Creatures of the Watchtower – Imps

The underworld in my paranormal series THE WATCHTOWER is based on Dante’s depiction of hell in his poem Divine Comedy. There are nine levels and each has its own minion. Running through each level is a river of lava, and here is where the Imps live.

In the books, Imps are the skeletal remains of ritual sacrifice victims thrown into volcanoes. Their bodies are fused into a crab-like state and they scuttle across the ground just like the crustaceans with hands and feet in place in pincers. They move very fast but are not prone to swarming their potential victim like vipers. Because the creatures were created in lava, Imps cannot travel far away from the river. Their touch burns flesh and can ignite anything on fire, but un-like the other minions of hell, they can’t be killed. Their supernatural existence is based on dark magic and energies. They can be blown apart with a weapon; reverting them back into a lava state but will regenerate and continue on.

These creatures first came to me while I was writing THE SAINTS OF BELVEDERE ROAD. I needed something on the ground to attack my characters and cause a dire situation. When Barb Dole enters the underworld in SYMPATHY FOR THE DEMON, she is chased by these creatures, along with hordes of other minions, on the last leg of her run to safety. 

More creatures from The Watchtower series;

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Demons of THE WATCHTOWER—Vipers

In SYMPATHY FOR THE DEMON I introduce a nasty creature called a viper. Vipers reside only in hell, but like scrayling, they can move about from one level to the next. They prefer the dead forest of the second level, as this is where the city of Dis is located.

Vipers resemble an octopus. They stand about a meter in height with long tendrils that wave frantically in the air. Their tendrils are very strong and can squeeze the life from a person, but they generally use them like whips to inflict serious damage on their victims. Even though I haven’t put it in the book, I see vipers as having large mouths and sharp teeth near the bottom of their bodies, with several small, stubby tendrils for legs. Because of their small appendages, they can’t move fast so they travel in hordes that can quickly overtake their prey.

For the most part, vipers, like scrayling are mindless creatures that react on instinct. Blood of any kind sends them into a frenzy that isn’t calmed until their hunger has subsided.

 

More creatures from The Watchtower series;

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Supernatural Sunday; Demons of THE WATCHTOWER—Scraylings

I love putting a new twist into an old monster, but I also like creating them. Now-a-days it’s hard to come up with something original; all the monsters are pretty well known, so that why I was really excited when the idea for a scrayling came to mind.

In my paranormal novels, scraylings are the grunts of Hell. They’re incredibly tall with a stalky, muscular build. They’re strong as hell and can fly, with each wing almost as long as their body. Muscular arms and legs give strength to sharp talons on their hands and feet, and they can rip the flesh of anything. They are completely obedient to their masters, and will carry out their order even if it means their death.

I got the idea from watching Scooby Doo! Seriously. Just picture this guy more…you know scary.

scoobydoo

Another difficult thing is naming said creature.  Again, most monsters are named and using a variations is always good to put your own personal mark on it, but this name just jumped out on to the paper. I was sure I’d heard it before, but when I Googled the name, I found nothing.

Does this mean I’ve created a new monster? Probably not, but it’s nice to think I did, so look out world, scraylings are on the loose, and you don’t want to run into one of these bad boys in a dark alley.

Supernatural Sunday: Werewolves of THE WATCHTOWER

Never has there been a monster so versatile as the werewolf. Out of all the monsters, I think these are the most dangerous; the most frightening, not because they transform into snarling monsters, but because they can look, act and live just like regular people. They are literally a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Other monsters cannot blend into society as well as a werewolf; something always gives them away, but a werewolf, you wouldn’t know one unless you saw him transform.

When I brainstormed my werewolves for The Watchtower series, like everything else, I wanted them to be unique. I don’t care for the idea that they could not control the beast within them, but I wanted to show that they were just as dangerous. The werewolves that live in the forest that surrounds the Spire, are more dog like; there is an Alpha male and the pack does what he says, no arguments. They’re a fun loving bunch, a simple folk who enjoy the company of their pack and don’t get all hung up on the how’s or why’s of how their species came to be.

They know their ancestors were cursed for helping the vampyres escape from the wrath of the old Gods. They live peacefully next to the vampyres, looking out for them and keeping them safe from the world at large. It’s only when they transform into huge, hairless demon creatures that they become scary, and it’s a side of them they don’t hide from, and will use to get what they want.

Paranormal Sunday; Vampyres of THE WATCHTOWER

When I decided to add vampires to my novels, I wanted them to be traditional, but different. I thought for a while about how they could be original so I made a list of character traits found in many vampire stories, and went from there.

Vampires are an old monster. Myths about them have been around for centuries. I’ve always thought that creatures that old would be arrogant, but not in a mean sort of way. Living for thousands of years gives you a unique perspective on humanity. Something that a mortal person wouldn’t understand. I think they would feel detached from the century they were living in, which might come off as being cold, especially when it came to other beings.

How to tie them into the story? That was another problem. I had to include the main characteristic of a vampire-their need for human blood, so I looked up some myths about blood online. Blood has always been a mystical substance in all ancient cultures. Whether it’s the colour, texture or the fact it is within us and we need it to live. Also, I needed a way to relate some backstory. I remember watching a movie about a vampire that was actually Judas. His punishment for betraying Jesus was to be turned into a vampire. Same with Dracula-for renouncing God after the death of his wife. Turning humans into vampires would be a good punishment so that is how my vampires came to be. Punished for betraying the Gods.

As for why they were punished, well, you’ll just have to read and find out.

Paranormal Sunday: The Watchtower Monsters: Zombies

One thing I love about writing paranormal, is envisioning a new take on creatures and trying to make them more my own. With my paranormal series THE WATCHTOWER, I have the traditional paranormal beings, but I’ve tried to give them a new twist.

The first monster I worked with was zombies. Modern zombies have become a horde of starving creatures produced from some unknown virus, roaming the world eagerly searching for humans to feed on. They probably feed on other wildlife, but I haven’t heard it yet. One thing I could never understand about these mindless hordes is how they can find humans. Do they still retain their senses? Or maybe just a one? Why do they need to eat human flesh? Questions I think I’ll leave for another day.

Traditionally, zombies were created by Voodoo priests to be slaves. Some of these poor souls weren’t dead, but alive and yet not aware they were under the control of the priest. When I looked at putting my twist on it, I decided to go back to its traditional roots and again make them compliant slaves. In THE WATCHTOWER, I’ve combined the two. My zombies are created by sacrificing someone, then through dark magic, binding the soul of the deceased to their body. Because the body is dead, it will decompose, but because the soul is still within it, it’s also alive. My zombies feel pain and are aware their bodies are used against their will, and even though I haven’t written a scene with it yet, they can talk as well. Although I would assume they would sound drunk or under the influence of something. Between forced to do things against its will, and feeling the pain of the body dying, I think I’ve made a creatures one could sympathize with.

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