Denizens of Naidem
Denizens of Naidem is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
As twilight touched my windowsill, sleeplessness overtaking me, I spied a decrepit woman crouching between the curtains. Startled, I sat upright and watched as she crept from the window and perched upon the foot of my bed like a gargoyle overwatching the roof of an ancient structure.
“Do not be afraid,” she said to me. Her words came in a heavy accent that caused the r’s to roll and the d’s to be bitten off.
“I’ve come to tell you of the Denizens of Naidem,” she said and motioned to the quill and notepad I kept on my nightstand. “You will want to take notes.”
Having only recently heard of Naidem and begun my research into it, I was instantly alert. I donned my spectacles, grabbed up my quill and pad, and immediately began writing everything she said.
“You must understand,” she began. “The dead are a jealous people, and only some few may walk among them without drawing their ire. Witches and necromancers pass into their realm regularly, but the dead pay no mind to them. You could hide from them, using a mask or a heavy enchantment for both confuse them mightily."
"When first they came to Naidem, there was nothing and many of the early people were devoid of their memories. What little memories they did have caused them to shape the land, changing it, and transforming it into what we that live there call Evermore Hollow and the lands beyond it.
"Those who came first didn't remember who they were but they also did not remember much of their culture or races. They felt a kinship with those who were similar to them, and so they created names for themselves. Those denizens that you meet in Naidem today bear the echoed image of the first of their kind to make it to the realm, and as such many do not appear fully whole.
"For example, you have the fomorian. Proud and fierce, in this new realm, they had supernatural strength, fierce loyalty, and a deep tie to their kin. Their stature cast shadows on the earth wherever they tread, but many were haunted by battles with demons and wandered, often alone, through Naidem trying to find purpose and to cast off the shadows and shades of their past.
"A coblynau was the next to find Naidem and reimagined himself as an aging being with the curiosity and tenacity of a feline, which is why you will see them with long whiskers that extend beyond their bulbous nose. In life, they were the diminutive tinkers and gatherers that roamed cities, and in many ways, that curiosity did not leave them. For once in Naidem, they begin to dig and burrow to find the secrets that were there.
"The draugr and the korrigan arrived together, some massacre that had claimed their people brought them to the land at the same time. Haunted and gaunt, the dark-skinned draugr had a preternatural knowledge that left them hungry for more. Some twist of fate had caused the korrigan to appear half-feral, their features warped with demonic visages that left them twisted.
"There was one time, too long ago for me to remember when an entire race of people came to us. Each bearing the semblance of the drowned. They named themselves the gjenganger, their features constantly shifting from young to old and their movements filled with an inhuman grace that caused them to appear as if they were moving through the water at all times.
"When the sluagh first started to appear, we could not fathom what fate had taken from them for their immediate wildness caused us to at first think they were animals in humanoid form. But as time loosened the first grips of death on them, their personalities slowly returned, and we realized that their looks were at war with the deep balance and peace within them. For some reason, and who are we of Naidem to question it, fate had given them something else in this twisted realm.
"The domovoy, their females call themselves domania, came to us when the sky was not yet painted. They immediately took to remembering and creating the Bittermere Woods. With small ram's horns upon their tufted brows, the curious folk felt right at home there and did their best to harvest and grow the land. It would seem that they could not be separated from the instinct they had in life.
"Outcasts at first, the arrachd, their females called glaistig, worked had to create a peace between the fauth and the others. Both, a part of something else, felt a kinship at first that surprised them as their memories returned. Perhaps it is true that all is forgiven in death.
"When the di penates arrived in Naidem, they brought with them something that many of us had forgotten about. The joys and love of a hearth. Things we had forgotten that we enjoyed suddenly started to appear. The allure of warm bread, the scent of a freshly cooked meal, and while none of us needed to eat, the Di Penates reminded us how much joy we gained from sharing a meal.
"The cailleach, their men known as bodach, were ancient in form. They required structure and pathways to ensure that they felt comfortable in life and so it was that the roadways of Evermore Hollow suddenly became cobbled overnight. Insecure in their place, they quickly found that the things they built gave them purposes and so they were welcomed into the realm with open arms.
Pausing, the witch turned her gaze from the ceiling to my face. "Now," she began anew, "I do not want you to think that all that is in Naidem is kind and gentle. There are those that come to us, those that refuse to name themselves, that haunt along the edges of what we have built. And still, there are those that have been in Naidem for so long, waiting to move on, that the memory of their form is lost and they are no more than a collection of light held together by the memory of a skeletal structure."
Tapping my leg, she stood. "You will see for yourself soon enough." And with that, she was gone as the sun crested my windowsill.