What, exactly, the spirits are is open to interpretation.
It is universally agreed that there exist beings beyond human understanding, known as spirits. Whether they are gods, ghosts, or monsters is not confirmed. However, within Zverák, their population is far greater than it is anywhere else. The cause of this is unknown. What is known, however, is that they are the cause of almost all of the monsters in this land. Whether they are evil or simply spiteful, they do not like humans.
In recent years it has been found that, though many spirits are harmful, a larger number are neutral toward humans, and a small minority are even helpful. Druids rely on benevolent nature spirits to grant them their powers, though they understand them as much as anyone else.
It has also been found that many of the neutral, or even malevolent spirits can be swayed by finding what exactly pleases them. There are records of slabí surviving by discovering what a spirit wants and appeasing it. However, since they do not communicate their desires, this is a process too fraught with trial and error to be recommended. It is best to simply slay the monsters that the spirits create, and be done with them.
The Spawning of Monsters
Spirits create supernatural creatures or monsters through a variety of means. Past scholars have identified four ways that this happens.
When a Spirit interacts with a physical being, the two entities begin to merge. The result of this is that the creature takes on some of its power and personality. This can create mutations of nature (also known as dire animals), as well as many other strange, altered beings. It is theorized that magic in all creatures originally came from interaction with Spirits, and that some sorcerers may have even interacted with spirits to a high enough degree that this is where their magic comes from.
In small amounts, a Spirit’s essence will alter something, and the Spirit will move on without losing any piece of itself. If a Spirit stays in contact with an entity too long, however, it will possess it. In these possessions, the Spirit occupies the body of the corporeal being, and will outright obliterate the creature’s soul, if it has one. Most natural constructs come about this way.
The source of undead is hypothesized to be either due to possession or the touch of a spirit, but this is unconfirmed.
Spirits have large amounts of supernatural power, and, as such, some of the more powerful ones can create living beings. These creations are sometimes greatly favored by the Spirit in question, but can also be simply let loose on the world. Spiritual creations are usually identifiable by having little in common with any particular animal. Magical Beasts, Aberrations, and a large number of the fey are Spiritual creations.
Spirits sometimes manifest into something physical. It is unknown why this occurs, or if the Spirits even do it by choice, as it makes them possible to kill. All that we understand is that it occasionally happens. A Spirit manifesting seems to always take on a form that resembles what it represents, physically as well as behaviorally. Despite all the power that Spirits possess, in this form they are surprisingly brittle, and can be killed. It is unconfirmed whether killing a manifested Spirit kills the Spirit itself. Elementals, oozes, and some of the more powerful fey are spiritual manifestations.
There are other worlds. This we know. We are aware of this because the Spirits will sometimes pull things through from them. Why they do this is, like most of our knowledge about them, not understood. But many of these creatures are alien and dangerous. Demons, in particular, are a humongous threat when they are pulled into this world.
Most, if not all Spirits, are possible to appease. And, when appeased, they will always grant something as a reward. We have never seen an exception to this rule. However, trying to bargain with Spirits is dangerous and foolhardy, as the only way to go about it is trial and error. For example, if you give one Spirit a goat, it might give you a farm. However, if you try to give another Spirit a goat, it may become frustrated and kill the entirety of your livestock.
Nonetheless, bargaining is possible. Our forefathers tried it, frequently, and they found that each Spirit wants something very specific, and will reward it with something very specific. In the forementioned goat example, that Spirit would only ever be willing to take a goat, and it would only ever be willing to give a farm. “Bargaining” may be the wrong word, as there is no bargaining involved. It is a simple, solid trade, with no room for compromise.