While humans turn into Stigmatics, other lifeforms (usually animals, but also plants or fungi) turn into Cryptids. As with people, the vast majority of these encounters end harmlessly with an angel or agent shooing away or killing the offending creature. Sometimes, though, a lifeform gets a little too close and ends up briefly connecting with the grand design.
These creatures' brains, however, were not developed to understand designs on such a scale and so, mutations and alterations occur that cannot be classified. Most perish, but some escape, forever altered.
Cryptids operate through a merger of instinct and intellect; most can’t be threatened or intimidated and have no concept of social conventions or secrecy. In most cases, the God-Machine dispatches Hunter Angels to take care of them before the Cryptid disrupts delicate operations. Others are tamed and used as watchdogs of Facilities and similar vital structure points.
Cryptids can sense Aether instinctively, making them useful for Angels who use them to hunt Unchained, or Demons who use Cryptids to locate hidden Infrastructure. Cryptids tend to develop adaptations that further enhance natural specializations. In addition, a Cryptid can never be taken on camera: All pictures simply show blurred lines that blend into the surroundings. Normal humans tend to forget them and the God-Machine polices most major tabloids of appearances of Cryptids to keep them out of the major consciousness.
There is no definite list of Cryptids; there are simply too many of them. However, there have been outbreaks of Cryptids that gathered major attention, often in the form of urban legends.
- Mothmen: A major onset during the 1970s, Mothmen are bipedal humanoid insects that once plagued the operations of the God-Machine at the East Coast of the United States. Today, their population has been decimated, but the angels that hunted them have remained in popular media as the 'Men in Black'.
- Reptilians: An ongoing onset, Reptilians are lanky humanoid creatures, massive chameleons with human eyes and stunted tails. They can shift the color of their skin and the shape of their limbs, allowing them to camouflage themselves as human.
- , p. 228-232