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On perchts - Part I

While superstitious men of past ages saw the percht as somewhat of a magically enhanced natural disaster, modern scholars managed to figure out more about their true nature. In popular belief the winter opens doorways to the home realms of the percht through which they enter our world to haunt its inhabitants. Through diligent research, however, solid proof emerged that the percht are denizens of our own plane. What we know as percht are not entities on their own but rather a shape of other spirits, that inhabit our own world. The origin of the percht are usually invisible minor spirits that inhabit our world since the dawn of time. Is is theorised that those spirits are randomly created as byproducts of creations of the gods. Therefore old texts describe such spirits metaphorically as sparks of the forges of creation. Such spirits are usually insubstantial and of minor power. Over time they adopt features and traits of their surroundings. Some may become attached to a spring or a clearing in the woods, while those in cities might become attached to houses or families. While some might manifest as pranksters, they usually are protective of their object of interest. Yet they might still develop their own view on things and might punish aberrations from their ideals with more or less malicious pranks. They are the source of tales of woodcutters, haunted with bad luck while trying to fell a particular tree or a sloppy baker that fails to clean up his bakery to receive a beating by unseen assailants in his bed. Most of those spirits are never noticed, though, and some are even helpful and benevolent. The problem arises when the cold of winter creeps into the land. Like water changes to ice, the cold turns those spirits into something entirely different. Their frozen form is by far more material and visible. Also their usually harmless attitude changes vehemently. The more the cold takes hold on them, the more they become one of the percht. In their frozen percht stage many of them become malignant and destructive. Also they become obsessed with cold and want to spread it over the whole world for all eternity. Percht are usually afraid of warmth and fire. It's also known that certain loud noises can cause them discomfort or even make them shatter. Some folk tale claim that they are afraid or ashamed by their own mirror image, although they seem not to care much about the presence and appearance of other percht. They are not really accustomed to their solid forms and usually try to fly and hover, which leads to an awkward jumping movement. Their senses are limited or they are just not used to them so they can sometimes be fooled by a disguise. They seem to have some holy places that they protect with powerful magic wards that dull the mind and cause nausea. One of those places is the lair of their powerful leader, others are just hideouts or ritual sites for their ghastly ceremonies to dull the sun.