Full disclosure: I’m not sure I’ve used the dark mites yet. I swear I’ve written scenes with them, but I can’t recall. There’s a perfectly good reason for this too. The origins of the dark mites are:
Similar to the Paura Rider in Quest of the Brokenhearted, which I just noticed has fewer reviews than I remember, the dark mites were from the first fantasy story I ever came up with. They were crafted during a weekend where the weather was terrible, I had no homework, and didn’t have any interest in video games. So, I went on a monster creation run until I ran out of steam. Many weren’t that interesting, but the dark mites have routinely reappeared in my mind. I do know they’re in some outlines around here for future books. So, if I haven’t done it yet then I’ll get them out there one day.
So, what are the dark mites? From the picture, you can tell that they’re connected to wolves. From the name, you get the sense of shadows and smallness. There you have my logic. Dark mites are an enormous pack/swarm of wolves no bigger than a hamster. I would say mouse, but their furry tails always make me think they’re still larger. They have sharp claws and teeth as well as incredibly speed. I always imagine their hunting style to be similar to piranha than actual wolves. So, they are very dangerous in that they can swarm and devour an unarmored body very quickly. Those who are sleeping in the wild need to be careful since they are fearless. You would have hundreds in a swarm with a few even getting over one thousand if they have the resources. Thankfully, they don’t go near human settlements. Nocturnal to the core, so the lights of a village keep them at bay.
The big reason the dark mites haven’t really turned up is because of my own mentality. I keep thinking of them as pre-Great Cataclysm creatures. They were designed so early in my life/career/hobby that they feel ancient. Windemere wasn’t even a thing when they were terrorizing my early heroes in test scenes. So, I have trouble dropping them in as a modern threat. Are they extinct? No, but they’re definitely rare and lurk in regions that aren’t commonly visited. I’m gradually introducing locations that hold remnants of the older world, so the dark mites will turn up. Probably in caves or forests plagued with eternal night.
Not much else to really say about the dark mites. They’re another simple creature that fits a niche in my mind. I find these to be the best monsters because they can be used more than once. I like my monsters to feel like part of the environment instead of something foreign. Dragons and demons stand out because of their nature, but everything else needs to fit within the context of the land. This is why simplicity works out so much better than complicated beasts. The stranger and more complex it is, the harder it is to fit it into a biological niche beyond ultra-destructive predator. In those cases, people start to wonder how it hasn’t decimated the landscape with its ferocious attitude. I know I question that every time I make a monster.