The Maldormacs Are Back

The Redsky 5e Kickstarter is Over, but It's Not Too Late To Late Pledge!


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Maldormacs are as diverse as the locations they haunt. Pictured here is a four-limbed variety.

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The best advice to tell your children is to ignore a cry for help. A cry for help is a universal sound. A lonely voice that can call out “Hello?” or gently weep in a hundred tongues. It is primal. It taps into our Sola-given sympathy. Our natural instinct to aid the pack from the dangers in the dark. To go beyond the warming safety of the tribe’s crackling campfire. Or, in these modern times, the buzzing honey bathe of the orange illumite crystals adorning the streets of Yaras and Mundi and Etherea.

Ideally, lives can be saved if only prompted to seek out those who speak out. At least, that used to be the case. The sewers, tunnels, and abandoned spaces of Dema's cities have been occupied by deceivers.“Occupied” isn’t the right word. “Infested” would be better. After ages away with the darkness at bay, the cries for help are louder than ever. The problem being, you will never, ever be able to tell if you’re hearing one of us, or one of them.

Make sure everyone you know is in the same room as you. Then, barricade the doors. Clang down the windswept steel shutters. Pray, if you are so inclined. Night has fallen. The maldormacs are back.

Until recently, what they looked like was rumor based on hysteria based on legend. Maybe the mind filling in the skittering blanks. Now, after the Kaisileus Scrolls, all we have are the facts staring back at us, unblinking.

Those walking out in the streets at night will always hear a voice cry out from their past. “Hello? Hello?” Your mother. Your brother. Your childhood friend as they once were when the world was young, and dumb, and new. The pull is magnetic. Who? How? Shadows shift within storm drains and tool sheds as you stray ever so slightly from the beaten virse-trod path. Feel free to call for city guards or spear-wielding monster hunters from the city. Maldormacs like that. More prey drawn to the hunting grounds.

A stone plinks. Fabrics rustle. There! Movement! A face peeking around a threshold, pale as the moonlight and half as hale, but details clear as day. Their face. Pained. Scarred. Scared. “Hello? Hello? Help!” But they are gone in an instant, down a manhole or disappeared into that leaning brick skeleton of an industrial warehouse, the bones of our attempt to escape our past lives and myth. Maybe we should have stayed with myth. At least sirens bother with a song.

A moment later. An hour later. Alone. At the head of a search party twenty strong. No matter how, you will follow. And down you descend into the dark, through grime and stench and forgotten things. Their lairs are labyrinths. Drains, crypts, or complexes covered in silky silver webs. The cries for help come from deeper, distant. This is the kind of ground that cannot be covered without tens of twists and turns. Minutes. Hours. As long as nerves can last. And just as your knees begin to weaken, throat hoarse, eyes strained, clothes damp with rain and sweat, you will round a corner and find who you have sought.

Their face. Only their face, leaning out from the shadows. Maybe you have time to see their eyes.

Vacant. Pupil-less. Glinting black as obsidian in the flashlight. The eight long, spindly rods along the walls and ceiling you thought were pipes twitch and curve.

Not pipes. Legs.

One more “Hello.” Not hello as, “Who is there?” Hello as, “You are here.” The face that lured you splits apart at the seams down the middle of the forehead to the chin, a maw of fangs and ichor, legs wrapping around the rescuer, pulling you in.

Later, those you came with, or those who come looking, will hear your voice. “Hello? Hello?” Your voice. And now your face. But not you. Never you again. The cycle repeats.

Nowadays, beware of the night. Beware of the maldormacs. Don’t go into the streets no

matter what you hear. You will never see the face of your missing loved one again.

Or worse.

You will.


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