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TLDunn213

Necro-Snail/Necro-Spawner

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The term Necro-Snail refers both to the creature and the spells used to create one.  I say spells because, even though they are all the same base enchantment, requiring some bit of a Necro-Snail as the material component, there are several variations that allow the subject to retain greater or lesser amounts of their original being during the transformations. Of which there are three, if everything goes right. 

First is from freshly dead spell subject to Necro-Snail.

Second, once the snail has consumed enough raw materials, into a Necro-Ghoul. More about that stage in a bit.

Third, if all went well, Necro-Spawner

If things did not go well, or if the Necro-Snail was one that formed spontaneously, the third form will be a mongrel amalgam of all the beings that were consumed along the way by both the Snail and Ghoul  forms.

This "final" form being will automatically have the Necro-Snail Enchantment and its skull will transform into a Necro-Snail at death unless steps are taken to prevent it.

 

Description: 

The Snail form is the size of a human skull, having the shape of a normal snail shell in back, and the look of the face bones, (minus the lower jaw) to the front, with the snail body below.

The Ghoul form takes the snail form and places it atop a humanoid body with see through skin and flesh. Which become more opaque over time. The head still looks mostly like a skull shelled snail with the eyestalks protrudingthrough the eyesockets of the skull.

Once the Ghoul form has consumed enough raw materials it becomes a Necro-Spawner. A bald, ear-less humanoid with corpse white skin and a snail shell pattern "tattoo" on the head. The eyes are still eyestalks, although when retracted they look almost like normal eyes. Which can allow these creatures to pass as human around 80 percent of the time.

Sometimes there are runes and other arcane symbols on the head and body. These are the mark of a more complex form of the enchantment which allows the Necromancer to retain far more of their original being than would otherwise be the case.

These beings are insane to one degree or another due to being an amalgam of all the beings that were consumed along the way. In snail form the main drive is to consume as many dead and dieing creatures as possible so as to transform into the next stage.

The Ghoul  form is the most unstable as each fragment attempts to gain control.

The Spawner form tends to be more stable as at this point one fragment has gained control or the fragments have merged into a single mind. Although such control/merger may be incomplete and unstable.

Necro-Snails occur "naturally", or at least spontaneously, along the banks of the Styx. And are sometimes found in the living world at sights of massive death and dying 

The Yun-Xi and their Necromancer allies discovered Necro-Snails during the War and attempted to adapt them for their own ends.

On the whole this did not go well.

The spell and spawn process did allow some Necromancers to escape death by becoming Necro-Spawners without losing too much of themselves along the way.  The other intended use, that of conscripting enemy dead in to the ranks of the Necromancer's army. Was a complete failure, due primarily to the very things they were hoping to exploit. Namely the retention of memory.

One can talk to the dead, with the right spells. But once you make them undead that stops working.

The Necros were seen as a way around this. But the retention of memory and a sense of self lead to  rebellion against their controllers. And the project was mostly abandoned. But no effort was made to clean up the related mess. So there are still Necro-Spawners out there.

And every now and then someone with a strong enough sense of self will come back as a Necro-Spawner  with memories of their former selves. And sometimes they can even be fully restored.

Edited by TLDunn213

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Powers, abilities, and other details.

O.k. first off, as the idea was to weaponize them then it follows that they must have some combat abilities. And they do: all Necro-Snails can generate a stun field out to a ten feet radius. And Necro-Ghouls can fire a stunbolt up to fifty yards. Spawners are often able to cast spells and or use psi-Powers. And both Ghouls and Spawn are able to weild most normal weapons.

Beyond these basics, it's a grab bag, Any spell that can be Cast from a Wand, Rod or Staff was tried. And if the control aspect had worked they would have been quite formidable. Each Spawn could control up to two Ghouls or fifteen Snails or any combination there of. With a Ghoul being able to control five or six Snails.

Each Snail would have from one to three spells inscribed on it, with three or four charges and the ability to absorb incoming spells and or lifeforce  to recharge.

As well as the digestive acids and draining touch that go with their basic feeding process.

The problem, as noted above, was in the control aspect, memory retention linked to how to Snails were made.

There were two ways of making a Necro-Snail. The slow way, which let you customize the spells, and avoidedthe memory retention problem, Well, mostly. Someone with a strong enough sense of self could still be a problem. But the odds were way better this way. But the process was slow, a full day, or more to inscribe the spells needed to make just one Snail.

We'll ignore the time needed to make the ink as it was needed for both methods, and could be made in large batches, assuming you had the ingredients.

The second way used one spell, and a vile of the Ink, to copy the inscription from the casting Spawn onto the snail-to-be. Much faster, but now you're copying the memory boosting Runes.

There is a way around this problem, and I'm not sure why it wasn't used. Likely there is some detail in the process that makes it trickier than it would seem to be at first glance.

The idea is to simply inscribe the Runes you want to use on a skull and use it as your template rather than your own head. But, As I said, there must be some detail to the process that makes this complicated and not the easy answer it seems to be.

 

Edited by TLDunn213

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