Mark woke up and groaned. His breastplate felt heavy on him. When he looked at his arms and legs he began to cry. His wonderful muscles, earned through excersise, running, fights and several quests, were gone, leaving him with no more muscle power then a young girl. He had heard the tales of the Muscle Flies but had not throught they were true until it was too late. He could move, but it would take a very long time to get his muscles back into good condition again.
The Muscle Flies are creatures of the warm swamps and the tundra in its rare warm summer months. These foul and detested creatures look very like giant black and yellow mosquitoes, the size of a human head, and act very like them, preferring to land on sleeping humans and animals (although when they get hungry enough they will attack targets when they are awake. A thin ridge of hard bone runs down their back-this can fend off an attack by an edged weapon if it comes down on it, but a blunt weapon will shatter it.
Their needle sharp jaws inject three substances into their victim. The first is a numbing anaesthetic. If the victim is asleep this will keep him or her asleep for a while unless shaken awake, but will generally have run out by the time the sleeper awakes, rarely leaving a trace behind. On an awake victim, it can temporarily numb a limb although it will wear off within an hour.
The second dissolves muscle and/or fat, enabling the Fly to suck up the fat or muscle like it is blood.
The third is a healing substance that heals the wound. The Flies will generally not kill a victim except in self defence or when enraged, as they can only kill and drain a victim once, but they can drain a living victim several times if they don't take too much at a time.
By night they act alone but by day they fly in packs of four or five, working together to subdue large and dangerous prey. Muscle bound humans have been left as weak as young girls by these things, as they prefer to eat human muscle. Many a muscleman has been rendered helpless as muscles made strong through years of bodybuilding are rendered down until they are left just strong enough to enable him to use his limbs.
If captured and manipulated by trained medical personnel these things can be used to drain excess fat instead of muscle. If starved enough they can be used to extract gangrenous flesh from a wound (they normally would no more eat rotting flesh then we would eat bad food, and as such shun the bodies of all but the most recent dead.) If these are seen feeding on a dead body then the body is has at most been only dead for an hour.
Since they so rarely kill, these can be used to punish people who have been judged to be using their muscles for crime.
It is possible (unless killed) to recover from these things, but it takes several weeks or months of exercise and lifting weights.
The well-known, and highly quirky, alchemist Rennixx once cured the renowned warrior Talsmosh of a Muscle Fly bite; partly from professional curiosity, but mostly because of the hefty sum of gold the warrior pushed his way.
This cure required some of the squishier parts of the bug (some glands, a peculiar organ that heals the victims, and a few other odds and ends), ground up bone ridge (also from the fly), milk of a mountain goat, powders produced from earthworm castings in a valley of the Grannesti Mountains, and 7 specific herbs gathered in the Fallanks Wood.
Only the bug which had originally bitten Talsmosh could be used for this cure. The party which Talsmosh hired to bring back the beast decided it would be simpler to bring back the corpses of all six from the nest. Fortunately, the correct one was found after only two failed guesses.
Talsmosh was quite relieved once his strength had been returned to him, although he spent the next week in a tavern trying to drink away the taste of the cure…
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? Responses (13)
Woah. Just...woah. That's a sadistic creature, yet entirely believable.
Truely odd Cheka! They deserve an origin since they are obviously not a natural beast.
This is bloody good, if you excuse my french...What a wonderful way of driving your players mad...
Wow, this is pretty good, Cheka! My one suggestion would be to pick one or the other, muscle or fat. Both seems like overkill. But let me just say, these insidious head-sized flies rock!
Another question would be, if they literally dissolve muscle, how exactly to you get them back by lifting weights and working out? Slighlty confusing, that part.
Heh, great punishment for that PC whose only claim to fame is brute strength! (every party seems to have one) :)
Oh and love the name, "Muscle Flies" :) Great!
They prefer muscle but doctors can by holding them make them eat fat as a living liposuction instrument. And they don't eat all the muscle-they eat about 80% of it as they don't want to kill their host.
Somewhere, there would be a group of people who would consider a muscle fly to be a delicacy.
A rather creepy bug. The mere mention of a nest of these critters would send adventurers running. Though some models or maidens looking to be uber-svelte might go and seek these insects out, looking to make themselves thin quick.
A little creepy, and a little silly bug. An interesting punishment for some adventurers. :)
I also wonder about the origin of this beastie... it appears to be rare and unnatural, is it a creature of magic, or artifically created even? They are still pretty dangerous, they may not kill anyone directly, but to be weakened in a swamp is rarely a good thing.
A good idea, could use some idea expanding(leaning towards Muro here), otherwise it would be pretty horrible for a PC "fighter" to loose strenght points because of these suckers.
Delightfully disgusting. One should also keep in mind that having the muscles underneath the skin dissolved will leave a person with drooping baggy skin, giving them either a comical or deeply horrific appearance. (meaning using these for liposuction would leave the person a disfigured mess.)
Wonderfully done, and very fitting for my Warhammer fantasy campaign, much thanks.
Imagine adventurers stumbling across a village where all the farmers have been hit by a swarm of these things and are now unable to make a living. Do our brave heros fight beasts which can leave them weak as children? Or will they turn tail and run, with the guilt of a village starving gnawing at their very souls? (Or something like that)
Nice creepy bug 4/5