NETHERWORLD Monster of the Month: July 2012 Revenant Zombies!
We are all, by now, more than familiar with the term “zombie”. A reanimated corpse, brought back to the world of the living through any one of several methods, be it by ritual, disease, or science gone terribly wrong. Numerous accounts of the undead have depicted a wide range of characteristics in these bloodthirsty fiends – everything from mindless, lumbering brutes who seem hard-pressed to move their own body weight, to lightning-fast, cunning predators driven forward by an insatiable hunger for human flesh. A veritable smorgasbord of attributes have been bestowed upon the many zombies of film and fiction, and depending upon your personal preference they would all seem valid.
Within the deepest, darkest chambers of Netherworld Haunted House, however, you are unlikely to stumble across the former variety. The undead who inhabit this buffer between the mortal realm and that which lies beyond tend to be alert and aggressive, with an agenda of their own. Used as shock troops by the Illuminati in the never-ending battle against the forces of the Netherworld, this particular “breed”, if you will, are commonly referred to as revenants.
Revenants, by all accounts, seem to originate from the Middle Ages, when stories began to surface of corpses rising from the grave to plague those left behind. Commonly believed to be evil in their previous lives, revenants were said to be wicked unbelievers, often responsible for spreading disease among the living. Seeking vengeance for some perceived wrong, or exacting suffering on some person or persons they deemed deserving, revenant zombies would steal into villages or homes in the still of the night – often repeatedly – terrorizing the subject of their spite. Legends have been passed down of men who rose after death, carrying their coffins on their backs as they strode through towns calling out the names of mortals who would die several days later of sickness and disease. Although the specifics of each reported sighting differ slightly from one another, there are common threads that string these tales together. The general consensus was to return these vile creatures to the ground through decapitation, burning, or removal of the heart.
Unlike the typical zombie, which is believed to be controlled by some other person or entity for their own means, revenants are self-motivated, and act upon their own design. Historically, the term “zombie” is attributed to areas of magic and voodoo, as someone summons the dark arts or a mystical spell to enable them to direct the actions of the undead for their own sinister needs. These somewhat-less-than-animated reanimates exist purely to satisfy the desires of their master, and linger about aimlessly as they await their next command. Revenants, on the other hand, are driven by a more personal directive, whether it be hunger for brains, blood and flesh, or revenge against a living enemy. This may explain the difference in physical prowess, as revenants tend to be quicker and far more agile than their mystically-enhanced counterparts, and exhibit much higher brain activity (often a revenant has the capacity to outwit the living, taking advantage of the natural superstitions and fears attached to zombie lore). One may have the ability to outrun or maneuver against a garden variety zombie, but the speed, strength and cunning of a revenant is not to be taken lightly. Zombies of all type are also believed to exhibit superior strength, regardless of their current state of decomposition, so when mixing the combined powers of a revenant a truly intimidating threat is created..
In recent years, the threat of the impending “zombie apocalypse” has weighed heavy on mortal men and women. With widespread abuse of chemicals and radiation running rampant, it comes as no surprise that many would fear a day when the dead will rise, seeking sustenance from the living, breathing bodies currently populating the earth. The folly of man has long been a source of disastrous calamities – ironic that his most heinous might one day be the uncontrollable expansion of a legion of lost souls hell-bent on devouring their own…
In light of such potential dread, humans now find themselves preparing for a future in which they are no longer at the top of the food chain, but are instead the prey of beloved friends and family who have returned from beyond. Modern legend indicates that the most successful move against a revenant is to land an accurate headshot to the brain, either with a firearm of some other effective weapon. Even beheading or dismembering a revenant does not guarantee a lasting kill, provided the brain is left unharmed. Burning one can also destroy it, again provided the brain is dealt with properly. Honing one’s physical skills may prove very beneficial, enabling a person to stay one step ahead of these ravaging fiends as we await the final outcome of this horrible conflict. And for the squeamish, there is always the option of surrender…you can take comfort in the knowledge that you’ll be back soon.