Damyne are magic spirits born of raw magic and feelings, that feed on emotions of feelings. In the world of Kigan almost covered by the branches of an anchor tree, there is plenty of both. The counterpart of Kigan, a world within shadows, mirrors and dreams, Awarth is however far more suited to giving rise to damyne and all manner of spirits.
Most damyne begin life as a childlike mouthless humanoid, with glowing red irises, a pair of horns and a whip like tail. These damyne are known as imps, and come in any colour. The imp of this small tale was a manner of greyish blue.
This little imp was quite the traveller it had scampered across a lot of awarth in the short time since its manifestation. In its escapades it had pilfered and/or been given a number of things. It had a hat made from the leather of a spirit that eats smells with a massive nose. It had a cloak woven from the black snows that give Blackrise Surtmuilim its name. Most of the dwellers there indeed refer to it as Blackrise. It had found the cloak in the hut of some hermit, long since claimed by some hazard of Awarth.
Under this fine cloak of common materials, the imp wore a pair of pointy boots made from a draulm, a kind of indistinct shadow-hound. Apart from being pointy they were quite indistinct as they had been when not a pair of boots. The imp liked them, as they made little noise. The boots had been a gift. A tailor gave them after it had stepped on something pointy inside his shop.
The imp also wore a pair of red scaly gloves. They were very pretty, too pretty perhaps, their shininess had gotten the imp caught more than once when working mischief. The imp was proud of these however, as it acquired them from a wandering dreambubble, just as the fish they had been, turned into them. At the time it had been upset as the fish were what had interested it.
The final possession that the imp had was a satchel made from the silk of some manner of spider thing, there was plenty of spider-like beings in Awarth. The imp had taken the bag from a thief just as the thief was trying to put a small vase in it. The vase had made a terrific sound when it hit the ground and the imp still had fond memories of the chaos that had ensued.
This imp was then, well dressed as imps go, considering that normally imps aren’t dressed at all, having only a vaguely crow-like intelligence at first.
As has been said, this imp was a bit of a traveller, so it had just recently arrived at a shadow city it had not visited before. It appeared to be the shadows of a mining town. There was a labyrinth around the city, but the imp didn’t have trouble navigating it. Even a lot of beings that didn’t have a natural knack for mazes and labyrinths tended to gain a bit of an ability at walking through them in Awarth.
It was that or live in them really.
So, this finely dressed imp was swaggering down amid towering shadowy buildings it spotted a shivering form down one of the narrow side alleys. Naturally enough, being an imp, this tickled its curiosity.
Skipped along towards the form. It was soon clear that the form was a mere shadow, but had the imp been more knowledgeable about such matters it would have known that the shadow was masterless. An unbound shadow, for one reason or another. It was not doing well. It takes a very particular person to leave behind a stable shadow, or a particular shadow. Already its body was lined with cracks, it tried to keep itself together with its arms, but they too were falling apart.
The shadow noticed the imp. For a moment the two just looked at each other.
-hey- the shadow greeted.
The imp came a bit closer, it isn’t something that imps are credited for, but most like to listen to people speak. Some too much, and hear all kinds of secrets not meant for their ears.
-It is so cold. I’m so cold, you aren’t around here are you?-
The Imp cocked its head, but it had no voice, so it could not reply.
-Things have gotten better around here, but I’m still so cold-
The shadow cracked a bit.
The imp startled, but began looking with interest at the cracks. Before the shadow could stop it, the imp poked it in one of them. The shadow recoiled.
-That wasn’t very nice, that made me colder. You have a cloak, if you could give it to me, I’d feel warmer I’m sure.-
The imp said nothing of course. It could listen, but understanding fully was not totally within its ability.
The shadow grabbed the imp, and took the cloak from it. He wrapped himself up, a instantly his cracks began to close up.
-Thanks- The shadow said, in spite of the imp neither agreeing or disagreeing. The shadow walked off. Leaving the imp alone. Imps, though fond of mischief are unfortunate in that like many beings of limited will, they have trouble disobeying those more powerful or willed than themselves.
The imp was a bit put out, but it had eaten some feelings off the shadow, which had been tasty. Touching the crack had been interesting too. The imp scuttled off, deciding to be more sneaky, and thus hopefully avoid losing more of its accoutrements.
It continued down the alley, which began to twist in odd ways, and soon the imp was looking down and not up. To someone further back, the imp would appear to be upside down on the path. The imp stopped as it heard voices. Down a bit, there was a window, from which some light was being eaten by the dark. It climbed up, well, down, a peered through to see what it could see, and hear.
To the imp, the room seemed like it was upside down.
“…riddance to the old spook I say, things were right dangerous while that ghastly chlan being was about.” A hoarse crackling voice crowed. The imp saw that it was in fact another imp, this one a kind of virulent green. This imp however had its mouth, a jagged maw of a thing.
All imps gain a mouth after eating enough emotions or feelings, thus becoming damyne with a complete will and mind.
-Easy enough for you to say Yom, you can just lounge about feeding on emotions from shadows and dreamers, I’ve far less minds to visit my terrors on- This other voice was somewhat venomous.
It was a nightmare, an unpleasant horse-like spirit that feeds by giving forth their namesake to unfortunate sleepers. This particular one had no eyes, two mouths, a beard of horns and the chest and arms of a woman, aswell as four stick-like legs. The hands of the arms however were gnarled and clawlike. Its mane and tail were like flowing sand that vanished as it left its body. The body of the spirit itself was as obsidian. It wore some red bindings over its more humanoid parts.
“Ah you’ve just gotten used to all those unfortunates in cages there used to be, there is still lots of other sleepers, Poalir” Yom snorted derisively.
-Well, they were so easy to stir to nightmares, and they didn’t have their shadows protecting them! You know how shadows can get- Poalir hissed.
“Don’t I just, tell it sister, why just the other day, I was minding my own business eating a juicy bit of emotion from a really vivid dreamer, and the shadow just gets all up in my stuff just like that. It ate my arm! My arm” Yom waved his stump to add to the point.
-I was wondering about that-
“You weren’t going to ask, were you? I was waiting for you to ask”
-I wasn’t, ha! A day and night flush! What do you think of that you miserable imp-
Yom looked down at the dark table in the room they were in. The imp at the window also looked. There appeared to be oblong pieces of card with pictures on them on the table.
“I think I’m a miserable imp, here the essence is yours then” Yom tossed some manner of wriggly glowy thing at Poalir.
She caught it and tucked it away in her cloth bindings.
Yom then inclined its head toward the window. Poalir instantly turned her head to face the imp that wasn’t Yom. Said imp almost lost its grip on the window.
-You over there, stop skulking about and come in here-
The imp had no voice, and could not say no. It climbed in. It promptly fell on the floor on its back.
-Isn’t this one of your kind Yom?-
Yom looked the imp over.
“Yep, not even got its mouth yet, got some nice stuff on it” Yom said, envy burning in his eyes.
-Deal it in-
Yom looked disbelievingly at Poalir.
-Really. It’ll be fun-
Yom grumbled, but pulled a chair out.
“Sit” he commanded the imp.
So, the imp found itself playing a game it didn’t know. It lost its gloves to Yom in the first game and its hat to Poalir in the second, but the third it won the essence, whatever it was from Poalir. She didn’t seem to mind. They didn’t play anymore after that, as Poalir left to stir up some nightmares.
The two imps were left together. Yom looked at his junior. After a while he opened a door that the imp had not at all seen.
“Go on, git” Yom said “I got things to be doing… yeah, uh, important things. Ugh why am I making excuses, you can’t disobey anyway, out with you.”
Yom kicked the imp onto a twisting spiral of stairs. The stairs were amid sheeplike dreamfog. The imp managed to not fall into the deeper fog however.
It walked for a time, the stairs twisting up and down, left and right and around and around. Then the imp came across a mirror. This mirror did not reflect the imp, as only mirror not connected to Kigan reflect in Awarth. As it was, this was a mirror connected to Kigan, thus it was a mirror room, the reflection of all that was caught in the mirror in Kigan. Entering into a mirror room in Awarth is just like walking into a normal room, but the difference is that getting out to either Kigan or Awarth is a bit more problematic.
Curled up in the mirror room was a grinling. It looked a bit like a big mop of a cat with a thick tail and its flat, hidden on the floor. The grinling lifted its head up. It was framed by deep heavy black locks of hair, but apart from a huge toothy grin, and a pair of glowing white eyes, nothing could be seen of its face. Its body was like a man’s but it had the legs of a stubby cat for limbs.
As mirror dwellers go, grinlings are fairly tame, they only frighten some people, and occasionally steal people’s smiles to add to their own.
The grinling had spotted the imp. It sauntered over to the mirror frame. It mimicked the imp. Even going so far as to stop grinning, thus hiding its mouth. The grinling stood up on its hindlegs. It mimed putting boots on. The imp blinked. There was a pair of boots much like its own on it! The imp looked at its feet, they were bare! The grinling had stolen its boots!
The grinling gave a mocking bow, and slinked back to sleep in the middle of the room. The imp slumped sadly and wandered off. It didn’t want to get stuck in a mirror room with the grinling.
The Imp came across another door, it opened it. The room beyond was writhing with colours.
Sitting in this room was what looked exactly like a bag drinking from a bottle. Its strap had split in two at the middle and the frayed ends took the handlike forms. Its eyes were beneath heavy flaps on the main flap of the bag.
It was a Centsuma, an object, that upon reaching its’ one hundredth birthday, and a few other requirements, becomes full willed and alive. The bag stopped its drinking when it realise there was an imp staring at it. It leered at the imp from beneath its flaps.
“Oh, that’s a nice bag you got there, wanna leave it here?”
The imp did not do this. Instead the bag was treated to the horrific sight of the lower half of the imp’s face cracking into a uneven toothy maw. The imp flexed its new mouth a bit, then, glaring at the bag, happily said one word.