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Bogeymen are a classification of Others defined for being embodiments of fear and terror. Described as "Loner Others with a penchant for murder and terror"[1], these beings typically prey on humans. Their hot malice drives them while in the Abyss until their hatred boils over enough they can surface, with those who died gruesome deaths more likely to rise[2]. It is theorized by Barbatorem that all humans will eventually become bogeyman once the age of man ends and all falls into the abyss.[3] Practitioners who focus on gathering bogeymen are known as Scourges.

TypesEdit

There are two types of Bogeyman. Those whose power and existence is tied to a certain event & the predators who prey on human fears for nourishment. The predators are further divided into those who claim a territory as their hunting grounds & then those who lurk for opportunities, like war.[4]

Most Bogeymen have human-like forms that enable them to blend into society with some ease, although to what extent may vary depending on what they have changed into. Some are adapted to air, some are adapted to sea, and some are adapted to abstract travel and realms, like mirrors.

Because Limbo has a hold on them, it will take them back if an opportunity arises. To stave this off, they can draw power by making an impact on the universe by creating fear, murder, or by leaving a strong enough impression so they remain connected to the world rather than being forgotten again. If they are strong enough then, even if their bodies are destroyed, they reform in Limbo and can crawl back up.

Binding a bogeyman typically involved using some form of the natural elements, and things with permanence.  In the former case, it depended based on the type of bogeyman and the place beyond the cracks in reality that they had come from, leaving some particularly vulnerable to weaknesses that may or may not be as simple as a closed door. The other option was old items that had a history and durability to them, antiques.

If a bogeyman kills the one who brought it up, they gain their freedom.

UsesEdit

A Bogeymen's abilities come from their obsessive focus and their time in the Abyss. Usually their abilities are geared towards targeting humans. An example of one would be one that steals the faces of other people and wears them like a mask, enabling it to act as that person with no one the wiser, while another forges inconvenient connections that causes conflicts amongst allies.

Notable BogeymenEdit

References Edit

  1. I guess, if you had to stick a label on this one, I’d say ‘Bogeyman’. Which seems to be a convenient practitioner label for ‘loner Other with a penchant for terror or murder’. - Excerpt from Subordination 6.7
  2. “Hot malice drives them, anger. They boil up much as heat rises, and crawl free. Particularly gruesome, iconic ends give them this strength.” - Excerpt from Null 9.3
  3. “When all’s said and done, the Abyss will spread, and it will swallow all things. It’s the next step in humanity’s progress. Left untouched, things will advance, progress and change until they tumble over a cliff. That is what waits for humanity as a whole, in the interim. The things you call demons wait beyond even that point.” - Excerpt from Judgement 16.10
  4. Just how many Others were swarming in the trenches? I can assume there were tons of [...] imps, ghouls, boogeymen and goblins in them due to the sheer amount of awfulness, rottenness and corpses present, but just how severe was the issue? Were they in such abundance that practitioners being a Scourge, Goblin King [...] or was there little to no real difference that the practitioner "meta" would change.

    Violent and gross others likely thrived in the background in wartime. - Wildbow on Reddit
  5. They don't generally need to eat or sleep and for many Others, their physical condition is something that the Other's nature reinforces.
    The Revenant ('the pizza man') is a force of revenge. He doesn't need to sleep and doesn't need to eat. He gets nourishment from revenant touchstones - tokens, charms, or rituals of his former life. So his 'three meals a day' would be something akin to visiting a child's grave, checking on the granddaughter of his onetime family member, and taking steps to ensure that his onetime focus of revenge is forever erased from history (gravestone defaced, library records tracked down and scrubbed, house burned down and the remains sorted through for every last trace). These same tokens or rituals serve as the means for calling out other revenants; words, items relevant to what the revenant would 'eat' if they were active and free, etc. Eventually the connections will be too tenuous, he'll start to go. There's a chance something would turn up (a long lost relation of his former revenge target) and he'd go after that with all the fury and power he had at his disposal to start with, and there's also the possibility of reigniting the flame with murder (again, there might be an objective here: people similar by some demographic or distantly tied to the original revenge target, etc), potentially setting up new revenge targets if conditions can be met, perpetuating himself. There's actually a few other paths, while I'm talking the revenant life cycle, including passing on the mantle and the power.
    If he's not able to do any of the above (and it's semi-unlikely), he'd gradually lose strength and power over time. He'll be liable to flame out in a final burst of violence, spending all of his personal power at once (at which point he might be well stronger than usual, but reckless and short lived), but local practitioners know to keep an eye out for this.
    Bogeymen come in two forms, with some being tied to events and others just acting like people. Event bogeymen don't have a lot of power outside of certain times or loops. If they're active at night and nobody's looking for them, then they might not exist during the day. The Faceless Woman could well be this sort - she's just not really around or is semi-hibernating at times she's not active. If you go places she's been known to hang around, you might smell the cigarettes, you could follow that smell to her and she'd be there. (She hangs out with the Revenant, so her existence might be reduced to a strong cigarette smell in the other room) - If it's night, she might be wandering around, and if there's someone scared and isolated, it might draw her out. For some it's about rumor or the use of a name, or about dates, times of year, or other prerequisites. These tend to be less of an existence, though, and more of a... kind of a ritual. If you meet the prerequisites or provide the right excuse for a Bogeyman whose existence is this concentrated into key moments, your odds go steeply down, compared other situations. Obviously the nature of what was going on in Jacob's Bell brought the Others out to play on a more consistent, permanent basis.
    Other Bogeymen resemble living people, but fall more into the realm of heavy carnivores, dining on fear. Like heavy carnivores, they don't need to eat often. Finding other things to eat helps fill the space between, so they'll do that a lot, and beyond that they tend to patrol or wander. If the Milkmaid locates herself in the abandoned farmhouse and the surrounding fields, then she might get to know the ins and outs of the property, where the fence is reliable, where the holes in the ground are, and she'd find the things to alter the property. A whole day can be spent on one window, so it's ajar but closes when someone slips through. A week can be spent on the floor, so that the window closes when someone comes running along the shaky floorboards of the house, directly toward the opening. Two weeks to a month to have the window close just as someone puts their hands or head through the opening.
    This might be stretched out over long periods, the Milkmaid going through her routine of sleeping until evening, waking up, kicking at a floorboard here, adjusting a window there, getting her things and then going out to check the traps in the nearby woods for any caught foxes, deer, or coyotes. If any are caught, then a few hours are spent stripping the animal, the meat eaten with some glasses of milk (a little bit more strength, a bit more time before she needs to eat real human fear instead of trapped animal fear), the offal strewn in strategic locations, the bones added to the collection in a key location of the home (like in the cellar one will fall into if they run too hard along that one stretch of breakable floorboards). While passing through the home at the later half of the night, she'll adjust a door, move some curtains so that one hook isn't on the rod but is at a level to catch on some clothes, stomp at a floorboard. She fixes up her milking machine for a few hours, feeds and milks the cows, then goes for a walk, touring the outer edges of her territory, familiarizing herself with that ground, expanding her territory out a fraction, maybe moving a rock so a tire might pop on the road or breaking a branch or three so the farmhouse is more clearly visible for anyone passing down the dirt road. She watches the sunrise, then returns home and dozes off.
    When she does get a victim, it becomes about milking them for fear, literally. They get snagged, caught, the exits turn out not to be exits, the fields have holes in them that don't seem to trip up this one-hundred-and-twenty pound woman with the cow-skin hood and wrapping, but do twist the ankles of the unwary. One victim is chosen, the rest killed off, and she drags her victim off to the barn, where they're summarily chained up. A cow is skinned and the skin is sewn onto and around the trapped man or woman. Then she starts up the rusty old milking machine, places the first three glass tubes with the suction going, holds up the fourth with its shattered edge, and then places it- the suction rhythmically pulls the glass edges in deeper, releasing, over and over, the blood flowing in with inexplicable milk and other bodily fluids the machine is pulling in, to join her collection of regular cow's milk. She'll have something to drink with her next meal of fox or deer, she has her supply of fear and pain for the next few days or weeks until her victim passes or slips into the Abyss, she gains some power, and she buys her continued existence in a world where she has quiet days and can watch sunrises.
    It's not really a Crone Mara style adjustment of territory over decades or centuries - more that obsessive focus, memories of the Abyss, and the influence of the Abyss itself staining reality can help make this work. The places she visits and the things she does serve to taint areas and things. The milking machine is a big one for this particular bogeyman, as are the cows of her barn, which might start to end up more abyssal (mutated, with special properties, potentially with skins that transmit sensation after being sewn on). For Bogeymen of this type who aren't the Milkmaid, it could be something like the house being bigger from the inside, or hallways that look different when you revisit them.
    Other Bogeymen are less focused on their own hunting ground and might just wander or keep their eyes, ears, nose, and Other senses out for potential victims or places to lurk. Excess power and fear aren't invested into things or places, but back into the bogeyman. Consider it something like how a human gets fat, but a Bogeyman changes when it consumes in excess.
    Not all find a rhythm that sustains them, but those who don't tend to get pruned or bound. - Reddit comment by Wildbow