Beasts form out of animals, inheriting their higher resistance to winter temperatures in comparison to trolls/humans and also giants. Unlike the much deformed trolls and giants, they often keep an appearance quite similar to the original animal as well.
Since that means that they retain their specific adaptations to their environment, like fur, they often do not need to build a nest, either. Close-ups of the beast-dog in chapter seven do, however, reveal less-visible changes (like worms/tendrils in the orifices or the lips having gotten partially fused together) that promise to interfere with behavior to a degree. Even more interestingly, it seems to be out and active in bright daylight.It is not yet known whether beasts are outright aggressive towards humans, but even if not, they stand better chances of venturing into settlements unnoticed by scouts and guards and bring danger of infection with them.
Small enough beasts ("beast vermin") intruding into settlements can be dealt with by the cats on their own.
Dog Beasts Edit
- their beast forms tend to vary a lot, making research into their proper categorization confusing, and
- there have been documented cases where beastified dogs showed signs of their former minds and/or their bond with humans still being present.
Cthulhund, while clearly showing the latter, does not seem to fit one of the three "noted" kinds of dog beasts:
Historically, the Garmr ("rag") was a Norse mythological creature guarding the gate(s) to Hel, usually described as some monsterific dog, if not a dog+wolf mix. It is also supposed to play an active role in Ragnarök.
In SSSS, the Garm-type rash dogs are supposedly large, bulky, have an "armor-like hide", and can be encountered in Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. They are also said to be "the only beast known to principally hunt and devour humans" - which simultaneously is the first confirmation that beasts (and, thus, grosslings) do indeed hunt for food in the first place.
The post-Rash Church Grim seems to match its pre-Rash mythological namesake particularly well, in that they supposedly guard and defend "the gravesites of their dead human companion" in Denmark and Sweden. It remains to be seen, however, how literal the term of "grave(yard)" is still to be taken, considering that few victims of the Rash got to enjoy a proper burial.
Manalan Rakki / Hiiden Hurtta Edit
The "dog of Manala/Hiisi" of Finnish mythology was less of an individual and more of a spirit, to the point of shamanic procedure seeking to banish it so as to heal an ill person as the manifestation of disease itself. The post-Rash variant, again present mainly in Finland, is said to be a miserably-looking dog that seeks contact to humans, thus spreading the Rash to them.
Special Procedures Edit
Due to the danger grosslings present to humans and their lifestock, they are generally met with violent opposition in all of the Nordics, from the cats killing "vermin beasts" to the planned campaigns of the cleansers. However, there is at least one case of a procedure used in only one nation, and only for beasts:
The Finnish Kallohonka Edit
After killing a beast (or possibly also with one found dead?), Finnish mages have a habit of removing and cleaning its skull and putting it onto a high branch of a kallohonka (literally "skull pine"), a tree selected for this purpose, mainly on account of it being a particularly tall one - often, but not necessarily, a pine tree. This procedure is thought to release the spirit of the original animal and allow it to return to the skies, from where it will be reborn, free of the Rash, into the herds of the Finnish deities who rule over the forests, Tapio and Mielikki. This procedure is explicitly said to not work on humans, and thus, trolls; whether it is at least partially applicable to giants remains to be seen.
The ritual goes back to the pre-Christianization Finns, however, those reserved it for the most respected game of their hunting - in particular bears, which were thought to have individually descended from the skies in the first place. For them, the ritual often was extended into a "Bear's Wedding" (Karhunpeijaiset), essentially suggesting that the bear was not merely a wild animal but worthy of membership in the humans' society.
Known Occurences Edit
- Cthulhund is shown in , and so far our only canon encounter with a beast.
- On , a beastified horse is shown still tied in its stable. It gets absorbed by a murderghost, lending it the appearance leading to the nickname "Sleipnope".