Monday, January 27, 2014

Chinese New Year

Long ago in China there was a sea dwelling monster called the Nian. During the year it would slumber beneath the waves.

On the 1st day of the New Year however it would rise from the waves and descend on villages eating livestock and even people.

Now the tales differ depending on location, as with most things that are lost in the mists of antiquity. Our scholars researching the event have found that each is true in its own way and that the tales result from the distance and insularity of the villages. This great creature would terrorize a village until they finally drove it away before moving on to another area, often hundreds of miles away.

A very common legend is for the villagers to figure out a technique for driving it away. Sometimes it is a single young girl, other times it is the entire village coming together. One of the most famous tales involves a traveling old man or monk who comes to the village and drives the creature away.

In some of the tales that monk is none other than the monk Hongjun Laozu. In yet more the person is shrouded in mystery however he leaves the tools needed by the people to drive the Nian back.

The methods used to drive it away however all confirm each other as reasonable methods:

The Colour Red: When Hongjun Laozu tricks the Nian into clearing the surrounding country of poisonous snakes and dangerous creatures it is all part of a cunning ruse to show off his underwear. Upon stripping out of his “bad tasting” clothes Laozu is wearing red undergarments. A colour the Nian fears and will flee from.

Editor’s Note: A good way to surprise the Nian is to wait for it to be eating a colleague or other victim. Given the colour of the majority of what is in our body the Nian can only consume its prey with eyes tightly shut. Before planning this method it should be noticed that if the Nian eats the bait whole this technique can backfire.

Bright Flashes: The bright flash of fireworks exploding also causes fear in the Nian, it will flee the sight exploding gunpowder.

Loud Noises: The loud noise generated by gunpowder and fire crackers is more than the sensitive hearing of the Nian can take and it will flee.

Editor’s Note: Such unusual weaknesses can be a boon and hindrance to hunters. If one is merely seeking to drive the beasts away then this presents no difficulty. However if attempting to capture one then only the most primitive weapons and technology can be employed in hunting it. Despite the DPRCD’s Yearly hunt for the beast it has never been captured since the ancient monk’s time.

It has been theorized that the Nian will never return to a village from which it has been successfully driven away. This has been shown to be technically true; however villages visited by the Nian generally continue the fireworks, red paper, and firecrackers each year. While this works as a preventative measure it does make researchers wonder on the accuracy of the claim. Efforts to get villages to cease their celebrations as a test group have been met with a mix of staunch refusal.

In this way not only is the Chinese New Year celebrated in a bright and colourful manner, but it also keeps people safe.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Prepare for the Worst

As long as there has been the darkness, brave men and women have stood against its depredations. Sometimes they wane as what lurks behind the veil consumes them in place of the innocents they protect. Other times the forces of light wax and push back the darkness to wait in only the deepest shadows. The life of a hunter is a harsh one and many are slain for a myriad of reasons.

However it is the life of those they protect which truly matters. Each and every human life is special and the last thing anyone wants is to see them snuffed out. For this reason the ability of an individual to protect themselves is of paramount importance.

When a hunter is minutes away seconds can matter. In this regards the best thing a person can do is be ready to survive and protect them self in any situation. For this reason this will be the first post in a series on personal survival and proper preparation.

Minimum needed for survival

This is a rather simple issue that goes in the rule of threes. This is the longest average a person can go without something important. Some people can survive for longer times and some for shorter, but the Rule of 3 for survival is a good starting point for an average person.

A person can survive and function:
3 Minutes without breathing
30 minutes in freezing water without protection
3 Hours without shelter
3 Days without water
3 Weeks without food

It is important to note that in each of these cases we mean survive and function relatively normally. This means the ability to move around and perform general tasks as normal.

Similarly those who are in warm or tropical water have survived much longer than 3 hours. However water any colder than ~20°C (~65°F) will result in a survival time that can be measured in hours. Water temperature less than 25°C (~78°F) will eventually prove fatal from hypothermia in no more than 3 days.

For air temperature it depends greatly on the person, what they are wearing, and their body type. However for freezing weather a person can expect to survive a very short time as their external heat is leeched away from them.

There are plenty of cases of individuals surviving for more than 3 days or 3 weeks without water or food. However in each of these cases the person had to reduce their activity level greatly. There are cases of individuals surviving 5 or more weeks without food, but they were generally stranded and remained in a location not moving or expending any extra calories.

In each of these cases this is a single unprepared person. Every step you take can extend your survival time. With the right equipment you can survive hours underwater and for as long as is needed in other situations.

Over the coming posts we will present survival and prepping techniques to increase the odds of a human surviving under any circumstances.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Taxonomy: Varinid

Kingdom: Animalia
Phyllum: Chordata
Class: Paradoxa
Order: Vaninid

The varinid order are known as the varients.

The varinids are creatures able to blend in with normal creatures yet they are something different. In many cases they would be considered shapeshifters or changelings. There are two primary families of Varinids.

Personidae: Creatures such as lycanthropes and leechmen whom look human yet are not. Personidae are either humanoids that can turn into other creatures or creatures which can resemble humans.

Proteanidae: Creatures which are not human but can assume other forms. Proteanidae can be differed from Personidae in that they may not assume human forms at all or if they can assume human form they can assume other forms as well.

Taxonomical definition of Varinids can be extremely tricky. There are many different types of shapeshifters in the world. Some such as the Rakshasha are creatures with the inate power to turn into other creatures. Yet others such as certain strains of lycanthropy are passed through infection rather than genetics. Finally there are those that use magic or other methods to change their form such as elves.

The Varinid is a much newer taxonomical order that was brought about by the difficulty of placing other creatures. Werewolves are an excellent example of this dilemma. The canine lycanthropes could claim biological relation to either homo or lupus genus’s. Is it a wolf that turns into a man or a man that turns into a wolf? By organizing them and other creatures like them into their own category it makes for easier classification.

The distinction from putting a shape shifting faerie in the Varinid order as opposed to the Nhang comes from the primary regards of their purpose and abilities. A good way to think of it is that all Varinids are shape shifters, but not all shape shifters are Varinids.

These abilities can be in greater or lesser degrees. The leechmen are amongst the least malleable of the shapeshifter type. While they can hide their monstrous traits, what separates them from humans still lurk beneath the surface and many of them are capable of transforming even further.

Proteanidae such as the Armenian Nhang or the Scottish Kelpies can assume several different forms. The Nhang normally exists as a serpent; however it can also change into the form of a woman or seal. In these forms it lures men near to it where the creature will then drag them into the water and drink their blood.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Elven Lobbyists Block Highway

Apparently the government wants to build a highway from the capitol to the Alftanes peninsula. In Iceland a group called the Hrauvinir, “Frinds of the Lava,” are acting on behalf of a group of Icelandic Elves.

While the DPRCD embraces the expansion of humanity and its infrastructure we are also very glad that the old ways are still being honoured. The Icelandic hidden folk are a tricky and mercurial people. Treated kindly they can spread joy and offer protection and comfort; however when they are upset and offended by humans they can play cruel pranks and hurt people.

The way to keep them happy is very simple; leave them alone, set out small treats for their delight, and build the small homes for them to stay in.

The ways to make them upset are even easier to avoid: Don’t bulldoze their homes and cover it in asphalt and concrete.

 Hat tip to [Overlawyered]