Wednesday, January 30, 2019

A Very Different & Dangerous Occult Ecology For The Will O The Wisps From Dungeons & Dragons

'Tis said these blossom-lanterns light
The elves upon their midnight-way;
That fairy toil and elfin play
Receive their beams of magic white.

I marvel not if it be true;
I know this flower has lighted me
Nearer to Beauty's mystery,
And past the veils of secrets new.
Fairy Lanterns  (1912) 
by Clark Ashton Smith

"Tru looked down at the swamp around her feet as she fled through the undergrowth. That was not Dar her brother at all. She still stung from the strange burns on her arm but she was trying to find the game path that her family used since she was a girl. The glow was following a leasurely pace sure of its quarry. She made the path & was about to break when she saw the smaller creature's glow off to the side of the path. It was a miniature of the young halfing trader she'd met at the trade fair. Tru didn't have time to speak as the sound of an electrical discharge echoed off of the bark of the trees around her. They were silent witnesses to the look of utter shock on her face as she fell to the ground with a crash of surprise & shock. She barely registered the small shapes already gathering from the swamp to drag  her corpse back into the muck & mire. She only wanted the fairy gold to help her family's farm. But it was far too late now. The corpse candle glow of the Wisps came in low over the corpse to feed as the boggarts disappeared in quick flashes of light & Fey sparks. "

The will-o'-wisp have been in my games since my very first brown box of original Dungeons & Dragons. But my version of these classic monsters differs from the traditional monster because it straddles the line between mythological fairy monster & the classic horror from the 1st edition AD&D Monster Manual. Why? Because will-o'-wisps are manufactured monsters & universally reviled the world over.  The will-o'-wisp is a monster that guards fairy gold & is created from a copy of  the  electrical brain activity of a dead or dying person. These monsters creation is done by a Fairy necromancer spirit that finds the decaying brain matter of a corpse. A sixth level spell is then used to draw a negative material copy of the human or near human essence into an alien immature boggart vessel. These creatures are often used to guard ancient vaults or lost caches of fairy gold. Through out Europe & the Americas these monsters have been universally used by the alien powers of the Fey.  

"DanesFinnsSwedesEstoniansLatviansLithuanians, and Irish people and amongst some other groups believed that a will-o'-the-wisp also marked the location of a treasure deep in ground or water, which could be taken only when the fire was there. "

Many believe that Boggarts are the immature forms of Will - O'- the - wisps, that these monsters are actually undead souls who have taken on the shape shifting powers of Fairyland. These monster's immature form is an energy being know as a boggart. Boggarts can take on various forms these  include a small halfling, young gnome, a goblin imp, young xvart, or norker neut. The reality is that these's beings forms are held together with a patterned charge of negative planar electricity.

These creatures will advance along their ranks until they ascend into the higher dimensional state known as the Will o wisp. There are numerous legends about these dangerous chaotic beings in Europe; 

"The will-o'-the-wisp can be found in numerous folk tales around the United Kingdom, and is often a malicious character in the stories. In Welsh folklore, it is said that the light is "fairy fire" held in the hand of a púca, or pwca, a small goblin-like fairy that mischievously leads lone travellers off the beaten path at night. As the traveller follows the púca through the marsh or bog, the fire is extinguished, leaving them lost. The púca is said to be one of the Tylwyth Teg, or fairy family. In Wales the light predicts a funeral that will take place soon in the locality. Wirt Sikes in his book British Goblins mentions the following Welsh tale about púca.
A peasant travelling home at dusk sees a bright light traveling along ahead of him. Looking closer, he sees that the light is a lantern held by a "dusky little figure", which he follows for several miles. All of a sudden he finds himself standing on the edge of a vast chasm with a roaring torrent of water rushing below him. At that precise moment the lantern-carrier leaps across the gap, lifts the light high over its head, lets out a malicious laugh and blows out the light, leaving the poor peasant a long way from home, standing in pitch darkness at the edge of a precipice. This is a fairly common cautionary tale concerning the phenomenon; however, the ignis fatuus was not always considered dangerous. There are some tales told about the will-o'-the-wisp being guardians of treasure, much like the Irish leprechaun leading those brave enough to follow them to sure riches. Other stories tell of travelers getting lost in the woodland and coming upon a will-o'-the-wisp, and depending on how they treated the will-o'-the-wisp, the spirit would either get them lost further in the woods or guide them out.
Also related, the Pixy-light from Devon and Cornwall is most often associated with the Pixie who often has "pixie-led" travellers away from the safe and reliable route and into the bogs with glowing lights. "Like Poltergeist they can generate uncanny sounds. They were less serious than their German Weisse Frauen kin, frequently blowing out candles on unsuspecting courting couples or producing obscene kissing sounds, which were always misinterpreted by parents."[19] Pixy-Light was also associated with "lambent light"[20] which the Old Norse might have seen guarding their tombs. In Cornish folklore, Pixy-Light also has associations with the Colt pixie. "A colt pixie is a pixie that has taken the shape of a horse and enjoys playing tricks such as neighing at the other horses to lead them astray".[21][22] In Guernsey, the light is known as the faeu boulanger (rolling fire), and is believed to be a lost soul. On being confronted with the spectre, tradition prescribes two remedies. The first is to turn one's cap or coat inside out. This has the effect of stopping the faeu boulanger in its tracks. The other solution is to stick a knife into the ground, blade up. The faeu, in an attempt to kill itself, will attack the blade"
 the faeu boulanger (rolling fire) is actually doing is grounding itself out on the knife blade. The blade acts as a sort of occult lightning rod retaining the electrical 'finger print' of the last person who held the blade. 

The Asian varieties & subspecies of  Will - O'- the - wisps can be downright lethal in their own right. Only experienced occultists & black magicians should have any truck with these creatures;

"Aleya (or marsh ghost-light) is the name given to a strange light phenomena occurring over the marshes as observed by Bengalis, especially the fishermen of West Bengal and Bangladesh. This marsh light is attributed to some kind of marsh gas apparitions that confuse fishermen, make them lose their bearings, and may even lead to drowning if one decided to follow them moving over the marshes. Local communities in the region believe that these strange hovering marsh-lights are in fact Ghost-lights representing the ghosts of fisherman who died fishing. Sometimes they confuse the fishermen, and sometimes they help them avoid future dangers.

Chir batti (ghost-light), also spelled chhir batti or cheer batti, is a strange dancing light phenomenon occurring on dark nights reported from the Banni grasslands, its seasonal marshy wetlands[14] and the adjoining desert of the marshy salt flats of the Rann of Kutch[15] near Indo-Pakistani border in Kutch districtGujarat State, India. Local villagers have been seeing these sometimes hovering, sometimes flying balls of lights since time immemorial and call it Chir Batti in their KutchhiSindhi language, with Chir meaning ghost and Batti meaning light.[14]
Similar phenomena are described in Japanese folklore, including Hitodama (literally "Human Soul" as a ball of energy), Hi no Tama (Ball of Flame), Aburagae, Koemonbi, Ushionibi, etc. All these phenomena are described as balls of flame or light, at times associated with graveyards, but occurring across Japan as a whole in a wide variety of situations and locations. Kitsune, mythical yokai demons, are also associated with will 'o the wisp, with the marriage of two kitsune producing kitsune-bi (狐火), literally meaning 'fox-fire'.[16] These phenomena are described in Shigeru Mizuki's 1985 book Graphic World of Japanese Phantoms (妖怪伝 in Japanese)" 

Care should be taken when dealing with these variety as they have been known to congregate around entrances to the underworld & other vary dangerous Hell planes.

It has been suspected that there are deep occult ties between  a game called "Troy Town" (the last of which is a reference to actual practices involving labyrinths or labyrinthine dances & Arthur Machen's 'The White People' with Will O The Wisps.
These alien monsters fit into the weird alien mind other worldly landscape of the White People & may be further evidence of the deadliness of some occult & supernatural aspects of the weird space time of Fairyland.

The alien other planar landscape of places that 
Will O The Wisps create around them maybe part of the break down of space time caused by their mere presence. Certain black wizards & occultists have from time to time paid hags & Annis to create Will O The Wisps for them with human soul electrical essences. These Will O The Wisps will over time create naturally occurring chaos laced entrances to some of the darkest & most dangerous areas of Fairyland or the other realms. Often this is for the guarding of some forbidden treasure or occult dungeon  temple in the area.

Because of the vary dubious  nature of the hags its been implied that these realms border the most dangerous places of  The Dreamlands . Further speculation is best left to the experts & adventurers are advised to bring qualified priests & clerics with them to thwart the black efforts of both  
Will O The Wisps & their hag allies. 
During the far futures cycles it is known that when the Fey return that there will a vast population explosion of Will O The Wisps & the boggarts around the former cities of man. These monsters mark the points to the ruins that contain the most desirable & important relics of the former species known as mankind. There is some evidence that the "Aklo letters" known to occultists & black wizards allow communication with both Will O The Wisps &  colours out of space indicating that there may be an electrical component to both species. What is known that both species give each other a wide berth & will not impinge on the territories of the other. Extreme caution should be taken by adventurers when dealing with either species.  

  1. There are connections between Will O The Wisps & the elemental eye cults across the planes. 
  2. Monster Summoning rituals can serve to throw wisps into states of extreme violence & feeding frenzies 
  3. Warzones near swamps often attract vast numbers of wisps to the dying & wounded on certain historically significant battle fields. 
  4. Wisps are known to attend very powerful Elven black wizards as both familiars & bodyguards. 
  5. Swamp labyrinths created to house powerful fairy treasures should be avoided as they will have a network of Will O The Wisps & boggart attendants. 
  6. Cults of Chaos often attract wisps through their unhealthy sacrifices & practices of bloodshed. Corpse candles often are summoned during certain ceremonies & should be avoided by adventurers. 
  7. Powerful artifacts from fairyland often attract wisps & can summon them when needed. 
  8. Will O The Wisps will attract themselves to certain graveyards & places of occult power because of their connection to negative planar energies. 
  9. Entrances to the Abyss,  often have several wisp guardians who wait to feed on adventurers. 
  10. Wisps are often attached to swamps & marshland associated with the powers of Chaos & depravity. 

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