Unexplained Mysteries of Revenant
The Revenant is one of the undead, a once-living deceased human without a soul, doomed to kill and feed on the living for its own sustenance.
The term “revenant” can be used to refer to any form of the Undead, whether it is a vampire, a ghost, or a zombie. The word revenant comes from the French and Latin verb revenir, which means to return. Therefore, the Revenant is a once-living human that has returned from the dead.
Having recently arisen from the grave, the Revenant is usually a corpse in an advanced state of decay, but still somewhat recognizable to those it knew in life. The creature has sunken eyes, which glow a fiery red in the darkness. It has rotten teeth and jagged fingernails. Large portions of flesh may be missing, exposing the creature’s bones and innards. The skin tends to hang from the flesh in ragged strips, while maggots and worms infest the exposed flesh, as well as the eye sockets and other bodily orifices. The Revenant reeks of corruption and rotting flesh, and the creature can be detected from several yards away just by its smell alone. The Revenant is usually wearing its burial shroud or whatever clothes it was wearing when the individual was interred, now it tatters from clawing its way out of the grave.
The Revenant is dangerously obsessed with gaining its vengeance on those who wronged it while it was still living or caused the creature’s death. Although there have been some accounts of this creature being benevolent and protective of its loved ones, seeking only to prove its innocence of the crime of which it was wrongfully accused, or to complete some pressingly important task. However, this is extremely rare in lore and legend.
The Revenant is single-minded and relentless in its pursuit of the one that wronged, betrayed, or even murdered the Revenant while it was alive. Rest assured, this creature will hunt down and dispense the justice that it feels the wrongdoer deserves, which usually means killing the unfortunate (but well-deserving) individual. Once in a great while, the Revenant will take up its own case, investigating the circumstances surrounding its death, and instigating a retrial until it is proven innocent or the killer is given justice. Again, this is extremely rare. Usually, the Revenant doesn’t interact with the living. If cornered, it will fight to the death. It knows that, wherever the traitor hides, it will find them eventually and take the revenge that it craves. At this point, the Revenant will return to its grave, never to rise again.
Usually, the Revenant requires neither food nor drink of any sort, since the creature is technically dead in the first place. However, there have been exceptions when the Revenant has been known to prey on human flesh or blood (causing people to identify the Revenant with the Vampire), or even eating and drinking normally. However, the Revenant only craves one thing: vengeance. It will not stop until its prey is dead or the wrongs (real or perceived) have been righted.
The Revenant can be found all over the world in one form or another. The Revenant tends to haunt sites that were important or held some significance to it in life, but the creature has been known to haunt people that betrayed, wronged, or even caused the Revenant’s death. In other words, this creature is not strictly limited to graveyards, mausoleums, tombs, crypts, or other places of death where the Undead usually dwell. However, the Revenant primarily inhabits the British Isles.
While not as powerful as some other forms of the Undead, the Revenant is still a deadly adversary. The Revenant is a vicious monster, possessing supernatural strength, speed, and endurance. It will fight to the death, or at least until the creature is destroyed. In addition, some legends say that the Revenant is a shapeshifter, taking the form of a great hound (although this is a rarity). The creature’s rotting visage inspires mortal terror in the living, causing lasting psychological damage and horrifying nightmares, which continue for years to come (if not for the rest of the unfortunate individual’s life). The Revenant’s decaying flesh and fetid breath are capable of inflicting a terrible disease, causing those infected to waste away and die within a few days’ time.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the Revenant is that the creature has the ability to withstand enormous amounts of damage to its body, often without so much as flinching. It takes on an incredible amount of damage, beyond what could kill a mortal. Even dealing grievous wounds to the creature won’t keep it down for long.
Although physically powerful and utterly relentless, the Revenant does have several weaknesses. Unlike most of the Undead, conventional weapons are capable of harming the Revenant. However, as mentioned earlier, the creature is unable to feel pain and can withstand injuries that would permanently incapacitate or even kill a human. Only a white-hot blaze can put the creature to rest forever (and save its chosen victim).
For the most part, the Revenant cannot be repelled or “turned” by holding a holy icon in its path, the only exception being if the creature was a deeply religious individual in life. It is unknown if the Revenant is adversely affected by silver or holy water, although it certainly seems possible.
Luckily, there are numerous methods of destroying the Revenant. Many of these methods target the heart, but more than a few involve decapitation or dismemberment as well. The usual procedure involves excising the heart and burning it, or driving a stake through the heart, decapitating the body, and then burning the body to ashes. Only by following these procedures can one hope to lay the Revenant to its eternal rest.
Every culture has its legends of creatures that rise from the dead to prey upon the living. These creatures are known as revenants, the returning dead. Although any type of the undead may be referred to as a revenant, the creature discussed here is said to dwell on the British Isles, where it is known as the Revenant.
How does one become a Revenant? According to folklore, there are many different ways to become one of the Undead. Some of the more common reasons for rising from the grave include: improper burial, no burial at all, improper handling of the deceased’s body, jealously of the living, a curse, unrest due to sin or unfinished business, or suicide. Some of the lesser-known reasons are more sinister in nature. More often, the Revenant is created when an individual is greatly wronged before death and rises from the grave to seek vengeance. For instance, a man is murdered on the street for no apparent reason. After burial, he rises again from the grave as one of the living dead to avenge himself on his murderer. However, how one is “wronged” depends on an individual’s point of view. A criminal who is fairly tried by a jury and is legally executed may still rise from the dead. In this case, revenge is the trigger of undeath.
The Revenant may arise when an individual who has led a sinful or wicked life dies. Such a person may be described vain, wicked, or having no faith in God. Cursed by the Almighty, this individual is doomed to rise from the grave as one of the undead to feed upon the living. When this happens, an evil spirit takes possession of the body, forcing out any of the original person’s remaining personality. The Revenant may retain its memories from life, but there is no emotional attachment to these memories whatsoever. The evil spirit inhabiting the corpse is able to gain access to these memories and force the corpse to speak and act like the individual did during his lifetime, deceiving both friends and loved ones. The Revenant uses the memories for hunting, utilizing the knowledge of former friends, family, and locations as part of its strategies in obtaining prey. It then proceeds to slake its thirst for blood on the unfortunate, draining them of every last drop.
Fortunately, the Revenant doesn’t last forever. At most, the creature may endure for a few decades. The people that the creature seeks vengeance on may die of natural causes, while the ones who knew and loved the individual in life may stop thinking about them. This causes the animating force to wane and eventually dissipate altogether. When the Revenant’s revenge is complete, or the rest of the creature’s natural lifespan is exceeded, the Revenant either seeks out its grave and collapses, or it may just simply collapse on the spot. While not as powerful as some other forms of the undead, the Revenant is a force to be reckoned with and feared nonetheless.
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