She was a great woman who touched the lives of thousands. He was a philosopher in his own way and he changed the way the game was played. She was a villain and brute but her legacy shaped the known peace. He was an idiot who left whole nations as dead swamps. One invented the modern world, at least through property of transference. One reinvented the very notion of evil.
They are remembered.
No one remembers them.
The shape they pressed into the world lingers. The edge of knowledge remains of their knowledge and deeds and faces. All who their reach touch, a reach of centuries, a grasp of continents, have an inkling of their import. Their existence, implicit, is never intellectually wondered upon. It is only a fleeting inkling, a sensation like you forgot someone's name at a party but a thousand times more vague, as a thing unto
QUICKLY before you can think only answer: who invented stairs?
Three two one time's up. You've done it to them again.
An extreme example but by no means a rare one, these are lives no one even knew they would need to know. Some people have never thought of them as a person, only a role, a hole in time. That's closer to the truth now.
Distorted and vague, all notion of them is warped echoes. The exaggerated shadows of fire flicker, long and then long gone. Their lives were once so important that today almost everyone in the world sorrrrrrrt of remembers them. They knew themselves, though, and this memory insists upon itself. So desperate are these thoughts for detail and identity that they physically manifest. They are spider silk in an autumn storming wind, desperately reaching in all directions at once, anchoring themselves to what they can, searching for some manner of form and permanence in the world. They earned a permanence in the world, but now must only take what they can get.
These are usually plasma flickers like foxfire. There is no real consciousness so this is not a conscious, sustained effect. Unless, that is, they are seen: then this is how someone will concretely remember them. They will presume. They will personify. They will ascribe a will and aim to these things. The monsters.
Now they are trapped, a combination of a shell of their former life and a whole new existence forced upon them, often at odds with their actual nature. They persist, usually as dread creatures but, sometimes, as strange and mercurial champions.
They share vestiges of what they once were - discoverers, tyrants, magus, nun, fire bringer, lash - so must be considered dangerous. Their indistinct forms are difficult to notice and horrifying to behold. Their nature is somewhat elastic and they have a limited ability to unravel themselves. They cannot, however, truly shapeshift. They cannot take on any permanent, distinct form.
They despise those who can.
They abhor shadows for the true shape denied them.
They hate all undead, especially ghosts, for finding the second life they will never have.
They hate elves. They hate anything older than elves. They should all have known better. They should have remembered.
Most of all they hate you. You forgot or never even thought of them to begin with. You made the scribbly people this way. Everyone.
They are everywhere. They are nothing. They are only traces.
They are mad.
They are angry.