Friday, January 16, 2015

[Cryptworld] Hansels and Gretels: A New Monster Hunting Society

Hansels and Gretels

The fairy tales and fables are true. Those legends and myths read about in picture books and presented as bedtime stories are based on true events that occurred many generations ago. Even now, a crone may be luring children into her brightly colored "candy" house where she cooks and eats them. A large wolf currently stalks the local park, attacking any women who happen to wear red. A dwarf has been spotted stealing babies from those parents unable to guess his true name. And, yes, boogeymen lurk under every bed and in every closet.

And for every storybook monster, there is a storybook hero.

Every generation, a handful of those "attuned" to these mythological monsters are born -- fewer than 20 every 100 years. These few are somehow aware of the true nature of these legendary creatures and are compelled seek them out and destroy them. In obscure texts of forgotten myths, these heroes are referred to as "Hansels and Gretels", named after the first legendary monster hunters who dispatched of a troublesome witch.

Hansels and Gretels are often unaware of their talents until after reaching puberty. At that time, they may start to take notice of clues and signs that others don't pay attention to: a shadow that moves independently; eerie howling in the distance; a footprint that couldn't possibly be made by any living thing. As they grow older, Hansels and Gretels begin to realize that monsters are real and they're everywhere. And as the only ones aware of the vil, it is up to them to act.

Just as they can sense the undercurrent of the supernatural, Hansels and Gretels are able to recognize one another as "attuned", and they often band together to draw upon each others' skills and abilities to root out and destroy these legendary monsters. One interesting side effect of this attunement: Children younger than 10 are also somewhat attuned to the nature of mythological monsters, seeing through the veneer of the banal and recognizing evil for what it is and where it lurks. However, as they age, they eventually grow out of it and are unable to "see" these monsters for what they are. Also, children are able to identify Hansels and Gretels for who they are. Children will often seek out the assistance of these monster fighters to combat the things they've seen.

"The grown-ups don't believe there's a monster watching the playground, but you know they're real," they say.

Because the monsters of fairly tales and myths are adept at keeping their true nature away from the eyes of the world, Hansels and Gretels must also keep their monster hunting activities hidden. Hansels and Gretels who are identified by the supernatural denizens often find themselves hunted by these creatures. And if a Hansel or Gretel is caught assaulting "that nice old lady who lives at the edge of town", they'll be hard-pressed to justify their actions by claiming she's a witch.

(This society is inspired by the movies The Brothers Grimm and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, and the TV show Grimm.)

1 comment:

  1. Very cool concept Tim! Nice execution! Excellent setting material.


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