T'was sighted first by me, Far afield and away.
A man, or so it seemed, blended to the crowd of the dreary morning day.
So unassuming a man. So plain it burned my eyes
And made me wonder why nobody else saw through the disguise.
Birthed by the necromancer Ilken Lillett and cast away soon after, Scable is a thing not meant to exist. Rejected by his own mother because of the revulsion she felt whenever she looked at him, this creature managed to survive by feeding on rats and other vermin in the slums of the city. Scable is unique in that its own mother slew her unborn child, still in the womb, then brought it back from the dead before giving birth to it. As such, it is undead, yet still grows like a living creature. The skin it's in feels like a layer of clothing over its bones rather than something that belongs to it. Scable looks almost human; the only real difference seen is that its movements are slightly erratic and jerky, as if it's not quite comfortable in the body it's in. Additionally, Scables skin often suffers lesions and boils, which quickly heal over; a sign of a body at war with itself.
Â I saw it again, three moons past whilst strolling home at dusk.
The beast, so like a man, seemed more the beast; it curls my lips with disgust.
For no man wears his skin like a cloak; The thought of it makes me wonder
Why people avert their eyes instead of seeing what lies under.
It should not live. It should not live.
In recent years, Scable has grown to adulthood. It lives on the streets of the city, dressed as a man with a long coat, short-rimmed hat, gloves and boots - it covers much of its skin to hide its pockmarked features. Scable has a potent ability which allows him to survive; his birthright. Being of both life and death, Scable is something which shouldn't exist, and because of this it triggers something primal in the brain of all things living; because it shouldn't exist, it is treated like it doesn't. People find themselves unable to focus onto this plain-looking man - their eyes teeter in another direction, and if they are walking towards it, they will find their path unconsciously altering so as to not run into Scable. Using this trait, Scable has remained undetected. Until it needs to feed.
Things are moving, writhing in the dark. Things of claw and tooth and beak.
No solace is found in the day, for the sunlight to me is sickly; weak.
Where have all the people gone? I hardly see a soul alive.
And when I catch an hour of sleep The Watcher stands in my dreams. Waiting.
Scable is a predator and its favourite meat is human. Its survival trait is also the tool it uses to hunt. When Scable finds a potential victim, it will stalk it, unseen for some weeks. Then, once it learns where the victim lives, eats, sleeps and works, it will finally allow the victim to see him. Forcing somebody to truly observe him will cause a slow chain of events in the victims mind. At first, the victim will simply feel uncomfortable with the sight of the human-like creature. He will look just like any other person, except the sight of him simply feels... wrong. The victim will not be able to get the thought of it out of his or her mind and over the course of the next few weeks, their mind will begin to give in; it will start experiencing other things which should not be. whispers in the dark, claws dancing on the back of their neck, things just out of range of the senses. Light will seem less bright, even to the point where it will seem like night all the time, and it becomes harder to notice the normal things in life (such as other people around you). Paranoia grows steadily and if left unchecked will grow into full-blown insanity over a month or so. At this point, locked in his or her room with their mind shattered beyond repair, Scable will enter, and will begin eating it alive - the victim too insane to know whether or not he is truly being eaten or if it's all in their head.
Have pity on a man who has seen such a sight;
I am ever alone. All Alone. On this eternal night.
Watcher comes now. It comes to set me free
Of its curse of dark and emptiness and endless misery.
Scable has to remain near at all times and continue giving the victim glimpses of itself each day or two, otherwise the mind will repair itself. If the victim or their comrades happen to realize what is happening, they will have the chance to spot Scable and either kill it or at least scare it away; because once someone knows of its existence, they may be able to concentrate and focus enough to see it. Killing it would not be too difficult a task - while it does have the strength of the undead, it does not have any additional abilities which would aid it in direct confrontation. It does scare easily once it loses control of any situation however, so in most cases, Scable will run if it's threatened with death.
Scable can think for itself and it can feel - it has a rudimentary set of emotions that allow it to experience hatred, fear and lust. And while a bite or scratch from Scable will not transmit his undeath, there is one way that it can spread itself; Scable has been known to force itself on women, all its necessary 'equipment' does function. If Scable impregnates a woman, she will give birth to the same kind of abomination.
Additionally, Scable has a fear of pregnant women and Mothers, and will always flee from them. An unhappy remnant of his rejected childhood. Being in the proximity of these people will ward Scable away.
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? Responses (7)
I would never use this guy as a session's focus, but he makes an appropriately creepy thing to have lurking in the dark corners of a city. Things that go bump in the night should NOT be things you expect. He fits the bill, is what I'm saying. He's the boogeyman, director's cut.
Also, eww. Zombie-abortion rapist man.
So sad for him to be outcast by his mother. A typical poor orphan story where they grow up into greatness. Oh, wait, no its not. This is a twisted zombie child playing with his human food!
Not sure where you come up with this stuff, and so quickly, but I like it!
I like the functionality of Scable's borderline Life condition, how his skin feels like clothing and how by being such an abomination that common folk will go out of their way to avoid him. I do have a few questions:
You have stated that Scable is both alive and undead, can he be killed by mundane means? If so, it would seem to make him a fairly weak sort of undead (which I am fine with, just want to clarify)
What about clerics, holy places, clerical turning abilities, and other banes of the undead? Will be a holy priest or an evil priest be affected the same way by his natural obfuscation? Does Scable avoid churches and graveyards?
Dietary concerns: how often does Scable have to eat to maintain himself? Does he have to follow his danse macabre for each victim or can on occasion can he say screw it, knock someone out with a rock and start eating them unconscious?
Scable is not meant to be a creature of particular physical strength, although he would be a tad stronger than humans. He is meant more to add a psycological element into a scenario. It would take more effort to kill him than it would a normal human, but by no means is he meant to be an invincible monster - his best defence is going undected by the general populace.
As for holy places and clerical powers and such - I hadn't actually considered it. But I would say that Scable's human side would provide him with a high resistance to typical holy powers and sanctuaries, however he may naturally avoid those places because the undead part of him would make him feel wrong for being there. I'd like to think priests,necromancers and such would still not be able to notice Scable - or perhaps only detect a faint sense of wrongness around - because Scable's existence is still as an enigma to the holy or unholy, and their brains would still reject the idea of it.
He would have to eat perhaps every several months to keep his living flesh regenerating, lest he will rot away. It's not in Scable's nature to go caveman on a bloke and start eating, even though his being undetected would aid him in that - his instinct is to make the situation as safe for him as possible - so to break the mind of his prey so they don't fight back, plus isolate themselves would be ideal for him.
Although I wouldn't say that he is beyond Flights of fury that will go against his instincts and judgement; especially if it's a female involved and he is feeling particularly... amorous.
Good questions, Scras! There's a lot I hadn't considered in this - i'm still a bit rusty, I fear.
He has seen the Underverse, he is a Holy Half-Dead
An interesting being - I could see him being used as an NPC in an appropriately dark settings, perhaps as a rather odd 'fixer'. His 'diet' being simply a vice one would need to be aware of when dealing with him.
He could be sought by necromancers if they were made aware of his existence - his natural 'cloaking' power being something they would seek to emulate for their own undead assassins.