The invisible creatures that dwell within the dark, preying on those who dare stray too far from the light
We've all heard about them at one point - whether we know it or not. "Don't go outside at night", our parents would say, "or you'll get snatched up" - you never believe them as a child. Why would you? They're just stories about the dark to scare us into obedience. Turns out, they weren't. It's so simple it's laughable - a cruel joke that you can't speak of once you hear it, lest you invite them in. And there's only one way to get them out once they're in; only one way to spare their victims.
Hunters of the WildernessIt is by no means an exaggeration to call the Bagbeasts the largest threat to civilization on all of Zheng-Kitar - they are frequently listed by The Rasmanthus Guild and kingdoms alike as the most active and dangerous threat to expansion, and the most difficult obstacle to overcome when one wishes to found new lands or territories outside the firmly established lands of civilization. For outside of the shining light of civilization, lurks the terrifying Boogeymen - the much feared Bagbeasts, invisible and unseen nighttime predators who hunt down those who travel the wilderness at night with almost unchecked impunity. To walk alone in the wilds of Zheng-Kitar is almost invariably a death sentence - though, thankfully, they are a multitude of ways these beasts can be held at bay or fought off. Most notably, they are vulnerable to the White Peony flower - that most pure and sacred white of flowers represents purity of body and spirit, and is thus anathema to the Bagbeasts - beings of evil and darkness that prey on the flesh and spirits of their victims. These White Peony flowers are not only a ward against weaker Bagbeasts, who fear to approach those who possess the flower, but are also a fantastic early warning system against Bagbeasts of all kinds - when one of the foul things is within a certain radius of one, a White Peony will invariably wither and rot away in a matter of seconds - allowing its user precious time to prepare or escape. Such defenses are not limited to this flower of purity however, and many simple defenses are known to exist against them from holding stalks of specific roots or plants in the mouth, to weapons coated in Rapeseed oil, to even bright light and concentrated sunlight, the latter of which is said to be infinitely more dangerous to them. As a last resort, it is relatively common knowledge that if one is pursued or being hunted by the Bagbeasts, feared hunters and spawn of the infinitely evil Witch Kings of Bhorsis-Razghûl, one should seek out the protection and company of one of the Kami(Even the lowliest of Kami such as Kodama or Shikigami) - whom the Bagbeasts are said to avoid and shy away from in all but the most hostile of circumstances.
Variations & Mutation
Knowledge is a dangerous thing. On one hand, all of mortal civilization is founded upon it - it is lock and key both to all living beings and their cultures. But to the unprepared mind, it is a poison most lethal. Such it is that they are so ubiquitous to all cultures - a coincidence? Perhaps. Or, perhaps more likely, a thing done to spread awareness to the unknowing masses, just enough to warn them. To warn them of that which lurks in the dark - enemies of all things which only perhaps the old ones know of fully, and fight evenly. For, to know of them - there is little more dangerous. Awareness invites them in, you see. It opens the door. And while that open door might allow one to kill them - it is a thing best kept shut unless one is sure they can handle what lies beyond.
Orichalchos of Ímarsira
One of the greatest and most decorated adventurers of the modern era, now martyred and forgotten.
Osmantha the Indomitable
The head of the Rasmanthus Guild, once known as the Heat-Reaping Demon of Destruction.
The once great hero of men, whose shining voice drove back the encroaching oblivion but was in turn consumed.
The ancient, ineffable being from whom the rot of reanimation spreads, and from whom the first undead were born.
The invisible creatures that dwell within the dark, preying on those who dare stray too far from the light.