Most Eiflans will tell you that ghosts are the spirits of people who refused to be taken to their next cycle by Libreyt, the holy bird. This isn't the case however. What ghosts are, what they really are, are souls left over from the last world. The world of Enlyl's Mother. When Enlyl's Mother died, allowing the birth of Eifel to commence, some of the souls from that past world Either refused, or were otherwise unable to be reborn into Eifel. So they lingered behind, wandering the land as incorporeal spirits, occasionally settling in a location that was reminiscent of the places they'd known in life.
Ghosts come in many shapes and sizes, not all of them resembling Eiflans. Some seem to be the remnants of lost animals, and others seem to have their form affected solely by the nature in which they lived their past lives. Some of their categories include: Spirits, Wraiths, Ghouls, and Poltergeists.
Spirits: Generally Eiflan in appearance, these Ghosts are usually benevolent in nature, doing no more harm than to startle whomever comes across them. They can usually be helped toward rebirth in Eifel proper by convincing them that you've helped them settle unfinished business from their lives. While many of them seem Eiflan in appearance, there are some that are just vague misty clouds or small glowing lights, similar to faerie fire.
Wraiths: Vaguely Eiflan in appearance, Wraiths seem like they may have led tortured or tragic lives in the last world. They're known for having a blood curdling scream and the ability to cause a feeling of despair in whatever space they choose to inhabit. Occasionally given to possessing the bodies of the living in a misguided attempt to integrate into Eifel proper.
Ghouls: While they can be terrifying, not all Ghouls are malevolent. Ghouls are completely non-Eiflan in appearance, because they are the ghosts of previously existing animals, rather than the previous sentient race. While the Ghouls of predators are indeed dangerous and deadly, those of herbivores are often docile and generally don't cause harm to Eifel or it's inhabitants.
Poltergeists: These ghosts seem to be completely random in their shape and appearance, and it's hard to tell if these were sentient beings or simply clever primates. While they're usually not harmful, they are mischievous, and seem to enjoy a good laugh at someone else' expense.
Like Spirits, the other types of Ghosts can be helped to begin their first cycle in Eifel by fulfilling some task that appeases their sense of unfinished business. Sometimes it's allowing them to see someone who resembles their long lost love, or telling them that their gambling debts have been paid off. With ghouls though, it can be much more difficult, because who knows what an animal considers unfinished business?
Animated Skeletons (or "Skells") are the reanimated bones of people and/or animals who've been raised from their resting places by a Necromancer or similar mechanism. They have no will of their own, and are governed entirely by the commands of whatever force returned them to life. Most of them are simply the skeletal forms of whatever creature they were when they were alive, though with time, some can become breeding grounds for moss and mold. Because their appearance is determined by where they were revived and how long they lay before their resurrection, Skells come in a variety of colors ranging from nearly bleached white to tarnished black and sometimes reddish or greenish tinted yellow.
Because they have no organs of any kind, they cannot reproduce, and instead are multiplied by enchantment by a Necromancer or other force. Their weapon of choice is whatever weapon they are told to use, regardless of what their proficiency was in life, and gender has no meaning for them. They can be destroyed by Priests and Holy Knights, who have the Holy Magic that can cut the invisible enchantments that are animating them.
Skeletons (and also Zombies), are usually animated by a Necromancer, but sometimes they are the by product of a powerful curse or other dark enchantment cast on a particular building or site. If it happens to be the latter case, then halting their reanimation can become tricky, as it requires the adventurer to break the curse that is causing the manifestations.
Zombies are the resurrected corpses of Eiflans who have passed on to their next cycle. They are a pale greenish color and seem to possess an unlimited supply of dead, rotting flesh. This flesh falls off of them in chunks at all times, and yet never detracts from the overall mass of the Zombie. Their eyes are white and empty, their hair (whatever they have left) is greasy looking, and generally moldy greenish-brown to black, sometimes white if the corpse resurrected was an elderly person in life. They are usually gaunt, bony creatures except for their stomachs, which are always bloated and distended. Usually they are wearing whatever rags have survived being in the grave with them until their time of resurrection.
Zombies have no will of their own, being animated and controlled entirely by outside forces such as Necromancers and/or Liches. They are however, possessed of an insatiable hunger and if left to their own devices, will consume karkadans, madearcs, marus, corolyths, Maruke, Eiflans, Nyn, and each other. This is of course provided that the animals they are attempting to eat are injured and can't get away, and the Eiflans and other races aren't weilding weapons at the time.
Zombies are slow moving but never solitary. When under the command of a competent Necromancer they can be strategically arranged so that by the time an adventurer comes across the first group, the second and third groups are already rising up to surround him/her from behind. Since they are undead and rotting, Zombies cannot procreate. The only way to make more of them is for a Necromancer to enchant more corpses.
Zombies weapon of choice is whatever they're handed and told to fight with. Barring that, it's their claw-like fingernails (or actual claws if it's a Nyn or Maruke zombie) and teeth. While most Zombies are Eiflan in origin, it is possible to raise animals and monsters as well. They will not retain any powers or abilities they had in life, but they are good for Necromancers who are looking for simple brute strength.
Zombies can be dealt with fairly easily by Priests and Holy Knights, who can use Holy Magic to slice through the bindings placed on the corpses by the Necromancers who resurrect them.
Zombies and Skeletons do not retain any of the memories, powers, or abilities they had in life. All these go with the soul when it is transported to it's next cycle.
The legend has it that long ago, when the Alfs were still a young race, there was a Harpy who was looking for a nesting cave. When she threw a rock into a deep cavern to test if there were any tasty inhabitants that needed evicting, she stirred up a colony of bats larger than any the world knows today.
So shocked was the Harpy at the flood of bats that swarmed about her, that she laid an egg on the spot. The egg was black and leathery, and not at all like a reptilian harpy egg. The harpy was duly appalled and so buried it deep in the cave, under a mountain of compost left by the bats that called the place home, and left it to it's fate.
From that egg hatched the first Vampire.
Another legend however claims that the first Vampire was a handsome man, who was smug and arrogant and shallow because he knew his beauty was far greater than any woman who would ever deign to attempt gaining his favor.
As he was walking down the road, sword in hand (for he was a mighty swordsman, unparalleled in combat), he happened by a trio of succubi, taking a moments rest by the side of the road (or more likely, positioning themselves where weak willed and love starved adventurers would be most likely to come across them.)
Each of them approached him in turn, making sexual overtures and attempting to woo him as was their wont, and each time, he rejected them. Rebuking each one more snidely than the last. He dared to insult their perfect beauty, for his vanity was even more powerful than their alluring auras.
After rebuking them in manners most despicable, the Succubi were so wrathful in their retribution, that they cast a curse more powerful than any that had ere been cast before it. Transforming the man's appearance into the very reflection of his unseemly personality, and reducing his intelligence to little more than a ravenous animal, who then hunted each of them down and killed them, supping on their life's blood until they were all but empty husks.
It is said that because of what scientists know about Boreal Regeneration, this legend recounts the creation of both the Vampires, and the Harpies. Because they were so close to death, their psionics and regeneration became overstressed, warping their minds and bodies beyond repair.
Still another Legend says that there was a Woman, an Alf who was terrified at the prospect of growing old and dissappearing from the world. Not even the promise of rebirth could ease her mind. She sought out Yxarr, the Wretched Lady and Queen of the Boreal, hearing a rumor that she could grant immortality if she so chose.
The rumor however was started by the mischevious Imp Boreal, and when the lady approached Yxarr, the Boreal Queen was so enraged that she killed the woman on the spot. Even that though wasn't enough to ease the Wretched Lady's ire. Being the Queen of Hell, she reanimated the woman, transforming her into a beastly shape, only barely resembling her former Alf form. And so granting her wish in the most perverted and undesired way.
It's unknown which, if any of these, is the truth to the origins of Vampires. But they remain one of the most reviled of the undead even today. Their skin is black or dark coal grey, and it is though and leathery in both touch and appearance. Their eyes are white and blank. They have a "mane" of dirty, uncared for white hair that begins just behind the ears and trails back to the end of the vampire's short, bony tail. They have no nose, but do posess two small holes in the front of their faces, and a mouth filled with sharp puncturing teeth. They also have a long, straw like tongue.
Vampires resemble Harpies, in that they have no arms. Just a pair of large, leathery bat wings with two fingers at the knuckle joint of each one. The wings travel down the side of the body, from the "armpit", to the point of the leathery, bony little tail. They have a skinny build but it is also muscular, to allow for flight. Their hind legs are curved backwards like some bi-pedal reptile, and their toes are long and capable of fully enclosing many objects, from tree branches to arms and legs.
Vampires do not breed the way normal creatures do. Being undead themselves. Only the males can reproduce, which they do by way of necrophilia. Rather than impregnating the corpse or transforming a living being, they transmit their biological fluid, which acts like a virus upon an already dead body, repairing and transforming tissue. The animated stage in between corpse and vampire is referred to as a "Vampire Spawn". It cannot fly yet, it can however, hop about on it's newly forming hind legs and is just as dangerous as it's parent, if not more so, as it will be ravenous during it's "incubation" period.
Vampires feed on any living multi-celled organism that produces plasma. Their saliva contains a decoagulator that stops blood from clotting, letting it flow freely from the wounds for as long as it takes for the vampire to be fed (or until the victim runs out of blood). However they prefer Eiflan corpses for procreation. Vampires do not practice "beastiality".
Vampires can be destroyed with Holy Weapons, Holy Water, Magic, or Acid Based Weapons. They tend to ensnare their prey with a "hypnotic gaze" similar to the Psionics employed by Serpens Boreal. They are also harmed by sunlight, generations of sub-terrainean living has made them light-sensitive and aside from their magic based gaze attack, they are for all intents and purposes blind. They navigate using echo-location. Vampires live in the bowels of Eifel. Caves so deep and dark that the light of day cannot penetrate them. They leave their dens to hunt during the night, and it's believed that they have an internal clock that tells them when the sun has gone down. Their weapon of choice is their own teeth and the claws on their wings and hind legs.
Because the bodies that they use for reproduction are already deceased, the Vampire Spawn has no memories of the person who's soul inhabited the body before that point. The soul of the person who inhabited the Vampires Spawns body is taken to it's next cycle long before the Spawn is created, and they share no personality traits or any other characteristics.
While they may often resemble Skeletons or Zombies, Liches have something that both of these lack. They retain their memories and personalities from their days among the living.
This is because Liches aren't the typical undead creature. Liches are Necromancers or sometimes cursed Eiflans who have had their souls sealed either willingly or unwillingly into an inanimate object which is magically linked to their bodies.
While they remain sentient, their bodies are reduced to animated corpses, and so go through the process of decay that all other dead bodies go through as time goes on. So the older the lich, the less flesh on it's bones.
Liches retain all their memories skills and powers from their living incarnations. More often than not, Liches are Necromancers who have learned the secret art of soul sealing. In which case, their weapon of choice is magic, since all Necromancers began as Mages.
Since the soul is located elsewhere, the only way to permanently destroy a Lich is to find the soul stone and destroy it. Not a simple task, since the stone is usually not only well hidden, but also well guarded by the undead that the Necromancer will have summoned to protect itself, or that will have been caught up in whatever curse caused the victim to be rendered into a Lich.
Baring that though, Holy magic and weapons can sever the enchantments animating the Liches body temporarily. It can take up to 3 weeks for the bonds to repair themselves, during which time it's advised to find the soul stone as quickly as possible.
As with all undead, Liches cannot procreate.
A Boreal Miasma is a mostly sentient fog that can move about by drifting through the air. The Miasma has varying levels of intelligence. It can possess all the memories and intelligence of the Boreal it once was, or it can be nothing more than a swirling vortex of negetive energy, which is by far the worst kind. Miasmas are usually formed when a Boreal is sealed by a priests or priestess. As decades and centuries pass, the separation from negetive energy sources and imobility cause the Boreal to basically starve, it's body deteriorating until nothing is left but the evil intent and thoughts and whatever psionic energies it had remaining. This can continue to exist long after the body is gone. The energy coaleasing into a incorporeal mist.
The Boreal Miasma though created is still bound by whatever forces sealed the Boreal in the first place. And so cannot terrorize the land unless and until the seal is broken. When one does escape however, it can spell disaster for whatever area it winds up in. Able to take possession of the bodies of weaker minded Eiflans and bend them to their will, they can also hop to a new body if need be. For this reason they are not only dangerous, but also extremely hard to kill or even reseal.