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October 8, 2010, 4:46 pm

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Parasitic Youth


The poor boy.. Man, I mean. I tend to forget his age, given his appearance...

He is constantly sick, but forever young. I wish there was a cure. I'm sure he does too. And I know he is wondering if he will ever die...

The Age Mites; Time Bugs; Youth Parasites.

So small, as to be invisible to the human eye, these microscopic organisms are extremely rare. They were created as a cure for death, but come with a terribly price. A magical malady, known to exist by only a rare few, and even they don't know the extent of it.

The Curse

Thousands of years ago, a powerful man sought a never-ending life. He ventured far and wide, across land and sea, in search of fame, fortune, and immortality. And he found it. Deep in the Shilknose Swamps, on the Island of Tsuberot, there lived the outcast mage, Guolla Guade. The mage observed the powerful man shredding the small trees and creeping vines with an axe. Guolla knew the man was searching for him. Guolla waited for the man, in a small hut built of woven fine and strategically grown shrubs. The man found the hut, and knew this was the one he sought.

"Guolla Guade, Immortal Sage, Master of the Endless Days, I desire a life that stretches forever. I want never-ending youth and to never die!" He proclaimed upon entering the small hut he had ducked in to. Guolla said nothing, but looked up and smiled a crooked grin.

"Guolla Guade, Immortal Sage, Master of the Endless Days, why do you not speak? I demand you grant me the secret of eternal youth." He yelled. Again, Guolla Guade smiled, this time showing teeth. The man noted something eerie about the teeth. They seemed to shimmer and bend, indeed the entirety of the mage seemed to shimmer and bend as if an illusion.

"Guolla Guade, Immortal Sage, Master of the Endless Days, I will cut through your illusion! Reveal yourself, now!" He struck the disbelieved illusion, only to discover something solid beneath the guise. It was the real Guolla Guade, the illusion only obscured the sickness and wretched body of the young woman beneath. The blood sprayed into the man's eyes and something fled  the death of Guolla Guade. Barely perceivable, the Bugs of Time entered the man's body. He felt renewed, invigorated, and young. He heard laughter in his ears, he knew it was the laugh of Guolla Guade, he had been tricked.

Guolla Guade had, as the man discovered, found the secret of eternal youth. A parasite, created from raw time, had infected Guolla Guade. And now it lived in him. His appearance never aged. He was immortal, but bed-ridden. He never eats. He cannot sleep, haunted by that laugh. If he could speak, he would beg for death. His body is gaunt and sunken, yet no wounds mar his flesh. His body appears as that of a boy, no more than sixteen years old. He was discovered on the edge of the town of Ghuthamn of the Island of Tsuberot.after venturing into the swamps in search of Guolla Guade. They assume he found the time mage who had not been seen in many years, and was cursed for his brashness.

After seeing the helpless body of the poor man, no adventurers have dared to seek immortality from Guolla Guade since.

Parasitic Youth: The Details

A swarm of incredibly small bugs ripped from time itself. They inhabit a host until the unnatural death of said host, at which point they enter the body of the closest living being. Once inside the body of a creature, there is no known way to remove them, they go to work like horrific nano-machines. They totally change the way the body works, and can keep it alive indefinitely barring no serious physical interference. The body will quickly be reverted to an ideal youth, physically about sixteen years old, and rendered useless. The Time Mites, out of time, can no longer do their job of maintaining the time-stream, and at such a disadvantage they go about their "programming" on whatever they can find.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Ramhir
October 9, 2010, 11:01

Ick! A real curse for the Fountain of Youth syndrome! The only thing I would change is the Time Mites infecting the body of the nearest living being. A curse that can affect you without you doing anything is a plague, not a curse, imho. 4/5

Voted Cheka Man
October 9, 2010, 15:20

He must have wished he had never tried to stay young.

Voted axlerowes
October 13, 2010, 8:55

Once again we learn that the ticket to immortality is not worth the price of admission.  Indeed the only thing meant to live forever seems to a be repackaging of that old chestnut.    

But it seems to be a novel mechanism, and that is hard to come up with since this story has been told from the angry and scared man-child in Gilgamesh to the ennui ridden vampires (the ones that didn't date high school students). 

Voted Mourngrymn
November 18, 2010, 0:38

I like it. I am one for the you give and you take away type of rewards. This one definitely has its good and its bad. However I wouldn't have made them completely helpless. Possibly because the mites are out of time, so then is their body so they always seem to move much slower than anyone else. Its not because they are feeble but they are out of sync with time. Perhaps they can even perceive things much faster being out of time sync but can not react to it as quickly. Another painful reminder of their curse of youth.

July 27, 2011, 4:07

There is something in particular that bugs me (haha... ha.) Im not sure how the mites work, but I think that might be better explained by why they exist. Is time itself made up of little insects? Are they parasites on time? I'm just having issues wrapping my mind around why they are what they are and why they do what they do.

Voted Silveressa
July 27, 2011, 6:08

Any interesting concept, but a bit too incapacitating to be useful in a campaign unless it happens to affect an npc the chars care deeply about and begin a quest to find the cure for.

I like Mourn's idea of the mites making the afflicted move slower, since an infected character woudl still be playable, just under the effect of a permnant "slow" spell. 


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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