City/ Ruin
7 Votes


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Comments: 10
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.4286
Condition: Normal
ID: 5007


May 3, 2008, 11:04 pm

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These pale mutations may have once been children, or perhaps monkeys, now all that remain of their former origins is the humanoid shape of their bodies, all else having been twisted into a gross mockery of life…

In trying a new approach to creature presentation I’ve introduced this submission as a diary entry by an unlucky explorer who’s encountered the monstrosities. If this proves to be popular I’ll present more submissions in this fashion where appropriate.

Full Description

As I write this I silently pray to whatever gods there may be that the Chasers don’t hear the sound of my pen on this paper. If they do then this diary will be bathed in my blood.

Chasers, how innocent the word sounds, yet how dark the truth is. Chasers are small three to four foot humanoids, with pale white-green skin, and heads too big for their bodies. The pumpkin sized heads are composed of one large mouth, filled with sharp needle teeth that glisten with bloody salvia.

The only sensory organ visible is one cyclops like eye socket in the center of their forehead; yet they possess remarkable hearing and are able to catch the smallest sound, from urine pattering on the floor, to a heart beat.

However this strength is also a weakness, as other noises like blood rain, or maggots eating a corpse will distract them. Which is why I’m crouched underneath a stair well on the second floor of a brick building, listening to maggots fall out of a body next to me and thump on a rusting dumpster in the alley below me.

The Chasers are listening for my breath and heart beat, so will hopefully home in on the alley beneath me, where I can shove this corpse down on them. The zap fly larvae in this are highly carnivorous and will eat flesh whether it’s rotting or not.

If they do hear me then they will swarm over me like a tide of child sized ants, chewing my flesh to the bone before my screams can even vanish from the thick air.

That’s the worst part about chasers, they travel in packs of five or more and use their three foot arms to swing like chimpanzees from fire escapes and lights to drop down on unsuspecting prey.

I’d recently approached the outskirts of this fallen city, and found it to be a true land of the dead. The stench of rotting bodies was carried on the cold wind to my nose long before I reached the city. It was a thick cloying smell, almost turning the air into a soup. I’d heard rumors places such as this were a breeding ground for crazed people, bizarre mutations and lots worse. This city though, promises riches of canned foods, ammunition, and supplies me and my family cannot live without. I will write more later, providing I survive…

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Comments ( 10 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Strolen
May 4, 2008, 15:58
I like the diary entry as it sets the mood for the creatures quite well. Perhaps a DM type entry afterwards to give us any important details that might be needed for us to better use the creature would be appropriate.

Creature is not horribly special or unique but the description gives it another level that seems to make it much more useable.

Reminds me a bit of I Am Legend and that type of location/creature.

Don't stop the diary memo though, but would go farther with a 'normal' description of the creature.
Voted valadaar
May 4, 2008, 20:07
Agree with strolen's comments. Wonder how one would have the presence of mind to write so well under those circumstances however :)

Love the tone!
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
May 4, 2008, 20:17
I agree with Strolen and Val. The tone of the entry provides for me a chilled joy when I read it. But then it stopped. This submission can reach high standards, but it needs more twists and turns as well as answers. If the submission is edited I will change my vote accordingly.
May 4, 2008, 21:20
I've actually spawned this into a rather dark and grim short story taking place both before, and after the diary entry. I'll give this a touch up later on this week; about the same time I give Dr. Taidani his make over.
Michael Jotne Slayer
May 4, 2008, 22:35
Looking forward to it. Oh, and welcome to the citadel by the way:)
Voted MoonHunter
May 5, 2008, 1:32
I get the concept you are trying here. To me, this is half a submission. This is mostly story elements that do stop and describe. Of course, the description does beg a few questions... origin of the name, why he is taking the time in the middle of a potentially lethal situation to stop and write this.. especially since they are hunters who use hearing... And this write up does not explain anything of their origin, even if their origin is in the mysterious past...

Mixing the elements of the story with the factual is a favorite past time around here. It does not always enhance the piece, (in some cases, it just makes it longer), but if done correctly it will.
Voted Murometz
May 5, 2008, 14:06
While I love the first-hand journal approach (they tend to be popular here), I agree with Moon and val. The fact that whoever this is, decided to stop and jot down some notes, while sititng next to a maggot-dripping corpse, afraid for his/her life, while on a mission to get supplies, food and ammunition for his/her family is a tad unbelievable.

By using this approach, you are almost forced to "write" (as the character) sentences that he/she wouldn't realistically write, in his/her current situation, in an attempt to shed some light on the nature of these properly wicked little monstrosities.

My suggestion would be to ratchet up the suspense and tension even more in the journal entry, leaving out "explanations" about the critters, and then follow it up with a GM's take.

For the record, I like the line regarding, "urine pattering on the floor." Helps the atmosphere, and provides an instant hollywood visual of some poor pisser, overheard by Chasers (and attacked in mid-stream)!
May 5, 2008, 19:50
That;s for the useful feedback everyone, I'll keep it in mind when I give this piece an overhaul later on. :)
Voted angryscotsman93
May 1, 2009, 23:13
Su-weet! Personally, though, I'm a li'l confused about what this thing's for. I mean, at first I thought it might be fantasy; however, noticing stuff about canned food and ammunition leads me to believe that this is more of a post-apocalyptic/survival-horror deal. If so, I'd like a few more questions answered about these bloody things. What are they, really? How were they created? How intelligent are they? What's their society like (you mentioned they moved in groups)? What are their usual hiding spots, and habitats? What're the best ways to defeat them? IS there a best way to defeat them, or are we all just plain screwed? Did they wipe out that entire city on their own?

And most importantly: where can I get one? :)
Voted PoisonAlchemist
March 21, 2013, 0:06
I don't think there is anything I can say that hasn't been echoed in previous comments.

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       By: ephemeralstability

As you emerge from the shop in the alleyway, not-too-distant clanging and stamping makes you wary. Further investigation reveals a massive Balgrian protest march flooding the main street, banners roaring about the inhuman conditions in which this ethnic group is forced to live. City guards stand helplessly by, beating up the odd protestor, but unable to hold back the flow. Onlookers throw vegetables at the Balgrians, and shout abuse.

Ideas  ( Plots ) | March 11, 2003 | View | UpVote 1xp

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