>Melancholic Wolves

>These creatures are large wolves, with fur of pure white except for a lock of black which hangs over one eye.

Their claws and fangs cause little or no physical damage. Instead, a portion of the wolves’ spirit infects the victim. Wounds from these creatures can cause an all-pervading melancholia, called emonic posession. The victim might be rendered entirely useless for anything other than sighing and writing poetry.

The stories are divided as to whether wolfsbane will deter Melancholic Wolves, as it does with normal wolves.

>Maggots

>A jar of maggots is an essential item for dangerous journeys. When applied to a wound the creatures will eat the dead flesh, keeping it relatively clean and resisting infection.

They may likewise be applied to food which has become unwholesome, although of course this is only useful if there is some part which remains sound.

They are especially useful in the underworld, where damp, mould and a scarcity of clean water are accompanied by an unnatural tendency for all things to rot and decay.

Some magic will produce a walking corpse, which maggots will begin to consume if they are cast upon it. An entire jars’ worth of maggots can cause such an abomination to act as a natural creature would act if set on fire. The products of the boker’s craft are immune, being dead inside and alive outside rather than the reverse.

>Hyenas

>Sacrificing a hyena will defile any altar, even to the most evil god. The single exception is Beautiful Lady Sebastienne, who accepts any sacrifice, and even she will be “made sick” by the offering.

There are no known talking hyenas. However some have suggested that ghouls, despite their human-like appearance, fill this role.

>Hoop-Snakes

>The Ora-Bora, or Hoop-Snake, is a creature of the Downunderworld. It is a snake which puts its tail in its mouth, and flexes its muscles to form a rigid hoop. It can thus roll like a hoop after its prey, especially if the wind and slope of the land are favourable. The disadvantage of this ability is that, in times of great hunger, the beast may begin to eat itself, getting smaller and smaller until it disappears entirely.

>Hollow Mockeries

>Hollow Mockeries have the appearance of the corpse of a horse, which has been whipped around the head and neck, so that it is covered in blood and strips of flesh, and much of the skull is revealed. They are usually festooned with bells and bright bows, as if they were to be presented as a gift.

Most scholars agree that they may be created when a person dies in a way which caricatures the purpose of their entire life. The idealist who builds so many prisons in the name of freedom that he is eventually hung as a tyrant; the woman who, desperate for a child to nurture, steals another’s baby and then starts a house fire while cooking for it, killing the baby and herself; the hunter who seeks food, freedom, and solitude in the forest, and then starves to death, caught in their own trap and with no one to call for help. The spirit of such a person knows no rest as the morbid irony gnaws at them, and so the corpse releases melancholic vapours which can coalesce into this spiteful creature. That at least is the most commonly-accepted theory of their origin. Refer to the entry on goats for another.

Since their insides are filled only with vapour, they are best slain with an arrow or spear. A wound from these weapons is likely to cause the creature to pop, or to fly away wildly, like a balloon which has been inflated and then released without being tied. In the latter case the spear or arrow will be lost, but this is a small price to pay.

The same effect might be achieved with a stab from a dagger. However the traveller is not recommended to get close to the creature, for fear of its sharp hooves, the wounds from which resist healing. Still less is it advisable to fight the creature with a club. Having no internal organs to damage, it is unlikely to have much to fear from that weapon.

(partly based, with permission, on this post by Phoenix Talion).