Friday, March 27, 2009

Vampires, Elves, and Redcaps

Vampires are interesting creatures. They inhabit cities, mostly, because of the condensed human population. Ancient, intelligent, virtually unstoppable and utterly lethal, vampires exist in a larger number than humans realize and are absolutely not to be approached unless you know what you're doing. Vampires have gone through an extensive evolution over the last few hundred years, though the vampires I talked to seem to still be debating the origin of the first vampire. From what little truthful information I could gather, today's vampires hold very few characteristics of the "original" vampire. Their fangs, like snake fangs, are long and hollow. The fangs release a poison that will turn another human into a vampire, unless that vampire turns out to be very thirsty and commences to drink all of their blood. The fangs, also similar to snake's, will extend only to bite, and then retract into their skulls both so they don't attract attention, and also so they don't bite themselves. In order to survive, a vampire must drink the blood of one human every moon cycle, though many vampires go overboard occasionally and will go on a killing spree. Vampires do not sleep, and eating any food is relatively poisonous to them, since they are corpses, and the food would just rot in their stomachs. Being an animated corpse, vampires have no bodily functions or fluids, and certainly no heartbeat. The popular myth of vampires being "sexually charged" is just that - a myth, since it is impossible for them to experience the effects of hormones, orgasm, or in the case of male vampires, have an erection. The vampires I spoke with seemed amused when I mentioned some of the popular vampire fiction that has been written over the years, harboring no ill will towards the writers, stating that it is easy to get caught up in the romanticism of the vampire myth, but it is still just fiction. They consider themselves predators, villains, and members of the "underworld."

Redcaps are also in the category of rather monstrous creatures who are not to be trifled with. I would not usually seek one out, but I was driving to a friend's house and I had to go down several deep and winding dirt roads to get there. I was roughly a half an hour away from the nearest town, and I passed a dilapidated old barn on a large crop of overgrown land that was roughly fenced off with barbed wire. It had rained the previous day, and so there was a light fog hovering on the ground. It was incredibly eerie, but I knew there were a number of fascinating creatures lurking around on the property. On my way home, I pulled over at the edge of the property and as soon as I turned my car off, I could hear a high-pitched yelping. It sounded excited, and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I wasn't sure anymore if I wanted to know what was near that barn. But moments later, the thing that made the noise came up to the edge of the fence. All I could do was stare. I was very glad I'd decided to stay in the car at that point. The creature, (as I did my best to draw him above) was very much like a goblin. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say they are in the same family. Eventually, when I realized the animal wouldn't stray beyond his marked perimeter, I rolled down my window and spoke to it. It spoke back. This was incredible, because goblins don't usually speak english, from what I've heard, but I learn new things every day about the evolution of these ancient unseen beings, and it appears that many of them have adopted the native language of the land they live on, as this one did, though very poorly. He was hard to understand. He over-annunciated many of his words, and had a harsh, coarse voice. Though is was very clear that he thought about what he said before he said it. He told me he had lived here for ninety years. He only likes fresh raw meat and especially the blood. He steals clothes when he finds them and washes them in "the blood puddles" (whatever that means) and his favorite pass-times include killing squirrels and collecting rocks to throw at passing cars.

Elves, like vampires, witches, and werewolves, are of the humanoid fairy realm whom continue to live among other humans. Cleverly disguising their true features, elves look very much like tall, slender, graceful and other-worldy people. In their true form, they reveal themselves to have pointed ears and emit a soft glowing aura and translucent white skin. They appear to float when walking, having a grace and poise about them that transcends the laws of gravity. They are often solitary creatures these days, living to be up to thousands of years old. They are wise, melancholy, and often spend their time staring off into an ancient past that humans can only imagine. Most elves would prefer to avoid human interaction due to their differences in lifespan. Befriending humans becomes a painful process for elves to bear, knowing that their friend will perish in a very short time when compared to their own life. Elves know a particular brand of magic, which is unlike that of which many stories say. They do not cast spells or curses or anything like what witches do, but they may spend many hundreds of years learning what they call "the grey arts" which is a brand of - for lack of a better word - magic. They learn to control and manipulate time, space, light, earth, and their own bodies. They may learn how to control a room full of people, based on their emotions. If you sit by an elf whom appears to be feeling particularly morose, so will you, and so will the person next to you. Elves may brighten or darken the mood of a room in a matter or minutes. Elves have always been, and still are rather detached from any particular god or gods, though historically it has been documented that elves are in regular contact with several particular gods if they are called upon. They have always kept to themselves, and wait to speak until spoken to. They (traditionally) stay out of the way of humans, but this has changed drastically over the years, as many of them now seek out the company of humans. From what I could gather, this is because of a dispute with a ruling elf clan many years ago. According to their history, many elves thought of humans as weak and unreliable, when other elves had faith in the human race, and felt the need to support and help them. Their war still quietly rages on, and those who do not like humans are never seen by us.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Trolls, vegetable turkeys, and unamed fairies

This little species of fairy I'm not really sure what to call because I have no reference books or journals that tell what it is and the creatures speak a strange "peeping" language that I don't understand very well. I saw this specimen in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia in a heavily wooded area. Friendly to humans, usually clothed.

I've been doing some further investigating with the troll population over the last few weeks. Some of what I've read is true and some of it isn't. I went through downtown Richmond to see if I could get some better information. These sketches are of various individual trolls that would talk to me, or at least ignore me long enough for me to get in a drawing of them. Most of them have Swedish, Finnish, or Norwegian sounding names despite the fact that none of these trolls were born outside of the United States. This particular group were bedded up underneath a large railroad bridge. I'll get some more sketches or photographs of it as the weather improves. (But PLEASE don't go there as all trolls are not friendly to humans and may resent more invasion of their privacy.)
This is the beautiful and fantastic Dulcis holus phasianus, or more simply a "Vegetable Turkey." They can be found in wooded areas, vacant lots or anywhere that has rich soil and a bit of sun and rain. Both males and females have the general appearance of a turkey-like bird but upon closer inspection you may notice the green skin and lack of feathers. Feathers are replaced with leaves, flower petals, and insect wing like growths. Males are always a very brilliant assortment of colors while females tend to be drab browns and greens. Females may lay "seeds" in early March that sprout and grow into a plant by mid-spring. This plant will develop "eggs" which hatch in late Spring into baby vegetable turkeys.

Note: This species is a favorite dish of Green Men. Said to taste of cucumbers or radishes depending on its diet.