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December 6, 2007, 11:54 pm

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The Dead Witch

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in work.

Introduction

The PCs make their way along a nondescript dirt road flanked on each side with overgrown grass giving way to isolated copses of trees, which eventually thicken into a dark forest. A slight breeze rustles the leaves and the area is filled with a relaxing quiet. Smoke rises across the treetops some distance away, indicating the presence of a nearby town. In the distance, sharp-eyed PCs spot a cloaked man walking in the same direction they are headed. In the rapidly dwindling sunlight.rnrnSuddenly, the forest behind them shudders. Branches snap and leaves fly as the PCs turn around just in timernto view… Nothing.rnrn

Plot Description

Morning Child

Inside the thick, cloying branches that comprise the towns boundary can be found a single tavern, a forked river, a bank, a farm, various hovels and even a few manors for the wealthy or noble inhabitants. A gentle hill swells to the northeast of the entry road, on top which lay a group of marble seats clustered beneath a large pavilion. Ruins of an abandoned jailhouse lay to the west, windows broken and door askew, creaking noisily from a single functioning hinge. It is dark now, but the town is a bustle of activity crowds of people move to and fro, carrying lanterns and fussing around large tables as if in preparation for a festival. A few villagers can be seen lighting torches on tall stakes to ward off the gathering darkness.

Secrets

Rumors

*Foul spirits dwell within the ruins of the jailhouse. ThernTown Elders plan to ask a Priest to exorcise the spirits next time one visits Morning Child.

*There are an awful lot of well-to-do folk for such a smallrntown.

*The tavernkeep Markwald waters down his beer,rnbut his mead is worth every shilling.

*The working conditions at the Keller farm are little better than slavery. This would not be a problem normally, except the crop is not even that good this year.

*The cemetery is haunted. The groundskeep swears that he has heard a soft moaning for the past several nights as well as the ringing of many bells.

*A dark figure has been seen unearthing dead bodies under cover of night.

*The Keller farm has a serious rat problem.

Expanding the scenario



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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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