Monday, July 9, 2012

Corpuscular Sludge

Leeches, Barbers and Bleeders don't always dispose of the toxic waste and tainted byproducts of their unsavory trade, and there are those Slaughter Houses along the Low Streets that have grown quite notorious for the shuddersome things glimpsed as they move about in the dreary gloom after the Killing Floors have been cleared and the doors barred for the night...

Corpuscular Sludge
No. Enc.: 1 (1d4)
Alignment: n/a below 4 HD
Movement: 1' per HD
Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2+
Attacks: 1
Damage: See Below
Save: F3
Morale: 3

Vicious and viscous animate masses of half-clotted and commingled blood originally extracted from Refugees, Foreigners, Patients, Unfortunates and others. Corpuscular Sludges arise from the improperly disposed-of waste-products of the Bleeder's trade, just as certain other less pleasant things have grown-up around the shoddy practices of the various Clinics and Unlicensed Surgical Parlors and their own malpractice in how they handle the waste-matter and fluids collected in the course of their work, but that's another matter, for another day.

Corpuscular Sludges are made up of the left-over quantities of the blood harvested from the dregs of society, all of it carelessly poured together into whatever empty receptacles are at hand and then unceremoniously dumped into a near-by cellar, boarded-over well, or similar spot where it can be left for someone else to worry about. Sometimes nothing too terrible happens, other than perhaps getting fined by the Street Patrol for not making the appropriate contribution. As long as no one does anything as stupid as set the stuff out in the way of the Sewer Militia, there's rarely any trouble. It is when this stuff gets dumped into a cellar full of Spectral Brine or worse, a Gobbling Grout, Loathsome Mass, or Wet Spot that things get overly nasty. The worst cases, most often in the vicinity of one of the Asylums, are suspected of contributing to the development of the so-called 'Scarlet Shadows,' but that has never been conclusively proven. There are muttered notions of some sort of a connection between these things and Sanguinovores, but no Midwife has come out and said as much, so far...

These horrid sludges quiver and jiggle grotesquely as they slither hither and yon in search of fresh blood to befoul, taint and contaminate. Unlike other predatory slimes, oozes or Jellies, these things do not damage their prey, nor do they attempt to kill anyone, at least not directly, not by brute violence. Instead, these foul blotches of scabrous filth attempt to infect their victims, to infiltrate their circulatory systems and corrupt them from within. They poison the blood, pollute the marrow, toxify their victims from the inside out. A few have learned how to suddenly and horribly coagulate the blood of those they've infected so that all their veins and vessels seize-up as the blood turns to a thick tarry slurry.

Fortunately, Corpuscular Sludges are completely unintelligent, lacking all but the most rudimentary sense (they can only perceive other quantities of blood, possibly by means of some sort of biometric resonance effect), and are quite lazy. They are far more likely to wallow in the fetid drains and half-clogged sumps of a Butcher's abattoir or to float placidly atop a Culler's Charnel-Vat as to bother to seek out a source of blood that might actually defend itself.

Sneak Attack
Corpuscular Sludges attack by sloshing up from the floor or other horizontal surface. They cover approximately one foot square per HD and have a vertical splash-range of 1d4 inches per HD. They prefer to lounge sedately amidst filth and rancid fluids and to then lunge upwards at their potential victims from below.

On a successful attack the victim must make a Save or become infected with the creature's terrible blood-borne toxins. A second Save is then attempted, success means that the victim is incapacitated with a raging fever for the next 3d6 hours and they suffer the loss of 1 point of STR for the next 3 weeks. Failing this Save results in the victim losing 1 point of STR every hour until either they reach zero and die or the infection is halted or removed by medicine, potions, or other curatives. Each hour, before losing the point of STR, the victim is entitled to roll another Save. If they succeed they can lose one point of STR permanently and be cured, or they can fight the infection, retain the point of STR and have to endure another full hour of debilitating fever followed by another Save/potential STR loss.

Thankfully, Corpuscular Sludges tend to be reasonably rare, except in certain alleys or some of the broken-down palaces and asylums in the Burned Over District. The recent reports of a massive Coagulance bursting loose from the cellars beneath Drupierre's Fighting Academy are probably just a freak instance of a Corpuscular Sludge of extreme size. The Sewer Militia will take care of it soon enough, no doubt.

3 comments:

  1. I often run a game called Unhallowed Metropolis that has a wee bit of an undead problem. I think with some small work I can stat this creeping mess for that game. If you don't mind that is? It#s just a very cool idea indeed.

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  2. @Shortymonster: Thanks for stopping by, and for the kind words. Is Unhallowed Metropolis your homebrew campaign? If you want to revise one of our critters for use in your personal game, that's cool--and we'd really like to hear about it. Maybe you could write-up a play report that showcases how the monster did in your game session, that would be a fun thing to feature on our blog! If you're asking to convert one of our creatures over to another RPG system, then we have a few questions for you and the game. Contact us by email via the Contact Us Page. We're open to collaboration, and expanding into new game systems. And we're open to guest bloggers as well.

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  3. Pardon our lack of familiarity with Unhallowed Metropolis. We've done a little research and this does in fact look like a game we could possibly support. We're looking into the possibility of converting some of our Wermspittle monsters into a format appropriate for Unhallowed Metropolis. Thanks for bringing this particular RPG to our notice.

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