The Qualm is a giant mass of tentacles and leaves with hundreds of mouth-like pods lined with teeth. It is about 1/8 of the size of Earth's moon, and it travels through space looking for nutrient rich planets that it can suck dry.
The villages around the capital have a strange new disease cropping up. Spread by a fungus (much like ergot poisoning), it causes its victims to be very sensitive to sunlight. Hundreds of peasants are hiding from the sun, only coming out in the darkness to labor in the fields. Unfortunately, rumor makes their behavior sound more sinister and secretive than it really is.