Please see the bottom of this page for an important author’s note.
Important information: The origin of these creatures is from the Algonquin Indigenous Americans. I take no credit for the lore of these creatures, though I modified it for the story. I do not recommend following my example. (Please see my author note.)
Summary: The terrifying creatures of legend are purely supernatural in nature and use mana to animate themselves. They consume both flesh and mana alike, one out of necessity, and one out of complete urge. Various types of spirits are trapped in twisted body of both humanoid and other animal. Rancid, rotting flesh is what alerts someone that a wendigo is near. Most are extremely hostile, though on rare occasion one will be neutral and wandering about with little to no objective.
Diet: Wendigo are powered exclusively by mana, but some have an insatiable urge to devour flesh. This varies by wendigo. Otherwise they can’t process food, and if they happen to attempt eating it, it’ll just go through their system as mush.
Tormented/Evil Variant: These wendigo are out of control and constantly attempt to rip apart everything in their path. They are highly aggressive and not prone to mind control. The best way to defend yourself from one of these without ranged magic is to run away. They are supernaturally strong and will stop at nothing to shred you. They have no consciousness whatsoever, just hatred and anger. The spirits within these wendigo are either rotting with evil, or were tormented so badly in life and how they died that they snapped.
Wandering Variant: These wendigo aren’t aggressive unless provoked. Mindless wanderers, they can be prone to mind control via some nasty methods. They stop every so often at pools to soak up mana, otherwise just walk the Earth aimlessly. The spirits trapped inside died in a tragic way possibly not as violent as the tormented nor evil variant. They were not guided to the underworld, or refused to follow out of fear.
Something important to note about these wendigo is that they can be set off by something that angers them. This varies based on the spirit itself, and no two wendigo are alike They can be prone to mind control when not in an enraged state, however they still can be set off if the proper trigger is flipped.
Notable Features: Wendigo typically have the torso and arms of a human male or female, the back legs of an animal, and the skull of a carnivore with variations of horns or antlers. On rare occasion are there very twisted forms of wendigo, where they have elongated or enlarged bodies, forcing them to be dangerous. The smell of rot always follows them wherever they wander.
Their arms are elongated unnaturally, and at the ends of their fingers are extremely long blade-like claws that are brittle but can grow if shattered. They can stab or slice through tree bark if the wendigo is angered enough.
Wendigo tend to be hunched over, with sloughs of flesh falling off of them in chunks of rot. These chunks decay quickly and somehow grow back, yet the wendigo is in a state of constant decay. Granted, eventually the decay overcomes the restoration, and when that happens, the wendigo ‘dies’.
Magical Affinity: Aside from the unnerving aura a wendigo emits, they don’t really have magic. They are indeed empowered by magic to actually be animate and hold the spirit within the rotting monster, but otherwise use just their jaws and claws to do their violent behavior.
Additional Details: Many see Wendigo as an extremely bad omen. These creatures should definitely be avoided, but are capable of being brought down by magic. Conventional weapons will do little to slow them. The best way to stop these supernatural beasts is to set them on fire. Note that the smell will be extremely rancid and utterly unbearable.
Author’s Note: Greetings. At the time of writing this creature into my works, I was unaware of the potential offensive nature of me doing this as a white woman and someone who is not indigenous. I meant for this to be a creature that does exist on our world like the rest, and wanted to select a creature that would be native to the United States, as the books take place in Northeastern United States. I modified the lore here, as I did with the rest, based on the lore of these creatures, but also turned it into something of my own for this series. I realize now that this was a tone-deaf thing to do.
Beyond “The Dancing Crow”, “Huntsmaster City”, and the Cobratongue University books, I will not be using these creatures. Unfortunately, this has all been said and done in my series already, and removing/editing out the content would be dishonest. I can only own up to my mistake here and be more cognizant going forward. I apologize to anyone that I may have offended in the process. I plan on donating to indigenous people of America and supporting businesses as mine grows, and encourage others to do the same.