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ID: 1348


January 31, 2006, 10:40 am

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A simple death curse


People are often buried with The Monarchs. If the right people are, they can protect him even after death.

Thinking about a tombs of monarchs, and others of wealth and power, that have the ugly tendency to get looted, I came up with this:

A relatively cheap “trap” could be a simple corpse. Not just any corpse, mind you, but one that has died from some highly infective disease. Simply include the body (bodies) in an entry hallway, or some easy to access room where thieves are likely to enter/break in. Optionally equip it with some treasure, to make them search it and contract the disease.

Don’t forget the death curse, it looks much better!

While infected corpses in their very own grave may conflict a bit with afterlife or personal preferences, they should mostly work:

- germs can stay active for a long time (though people may not know about it)

- diseases that were overcome (or survived…) centuries or millenia ago may be still dangerous to the people. Even if the hardy adventurers survive, or simply cast that Cure Disease spell (sic!), they may carry the “Black Pest” with them… talk of a major campaign modifier. And don’t forget to pursue madly the culprits that unleashed the curse of Rhudolf the Vengeful…

- maybe all that live now are descendants of those that survived the pest, and are immune. Just think of the minor flu one character develops, and it turns lethal for a people/race that arrived after the plague was overcome!

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
November 4, 2005, 21:05
A very effective way of getting one's own back on looters, given that in historical times, most looting of tombs happened not centuries later, but within weeks or months.
Voted Zylithan
November 22, 2005, 19:18
I do like this idea a lot. Two comments I have are 1) to my knowledge most diseases and germs aren't going to live on a dead body (and not decompose) for a long time... but magic can answer this question (or a special disease) 2) Unless it is very fast acting it won't protect the tomb from being robbed, it will just be a curse upon the thief. Unless of course one can spread rumors about it to prevent someone from robbing the tomb for fear of the disease. In which case, you might not even need to have a real diseased corpse!
November 23, 2005, 5:07
1) germs could in theory survive for a long time, but magic or a hardy disease can make it

2) You wouldn't want to have a great treasure without a death curse, would you? :)

Rumours have rarely been an effective protection, someone always makes a try if there are riches untold. But even if the thiefs survive, an epidemy could limit further attempts at robbing. (If there are more such tombs...) This trap has a very Egyptian feeling to me.

Thanks for the comment.
January 31, 2006, 11:15
Now I remember what happened not a few times in history: that towns under siege were bombarded by not only fire and stones, but also blankets (or even bodyparts) of plague-victims... with fatal effects sometimes.

So if you use this, be the evil monarch and include the personal items and clothing - it will be all the more effective.
Voted Dragon Lord
January 31, 2006, 9:17
Now that, manfred, is truly evil

As you commented it has a nice Egyptian feel to it - He who disturbs my eternal rest shall bring Death and Corruption upon himself and his kin, even unto the third and fourth generations

Definitely up to your usual standards - 4/5
October 26, 2007, 17:34
Just seen a crappy documentary on curses and stuff. Very weak reasoning, and not really worth watching, but they mentioned a case, when a few archeologists died some time after opening a tomb. The reported cause (or at least a contributing factor) were funghi growing in the tomb. And some of them could kill a human - but only in extreme amounts, or - if the person was already sick.

Which means something that we already know - that tombs can be dangerous - but it's a nice reminder. Hence, weak people entering a tomb (or, say, wounded while fighting something) can have health issues afterwards, or even die, without any curse or magic at all.

In a fantasy world, even more dangerous funghi may exist, and magic could make them even more potent. In either case you'll get the death curse.
Voted dustyjohnson
June 23, 2013, 20:40
Very usable idea.

Perhaps an expansion might be to use something like lead dust or mercury covering the corpse.
Voted Moonlake
June 23, 2013, 21:17
A straightforward idea but quite refreshing and has real-life logic behind it. Short and sweet.
Voted valadaar
December 8, 2014, 12:35
Only voted

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp

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