The whizzing of gears broke the still of the night and the smell of death was so potent it could curdle milk. Death swept over the encampment, slow and methodical, like a machine
Mech-Undead are an abomination of technology and dark magic. They lack intelligence, blindly serving whoever has the intestinal fortitude to bring them into existence. They retain no knowledge of their prior life and are no longer susceptible to metabolic-based attacks (Poison, Disease, etc...)
Visibly they are much like traditional walking desecrations of life, with apparent signs of decay and emaciation. The rotting flesh that blankets the vessel is nothing more than shroud to mask the mechanism inside. Gears and pulleys hide under the skin, regularly breaking through, exposing them to the world.
With the advancement of technology there will always be those who strive to use it for less than reputable desires. The Desecrator, a once powerful necromancer who is now kept alive through similar technology, (He was betrayed by his apprentice, run through with a sword and kicked off a cliff, when his lust for power became too much.) created them for a couple reasons; to discover ways to advance the technology and to strike back at his former enemies in a horrific way.
born in the workshop of the Desecrator, the inside of the corpse is
prepped for construction by removing all organs and obstructions, essentially leaving the bones and skin as the only remnants of life. Gears and pulleys replace muscles, bodily fluids are replaced by various lubrications that have been magically altered to serve the dual purpose, running through the body in tubes rather than veins, and the chest cavity houses the bulk of the mechanism, which are tied into the brain.
A ritual is performed on the corpse after the mechanism is fitted to it. The ritual is mildly draining on the caster, so it is usually performed on batches of undead to maximize its potential. The ritual essentially overloads the brain with dark magic, wiping the memories and any hint of a previous life, while at the same time jump-starting it, bringing the corpse to its state of
Mech-undead were originally developed to get around the magical warding placed on Imperial cities, they are subservient killing machines and represent a disastrous turn in the advancement of technology. They lack the ability to speak, but the mechanisms give off a low droning sound that from a distance sounds almost guttural.
They can get around the warding because once they have been
jump-started by dark magic, they become dependent on the mechanisms inside them.
To increase production, assembly lines were created in hidden locations, mostly in mausoleums under burial grounds. Originally the signature of the Desecrator, several other factions have replicated the technology and created small armies of their own.
A hideous site to behold, gears tearing through rotting flesh, blank uncaring eyes and no will of their own. They have become a wandering plague on Sanctum, roaming and killing with mechanical precision.
- Mech-Undead are both constructs and undead.
- They serve whomever births them, following simple orders to the letter.
- A fallen mech-undead can be "repaired," but unless it is by someone who is very familiar with Mech-Undead, they will rise and continue to serve their master.
- They bodies are empty vessels and are able to function only because of the technology they are filled with. They are unable to recall any aspect or memory from their previous life.
- Mech-Undead are immune to metabolic attacks, like poison or disease. They are susceptible to anything that would stop machinery, like strong magnets, water immersion, or inadequate lubrication.
- They generally act like zombies, they shamble and groan, doing what they are instructed. Their movement could be described as clumsy, but they do not stop until they are destroyed.
- Traditional means of turning undead do not work on them. They are mechanical, with no alignment or will of their own. They are a weapon and do the will of their master.
- Mech-Undead are mindless, but not without a sense of self preservation. They do not attack unless instructed, but will defend themselves if confronted.
- They are constructs, but not golems. They take damage like a machine would. For example, a fireball would char the flesh shroud, ignite any loose lubrication, but unless there is an explosive nature to the spell, the gears will keep turning so the machine will keep working.
- They are undead, but are not kept alive through conventional means (for undead anyway). Spells that are specifically made to disrupt the forces keeping undead
alivedo not work on Mech-Undead. The spell may stagger them or have adverse effects on the flesh shroud, but they will not stop the machine unless it can stop the brain functions.
- Most Mech-Undead attack with claw-like hands, having their fingers either replaced or coated with metal. Other, though less common, wield weapons either given to them by their creator or what they find on their victims.
- If given the command they will attack until they fall apart. Self-preservation goes out the window when a direct order is given. References were made to the Desecrator and Sanctum. These are elements of a game world that are in the process of being submitted.
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? Responses (16)
Simple, but full of flavor. While specifically mentioning a persona that created them, these could be adaptable to any setting with technology befitting the necessity. I can picture a wave of these just sweeping over a tract of land, leaving nothing alive in it's wake.
I do hope to read more about Sanctum and the Desecrator.
I'm not really a fan of steampunk, but I can see these things marching on civilization and its mildly terrifying. They definitely fit the feel of steampunk and like Gorgon said, as long as the technology exists in a game they could be easily adaptable.
Mindless Powerfull automatons...delicious. Very fitting to the quest. i definatly plan to use these myself...and soon.
I'm not really seeing what makes these particularly special; the way they're described, they're essentially not much more than clockworks draped in rotting meat. I don't really see how they can be described as having dark magic involved if they're supposed to be getting around wards against magic.
I think there's potential here for something unique, but I don't think this lives up to anything close to the potential it might have.
Explain where and how the referenced magic comes into it, if you would, and perhaps explain what makes them something besides a clockwork assassin wearing a humanoid skin.
The kicker for me comes from the construct-corpse I was working on as a sub. Interesting to see the echo of the idea here.
Um, yes. Obviously a sweet idea, with a lot of potential. But I need a lot more than that. From your text, I can get no mental picture of these critters. You have no description at all, in fact. Also, I would welcome an insight into how they work, magic/mechanically. You say that they are kept alive by technology rather than magic? Expand upon that, instead of just leaving that teaser hanging. Indeed, I want you to draw me a picture, to show me how sexy these dudes are. You have a lot of potential to expand on the dark and nasty bits that this implies. You need to make your stuff attractive to the audience.
My current vote will have to be low, and that is not because the sub is bad in itself. I just think its a crime to leave so many stones unturned. Thats just being lazy. I expect any sub to: A) be a full exploration of the subject, B) Paint a vivid mental picture, and C) Surprise me with an unforeseen twist or quirk. In all, I need personality, aesthetics and imagery. Right now yor sub lacks all that, but with a bit (a lot) more work, it could be great. Right now its a can of paint, but it could be a Picasso. Judging from the quality of your previous work, and your grasp of the language, you easily have the skills to manage that.
I will revise my vote when/if you give this a bit more work. If you want to juggle ideas, I´ll be happy to help. Just drop me a PM.
Have to agree 100% with David on this one.
Updated: It was late when I posted this and could have sworn I flagged it as In Work (viewable), but I guess I did not. Regardless, thanks for the comments, some more useful than others.
I added a description and a bit more information on how they work/made. I tossed a little tease in there about the Desecrator, which will actually tie into some of my other subs once I get his write-up done.
Much improved, and I do apologize for my acidic tone earlier - I should have realized this was an In Work submission!
Even though I can now picture these creatures clearly, I still feels as if something is missing. You have some wonderful lines, like cogs poking through rotting skin, the sound the mechanisms make as they move etc. I believe we need more of that kind of imagery to kick this sub up to its fullest potential.
Even so, with a few quick and descriptive lines, you have radically changed this sub from an irritation (good subject, bad sub) to something to take seriously, something that evokes reaction. All it needs now is a few finishing touches.
I´ve changed my vote from 1/5 to 3/5, but it could easily be 5/5; the subject is powerful enough for that. And you obviously have the skill to make the presentation worthy of it. Just. A. Few. More. Steps.
A new and horrifying form of Undead.
I agree with Ouro on this one. It's a good idea, and as-is could be used without too much trouble, but I can't shake the feeling that you could eek a bit more out of this.
The update made a world of difference. I really like the idea that the holy powers that usually destroy or hinder undead will have no effect on these horrors. That alone makes them very usable. I agree with David on the "leaving so many stones unturned" part.
There is a lot of potential to explore with this idea. I would keep adding to this piece as time goes on, maybe add a note out the effects of different types of magic/energies. I am especially interested in electricity damage and how they respond to necrotic effects. Some unique ways to combat them would be cool too.
This is quite a bit better; I have to agree with Ouro as well; it's a good idea, and much better in terms of being fleshed out than initially. It still has potential to get a bit better, and more detailed. Presumably when Sanctum and the Desecrator are submitted, the intertwining will help this sub.
Please do; this is an intriguing creation.
Updated: Added some combat notes to distinguish the difference between Mech-Undead and other undead and constructs.
Not bad :)
Good fit for the quest. Terrifying possibilities. I didn't get to see it before the updates, but I am impressed with this one. A solid submission.
Do they use their grown eyes?