You can hear it at night, profaning the air with a jackal whine. The cold wind echoes with sounds of teeth scraping against rock. It sounds like a hind chewing glass, or so the locals say. They call it the Krummling.
The Krummling, they say, is a beast with forty legs and a thousand teeth. No one’s ever seen the Krummling, but some say it grinds men apart slowly to feed off their terror. The Krummling is called a beast, a monster, and a god, almost all in the same breath.
The Krummling lives below the cliffside at the edge of town. The locals say that eventually, the Krummling will eat through the cliff and finally eat them. Even so, nobody suggests building a town farther from the sea. The locals simply consider it their fate if the Krummling should finally succeed. That isn’t to say they don’t try to deter its progress. It is said that when the Krummling is happy, it eats faster. When the Krummling is hungry, it eats slower. The locals teach their children young to never show fear or even feel it. The Krummling takes energy from their fear.
When the locals celebrate, you can barely hear the Krummling eat. The noises that plague the night are countered by a loud whooping and hollaring. Some men become so fearless that they go to the edge of the sea and hurl curses at the Krummling. Some of these men, depending on how inebriated, never come back. They fall off the cliff and are assumed to be food for the Krummling.
When the locals pray at night, they pray that those caught in the teeth of the Krummling died silently and without fear of the Krummling’s black maw and the darkness beyond.