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Wamp, Web-footed Wamp

Origin: American Folklore; H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction) (where it is barely described)


...Ghouls of the waking world do no business in the graveyards of upper dreamland (leaving that to the web-footed wamps that are spawned in dead cities)....
H.P. Lovecraft's The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (fiction)

A strange, sack-like, web-footed, carrion-eating creature that digs up shallow graves for its food, and leaves a trail of salt behind it as its spoor. If especially hungry and there are no corpses around to eat, wamps have been known to attack and eat living people. Bodies partly-eaten by a wamp might transform into a wamp themselves, so to prevent this from happening, you should bury the bodies deep, or leave a measure of salt in the body's mouth as wamp-repellent, as the wamp, though it leaves a trail of salt behind it, attracting deer that follow the wamp for the salt it trails behind it, the wamp is itself disgusted by salt.

Keeper Notes

  • Lovecraft was probably describing a different creature in his grave-robbing "web-footed wamp" from the salt-shaking "fearsome critter" of American Folklore (which is shaped like a sack of salt and has a hollow tail with a salt-shaker at the end), but here, we conflate the two beasts for convenience.
  • Sandy Petersen's take on the creature (S. Petersen's Field Guide to Lovecraftian Horrors and others) adds bat-like ears, a pig-snout, and multiple web-footed legs to Lovecraft's vague description.

Associated Mythos Elements