Monday, April 2, 2012

Pellatarrum: Predamentals in Real Life

Remember this post?

They aren't, strictly speaking, undead (elementals were never alive to begin with), but these "predamentals" are to regular elementals as vampires, ghouls and the like are to ordinary humans: by feeding upon the life force of those they slay, they extend their ability to stay on the Material Plane. The exact metric is not known, but obviously, the more powerful the prey they consume, the longer they may stay upon Pellatarrum.

Excellent examples of the earth and water types can be found (warning: link) at The 5 Most Spectacular Landscapes on Earth (That Murder You).

Centralia, Pennsylvania is a great example of a fire predamental. On the one hand, it doesn't look especially active; on the other, it's basically killed an entire tow. It's also spreading, there's no way to put it out, and no one knows how long it will burn (it's already been burning for 50 years now.)

I don't have a good real-life example of an air predamental. Yet. Perhaps a reader can suggest a location where random, strong gusts of wind have caused people to fall to their deaths?


  1. I know of a few examples of sudden and lethal winds.

    In Tierra del Fuego (an archipelago in south america) there is a wind called the Williwaw that's sudden, powerful and has been known to sink ships anchored in what seemed like safe harbours.

    And then there is the Mafu (literally "Demonic Wind") of Honshu island.

    Both the Williwaw and the Mafu are examples of winds that sweep down mountainsides, and can become extremely powerful (like, 30 m/s winds out of nowhere. Top windspeeds of up to 80 m/s. That's like having a hurricane appear out of nowhere).

    There are the sand storms coming out of the Egyptian desert. They've
    been known to bury armies (most notably the army of the Pharao Kambyses
    II) and are responsible for the deaths of hundreds of unwary travellers.
    To be caught unprepared means that you're either buried or potentially
    stripped to the bone by the flying sand.

    There is El camino de la muerte (literally: Road of death) in Bolivia which is one of the most deadly stretches of road in the world (killing hundreds of people every year). While much of it is thanks to being a narrow, winding road (next to a sheer drop) and the landslides...well, the strong winds and sudden fogs don't help.

    There are also several areas in various mountains where sudden fog can come very quickly (the mountains of Jotunheim, Norway, comes to mind) and it's not at all unknown that travellers caught in the fog die from getting lost or from losing their footing (because you can literally not see further than the hand in front of you).

  2. Interesting.  What about tornado ally for the air predamentals?  They awaken from time to time, seeing new life force to consume.

  3. Wouldn't mount Vesuvius count as a fire predamental as well? It has like two cities and multiple villages under its belt already. It started wetting its appetite by killing a flock of 600 sheep, then started to dine on Pompeii (and a few other villages) and ate people with regular intervalls from 200 AD to about 1000 AD. Then it took a 300 year siesta before waking up in the 1600s and eating a few more cities (killing 3000 people in its first eruption), having major eruptions every 30 years or so since then.

  4. Interesting, but it kinda seems like predamentals have to kill directly, so unless there are winds strong enough to decapitate you or something along those lines, doesn't it seem  seem impossible for there to be a wind predamental?

  5. Ever heard the song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"?

    It references the "Witch of November" - severe winds on the great lakes in late autumn caused by a low pressure front over the lakes, mixing cold Arctic air with warm air from the Gulf - the storm that actually sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald was 978mbar, equivalent to a Cat 1/2 hurricane..

  6. Alex "Tracer" SmithDecember 1, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    I tend to agree about tornados. it may seem like people still live here with out any change but nearly everyone in Oklahoma has a storm shelter or knows where one is close by.


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