My Favourite Monsters A-Z – Kalau

October 14, 2012 at 12:35 am (dark fantasy, horror, writing) (, , , , , , , , )

I discovered the Kalau while researching Siberian mythology for my dark fantasy/horror novel, Elements of Genocide. I was pleasantly surprised to find they fit the role I had already chosen for them in my story:

The Koryak people of Siberia believed in the Kalau (known as kelet to the Chukchee), who were evil spirits who cause illness or death. They were considered bloodthirsty cannibal spirits. Mythology states that the Supreme Being plays no active part in the protection of men.” On the contrary, he sends kalau to men ‘that they may die, and that he may create other people’ (Shamanism in Siberia, by M.A. Czaplicka, [1914],)

Well – my Kalau were predatory cannibalistic wizards who preyed upon other sentient races and worshipped death. They were nicknamed “the Bane” by other races. Osiric, pictured in this sketch, was a particularly nasty Kalau…here’s a gruesome example:

With feline grace, he wove his way through the brush, searching the air for an appropriate scent. He did not find one immediately, the majority of the small, brown-skinned folk having made themselves scarce. Just at the point where Osiric was growing desperate and preparing to snatch up some small, mindless, furred creature to tide him over, he finally picked up the smell of an Etin. The aroma was tangy with a metallic edge – a younger female approaching heat, no doubt. He felt the spittle foaming at the corners of his mouth, a reaction to the delectable odour. It practically made him giddy.

Osiric crouched, preparing to investigate the scent further and gauge where the female would be located. Then he would track her and set upon her when the time was right. She took him by surprise, however, and emerged from the foliage in front of him before he was well and truly ready. Not wanting to let opportunity pass him by, he sprang upon her before she decided to try to make an escape.

He startled her, shocked as much at being attacked by a Bane as by having anyone jump out at her at all. She was strong and healthy. She knew that this was not how the Bane normally hunted. Her surprise did not prevent her from resisting him however, and fight him she did, until he had her completely overpowered. She scratched at his face, trying for his eyes but failing, and she tore at his clothing, even managing to rend her way through in a couple of places.

Eventually, Osiric wore her down, ripping flesh from her body even as they struggled and delighting over the salty hot trickle of her blood seeping into his throat. He moaned at the way she tasted, dipping into her meat again and again with his small pointed teeth, needle sharp. He was so hungry that he was oblivious to her screams or the horrible mess that he was making in the process.



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