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Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li! (Jet fuel can't melt steel beams). Iä! Iä! Obscuris vera involvens!

–a living atrocity


Their coming is preceded by a cacophony of rambling, gibbering whispers. The skies become overcast, and animals act out in fear. As they draw near, one hears their call; a soul-chilling combination of a monkey's hooting and hollering, the laughter of hyenas, the frantic squeals of an infant, and the death-cry of a rabbit. When at last they come into view, reason breaks down and it becomes impossible to describe them with total clarity. Survivors of encounters with the Living Atrocities have resulted in details such as having skin that flowed like melting wax, walking on anywhere from two to six legs, smelling of old wardrobes and burning hair, blazing with a corona of white hot light, shifting colors to always stand out from their surroundings, and so on.

They cross the dangerous way from the Dreaming West to the Shining South in the dry seasons, always in herds, and they shamble east. They stop only to disassemble or slaughter anything in their immediate route. This behavior is obviously quite inconvenient for any settlements in their way, but even those who lay out of their path might be assailed by the sounds they make. The whispers of the Living Atrocities drive people into fits of manic rage or ecstasy, or send them spiraling into nihilistic depression. Their calls can get so loud as to drive people to their knees. If confronted, the creatures defend themselves with sharp claws, lashing tails or tentacles, and by squirting jets of boiling ink or entangling mucus.

Even the more coherent inhabitants of the west are hard pressed explaining the Living Atrocities behavior, or even where they come from. It simply seems as if they wrench themselves from beneath the ground or from under ponds and lakes every season, even though they're not ever encountered underground while "dormant".

Great swarms of these creatures can be found roaming the Atrocity Flats.

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