The Ancients of the Wharton Wilds are, according to those few who have seen them, a head taller than all but the most mountainous of men. They look like they have been badly burned, with skin that has the smooth but spiderwebbed sense of scar tissue.

Witnesses say the most striking thing about them is their lack of eyes.

If you should encounter one, the Ancient will ignore you until you are within a stone’s throw. Then it will approach you and hold out its hand. If you place a gift upon its upturned palm, and the gift is accepted, the Ancient will leave you be. Each Ancient is festooned with the gifts of its previous encounters, from bearskins to polyester. They seem to prefer gifts of clothing or small pieces of jewelry with sentimental value.

A gift that the Ancient does not like, such as food or technology, will cause it to lash out and strike the offending party with a powerful backhand motion. The force is enough to snap the neck instantly, though some have reportedly survived with critical injuries. The offended Ancient will then leave, depositing the unwanted gift elsewhere. Food will usually be left in clearings, while technology is often hurled into rivers.

As many as a dozen Ancients are speculated to exist, judging by the different items they wear. Smaller ones occasionally appear, as do those with the suggestion of childbearing hips and mammaries, giving rise to speculation that they form a small breeding population.

Nevertheless, no photographic evidence of their existence has ever been recovered. Shy creatures, easily angered by technology, they are elusive subjects. Still more curiously, those few who say they have seen an Ancient in the digital age report that their photographs–film or digital–show only black.

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