I can feel her stalking me. How am I to make a living if I cannot leave this house?   But perhaps it doesn't matter. She will make a move soon, and only one of us will survive it. I'm almost ready to go out to meet her. She deserves her revenge, and me... I just want it to end.  
Excerpt of a letter from a known harvester
  Named after a late consort of King Erik of Rhovan, Lily the Snow Demon was a particularly vicious and cunning alpine cat that terrorized Rhovan's capital city in the spring of 980 DE.   While naturally territorial and aggressive, alpine cats do not typically venture into towns and cities. And while they may attack livestock during particularly harsh winters, they do not often attack humans, unless said humans venture into the cat's territory, far up in the mountain range. So while the alpine cat is a feared predator of Rhovan and Necros, typically only those wandering the mountainside need worry about them.  
But in the spring of 980 DE one alpine cat not only managed to sneak into the capital city, but proceeded to go on a killing spree that had much of the city searching for the ellusive predator. Lily murdered 6 Rhovani citizens in an extremely violent manner before being captured.  
Blood and viscera splattered the walls, everywhere. The body was so mangled, we only knew the attacker to be a cat by the bloody paw prints left in its wake.
— Investigator
  The cat managed to force her way into the homes of some of her victims. One, it attacked in an alleyway, leaving bits of the poor man strewn from one end of the alley to the other. Despite this mess and the inevitable noise, no one reported seeing the large cat.   She was finally caught at a potion and supplies shop, which she had all but destroyed, busting down the door, tearing through inventory, and shattering expensive ingredients. A nearby neighbor heard some noise and came to investigate. Far in the back of the shop, in the storage area, she found the massive cat, coated in blood and howling into the night.  
I'm not sure what compelled me forward that night. Everyone knows to stay far away from the snow devils. But her cries broke my heart. I still hear them. I edged in, quiet as I could, to find her wrapped around a small, dead alpine cub.
— Rhovani woman
  City guards arrived on the scene and captured the alpine cat with the help of a witch who was able to sedate the poor beast. They found the remains of the apothecary and his girlfriend in the living quarters above the shop.   No one really knows why, but King Erik arrived on the scene that night, before a decision could be made regarding the cat's fate. When he questioned the identity of all the cat's victims and examined the scene, he declared justice to have been served and demanded the cat's freedom.   What's more, King Erik escorted the giant cat outside the city, hand in her fur and her leaning into him as though she were some gentle, domesticated dog. Lily has not been seen since.
Presented Sex
White with unusually light grey markings
Alpine Cat
Species | Dec 1, 2021

A large, fearsome feline predator of the northern mountain ranges


About the Name

No one is really sure who started calling the alpine cat Lily, but it started sometime during the retelling of the event.   Some joke that the spirit of the king's late consort resides in the cat. Whether this is a compliment or criticism depends on who says it.   The moniker Lily the Snow Demon refers to the fact that alpine cats are also referred to as snow devils, as well as this particular one's lethality.  
Only King Erik could love someone so dangerous.
— Rhovani citizen

Investigation Results

Those killed by Lily were determined to be harvesters, people who procure rare and often dangerous or illegal potion ingredients to sell to potion masters and alchemy shops. In this case, the group worked together to hunt alpine cats, when they stumbled upon a den and stole two cubs while Lily was most likely hunting. They sold the cubs to the alchemist, who would use and sell various parts of the animals.   Lily tracked their scent all the way back to Intyr, and hunted each person involved, saving the alchemist for last. No one who was not involved with the cubs' deaths was injured, except perhaps for the alchemist's lover. Her involvement remains unknown.

Cover image: by PIRO4D
Character Portrait image: by Marcel Langthim


Author's Notes

Thank you for reading! For more of my WorldEmber 2020 articles, click here.   About the Animal
The alpine cat is basically a snow leopard, but larger and more aggressive, closer in size and temperment to a tiger. It may eventually be renamed.

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28 Dec, 2020 13:37

Dangit, now I have the Smashing Pumpkins song, "Lily", stuck in my head. But it's still way better than having Lily's teeth there! :D

30 Dec, 2020 03:23

:) That it is. Thanks for the like and comment!

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29 Dec, 2020 00:22

I really love this. It's interesting how the King himself ended up involved at the end, and that he decreed justice had been done. It definitely had, I'm on Lily's side. Poor thing, poor cubs. :(

30 Dec, 2020 03:24

Thank you :)

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29 Dec, 2020 11:26

Wowowow! I love this story, despite how sad it is.
  I am with King Erik on the fact that justice has been served and I believe there is something there about the spirit of his late wife... Will we learn how she died?

30 Dec, 2020 03:25

Aw, thank you! And maybe... I'm kind of flying by the seat of my pants here :)

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Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
11 Jan, 2021 05:15

Awww, poor Lily. I'm glad she survived though.

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
18 Feb, 2021 18:03

I'm a simple person. I see a gorgeous snow leopard, I click like. Great article, as well. Beautiful presentation!

Writer, sarcastic, funny, dragon-lover, movie buff | Twitter   Author of the now complete Remember Dragons Lie Volume I: The Stag