Login or register. (You can now login/register with your social networks.)

Lifeforms
Third Kingdom
Desert
4.42
6 Votes

31xp


Hits: 2880
Comments: 17
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.4167
Condition: Normal
ID: 4786

Submitted:

Updated:
March 9, 2008, 5:04 pm

Vote Hall of Honour
Cheka Man

You must be a member to use HoH votes.
Author Status

Options


Print Friendly and PDF

The Parched

By:

Slain by thirst and heat, these sad souls seek moisture - any moisture - to quench their eternal, burning thirst.

Full Description
The Parched can be born of any sapient creature who dies in a dry, hot environment; the only common traits are the tough, leathery skin that has been baked to a purplish-black hue, with the flesh beneath parched to such a degree that the creature is little more than a horrific leather sheath over the desert-dry bones. The eye sockets are empty, the soft tissues there having burned away beneath the relentless desert sun, and the flesh around the mouth has shrunk and drawn taught, revealing cracked, blackened gums set with sand-polished teeth. What appears to be sand - really the perpetually crumbling internal organs and soft tissues of the creature’s innards - trickles from cracks in the sun-baked skin with each movement, leaving a fine trail of powder wherever it walks.
Additional Information
Parched are created when a sapient creature dies under the harsh glare of the desert sun, the unforgiving light and heat forcing the moisture from it until even the deepest tissues and the very bones have become devoid of any dampness. Those whose minds and spirits linger until the last moment, their thoughts consumed by a feverish desire for cool and water, often arise as the Parched; the desires which held their minds at the moment of death become the driving force of the undead creature, driving it to crawl across the sands, becoming ever more dessicated, leathery, and burnt by the relentless sunlight as it seeks oases and shade by day.
The Parched can consume prodigous amounts of water, and radiate an aura of the desert’s daytime heat. They can dry up an oasis over a week’s time, and their leathery skin turns aside blades. However, their bodies are so dried out that any smashing weapon capable of dealing trauma through the skin will shatter the dried-out bones, crippling the loathsome thing.
Servants of the gods of sun and desert find it a simple matter to command these pathetic creatures, using their connection to things of heat to cow them into submission, while servants of cold, water, and night find themselves hard-pressed by the furious need that drives the Parched.

It is possible to destroy one of the Parched by immersion in more liquid than it can destroy in a short time, effectively quenching it. This would necessitate a truly large volume, however, and would destroy a fair portion of the water involved in the process.

Parched are rarely, if ever, encountered beyond the desert’s fringes, which they cause to gradually expand. The world ‘outside’ the desert seems painfully cold and clammy to them.



Additional Ideas (0)

Please register to add an idea. It only takes a moment.

Join Now!!



Gain the ability to:
Vote and add your ideas to submissions.
Upvote and give XP to useful comments.
Work on submissions in private or flag them for assistance.
Earn XP and gain levels that give you more site abilities.
Join a Guild in the forums or complete a Quest and level-up your experience.
Comments ( 17 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
March 9, 2008, 11:25
0xp
What would happen if one of these finds a huge freshwater lake?
Kassil
March 9, 2008, 16:52
0xp
Manfred pretty much hit it; they'd deplete it somewhat, but it'd end up 'quenching' them. They'd have a hard time finding their way out of the desert, though, since their nature is tied to the desert heat. I expect that if one wandered out of the desert, you could track it by the trail of utterly sun-baked and dried-out land it leaves behind it. A pack of them could potentially be responsible for a drought, if they were captured and carted someplace more temperate.

I'll add a bit to directly answer this, though.
Voted manfred
March 9, 2008, 11:50
0xp
Ohhh, nasty! I didn't know we missed the counterpart to the various frozen undead, but now that omission is corrected. Great work, Kassil!

If exposed to a truly great amount of water - like that huge lake, or an ocean, I would expect that they will dissolve. Sadly, in their unfortunate state they won't seek this fate, and need others to help them by dragging them underwater and 'drowning' them. (Note: don't do this in your source of drinkable water.)

I would also imagine, that they can't really find their way out of the desert. They will become one of its many dangers.
Kassil
March 9, 2008, 16:57
0xp
Thank you, although the Parched have been in work for a bit; I have a handful of undead that I'm tinkering into shape. One of my pet projects is diversifying the undead so it becomes less of a 'oh, a zombie, get out the axe' situation and may require creative thinking on the part of the players.

You are correct; exposed to a sufficient amount of water, it will 'quench' them, but in the process they'll likely destroy a fair amount of it by the nature of their dessicating effect. Enough of them might well be able to destroy a large lake, although it'd naturally refill once they wandered back out of the basin.

You're correct there as well; they're tied to the desert's daytime heat, and as such you'd have to have someone deliberately bring them out of the desert. I'd expect the fringes of the desert regions might slowly grow as they wander in and out of it, but the 'outside' would seem painful to them.
manfred
March 17, 2009, 15:59
0xp
Hmmm... "deliberately bringing them out of the desert"....

I would imagine any group braving the desert, having water supplies, some animals and their own bodily water, would attract a Parched like light attracts moths. While by no means fast, they would surely, inexorably follow the living until they lose any trail (or sense a larger source of water nearby). If the desert is not merciless enough, imagine one of these things willing to follow you for all eternity, hard to kill and always knowing where you are... oh,the fun.
Kassil
March 9, 2008, 17:04
0xp
Updated: Added habitat and destruction method; and before anyone says anything: yes, I know that deserts can get absurdly cold at night. I rather expect the Parched are somewhat dormant at night, much like a vampire during the day.
Voted valadaar
March 9, 2008, 18:41
0xp
A well built undead type - something to put in deserts other than mummies.
Kassil
March 10, 2008, 14:39
0xp
Mummies and deserts *are* a bit overdone, particularly after those movies...
Voted Misanpilgrim
March 10, 2008, 11:51
0xp
They crave water by the barrel, but any climate other than desert is painful? Being undead stinks.
Kassil
March 10, 2008, 14:40
0xp
Being trapped halfway between life and death generally does, yes. I still want to set all the 'OMG VAMPIRES R KEWL!!!' people on fire.
manfred
March 10, 2008, 14:46
0xp
If there are vampires, there should be vampire hunters. :->
Kassil
March 16, 2008, 7:39
0xp
Yes.

And, when I discover vampires in a game world, I assure you there's at least one. I don't care *how* 'kewl' people make them out to be. I *will* leave the miserable things stake out for the sun to fry.
Voted Murometz
March 10, 2008, 12:53
0xp
While "those-that-thirst", is not that unique of a template, this _is_ a good rendidtion. Nice job! Plus what Misanpilgrim said :)
Kassil
March 10, 2008, 14:43
0xp
This is true; the concept itself isn't all that unusual - I can probably find a few variants in the various game books I own - but tinkering with the living dead is amusing. In another world I'd probably be a necromancer.
Voted Dozus
March 10, 2008, 22:02
0xp
It is an excellent nuance on a classic idea and I'd love to see it implemented. For some reason, I keep picturing a Parched dragon or somesuch beast: a massive, dry, desperate thing that collapsed in the deserts long ago and devours the fluids of any transgressors of its sandy domain. Makes me thirsty just thinking about it.
Kassil
March 16, 2008, 7:40
0xp
That's a pretty cool idea. I bet you could make a unique monster on that idea.
Cheka Man
March 17, 2009, 13:53
0xp
Maybe I should make one.

Link Backs

Freetext



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: tinypoisonousfish

Pepperbox Wand

A typical wand with offensive capabilities (magic missiles, fire, fireball, lightning bolt) that was either damaged in combat or made just under par. When the wand is discharged, there is a 1 in 4 chance that it fires an additional 1d6 charges simultaneously or in rapid succession. Wands that shoot fire may incinerate innocents and friendlies, or burn whole buildings and even villages down. Those which shoot fireballs have a considerable radius, and lightning bolts that bounce upon contact with ground and stone can cause catastrophic random collateral damage. Those who have paid large sums for such a device may go seeking a refund, possibly even retribution.

Ideas  ( Items ) | January 3, 2010 | View | UpVote 6xp


Creative Commons License
Individual submissions, unless otherwise noted by the author, are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
and requires a link back to the original.

We would love it if you left a comment when you use an idea!
PayPal
Powered by Lockmor 4.1 with Codeigniter | Copyright © 2013 Strolen's Citadel
A Role Player's Creative Workshop.
Read. Post. Play.
Optimized for anything except IE.
0.0209