Archive for the ‘Role Play’ Category

This is a ghost of South-eastern Asian mythology and is like a vampire myth, the name is derived from the meaning to remove or detach. The lore in this case is that the creature looks like a beautiful woman during the day, at night the head detaches from the body and she flies around with her intestines and lungs floating like a jellyfish, where she then hunts for blood.

Stories of the origins of the Pennanggalan are that a woman has made a pact with the devil, used black magic or some mystical approach to get beautiful features. Often it’s believed the woman was a midwife, who has been charged with the pact of starving for 40 days but has broken the pact. With the broken pact comes a curse where she must then become a bloodsucking vampire. She will keep a vat of vinegar at home and after flying around all night will be engorged with the blood, she then has to put the entrails into the vinegar to shrivel them so she can reattach to her body. Sounds… lush doesn’t it? But that’s how you can spot one too, the smell.

Victims are usually pregnant women and young children, she will search for a woman in labour and land on the roof letting out a shriek. She can then use a long invisible tongue to get into the house and then laps up the blood of the new mother, the victim is then struck with some unknown disease that is fatal. Even if the creature cannot feed the entrails brushing over the victim cause horrid sores and they won’t heal without the help of a Bomoh (healer).

The Mengkuang plant is recommended to be scattered around the area, this will trap the exposed lungs and intestines. Once the vile thing is trapped she can be killed with parangs (sort of sword) and machetes. A precaution would also be to keep scissors or betel nut cutters under her pillow as she is afraid of these items. Another action is that brave men can take up vigil at night and trap her as she flies.

Another way, non-lethal, to sort out the Pennanggalan is to turn the body over whilst she flies and then she will reattach with her head the wrong way around, that way she is easily identified by others.

The below picture is thanks to a version in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons.

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By Source, Fair use, Link

 

In 2005 the ever popular World or Warcraft MMO introduced a new raid to the game, it was Zul’Gurub (now a dungeon instance) that has been cited as a model for real world epidemic study. The games mechanics introduced a damaging effect called ‘Corrupted Blood’ from the last ‘boss’, Hakkar, that came off the players when they either died or the boss was killed. It could however be on the pets that players brought along and when they left the instance it continued to stay on the pets.

Consequently some players inadvertently spread this to others as it leapt from the pets to the players, this incident primarily occurred in Ironforge, the Dwarven City. Some players indeed found this quite amusing and deliberately brought it to the city as well.

Discussion forums at the time discussed the sight of bodies in the streets of the city, and it seems that at least three of the multiple servers were affected. The towns and major cities were abandoned by those not affected as they went into the countryside. The urban areas were then graveyards with the white bones of the dead.

It was interesting to see that players that had an ability to help did so, they directed the lower level characters away from the area and where they could remove the disease from others they did but other players deliberately brought the contagion to others.

Blizzard then attempted quarantine, the idea being that those affected would stay in a contained area but vindictive players (or those not taking it seriously as it was a game) brought that to those areas, praying on the weak and the fact it was a confined area. Some players ensured that the pets that caught it were then ‘un-summoned’ to remove the issue but ultimately Blizzard had to hard reset all the servers and reprogram the glitch.

After the outbreak the next even in 2008 was intentional. Blizzard released a zombie plague week in order to promote the new release of the expansion ‘Wrath of the Lich King’. This one was seemed more true-to-life as it was a small risk of transmission and encountering a lone zombie was not as dangerous as a large number of the infected. It was met with both praise and criticism, and from my side, mostly praise as it was an interesting adaptation to the game for a short period of time.

The epidemic of the Corrupted Blood was compared to real life breakouts, the CDC did ask for information about the statistics but Blizzard found they could not provide them as it was a computer glitch. It was also fascinating to see that it was carried from a remote area into a larger one, that people and animals could contract it, much like Avian Flu, and that people in larger areas were more at risk.

However there were differences from the real world too that negate parts of the study, such as it did not affect the non-playable characters because they did not transmit it. Alongside this there were no visible signs of the disease, such as pustules or other effects, but there was one thing that made it feel realistic – the rush of journalists wanting to cover the story and then get back out of it.

There was a discussion about using the platform for further study with the players however it never really came to fruition. It was felt that it was not really going to be indicative of a real world situation. There was not enough realistic data because players regenerate and with that meant there was little threat on the infection if all the player precautions could be set up, it would really be more for entertainment…

It was also discussed that WOW could be used in terms of how terrorists form collaborations and cells, this again would only be used for entertainment as a model could not be formed from the game. It did however give interesting light when someone pointed out that people quickly got smart in the game about how to do the biggest damage to the most amount of people and how. And lets not forget that it is a game and the very worst that can happen, unlike real life, is you can re-spawn and get back to doing what you like, so it really does not mirror real life.

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World of Warcraft is one of those games that can suck you in, if you love stories as well as the MMO environment it can be easy to see why this game remains so popular. But why am I posting about gaming? Oh it’s just the ghosts don’t mind me!

An island called Darkmoon Faire is a great in game visit, once a month for some quests, creepy music,  half-built rides that might one day open in a future patch and legends about the conspiracies surrounding the old creepshow, murder cover-ups and when I heard “ghosts” I had to go and take a more indepth look.

To take a look around for the ghosts you need to be deceased yourself, I took my poor druid along and drowned her off the frighteningly high cliffs leading into the sea with dangerous wrecks and monstrous crabs. It seemed like a more romantic plunge than just trying to drown my character off the beach at least.

Off I went ghost hunting, I have some screenshots I have taken below of the ones that I found (I did find others but forgot) and there are seven in total I believe. It can take some patience to spot them all but if you are looking for hints of their location take a wander whilst still alive. You can spot tell-tale signs in the forms of a strange glittery mist on the ground.

Each ghost says something different and so it’s worth stopping them on their repeated walk around to see what they say. Poor residual ghosts, they just walk the same path and say the same old things… and if you do to hunt for them I hope you have fun. Of course I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the faire for the times it’s not open to the patrons of the World of Warcraft and indeed how creepy that once the portal closes they are left trapped without visitors for another month… great place!

A link to a lovely story and in-depth background for the Faire is located HERE.

 

 

 

I’m a big fan of H P Lovecraft, and I am sure I don’t do that good a job of hiding it. It is because of the work he created and inspired, and more importantly, he continues to do so after his death.

Lovecraft is probably more famous for his ‘Cthulhu’ mythos than anything else. He was avid about sharing his creation, his world and the outer gods/strange beings that came with it. Thanks to Lovecraft we have role play games, computer games, shared horror stories, music, films and so many other inspirations.

His youth was marred by his mothers death, and at fourteen his grandfather died. His grandfather appeared to have the money in the family, he loved his hometown of Providence, Rhode Island, and despite never furnishing high school is a literary classic.

He married an older woman named Sonia Green, and due to her success in work he moved to New York. From letters and reflections in his stories it was evident he did not like it. His stories often reflect a writer who felt quite xenophobic and was happy to remain in his home town. His racism seemed to quell in later ages but perhaps he was more a man who felt out of place and time. He would have liked to have been a European a few centuries before his time?

His stories do not portray happy endings, often the reader in given tales of warning about delving too far for knowledge. The author of the tale might end up a victim of Arkham Asylum; or killing themselves, if they themselves had not been killed by a bizarre creature or situation unknown. His stories depict insanity, sickness, lack of control, fear and other scenario’s close to man’s fears and mortality.

His mother was an affectionate woman and his father went insane before his death. It is possible his father was suffering from syphilis, was this and her inspiration to his work?

I was lucky enough to visit the beautiful town of Providence, we even ventured down streets he most likely walked himself. We also ventured into Swan Point Cemetery, this was a fascinating place. The whole problem we faced was it was so big! We were there an hour before dark and so didn’t locate his grave. A wonderful place it’s worth a drive if you can get there, or a detour on a visit if you are nearby.

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It’s no secret I love to play games, I also love some of the little bits come along with it, and one of those little gems is the Children of Goldshire. Goldshire is the fictional settlement outside of the human city of Stormwind. The game is World of Warcraft and it’s a massive multi-player game.

There is one house with some particularly creepy children, at 7am server time they wander out around the Elwynn Forest and stop in pentagram formation. They despawn at 8pm server time and then come back again the following day.

They are also labelled Creepy Children or Demon Children of Goldshire, there are six of them and never go past where the river meets Mirror Lake. Their names are Cameron, John, Jose, Lisa, Dana and Aaron. Once they finish their little tour and stand in the bedroom a random sound will then be heard.

The sounds that can be heard are –

a banshee screaming, a ghoul’s call or C’thun (a god on the world based on the H P Lovecraft mythos) saying “You… will… die” or “Death is Close.” They all sound pretty creepy!

If you stand in the middle of the kids in the house and check your add-on with a quest helper add-on it will tell you that you are 666 points from the Stormwind border.

Below is one of my video’s of the event before the latest expansion but you can still go there now and see them, a screenshot is below of the children as I found them. Creepy!

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