As long as men have dreamed of a better future, there have been dreams that have failed catastrophically, ruining the lives of not only the dreamer, but of everyone around them. While many of these have come crashing down due to human fallibility, several have had a darker influence manipulating events. In these cases, human aspirations have been fanned, twisted, and torn apart by an entity referred to in Mythos grimoires as the Uebbho-Ko. Whether this is a singular entity reappearing across time, or members of a species of dream-eaters, is a matter of minor debate among Mythos scholars; a few texts reference the Uebbho-Ko serving a greater entity, euphemistically referred to as the Pontifex of Incubi, but as always, the validity of sorcerers’ insights is questionable at best.
Typically, the Uebbho-Ko, masquerading in human (or near human) form, presents itself to a would-be reformer, encouraging their ideas and providing sympathy and validation. It massages the reformer’s views, gently adjusting their message to better appeal to the masses. As the reformer gains followers, the Uebbho-Ko continues to encourage them, inflating their ego and leading them into excess. The message continues to change incrementally; the Uebbho-Ko sets its victim up to fall afoul of governments or to ultimately enrage their once loyal followers. Eventually, the dream dies; perhaps the reformer’s movement is violently broken up by the government or military, or the adherents are driven to commit suicide en masse.
The Anabaptist Revolution of Münster in 1534 is a classic case study of the Uebbho-Ko’s activity; under the guise of reformist preacher “Bernhard Rothmann,” one of these creatures spouted fire and brimstone from German pulpits, denouncing infant baptism and creating an environment for firebrands Jan Bockelson and Jan Matthys to seize the city of Münster by force; lurking in the city, it pushed Matthys to abandon principles and declare policies calculated to enrage Otto von Walbeck, the Prince-Bishop of the city, into declaring a seige to reconquer Münster. On Easter Sunday, 1534, the creature convinced Jan Matthys that he was under God’s direct protection, and that he would be safe from all harm; marching out with twelve followers to face the Prince-Bishop’s army, he was immediately butchered, his genitals nailed to the city gates. “Rothmann” than pivoted to advising and encouraging Jan Bockelson, Matthys’ heir, leading to Bockelson declaring himself King of the New Jerusalem.
Ultimately Bockelson, along with lieutenants Bernhard Knipperdolling and Bernhard Krechting, were tortured to death and their bodies displayed in cages for the next 50 years atop St. Lambert’s Church. “Bernhard Rothmann” disappeared during the battle to reclaim Münster; no body was ever identified as his, and he was never seen again.
What the Uebbho-Ko gains through its interactions with humanity is unknown; some grimoires suggest that the Uebbho-Ko literally “eats” the suffering experienced by its victims.
The creature’s illusory disguises are created using a constant ultra-low frequency “song,” which distorts the senses of anyone who can hear it. The Uebbho-Ko can focus and modulate its song to project a semi-consistent illusion across a crowd, but doing so is tiring; it prefers to lurk in the background, interacting with just a few people at a time. Unfocused, the “song” causes listeners to see the creature in a variety of harmless forms; a child, an elderly man bent with illness, a beautiful young woman, even as an animal or inanimate object. It’s also more difficult for the Uebbho-Ko to maintain the illusion when in motion and especially when attacking – a beautiful human face splits into a shark’s maw for a split-second, or glittering yellow eyes manifest from the woodgrain of a “cabinet.”
These breaks in the illusion are not necessarily glimpses of the actual creature, but of its inherent predatory nature. Protagonists can shield themselves by stopping their ears; this blocks most, but not all, of the infrasound, allowing them to see the creature’s true form, intercut with flickers of illusions.
The Uebbho-Ko’s true form is a horse-sized creature resembling an eel with a grossly oversized head, supported on 8-10 spidery legs ending in bladed hooves. The creature’s skin is oily and transparent, allowing strange organs to be seen pulsating beneath it; blue-green phosphoresence flickers across the creature’s skin like miniature auroras.
Uebbho-Ko, Muse of Failed Dreams
STR 30 CON 20 DEX 17 INT 15 POW 16
HP 25 WP 16
Size category: Large.
Movement: This creature can move at 16 meters/yards per combat turn.
Armor: 5 points of gristle and cartilage.
Bite 60%, 1D8
Claw (x 2) 40%, 1D6+1
Skills: Alertness 60%, Athletics 50%, Stealth 60%
Illusory Features: This creature emits a constant hypnotic drone of infrasound – ultra-low frequency sound that distorts the senses of anyone within range, causing them to see the creature as something else – a loved one, an ally, a seductive beauty, a harmless animal, even an inanimate object. The illusion is imperfect, and successful Alertness rolls recognize that something is very wrong with what they are seeing. Anyone who is incapable of hearing the creature’s song gains +40% to their Alertness roll to pierce the illusion.
SAN Loss: to see the Uebbho-ku in its true form costs 1D4/1D10.
William Adcock is a historian by training and a horror author by necessity.