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TRANSMIT - initiate plague signal - RECEIVE - initiate the murder-of-one - NOW THERE'S NO GOING BACK, AND THERE'S SOMETHING UNDEAD IN YOUR MIND AND YOUR EYES AND YOUR HEART AND YOUR HEAD - illumine the Local Legends of New England - WITNESS - The Revenants.
What is time to us? We stand outside. There was a time, sweeling, hundreds of south of you, when folk knew to burn the cadavers of certain wicked persons. We see them now, standing around the flames. Archers are at the ready, bows drawn and quivering. Should any animal, any rat or cat or crow wander near the flames, that creature is shot. The people do not blink. They know that evil dies hard, and that even one animal can spread the pestilence again.
They hold a special place among the restless dead. Not just crudely revivified clay, but the animate fragments of an evil life. Devious and clever. The self-aware plague. The pestilent agency. Terror and pain are their food. We speak of the Murder-of-One. We speak of the revenants.
They come from the caitiffs of society. They come from those consumed by a drive to spread misery. They are born from messy, violent deaths, often by powerful magic. Through just the right mix of these ingredients, a revenant takes shape. Their souls are so saturated by the actions they took in life that death does not claim them - they slip through - their malevolence spreading into a swarm mind, taking shape as creatures associated with darkness and disease: ravens, rats, spiders, worms, moths, and the like.
Black magic and pestilence are a revenant's weapons. They wield sharp weapons carved in putrescence or poison. Escape is difficult, for they leap great distances, crawl up walls, turn into terrible swarms, and squeeze through the narrowest of cracks. Destruction is arduous. A Revenant can reform from the smallest of fragments, and the poison of their blood and minds infects everything around them with their eldritch disease.
The revenant is cunning. They stalk and observe their targets, and are rarely in a rush. They patiently enjoy toying with their prey. They take pleasure in trickery, using emotional deception to provoke their targets to take risks. The abduction of children, destruction of homes, and violence against loved ones are among their favourite lures.
And for all of this, they do not seem to have any greater plan or intelligent design. Suffering is its own reward. They feed on misery. They often attack those with powerful connections to magic, drawn like moths to a flame. Revenants have been known to answer the call of certain occultists who wish ill will on their fellow people. This is how they came to Kingsmouth, brought by Archie Henderson to spread disease and death among the Wabanaki.
Seeing a revenant is an ill omen. They are drawn to areas where disasters, both natural and human-made, are imminent. They proved instrumental in spreading the plagues of history: the bubonic plague, smallpox, typhus, and the measles. With their dark hoods and their sharp blades, many have mistaken them for the Grim Reaper. The revenants gather, sweetling. The number of their sightings increase exponentially around the world. Dark days are here.