Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Search for Re: Alps

In my quest for vampire folklore, to find something that fits the vampires that are part of the Walker universe, I ran across something called the alp.

The alp is a night predator from Germanic folklore.  They are more like incubi than vampires according to Wikipedia.  Although from what I understand, according to the same resource, they rarely sexually attack the victim. 

Perhaps the incubi connection has more to the with the Old Hag syndrome, which has to do with uncomfortable or suffocating pressure on the chest.  I say that because they sneak in at night, sit on their victim's chest, and increase their weight until the victim can no longer breathe. 

They feed off their victim's vitality, breath, and their terror--that is, while atop their victim, an alp changes the victim's dreams to nightmares and feed off the discharge of terror.  Or according to Wikipedia, alps feed by entering through the victim's mouth or nose as a fine mist and once inside feed on dreams.  Or they may use their long tongue to do the same.  Gross.

Well, the more I looked into the alps, the more I realized they were like my "keshets" in the Walker universe.  My keshets are like a mixture of vampires and succubi/incubi--you know all about the latter, of course.  It was the tongue thing though that made me think of them.  My keshets have a long tongue they stick down inside you, through any handy orifice.  Walker gets an earful, for example.  Anyway, this tongue has a dual purpose.  First, it discharges something like a spider's venom, turning your insides into a Slurpee.  Second, they use it lap or suck you dry.  Yum. 

But I really like the idea of the dream-changing and I see a way to tie it in my creatures.  You see, the keshets are so physically enchanting, the victim is drawn helplessly to them while they work their stuff.  What if, part of that "enchantment" involves some very . . . captivating dreams, so that once they get you close, they keep you close.  You're insides are liquefying, but you don't feel it, because you are off somewhere in la la land doing something far more pleasant than being munched on. 

Folklore is cool, huh?  Where did I find my information about Alps?  Well from Wikipedia and from a cool new book, They Bite by Maberry and Kramer.  You'll probably be seeing more from this book during this month.  After all, I still need some more vampire info.  And I need some cool critters for other worlds in the Walker universe.  Oh, and once my web page gets up and running, I'll see about posting more information creatures like alps, because they have some other quirks too worth noting.

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