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Editors note: Incoming cringe-tier writing:
From a letter titled "On the nature of Skinwalkers by Edmund Ives" dated 1851 received by the Breathnach Guild of Other Sciences.
Of the supernatural creatures who roam this world there are few with the necessity and means to meddle with society such as Skin-walkers.
Skin-walker is a term used to describe all manner of creatures with the ability to "walk between skins" or in other words transform into any preexisting creature of the natural world. The name originates from the Americas and has spread world wide as an umbrella term rather than in reference to one specific entity. As it seems the possible forms and capabilities of the supernatural genus far outreaches the seemingly infinite variety of natural flora and fauna studied the world over and as a result I have begun classifying the supernatural beings with numerical values for archival sake but for the purposes of this letter skin-walker will do.
The variety of skin-walker I am to summarize here in this letter particular is of a band who's territory spans the entirety of the British Isles though specifically they seem to favor the Scottish territory as this where the most sightings have been reported. The reason for this is unknown though speculation leads me to believe it is climate related. There remains no further geographic pattern to when or where they make their appearance beyond this which is unsurprising given that long distance travel is made trivial due to their unique abilities.
Relative in strength and ability to a natural creature the skin-walker is superior in every way but in supernatural classification this beast is of surprisingly low tier. As such they have not been of particular interest to anyone outside of those directly affected by their presence. To those unfortunate few, their impact is significant. A skin-walker's abilities necessitate interference in the natural lives of others as these abilities are tied with the concepts of infestation and regurgitation of a regular supply of host bodies.
In order to gain a new corporeal form a skin-walker must first infest a host by entering through its maw which allows the spirit of the host to be consumed and replaced with that of the invader. No physical change takes place in this process however the persona that once was is forever lost and should be immediately apparent to those who are acquainted with the individual. The skin-walker is known to linger after this process takes place for what purpose other than sadistic pleasure as it must be so effortless to traumatize relatives and revel the futility of their recourse. To cap off the deed with an exit of the consumed host's body in gory fashion is an all too regular signature of the skin-walker. Their transformation into another form is done in two ways but always follows the discarding of the previous body. the subtly of this action is determined by the size of the currently inhabited creature and relative size of the intended transformation. If a skin-walker inhabits a small body, such as a rat, it is impossible to transition from a rat into a human, for example, because of the size disparity. The new form must be regurgitated from the previous and as a result the tolerances are slight but do give enough leeway to allow her to become a larger creature by an average ratio of 2 to 3. This is explains the common sight of trails of desecrated corpses perfectly ordered from small to large made with little attempt to conceal. The alternative means of transformation is from a large being to a small one which is a discrete exercise in which the skin-walker merely regurgitates its chosen form from its mouth thereby leaving the previous lifeless corpse unmarred to rot where it lays.
It is not known if there be a limit to the amount of bodies a skin-walker may "collect" or remember at a given time to transform into at will but there are observed patterns that can be used to single out a skin-walker if ones presence is suspected. This particular branch has never been observed to inhabit bodies of the male sex, a fact which is further reinforced by significantly fewer reports of missing men than women with signs of skin-walker activity to be present. Their body temperature is abnormally hot to the touch and they do not shy away from the cold, nor do they attempt to mask their comfort in frigid weather and are even known to billow steam from their bodies in all but the warmest temperatures. -
[on a side note: it is my personal belief that this occurrence is the root cause of the pervasive legend of ghastly spirits hovering behind women who are newly widowed or have experienced the loss of a child this is likely as death follows all the activities of a skin-walker.]
-They carry an odor of rot that is likely enhanced by the heat, whether it is an inherent trait or a side affect of their tendency to linger about the corpses of recent transformations is unknown however their unsuccessful attempts to rid the smell through the over-use of perfumes leads me to assume the former. They all share one physical identifying trait, red hair. No matter the creature or person they inhabit the color of hair/fur/feathers will inevitably become a shade of natural red. This process occurs over the course of a fortnight and may be the cause behind their clock-like necessity to transform on a regular basis.
The origins of this creature are speculative on my part and based entirely upon anecdotal testimony from less than reliable sources, but the thing that adds credibility to the accounts is the consistency of specific details in each. Mainly the mention of foxes and that the ritual requires the parent creature to be deceased and takes place over a single night. Other details are erratic. It is my belief that as much as consumption and death follows them in life, it must have played a part in their creation. Perhaps as orphaned fox pups they sought shelter in the carcass of a recently deceased animal, perished in the elements, but their spirits became entangled with that of their decrepit shelter and formed something altogether new. Perhaps they were eaten in such a way, under such circumstances to elicit their creation? It is impossible to be sure for the laws of supernatural mysticism are governed by factors so innumerable that to attempt to draw science from it is a fool's errand. One can only speculate and for my part it is an infuriatingly barren venture.
I hereby submit this letter of findings to be injected into the catalog for future reference.
Disclaimer: I am not a writer.
Follow me on insta TheMichaelMacRae
Disclaimer: I am not a writer.
Follow me on insta TheMichaelMacRae
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Well I just made it available to print here. Or you could just download the file via the big download button and print it out yourself which would be cheaper. I literally don't care to make money off of my art so I'd recommend what ever's most convenient for you
Now that's generosity.
Excellent piece, by the way, creepy, stunning, filled with detail, the right tones for the subject. I enjoyed a lot the text as well. Got yourself a new fan, by the way.
They can’t kill a validly Baptized soul! We’re indigestible. Saints Columba and Mungo immunized the region to such fiends. If it’s been happening again recently, it’s proof that Presbyterians are too Heretical to have a valid baptismal formula, that or there’s too many neopagans and children of skeptics lately for their own good. Saint Mungo preserve us!
I was originally going to leave a comment on the intricacies of human nature and scientific development specifically surrounding the emerging technology of synthetic meat, along with the idea of an arcology, but then I read the description and I will not bother as it would be completely off topic.
I looked at the title and the image before I read the description and thought it was a stark depiction of humanity's relationship with nature. But your original intent is also cool, and less dark!