THE MACHINE 3The Killanjo started out life as “evil spirits“,  conjured by certain people with the usual intent of doing harm. Lady Sammidoran, the heroine of the Temple trilogy, was, in the first draft, a Killanjo spirit whom Countess Sygillis captured and held prisoner in a bottle. I didn’t like the direction that storyline took, so a got rid of it, transforming “Sam” into a Monama instead.

The Killanjo also changed. I needed a really nasty, creepy, and just plain gross group of henchmen-style villains, so I turned them into the bleeding, skulking creatures they became.

Here’s what I came up with:

KILLANJO: A mythical creature that has, according to gossip, been plaguing Xaphan space for decades. A Killanjo is said to be a hideous corruption of a loved one: a son, daughter, brother or sister who is then turned loose upon their own families to create grief and chaos. Killanjo are said to be able to cast spells that render Elder-Kind helpless. It is also said a Killanjo cannot bear to see their reflection, one that does awakens from whatever spell they have been placed in and, unable to bear the horror of their own form, kill themselves.

As I love to hear myself talk, I did a short video on them:


copyright 2019: Ren Garcia

THE XAPHANS HAVE KNOWN OF THE FLESHLESS DEMONS THAT STEP OUT OF THIN AIR FOR CENTURIES. The outlying League worlds also know of them. On Onaris, they’re called Jennybacks, on Bazz: Fa Zemlas. The most common name for them is the Xaphan name: Killanjo.

"Killanjo in the Mirror" by Carol Phillips

Killanjo are almost always horrid versions of a loved one: a brother or sister, a parent or other such relative–though the person they resemble is often alive and well when they make their appearance.

The Killanjo are terrible to behold. Their bodies are bent and mal-formed and are always skinless. As such, they drip and reek. They often have extra appendages fused to their bodies. They are said to wear delicate golden masks covering their bleeding, mutilated faces.

Killanjo often are seen in command of Berserkacides and use them to do most of the fighting and killing. The entire House of Monama appears to greatly fear the Killanjo, that they “watch them” at all times and then force them to do their foul bidding. The ancient Remnath hero, Atrajak of Want, led an army of Monamas against the Killanjo in a series of battles called the Hidden Wars. In Atrajak’s writing, which has been banned by the Sisterhood of Light, he mentions the Killanjo themselves were slaves of a greater enemy he called “The Golden People“, of which virtually nothing is known.

The Killanjo are also conjectured to be out-of-joint in time, possibly from the future. Their skinless, semi-pickled appearance is ideally suited to project their bodies from the theoretical rigors of time-travel.

Lady Sammidoran has a vision of Lord Kabyl of Blanchefort being attacked by Killanjo (by Fantasio)

Their purpose appears to be to create strife and terror, and they are very effective at doing just that. They appear out of thin air and typically fall upon their intended victims when they are most vulnerable. The Killanjo sometimes attempt to kidnap their victims, to drag them away to an unknown fate. The Xaphan House of Prim, which vanished without trace, were said to have been carried off by Killanjo. They are commonly reported to be able to cast spells rendering most people who hear it immobile. They are also cannibals and will eagerly devour the flesh of any who fall under their spell.

They are also said to have several key weaknesses. They fear their own reflection and cannot look at it and, accordingly, will flee from mirrors. Also, they are not reported to be overly strong fighters, having to rely on their spells or their Berserkacides to fight for them.

copyright 2011, Ren Garcia and Carol Phillips