DOING THE MONSTER MASH
THERE’S NO GANGER LIKE A DOPPELGANGER!
Greetings, most honored reader!
What exactly makes for a monster? Generally, one thinks of something hideous, frightening, and inhuman. A monster can also be something like the black sheep, the one member of the community that stands out. And could it be that in a community of monsters—there is no monster?
This might be our situation in today’s transmission where someone (probably that loudmouth Terminator character) cries out “Another monster!” at the arrival of the Doppelganger. But could it be that both Magorious and Shak-rla are just heretofore unknown species? After all, even on your own planet, didn’t many people hold animals such as the Kyoto Dragon, Hoan Kiem Turtle, and even gorilla as monsters, species which in actuality were just heretofore unknown and uncategorized animals? Let’s explore these new beasties more closely and draw back the cloak of secrecy from them, and I have just the antidote to do that—Berp-Orthup’s Bounteous Bestiary!—a compendium of many of the lesser known creatures native to the Wyrld.
According to the Cognescentii wizard Berp-Orthup, an expert bestialogist and zoologist (and an interesting beast and oddity in his own right, if you ever saw him eat), the gentleman known as Magorious (and I use that term loosely) bears an uncannily strong resemblance to the Igala, the Man-Beasts of the mountainous jungle forests of the Oregen Peninsula (see WYRLD MAP), located at the mouth of the Great Inland Sea. These strange creatures in turn bear a striking resemblance to the powerful mountain gorillas far to the south on the southern continent, but unlike those beasts are completely hairless and have more human-like hands and feet, without the prehensile feet of gorillas. Also unlike the gorillas, the Igala have much greater intelligence levels, easily as intelligent as humans (and often even more so). Unfortunately, the Igala are also much more aggressive and often tend towards wickedness as well. With their monstrous animal-like strength and high intelligence, the Igala make for terrible enemies, as the poor Kai-Achee people, who have been these creatures’ neighbors on the peninsula for time out of mind, know quite well.
Thankfully, also for millennia out of mind, these creatures have avoided the northern lands of men, content to brood in their lonely mountain outlooks and valleys. What would bring one of these “monsters” out into the lands of men now?
The other “monster” of today’s transmission is even more interesting. The Doppelgangers, to be absolutely accurate in the matter, are not even technically of the Wyrld. Instead, they are extra-dimensional creatures who have found that the barriers separating their dimension from ours are especially porous on the Wyrld, especially at certain reflective apertures such as crystals and even mirrors.
Despite his intense study, the great and renowned Berp-Orthup could gather relatively little of certainty in his study of these creatures. For example, it is not known for certain whether there are actually males and females of the species, as all specimens the wizard came across looked remarkably similar to (if not exactly like!) Shak-rla, as seen in today’s transmission. Are there male doppelgangers? Is the form Shak-rla adopted only another intermediate form and not the monster’s true form? Berp-Orthup’s reports are silent on this.
In any event, the Doppelgangers can assume nearly any medium-sized form they encounter, mimicking even their subjects’ voices and voice patterns, their gaits, and other habits. This is because of the creatures’ powerful ESP abilities from which there is almost no defense. (This ability also makes them the near ideal counter-intelligence agent and interrogator as well.) In addition to this, the wizard found (at risk to his own life, I am told) that in its presumably natural state—as seen in the form of Shak–rla, presumably—the Doppelganger has a remarkably pliable, plastic-like form, protecting it from injury, as well as immense physical strength.
Combining all these abilities together, the Doppelgangers make—as Magorious suggested—the perfect spies, and wizards and rulers have long sought to hire these creatures for exactly such services.
The First Peoples have long believed that the Doppelgangers are actually demonic in origin, but Berp-Orthup was unable to confirm that in his studies of the creatures either. (So much for the illustrious Berp-Orthup…)
Now, using the abovementioned abilities, Shak-Rla has apparently quickly unraveled Nikki’s secret identity. What would you do in her position? I know what I’d do—run!
Let’s find out what Nikki does next week, shall we?
With Cognescentii blessings,