Hagremora

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In Eisen, the three days each month when the moon does not appear are called ‘the long night.’

During the long night, cadavers of all kinds will spontaneously return to motion and a semblance of life. Such reanimated cadavers are called hagremora. Though hagremora can move and act as though they were once again among the living, their bodies do not regain any of the other aspects of life. They do not breathe, perspire, heal or sleep, and their flesh rots just like any other corpse.

Hagremora retain their thoughts, memories and mannerisms to a degree commensurate with their freshness. Fresh human hagremora typically realize what they have become and make decisions accordingly. For example, a hagremora who was murdered may attempt to find their killer and take revenge, while another may attempt to return home and bid their family a last farewell before they rot away.

Customs on how to treat hagremora vary from region to region. In most areas hagremora are considered deeply profane. Allowing one to walk free risks incurring the wrath of the gods. In these regions bodies are consecrated to prevent them from rising, and hagremora that do rise are to be destroyed on sight.

Lucid hagremora often attempt to pass as human long enough to attain their goals. However, its also not unusual for a hagremora to submit themselves for destruction.

While unnerving, the phenomenon of hagremora has a number of applications. Witches are sometimes punished by having their severed reanimated head impaled above the city gates, where they stand as a warning to others who would practice witchcraft. Hagremora that rise from battlefields are sometimes organised by their living comrades into ‘dead regiments’ that serve as a vanguard in the next engagement.

Hagremora that survive their first few nights gradually become aware of a strange new hunger in their rotted bowels. While it may be difficult to identify initially, it becomes clear soon that this is a hunger for living human flesh. Though they may initially be disgusted the hagremora always gives in in the end. When the hagremora consumes human flesh they find their body begins to show signs of life again. Their blood starts to flow, their body begins to warm itself again, and they can once again sleep. A hagremora on a regular diet of flesh can be nearly indistinguishable from a living human. At least, for a while.

As the hagremora continues to eat human flesh, their body begins to warp and grow. Bones throughout the body slowly begin to lengthen. Nails and teeth will turn black and begin to harden. The specifics are different from one hagremora to the next, but the end result is always monstrous. By the end of the first year the hagremora can no longer pass for human. They are now a Minahe.

A minahe’s hunger only grows with its size, and minahe never stop growing. Constantly searching for human meals, minahe roam the countryside, looking for opportunities to pick off isolated individuals such as travelers, shepherds, foresters and hunters. Even a moderately sized minahe is a terror for any community. Minahe with spellcasting abilities in life retain them as a monster, and are particularly dangerous.

Hagremora

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