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July 20, 2010, 11:47 am

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The rotting ghoul sunk it's teeth into the girl's throat, tearing it open, and then laid her down, and as she died, so the rotting body that had murdered her ceased rotting. Milky white eyes became green ones with normal pupils. Maggots swarmed out of the body, the damage they caused healing rapidly,and the stench of flesh gone bad vanished. The Xarloccian swore to itself that it would always tread the path of Evil from now on, just one earlier act of Good had nearly rotted away it's body and sent it's soul to the Nine Hells.

The Demon Xarlocc was, like many demonic beings, deeply involved in the internal politics of Hell, where souls were the demonic equivalent of money, and the demon who controlled the most souls had a lot of respect from fellow demons. There were several ways to get hold of souls; as a gift from another demon, but these were rare, as demons did not give gifts lightly; through gambling but Xarlocc was no good at that; through stealing from a Greater Demon, but the penalty if caught was the death of one’s demonic body and the everlasting torture of one’s demonic soul. Or through wheeling and dealing; it was demonic lore that a soul that one managed to persuade one’s owner to hand over to you was your own in Hell. 

Of course, the thing was, most humans were wise enough not to sign over their souls in the first place. Xarlocc thought of a way around this. He targeted the dying and the terrified of death, and he promised them that they need not sign away their souls to get his help; all they would need to do was to sign a promise to Be Bad.

In return, their bodies would be healed of any diseases or illnesses and filled with demonic energy, making them slightly stronger then a normal human would be, as long as  they preformed a Bad Deed each day. It could be something illegal that broke the law in some way, something immoral but not necessarily illegal, like telling people lies or seducing their loved ones behind their backs, or just something unpleasant, like sacking someone from their job. Like any shylock, he was ruthless to those who neglected their part of the bargain for even a day; their bodies would start to rot. At first it would be scarcely noticeable; a smell of something foul, then their eyes would start to film, their bodies start to swell and go bad.

Unless they committed something really evil…a murder, a rape or something of that level, then within a matter of days their bodies would rot to the point that their brains died; and it was near certain that the Bad Deeds they had done in the past would guarantee for them a place in Hell. Should one of them do something Good, then they would start to decay until  they either died or did an equal or greater Evil act, when the decay would be healed.

Some Xarloccians cannot handle what they have done and try and go straight, or end up in solitary confinement in prison; these swiftly become horrifying rotting corpses, desperate in most cases to commit murder so as to return to their normal forms before their bodies  and their souls plunge into Hell. Others have perished on the gallows or by the sword after being caught committing one crime too many by law enforcement or by vigilantes.

 Still others have joined crime syndicates, where those not murdered by their fellow criminals in internal purges or turf wars have often risen high in the organisations, and a handful of the most determined and enterprising have formed large corporations and pay their dues to Xarlocc by treating their workers badly, selling weapons on the black market or even encouraging politicians to start wars, as a really nasty war can in effect pay Xarlocc for decades. It is possible that some of the nastiest wars on the planet have been started so as to give Xarlocc what he wants; and the souls of the evil who die in such wars flow straight into Xarlocc’s accounts as if he had personally recruited them, making him one of the richest demons of the Nine Hells.

Since they know that should they die, they are effectively as hell-bound as if they had signed away their souls in a more conventional fashion, they will fight with no quarter.  A decomposing Xarloccian cannot see far, as his or her eyes are a milky white, nor hear all that well, but the demonic strength remains to the very end, whilst one that is paying his or her dues will have all their senses enhanced greatly and will be a fearful foe. However one dies, it's body will swiftly decompose down to the bare white bones.

What a Xarloccian gains from the deal are three things, provided they keep their side of it. Increased strength;twice the strength of the average human. Immunity from the vast majority of diseases in the world. And old age will not claim them. They can still die violently or in an accident, however,not to mention what happens to them if they try and break the deal or are unable to see it through.

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Comments ( 8 )
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July 20, 2010, 9:41
An interesting sort of demonic contract, but I am still a bit vague on what Xarlocc offers in exchange for this lien on your soul. Is it the general devil's deal, money or power, or some other monkey's paw wish?
Cheka Man
July 20, 2010, 11:42
Basicly, imortality and immunity to most diseases. unless you a) break the contract or b) get killed. Of course, everyone dies in the end,and when one of his people dies, their bad deeds have generally doomed them to hell.
Cheka Man
July 21, 2010, 11:14
No votes. :(
Voted VIM40
July 21, 2010, 12:16
This is really cool, and I think I'm going to use a Xarloccians serial killer as an antagonist at some time. The only thing I think I'll change is the different type of deals that can be made. So players may develop some understanding of him, perhaps the serial murderer made this deal to keep a loved one from dying of a disease, and the only way to keep them alive is by murdering.

Maybe it's his wife? He's keeping his wife alive, but painfully he has to be abusive towards her just to keep her from rotting away like he would. He's remorseful of this and on those rare occasions he is permitted to be good to her is right after he murders some one. So to save his marriage as well as his wife's life, he needs to murder more often just to maintain being a good husband. If I don't use the idea, I'd like to write a short story for it.

I love the idea man, keep it up.
Voted Burt Mancuso
July 22, 2010, 22:11
I think this is a really nice idea. In addition to its use for individual characters, it lends itself to all sorts of evil organizations, from secret cults and societies of aristocrats looking to gain immortality to entire towns of Xarloccians that have killed off the normal townsfolk and survive by preying on adventurers passing through. There are many possibilities for this - and it's always nice to see an inventive demon.
Voted Drackler
July 23, 2010, 18:20
Perhaps an entire town of Xarloccians that have killed off the normal townsfolk would need to go out and find people to kill, etc. Or would they be able to be generally nasty to each other every day just to keep from rotting? That could lead to an interesting town in which the heroes find an entire village of surly townsfolk that delight in tormenting them. Not in big ways, just pranks and disrespect.
Voted Redgre
July 29, 2010, 0:25
Cheka Man, I love the base idea. I think it perhaps needs to be fleshed out a bit more. First, this 'curse' you've described is a lot like becoming a vampire. Only vampires are tougher than a Xarloccian but then again, it's harder to become a vampire. I think that the promised immortality isn't enough of a reward for the overwhelming vast majority of people (even desperate people) to make this contract. Second, I don't get how Xarlocc personally benefits from the contract. How are the 'unclaimed' souls of the damned divided up among demons? Xarlocc hasn't contracted for their souls, why does he have dips, so to speak? Thirdly, the required bad deed should probably have further explanation. Is jay walking enough? How about cutting in line? How about owning a dairy farm and every day urinating in the milk you sell to all the townsfolk? I hope you see my point. all are 'bad deeds' but some are more annoying than bad. Anyway, I've talked enough... like I said I love the idea, and I'm already tailoring it for my uses.
Voted valadaar
August 1, 2010, 20:23
I think the sin would need to be of the scale to cause despair, fear, hatred or other negative emotion to hold of rotting. A Jailor would be a natural profession.

I like this and can also see a good use for it. Nicely done Cheka!

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