Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Idea: Ice Age Horror

There is something that is called the Dark Place, where life exists in a strange manner more dependent on patterns than on genetics or physical matter. Occasionally some of these patterns manage to steal away to our world. The Dog People have long hunted wolves and men both, adopting as their own the shapes of the dominant predators in their territories (and in other places the Dog People are not wolves but tigers, coyotes, or jaguars). The Hidden People are as fluid as water, able to squeeze through even the tiniest of cracks. All creatures of the Dark Place are weakened in the light, but the Hidden People are so vulnerable to light that they move in the open only on nights that the clouds block out the moon and stars.

But the most important of all are the Starlight People, so named because of their quiet, instinctual fascination with the stars. They are ageless so long as they have blood, and they are as strong and fast as the greatest of humans, and they never tire. They heal quickly and can see in the darkest conditions. But for all their powers they, like the rest of the Night People, are vulnerable to the light of the sun, which robs them of their powers and leaves them like the humans that they once were.

Some hunt the Daylight People but most, remembering their own prior existence as one of the Daylight People, coexist with them to their mutual benefit. A tribe with one of the Starlight People has a great warrior and hunter on their side, one whose need for human blood is sustainable in larger hunting groups and can be supplemented by prey animals. Even more importantly, the Starlight People are storytellers and shamans, keepers of histories that stretch back for centuries.

Supplementing their diet with animal blood has consequences. The Starlight People are very much human in how they process and store information, and this can only be changed for as long as only human blood is consumed. Only very few of them have interacted with individual man-hunters for so long that they can compare their respective mental states over long periods of time, and fewer still suspect that the reason for this lies in diet. Without a straight diet of human blood the weight of ages will over the centuries crush one of the Starlight People as she buckles under the strain of holding an ever-increasing amount of memories, far past the point that the human mind was designed to bear. When one of them grows tired with the weight of so many memories, it is a great honor to be chosen as her replacement.

  • Perhaps in the future towns and cities may be built, and these will have a great enough population that a vampire could feed solely on human blood and yet not overtax any of them. For now, though, it is the man-hunters that are the oldest and wisest of their kind.
  • Someone has disappeared from his tent in the night. Was it one of the Hidden People, or other Daylight People that took advantage of the past night's conditions to steal someone away without being suspected themselves? Or did he even leave of his own accord?
  • With only few exceptions the Starlight People either hunt or live with the Daylight People, because recluses that feed only on animal blood will start hunting indiscriminately as soon as they lose enough of their sanity. If one were to recover later on and make the connection, how might he handle this? It could prove difficult to "adopt" a tribe that knew that of his past as a man-hunter.

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