And the spirits besought him, saying: Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
A huge bloated sow, ashen and malevolent in appearence, with patchy skin, sinister, pus-filled eyes, and a slightly enlarged, Hyaenidaen jaw, though otherwise not unlike a large, mundane porcine specimen.
As to the nature of the accursed Yird-Swine, much has been written, but little is known. The truth is lost, along with Tund the Tiller, his pig, and the monks of St. Sevastiabo.
It was that most industrious of soil-workers, Tund the Tiller, who later went on to fall through a hole in the ground never to be seen again, who created the first and only Yird-Swine. But that is not entirely true.
Tund lived beside a cemetary, his patch of land neighboring Church grounds. The faithful of St. Sevastiabo owned most of the land back in those times, and an honest farming man had to make due with his given lot in life.
And so Tund tilled the earth, and cursed the putrid soil of the burial grounds around him. Tund raised pigs as well on his stead. He was known to capture wild boar and breed them with his pinkish sows, and in fact was quite famous in the nearby town of Heldingfirst as an expert pig breeder.
The vast cemetery on the grounds of St. Sevastiabos parish, served as a dumping site for the thousands of dead soldiers returning from the Half-Century Wars. Those many who had suffered and perished from the insidious Spotted Plague were likewise buried in the fetid earth. The land was swollen with the dead and decaying, like an overripe great, grayish gourd.
As the monks of the parish razed and dug up the soil to make room for the ever-steady supply of corpses, the still decomposing carcasses already interred, had to ignobly give way to the freshly slain. The soft earth could not support so much rotting flesh. And so it fell upon Tund and his known ingenuity to help the brothers get rid of the dead. Tund fed the rotting cadavers to his pigs, and that is how it began.
Soon, the monks were paying Honorary Bother Tund good coin to feed the remains of the dead to his swine. But it was when the inevitable occurred that the unimaginable happened.
When the first skeletons, zombies and ghouls had arisen, the brothers of St. Sevastiabo faint-heartedly hid behind the walls of their parish, preparing their orisons and prayers to ward off undeath. Tunds pigs however, which had taken to wandering the cemetery grounds, digging up the shallower bodies and eating them (a practice the brothers of St. Sevastiabo had learned to turn a blind eye upon, due to the practicality involved), upon encountering the moving meals decided to not be overly picky in their consumption habits, as pigs tended to decide, and began feasting on the living dead!
Wait professer, I feel I must interrupt. Are you deigning to set forth that this farmer’s silly pigs beat back a swarm of undead, skeletons, zombies, and ghouls you say, by simply eating them alive? the student shot the professer an incredulous look. Well, there should be armies of pigs across the lands then I say! Why, we would never suffer the lesser undead again!
No, my worrisome little learner, that is not what I deign to set forth. If you would merely continue to listen, I will explain further. Though you mention the lesser undead and that is an interesting note.
And so the risen and the accursed slew the swine as they in turn feasted on the legs and feet of the slow moving dead. The lamentable shrieks of the pigs contrasted with the deathly silence of their inevitable slayers. But it was at this time that the brothers of St. Sevastiabo finally rushed out in force, and cast their prayers and orisons, weaving a web of glorious, divine and blessed retribution upon the entire burial ground. Caught in this net of faith were the undead and the screaming pigs alike. The death spawn returned to mother-earth as dust, and all but one of the pigs, unaffected by the holy might, perished from grievous wounds. Only Tund the tiller and one pig remained standing in the graveyard.
But what a pig this was! Now here is where opinions differ. Some say that the divine spirit entered the swine and infused it with some mysterious power. Another school of thought stipulated that the undead were simply tricked by St. Sevastiabo, into carrying out an ancient passage from a holy text, which served as a prophecy to the readers of the Annals of the Emergence. It was written on those pages that the spirits of the dead, shall willingly enter the mouths of swine, and then know peace, or something to such effect. It is this school of thought which I humbly subscribe too, if truth be known.
Nevertheless, others suggest that the pig in question must have swallowed some great artifact during one of its cemetery feastings, and this unconfirmed shard somehow activated inside the creatures bowels, when the monks unleashed their spells. Some say, that there are many Yird-Swines out there. Almost every village and thorp between Meisingweldt and Josters Lance, claim to possess one such beast in their particular bone yard. So perhaps the creature had somehow spawned and gifted its taint to its offspring. We will never know. Yet others tend to dismiss the Yird-Swine altogether, claiming the frenzy regarding its supposed ‘dark powers’, simply emerge from the fertile imaginations of those low folk dwelling near and beside graveyards. After all, a quite morbid vision it must be, to witness a perfectly normal pig, burrowing through the soft earth of the cemetery, feasting on whatever lies within. It is the nature of mundane pigs, I fear, to behave this way.
Well, I tell you it exists! Or at least it once existed, who knows if the Yird-Swine is still alive all these centuries later. Let me get back to Tund and the brothers of St. Sevastiabo for a moment. Apparently after all was said and done, the undead returned to the graveyard in question at a later date. But this time, when they did, Tunds surviving sow was ready for them. As it is written in the records of the monks of St. Sevastiabo, so it should be believed. The pig sought out the walking dead and began to passionately and effectively devour and digest them, like so many ears of corn, and the fell legion was helpless to prevent their own demise, for it is said in the Annals of Emergence, that the spirits will seek to be within the Swines belly as a dying man seeks salvation, and no foul hand shall be extended by them towards the Swine, or something like that. No one knows what happened to Tund afterwards, but the blessed pig escaped, never to be seen again.
"And so concludes our brief but passionate discussion of that mythic beast, the Yird-Swine, any questions?
Well, yes professor, a student spoke.I am still a bit barmy on the detail. You say the Yird-Swine is..err..was..is? A pig, infused with divine favor, which despite all of the dread superstitions and fears of the low-born circulating around it, is..was..in actuality, a great boon, which potentially to this very day stalks the graveyards of men, consuming the waking dead? Is that what you are suggesting? the student smiled mockingly.
Believe what you will, dear boy. We are out of time for today, the professer curtly replied. I merely tell you what I know and what I suspect to be close to the truth.
I fear we are no closer to the truth after that lecture professer. Perhaps we will never know the essence and genuineness of the dreaded Yird-Swine. A young lady in the back pontificated.
"Well then, at least you have learned that little bit of wisdom today my girl. Mayhaps you can take that with you as todays learned lesson. The professor concluded.
Fools! He muttered as he went away. They didnt believe him. They didnt believe in the Prophecies. Yet the servant of St. Sevastiabo would be out there still, he thought, their doubts nonwithstanding, searching the dark graves of men, blissfully destroying the foul undead. They do not deserve your favor St. Sevastiabo!
There is a Yird-Swine, and though its exact origin is impossible to ascertain, it exists. A huge, hulking sow, gray, covered in mud, with demonic yellow eyes, and skin receding in patches does indeed stalk some unknown graveyard somewhere to this day, infused with the blessing of St. Sevastiabo himself, sustaining it for centuries, and giving it a bizarre attribute. The Yird-Swine will eat anything, it is a true omnivore, like all members of the porcine race. It has a particular hunger for corpses in unrest however, those men and women that occasionally birth with Unlife, and emerge from the grave.
Though the prophecies found inside the Annals of Emergence are not entirely accurate in stating that the undead seek to be devoured by the swine willingly, the swines saliva does exude a paralyzing toxin, which affects only the corporeal undead, freezing their magically animated limbs and torsos, as the Yird-Swine bites into their horrid, putrefying flesh. Its teeth as can be surmised, are also quite adept at ripping necromantic flesh and bone apart, and its jaw structure and strength is not unlike that of a huge hyena. Additionally, undead have a certain fear of this creature, for it is said they recognize its nature upon first seeing it. It is a true boon to man, the Yird-Swine, though greatly misunderstood and not recognized as such. Countless foul legends surround the Corpse-Eater, and worst of all, no one knows where it may be at any given time. Yet the ignorant, unknowing mobs still have a wretched champion in their eternal struggle against the myriad legions of undeath.
It should be noted that the Yird-Swine can devour only material undead. Skeletons, zombies, ghouls, and other lesser undead are its forte. The Yird-Swine has no effect on the superior undead, such as specters or vampires, nor can it effect incorporeal creatures, such as ghosts or poltergeists. It should also be noted that the Yird-Swine is not all that difficult to slay if confronted. Despite its immortality, it can be killed by conventional means. It survives due to its environment and cunning, making its way from one graveyard to another, itself unknowingly disguised as a common swine, often burrowing and hiding in the damp earth, and due in equal measures to the incredible fear and loathing which ignorant pitch-fork bearing commoners have for this rarely seen beast.
This can serve as a legend, or perhaps someone has discovered and managed to capture the "wicked" Yird-Swine. Perhaps a mage, cult or priest has discovered a way to reproduce the sterile creature to create an entire necrophagic, porcine army! Necromancers across the land beware!
end note: borrowed an actual bible passage to play around with, Mark 5:12. Also, I think "Yird" was just an archaic form of "Yard".