People of the Forest - A Guide to Maraphens

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  1. Maraphens are less a race and more a spiritual blight upon this world, seemingly modeled after a myriad of insect breeds. They often have six limbs, most commonly having an additional pair of arms or legs. Their bodies are covered in a chitinous exoskeleton, belying their true nature. This exoskeleton may be of a variety of different colors and shapes, based on the insect they were modeled after. Some may even possess wings. They can inhabit all but the most extreme of environments, Maraphens are most commonly found in faewoods with a close proximity to settled lands.
  3. Historically, Maraphens only came to be as a result of the dietary habits of various Fae creatures, most prominently Faeries. The Fae have a tendency to abscond with mundane children to satiate their hungers. Fae that consume the spirits of these children, however, are exceedingly rare. As such, the spirits of these children accumulate until their energy reaches a critical point. Warped by the faewoods, these spirits use their incredible power to create a new shell, one suited to their new habitat. This is the Maraphen, a wretched and vile creature.
  5. In terms of intelligence, Maraphens possess a jumbled mess of minds, thoughts, and memories, inherited from the spirits that inhabit their shell. If these spirits maintain their individual clarity, the resulting Maraphen has a significantly greater understanding of its own thoughts and memories. In some rare cases, the Maraphen will independently develop its own mind and personality, an indication of the utmost in intellect or being born from superior quality spirits.
  7. Culturally, most Maraphens are organized in tribes, in which the strongest is given leadership. They often fight each other, themselves, and intruders upon their territory, often to the amusement of the Fae that had inadvertently gave them life. Maraphens with their own minds usually wander from the wilds to strike out on their own, often looking down upon their more savage brethren.
  9. Curiously, the Maraphen's dietary and reproductive processes opperate in tandem. Maraphen are carnivorous in by nature, and the more wild ones will feast upon more than beasts. Complex persons, such as humans, consumed by Maraphens will have their spirit broken down into a fluid that is stored within a sac within the throat of a Maraphen. As the number of complex spirits consumed increases, the sac fills. When the Maraphen deems that the sac is full or when the spiritual energy within the sac is intense enough to harm its owner, the fluid is ejected from the Maraphen's mouth into the earth to eventually spawn another of its foul kin. Curiously, when a Maraphen is consumed by another of its kind, its muddled amalgamation of spirits is assimilated into that of their predator, adding to both its intelligence and ever growing insanity.
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