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Hits: 4148
Comments: 10
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.8125
Condition: Normal
ID: 4108


July 16, 2007, 10:41 pm

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Cheka Man

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The Empty Children


"Such well behaved children… never a word out of them and they do just as they’re told.  They seem so pale though, I wonder if they’re sick…"

Full Description

The Empty Children seem to be ordinary children, somewhere between the ages of four and nine.  At first glance, the only odd thing about them is their incredible paleness.  However, after spending a little time around them, one begins to notice other slightly unnerving aspects about them.

They never speak, and their complete obedience is odd enough for anyone of their age to excite comment.  They do not play, either amongst themselves or with other children, unless they are asked or told to do so by someone else.  When they *do* play, they do so very badly, as if they do not know how. 

They are very cold to the touch, and if they get hurt, they don’t seem to notice it.  If they recieve a cut or something similar, they do not bleed.

The Empty Children are an experimental form of undead created by the necromancer Edrea Solon.  She created them from children she killed at her orphanage.  She has developed a way to keep the bodies preserved in a state relatively close to life and does not interfere with necromantic magics, and makes judicious use of it.  (It makes it so much easier to hide them when they don’t look undead, and they don’t drip all over the floor.) 

Empty Children primarily find use as spies, saboteurs, thieves, and assassins, since no one would ever suspect a child of such things.  Edrea does a profitable (but by no means steady) business supplying some of her associates with Empty Children specifically for this purpose.  There are, however, a few unscrupulous or terribly unbalanced wealthy people who somehow come to Edrea’s notice; through convoluted channels, she provides them with "perfect children" to bolster their image or "returns" beloved children who died.

Additional Information

Empty Children will follow any order or request completely and without hesitation.  They are intelligent, but lack any sort of free will.  They can and do find the best way to carry out their current orders, but they will do as they’re told.  They are unable to speak, but can be taught to read and write, which is how information is passed from an Empty Child to their master. 

The only sound Empty Children are capable of making is a sort of heart-wrenching wordless crying.  They do not do so unless ordered to- for example, an Empty Child used as a spy will often be ordered to cry if detained; very few people can stand up to such an assault.  However, if any one is paying close attention to a crying Empty Child, they will notice there are no tears.  This is the most effective form of self-defense the Empty Children.

They feel no pain; actually they barely feel any sensation at all.  It is unknown if they feel emotions, but those who use them don’t tend to care about that.  Edrea certainly doesn’t.  Since they are undead, they don’t bleed.  They are no stronger than normal children, but very hard to destroy.

The process to make an Empty Child can only be done with a relatively fresh and intact corpse (the preservation takes care of that), and the necromancer must be able to bind a soul to it (not necessarily the one that belonged to the body) to make it intelligent.  Only Edrea currently knows the secret of creating them, and is still refining the process.  For some reason, she’s only managed to create Empty Children; attempts to use the same process with adults have not ended well.

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

Voted Scrasamax
July 13, 2007, 3:44
i expected something a bit more from these guys. They happen to be clean little zombie without the penchant for eating brains. The core idea is certainly gruesome but it doesnt tug at my heartstrings.
Voted Wulfhere
July 13, 2007, 11:58
The line of pale children followed their schoolmistress silently and obediently, not even reacting to the frantic barking of the neighborhood dogs. Their school uniforms were bright and clean; their unblinking eyes so large and beautiful.

As they filed past a harried clerk, the impatient man rudely shoved one of the silent children out of his way. Slamming into a lamp post, the girl gave not a sound, quickly rejoining her class. In moments they were gone.

No one noticed the gleaming glass eye left behind in the gutter, so bright, so beautiful.
Voted Cheka Man
July 13, 2007, 12:20
I don't see the using of one of these to replace a beloved child who died a natruel death to be all that evil-some parents might have their child's body reanimated in this way. The making of them is evil however, as is using them for crime.
Voted manfred
July 13, 2007, 16:09
Hmmm... if they really never speak (a suspicious trait in itself), how do they pass on what they spied? Another important question is, how do they respond to sunlight, and other stimuli known to harm undead?

Suitably chilling, but there is indeed something missing. Good sub otherwise.
Ria Hawk
July 16, 2007, 22:41
Updated: Added the thing about the crying (thanks Lanfear), and answered a few questions.
Voted MoonHunter
July 17, 2007, 13:32
I do like the set. So you get bonus for having an expanded submission that way.

It would be interesting if they could speak, but only when told to do so and to say certain words.

"Tonia, say you are sorry to Mrs Butcher"
"Sorry Mrs Butcher".

If you are clever, who would ever know?

"I am on an errand for my mommy."

The possibilities are endless.

Tell the Guard who asks you what you are doing there, you are delivering the Papers that were requested.
"What are you doing here page?"
"Delivering the papers that were requested"
"Right, go ahead. "

Sure it might be caught up, but it will clear you in a variety of ways.

I could see many a man who needs a "perfect family" for political reasons or as a cover to buy one. I am sure that an older child of some comliness could be procured to pose as a wife. Thus you could appear to have a very shy and withdrawn family. Since they don't like public life, they stay home most of the time.

That way he appears to be perfectly above board and normal. Of course anyone willing to buy an undead family will not be.
Voted Nocontrivedname
March 17, 2009, 2:29
Hi Ria,

I am new to the page and haven't read one of yours yet, but after reading this I can't wait to do so again. I like the idea of slipping Zombies into society for evil purposes. Undead children always creepy. I am also posting to bring this up again cause I think a certain Punkcasher would like this.

Well done I hope I can use it some day.

Voted axlerowes
February 18, 2012, 13:25

creepy, really more flavor for villian than anything, but it is an improvement over normal children

Voted valadaar
October 24, 2013, 14:46
A great element for a horror palette. I think they should be able to talk, and even sing.
March 3, 2016, 11:31
"...and even sing" ... Preferably something like "Hard Knocks Life" by Jay-Z

"...but it is an improvement over normal children" ... Is it? lol


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Wet Faeries

       By: Murometz

Sages and naturalists frown at the common name given to these strange creatures by the small folk, but sometimes the silliest nicknames for creatures, places and people persevere in the minds of many. “Purifiers”, “Pond Jellies”, “Breath-Stealers”, “Lung-Ticklers” and “River Butterflies” are much less commonly heard appellations for these life forms. Wet Faeries are basically (and simply) a species of fist-sized, fresh-water jellyfish. Several traits steer them toward the peculiar category however. Firstly, Wet Faeries are nearly invisible in the water, much like their marine cousins but even more so. One can swim in a river swarming with these critters and not even notice their presence. Secondly, they possess the unique ability to clean and purify whatever body of water they inhabit. They do this via some sort of biological filtration process, sucking in all toxins present in the water, and releasing it back in its purest form. Needless to say, they are both a blessing and a curse to whichever folk dwell beside the rivers and lakes Wet Faeries inhabit. On one hand, no purer water can be found anywhere than a Wet Faerie lake or pond, and yet, in “pure” water “life” tends in fact to die out, lacking the needed nutrients to prosper. Thirdly, their “sting” is (unfortunately) virulently poisonous to all mammalians. Wet Faeries are loathe to sting anyone or anything, using their barbed fronds as a last line of defense, but if stung, most swimmers will suffer respiratory arrest, and die within minutes, usually drowning before they can make it back to shore.

Alchemists, druids, and less savory characters have studied these creatures over the years, and have predictably found all the ways Wet Faeries could be exploited. Morbidly humorous, some bards find it, that the Poisoners and Assassins Guilds as well as the Healer’s Union, all prize these creatures. The assassins use the extracted venom in obvious fashion, while the priests and healers use the still-living jelly-fish to sterilize other poison potions and to cure those already poisoned on death’s door.

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Encounter  ( Any ) | June 20, 2014 | View | UpVote 6xp

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