Cyclopeans are one of the sub-types of the Ogre seeming. They are like the ancient hunters and herdsmen of legend who sought men for their cooking pots: changelings who resemble Cyclops of Archaic Greece, the one-legged Fachan of Scots legend, the three-eyed oni of Japan, the elephant-eared rakshas of India or the wind-borne footless Wendigo of North America. Although many are crippled in some way, they have profound senses to make up for it. Theirs is the blessing of Smell the Blood.
The image of a massive troll pushing its way through a dark cave, a hideous snuffling sound echoing off the walls as the troll inhales the air, searching for the scent of its prey — this is the genesis of the Cyclopean. Cyclopeans are marked by the aspect of the Ogre’s preternatural senses, scent in particular. The Cyclopean has the nose and ears of a brutal predator, ever searching for the smell of blood or the sound of its prey’s breathing. Cyclopeans are not as easily distinguished as other kiths may be. Some are maimed, clearly missing an eye or a hand, but others manifest a third eye, overlarge ears, a long and dangling nose or a repulsively long tongue. Some don’t possess any obvious characteristics that mark them as their kith. A Cyclopean doesn’t need flaring, overlarge nostrils to smell the blood of an Englishman.
A distressing number of Cyclopeans were maimed over the course of their durance. Sometimes it was deliberate, the work of a Keeper extracting his pound of flesh as a punishment or even as a method of awakening unusual senses in the Ogre. Or the maiming may have been a simple accident, the work of a bone-mill or stray arrow. The unusual senses of the kith may have developed in a number of ways. One Cyclopean stands guard at the gates of a citadel, well aware of the dire punishments that await him should an invisible spy slip past. Another sifts through an immense mound of roots in her Keeper’s pantry, searching for the tubers in just the right state of decay to add to her mistress’s stew. A third ate his Keeper’s goblin fruit of prescience, and fled before the theft could be discovered.
The Cyclopeans are kin to the many tales of giants with unusual senses, be they sharper or poorer. The Cyclops Polyphemus is an obvious example, but so is the Fomorian king Balor, whose evil eye had to be kept lidded between battles. Argus Panoptes had 100 eyes, half of which were awake at any one time; a Cyclopean designed in Argus’s image might have peacock-markings across her body. The Japanese oni are often depicted with a third eye, and some Asian demons are described as having ears like elephants.
Repelled by rhyme, bane of blue glass, fears ravens, must sleep beside a crutch, cannot eat raw fish, cannot accept hospitality from a fellow Ogre.