Hiding deep within catacombs of the ancients, in low, deep alcoves where they lie, spider-like, awaiting the taste of fresh blood, there are the hideous Torlakia, dark beings who once lived and are now, fearfully, undead.
In ancient times, the kings and nobles of the old kingdoms would take with them to death all the things which would relate their status to the Underworld- boats, horses, gold, treasure, clothing, and even slaves and guardians, warriors and catamites, slain and laid to rest beside their fallen lord to moulder for eternity.
These tombs, of course, needed guards, and these guards, too, were slain, to sit as eternal watchmen over the riches of their masters. After being strangled, these soldiers would be laid in deep, low alcoves along the walls of the tomb, with swords upon their chests, that they might forever defend the sacred crypts of the rulers.
But in some places, these warriors did not rest well. In tombs which were disturbed by convulsions of the earth, in places where subterranean waters flooded the deep graves, in crypts where the pressures of the ground caved in the chambers, in graves where the greedy, the foolish, and the unknowing broke the seals of these houses of dust, the soldiers stirred in their low, long alcoves, and crawled forth with shrivelled hearts full of terrible rage and hatred, seeking to extract bloody revenge against the living.
These charnel spirits, clinging to the mummified remnants of their former bodies, crawled forth from their stagnant pits and fell upon the unwary robbers and explorers with the hellish vengeance from beyond the grave. Wielding ancient blades in bony-clawed hands, the guardians slew all who entered the broken tombs of their masters, and fed upon their blood.
But their dark vigilance was tainted by their sanguine hunger, and very soon, the evils of their pseudolife polluted their tattered frames, and mutated these beings into the undead horrors called the Torlakia.
Torlakia inhabit the desecrated and damaged tombs which so long ago they protected, living in their dark, foul alcoves which they were laid to rest in, though they decorate these with the withered and eviscerated remains of their victims, and with sticky, thick webbing like that of massive spider, which they eject from their mouths. Torlakia hate the living, and quite like animals, fall upon all living beings which they sense with the ferocity that only death can instill.
Torlakia are hideous and inhuman to behold. They resemble dried-out, withered, and blackened human corpses, with bellies swollen with starvation. Their twig-like limbs end in gnarled hands and feet upon which the digits are hideous stiff claws. But the greatest horror of the Torlakia is that upon the shoulders and chest, where there should be a neck and head, there is, instead, a hideous sort of fleshy mound, topped with a circular, fanged mouth surrounded by slime-dripping feelers which constantly wave, like the head of some massive, evil caterpillar or maggot, set upon a human frame. Torlakia have no eyes, nor ears, nor nose, and can sense their way only because their hatred of living beings is like a beacon to them, and they sense the fire of a beating heart and rushing blood like the warmth of a fire in an eternally cold, grey space. They fall upon all living things which they can catch and slay them with their ancient swords or their claws, and then crack open the victim's skull and body with their foul jaws, devouring the blood. They then drag the victim back into their chosen alcove to crush the bones and rend the flesh. Torlakia are extremely agile, and climb, spider-like, over the walls and ceilings of the desecrated tombs which they inhabit. They are blindingly fast, and ferocious, and when enraged (which is whenever they sense life), let loose an unearthly squeal which causes fear in all animals.
Torlakia are not slain by the touch of weapons (save for exceptions mentioned below). When cut to pieces, the pieces will crawl together to form the Torlakia anew. When stabbed, the Torlakia crawl up the spear-shaft to claw out the attacker's eyes. When sliced in two, the top half will crawl to grasp at the prey's legs. Torlakia fear the touch of fire, and of sunlight, both of which do not harm them but drive out their charnel ghosts from their bodies. They love water, which they will enter and lurk in and pollute with the foul fluids which their bodies expel in self-hatred. The Torlakia can be destroyed by the touch of wood, which burns them like acid, by their own swords, which wound them horribly with the slightest touch. But the most sure-fire way to destroy a Torlakia is to show it the corpse of it's master, which it both hates and loves, and when shown this, the grub-headed abomination will tear itself apart in turmoil, vomiting blood to expel evil from itself.
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? Responses (12)-12
Delicously evil! I like the concept a lot, an undead with a twist, and the attention to detail, especially concerning their souls and desires, was great. I also liked how they creatively find a way to hinder you even when chopped to pieces. Overall, a cool creature.
If you like this one, try the Azhag, which is rather similar (but I like the Azhag better than this).
My favorite detail about this one is the part about Torlakia enjoying sitting in water, and the fact that when they are in water, their body expels evil which pollutes the water.
As you can see, I'm proud of my undead. ;)
This is truely a wonderful little undead pain. I too enjoy the water portion. You do not see to many undead that have ticks, and this one is a nice touch. The burning of wood and the wounding by their own weapons is an odd but nice touch as well.
These are Undead that scare me.
An interesting form of undead. Is there a reason they assumed an arachnid/insect type form?
People with insect heads are way cool.
What do they think of other types of Undead?
I would imagine that they don't know/care about other kinds of undead
An interesting undead variant. They cry out for some legendary origins to explain their caterpillar/arachnoid characteristics:
As he sealed the tomb, Tep'ankh invoked the sign of Halshotkush, the insect-headed god of transformation, whose blessing would watch over the dead until their purification was complete...
The vulnerability to wood piques the curiosity as well, but that one is easily understood: The Weavers of Death can only be harmed by the things of life. Wood, ivory, bone, the materials that once held life, only they have the virtue to slay these undead.
Awesome. These guys remind me of a type of creature from the Graham McNeill Warhammer 40,000 novel Dead Sky, Black Sun. In that books, there are these massive flocks of creatures on a Chaos world that are built out of a dark iron framework that is then covered in the flayed skins of criminals. The souls of those very criminals are then trapped inside the creatures, who now hunt anything with a heartbeat relentlessly. They're able to sense the presence of the living by listening to their heartbeat (in the book, the main characters manage to avoid them by using a special Space Marine drill to lower their heartbeat drmatically- one heartbeat nearly got them killed, and the shock of having it shoot back in their system still nearly killed them). Awesome!
My my. Horrible appearance, good back story and interesting weakness to wood.
Remaking the undead, that idea spawned many submissions and opened up the theme for discussion. In the old days undead were viewed as cliche. Good submission, nice details.