6 – Flesh Corruptor

Class Concept: Flesh Corruptor

Table of Contents

I. Introduction

II. Path of the Flesh Corruptor

III. The Arsenal of a Flesh Corruptor

IV. Skills, Techniques, and Abilities

– 1. Corrupting Elixir

– 2. Prehensile Lashers

– 3. Corrupting Magics – Local and Distant

– 4. Heroic Movements

– 5. Living Armor Creation and Maintenance

V. Legacy of the Flesh Corruptor

– 1. The Good Doctor

– 2. Circus Catastrophe

– 3. Metamorphosis

– 4. Ultimatum

– 5. A Dragon’s Eternity

I. Introduction

This is a concept for a new class for any game where it would make sense. The concept came to me when pondering an amalgamation of various magics and abilities, until it took shape into a unified concept for a complete class. The concept is in two parts, where the first half addressed the functionality of the class, while the second half tells what is known of the tale of the very first Flesh Corruptor.

This is a class that could potentially fit within a game, either for players or as a very limited NPC-only class that is seen very rarely. It is almost enough content to use as the basis for an entirely new single-player game. There is a great deal of risk-reward, as all but the Corrupting Elixir and mastery of Corrupting Magics will be lost at the moment that the Flesh Corruptor is slain, and they will have to rebuild their living arsenal from scratch.

One other drawback of the Flesh Corruptor is their limitations in dealing with NPCs who are not battle-hardened and cannot bear the sight (or smell) of a Flesh Corruptor in full gear. The creatures intent may be noble, but their abominable well-armed appearance will often limit the amount by which anyone will interact with the Flesh Corruptor. Alone in the wilderness, this can be an advantage – even bandits aren’t brave enough to see what the thing they see as a monstrosity could actually do to them. This frightening appearance is lessened by the presence of one or more partners, unless they are also Flesh Corruptors.

When I use the word corruption, I mean it in the context of altering something from a state of normalcy to abnormality. In this case, it is magically and chemically changing the material to a state where the effects of death and decomposition are altered and unable to be fulfilled, thus locking it into a state of being alive due to death being corrupted and unavailable.

II. The Path of the Flesh Corruptor

The Flesh Corruptor uses a certain brand of magic and techniques that are generally considered to be forbidden due to the unsightly and brutal methods used to succeed, as well as the extreme risk involved with them. One who is trained by a grandmaster has a chance at utilizing the power and potential of a Flesh Corruptor, while anyone trained by less than a grandmaster should prepare for a painful and tragic death when their elixir fails or the living flesh turns against them.

Flesh Corruptors specialize in brewing and utilizing Corrupting Elixirs, as well as preserving live flesh and tissue to forge their living arsenal of dismembered parts. Corrupting Elixirs are designed so that they can be consumed and exuded from the Flesh Corruptor, as well as having properties that allow it to destroy inert organic material while preserving living organic material in an undying state. Of the living arsenal, the preferred form of weapon is a Prehensile Lasher, such as a tentacle or a Manticore’s tail, which must be coated in Corrupting Elixir immediately upon being severed from the beast to preserve it in a living state for use as a weapon. In addition to their arsenal, Flesh Corruptors have Corruption Magics available, allowing them to induce a variety of unfavorable bodily effects on targets by touch or even at a distance.

The powers of Flesh Corruption aren’t inherently evil, but the ability to obliterate inert organic materials and use of living parts for equipment generally ranges from off-putting to horrifying, especially due to the appearance of the Living Armor and Prehensile Lashers. A Flesh Corruptor must walk their path knowing that they will be refused at the gates of towns and turned away by strangers in need of aid, and must be forgiving of the understandable biases of common folk and common creatures. A Flesh Corruptor must be self-sustaining. Evil creatures are more inclined to seek the power of the Flesh Corruptor, but without proper training they can be just a big a threat to themselves and their allies as the targets they are fighting.

The power of a Flesh Corruptor is tied to their life force. If it is extinguished, even for a moment, the link is broken. When the link is broken, all of the living material which the Flesh Corruptor had dominion over will immediately succumb to the effects of rapid dissolving, as the Corrupting Elixir will now see them as dead and inorganic. This will often deter a Flesh Corruptor from engaging in battles where they may be slain, though some are undaunted by the thought of death for them and their stolen articles of living matter.

III. The Arsenal of a Flesh Corruptor

Living Armor – Flesh Corruptors are unlike any other combatant, as their Living Armor is derived from the preserved living flesh of other creatures. The ability to collect these articles of gear and enhance them in various ways is a unique process, but a necessary one to maximize their combat prowess, as well as aiding them with leveraging the effects of consuming a Corrupting Elixir. There are two main components to Living Armor, the first being the base material, the second being enhancements. Base material consists of large patches of flesh that were ripped off live beasts and preserved in a living state with the Corrupting Elixir. Enhancements include any additional spines, scales, horns, or other features which are added to the surface of the Living Armor. The result is a symbiotic armor that protects the user while helping to provide an avenue for their abilities to be utilized.

Prehensile Lasher – Created in the same way as the Living Armor is the favored weapon, the Prehensile Lasher. This weapon is created by slicing off the proper appendage and treating it immediately with Corrupting Elixir. The tissue becomes locked into a living state that prevents it from being allowed to die, as well as allowing the Flesh Corruptor to gain dominion over it. The result is a deadly weapon that can grab and contain enemies, quickly jab at nearby targets, deliver powerful lashes, and even tear armor asunder. Tentacles with stickers are one preferred form of weapon, as they can easily grab targets and tear objects apart. Tails equipped with stingers or barbs are also heavily used, as the ability to strike with a piercing jab that delivers a deadly toxin is exceptionally useful. In addition to delivering a strike, a Flesh Corruptor can use their attacks to inflict Corruption Magic that requires direct contact onto the target, further enhancing the deadliness of the attacks.

Corrupting Elixir – The most important thing for any Flesh Corruptor is the ability to create and utilize a powerful Corrupting Elixir. This powerful brew is designed as a magical substance which preserves living tissue in a living state. However, it will cause acid-like decay and ruin to organic matter which is no longer connected to a life source or alive on its own, such as parchment, wood hafts, and leather armor. This is used by the Flesh Corruptor to preserve flesh, skin, hide, scales, or just about anything else, in a living state that renders it subject to the will of the Flesh Corruptor. The Corrupting Elixir can be consumed by its creator while channeling certain magical energies, and the corrupting power it contains seeps in before being disbursed throughout the armor or released as a type of attack. This can enhance the armor, exude toxins to damage close attackers, or perform various other effects. If used carefully, the Corrupting Elixir can be used to temporarily stave off bleeding from wounds for the user or others, as well as locking the damaged tissue into a live preserved state where it can resist the ffects of further damage until the effects wear off.

Corrupting Magic – The basis for a Flesh Corruptor’s techniques involving power of dominion over prepared living flesh, as well as half of what is needed to create the Corrupting Elixir, is their control over Corrupting Magic. This magic is mostly used or delivered by direct contact, but some magic spells can be delivered over a distance. Preserving a piece of live tissue with a Corrupting Elixir requires direct contact, as well as use of their own elixir, meaning that nobody else can do this task for the Flesh Corruptor and they must prepare material themselves. The ability to infuse proper corrupting energy into a Corrupting Elixir is a combination of using the proper ingredients as well as attuning it with the proper magic. Failing to do this results in a horrible death, raging from exploding into a cloud of toxic bile to turning into an unstoppable rampaging monster that attacks everything in sight, but it is fortunate that players who walk this path will only attempt these deadly brews with the training of a true grandmaster.

Arsenal Configurations – There are three arsenal configurations which one will normally see on a Flesh Corruptor.

  • The first is wielding a Prehensile Lasher in their primary hand, while wielding a Corrupting Elixir in their off hand. This allows them to use both schools of Flesh Corruptor powers, as the Prehensile Lashers are not effective for managing potions and Corrupting Elixirs.
  • The second is wielding two Prehensile Lashers. This doubles their ability to strike at enemies or attempt to contain them, and makes it easier to constrict a single target by wrapping them up and squeezing them to death.
  • The third is wielding a Corrupting Elixir with another item. A shield could be paired with this to help the character get close enough to unleash brutal corrupting attacks on a target. A melee weapon could be used to rapidly utilize harm done to enemy armor by the elixir, or aid with acquisition of a new Prehensile Lasher. An item that helps to channel magic may also be used to extend the range or improve the potency of Corruption Magics.

IV. Skills, Techniques, and Abilities

1. Corrupting Elixir

Below are techniques which may be utilized by consuming a portion of the Corrupting Elixir. The design of the elixir will determine the specific effects that each ability will do, and it is up to the Flesh Corruptor to make the elixir to their particular specifications.

Metamorph – This is the ability to change or improve features of the Living Armor and Prehensile Lashers to better fit the situation, or to provide enhancements if the previous metamorph has worn off and decayed. These include adding spikes and spines to the surface, adding tough scales or even hard shell-like material to the exterior, and other physical alterations that can improve offensive or defensive capabilities.

Exude – This is the ability to produce and emit different chemical substances. Toxins delivered through skin contact, slippery goo that makes it tough to land a solid blow on them, corrosive gas that melts through flesh and armor alike, and other various utilities and attacks.

Risk – This is the ability to assume the risk of bodily harm for the chance to unleash a devastating attack. Generally these attacks are in the form of projectile vomit, using the Flesh Corruptor’s own natural body as the mechanism to deliver the attack. Other forms of attacks are also possible, but generally they are less effective (and often less appropriate) than the projectile vomiting of deadly material.

Preserve Wounds – When a mighty wound has been delivered to an ally, the elixir can be used to preserve the wound in a state where its harm will be rendered unimportant to the wounded for a period of time. This happens in various ways, but usually it leads to the wounded recipient of aid being able to return to battle a bit tougher to kill than when they went into it. However this is a dangerous technique to use when cloth, wood, or leather obstructs the wounded area, as those materials will be destroyed and potentially compromise the integrity of their overall defenses.

Ruin – This is when the elixir is used to dissolve organic material that has no life source and is thus dead matter. This can be used to damage the weapons and armor of assailants, destroy barricades made of wood or bone, quickly remove nets, and even dissolve decaying undead creatures with ease. All elixirs will do this, but can be designed for specificity to be effective for certain materials.

2. Prehensile Lashers

Lash – This is an area-covering basic attack. It is not fast enough to combo other attacks from it, but it is possible to continue rapidly lashing a target until they are out of range. Lash will knock targets backwards along with dealing damage, making it easy to repel a group of enemies with a well-timed barrage of lashes.

Jab – This is a basic thrust attack, quick and precise. It has decent range and speed, and can the tip of the lasher can further improve the damage-dealing capabilities. This can be used to combo into a Grab or Disarm attack, or continued with more jabs in repetition to chisel away at the target.

Lunge – This is like a Jab, but with longer range and further striking intent. Any enhancements to the tip of the lasher will allow it to do even more damage. It takes a bit longer to recover from a Lunge than a Jab, so a Jab cannot combo from a Lunge, but a Grab or Disarm can still be used after.

Grab – After Jab or Lunge, or within lash range, it is possible to grab an opponent. This starts to contain the enemy, making it awkward for them to move away or launch attacks properly. Some lashers or abilities can inflict damage while the Grab is being maintained. This can be used to combo a Pull.

Pull – Used either after a Grab, or when the enemy is in close proximity. It is possible to Pull an enemy close. This engages a Grab if it is not already engaged, and will disrupt the victim from whatever they had been doing. This can be followed in a combo by Ensnare or Twirling Drop.

Ensnare – This can be leveraged off of a Pull, or simply performed on an enemy that is in colliding proximity. The enemy is grabbed and wrapped up, restricting their ability to maneuver or deliver a solid blow. Anything on the surface of the Flesh Corruptor will be affecting the Ensnared victim, allowing them to be contained and slowly killed. This can combo into Constrict, Twirling Drop, or Tear Asunder.

Constrict – This is an attempt to squeeze the target until they die from being crushed or having deadly features adorning the Flesh Corruptor cut in deeper. This is physically taxing to maintain, and may exhaust the Flesh Corruptor after a long time. This can combo into Twirling Drop or Tear Asunder.

Twirling Drop – When an enemy has been grabbed and ensnared, one easy way to inflict damage and disorientation on the victim is to dump them violently on the ground with a spiraling motion. This prevents any sort of safe-fall position from being utilized, causing the target to be damaged and stunned by the uncontrollable impact.

Tear Asunder – This is an attempt to rip apart the target, either to destroy their armor, or collect fresh skins or features by ripping them off the living creature. The off-hand is generally used to contain the target while the primary hand is trying to take a piece off the victim. If it is successful, the target is pushed sideways with something being ripped off, if it fails it may still do some damage and they target will still be pushed.

Disarm – This is an attempt to dislodge the target’s equipment from their hands. This can come after a Jab or Lunge, or can be performed on its own within Jab range.

Sweep – This attack is an attempt to grab one of the target’s legs to pull them up off their feet. If it is successful, the target will be violently knocked over, with a chance that their head will slam into the ground. This can be performed within Lash range or closer.

Can Chain to Tear Asunder

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Combo Chain: Jab/Lunge → Grab → Pull → Ensnare → Constrict

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Can Chain to Twirling Drop

Grab, Pull, and Ensnare can also be used as entry moves in the combo.

3. Corrupting Magics – Local and Distant

Local Corrupting Magics are the versions which can only be used through local contact, though this contact can be extended with a Prehensile Lasher. The effects of the magic are channeled by the Flesh Corruptor while they attack, so each attack performs an attempt to use the corrupting magic successfully on the target.

Distant Corrupting Magics can be used differently, but are also more limited. While some of the more potent magics are transferred through touch alone, some quick magics can be used to temporarily nullify enemies efforts in various ways. These spells can also be used through contact with a higher success rate, but a strong enough spellcaster can have similar efficacy of these at a distance as with local contact.

Sneeze – This magic causes the target to lose focus for a moment and violently sneeze, halting their current action and causing them to pause for a second. This can create opportunities to exploit lowered defenses, as well as stopping a spellcaster in mid-spell. This has a moderate chance of success with distant use, but the target will start to resist the effects with continuous usage, at which point local contact or a different magic would be necessary.

Vomit – This causes the target to stop what they are doing to vomit, then catch their breath afterwards. This can put a target out of the fight for a moment, or make them vulnerable for a period of time. This has a low chance of success with distant use, but repeated attempts will build upon each other and eventually take effect with enough effort.

Indigestion – This causes a creature who has recently eaten to suffer ill effects within their gut. This can cause painful bloating and cramping, which can slow down an assailant or cause them to take longer to complete every action. This can only be delivered through local contact.

Hunger – This causes a creature who has not eaten for some time to start suffering the ill effects of hunger and starvation, even if they aren’t actually out of nutrients to keep them going. This can cause combatants to retreat, or cause them to attack with full ferocity if you are their intended meal, but however they respond will be affected by diminishing strength as the effects of hunger set in. This can only be delivered through contact.

Illness – This is an attempt to throw the target’s immune system out of line, attempting to turn elements of it against the rest of the body. This results in the sudden onset of illness, and repeated uses of this magic on the target will advance the illness further. It may not be healthy to eat meat from a creature killed in this way, or safe to use their flesh for Living Armor or Prehensile Lashers. This can only be delivered through contact.

Hallucination – This attempts to cause the target to experience hallucinations, by altering chemicals in their bloodstream to ones with hallucinogenic properties. If successful, the target will begin to see things that aren’t there, think they know things they don’t know, think they can do things they cannot do, and their ability to do anything in a meaningful way becomes significantly hindered. This can have side effects, causing the target to go into a berserk rampage of blind rage, or somehow making the target able to anticipate and dodge attacks that they normally would not. This must be engaged with contact, but it can be sustained and increased in intensity through additional distant uses.

Normalize – Remove harmful bodily effects from the target. This is used to aid the Flesh Corruptor or their allies with any abnormalities to their overall health. Distant use requires more effort and produces worse results, and being in close proximity is ideal to help with diagnosis of the symptoms being suffered.

Unmorph – This is an ability that allows the Flesh Corruptor to pull a shapeshifter out of their shifted form and back to their normal form. This can only be be done through local contact, and only works if the thing which causes them to be shapeshifted is removed or unavailable after they have shifted back to their natural state, otherwise they will simply revert to the shapeshifting form they were in previously.

4. Heroic Movement Techniques

A. Diagonal Vault – When getting close to a wall, a Prehensile Lasher can be used to thrust upward and / or forward off the wall to continue moving in their desired direction. Doing this between a narrow chasm can be used to ascend the chasm with ease.

B. Grab & Swing – Overhead objects, including stone ceilings and archways, tree brances, bridges, and other features, can be used to grab onto and swing across like a rope swing. They may jump off at the end of the swing, or stay in position to try to find a better jump, or simply dangle in position until they are ready to drop.

C. Double Grab & Swing – This is able to be performed with two Prehensile Lashers equipped. Instead of breaking contact and leaping forward like the Grab & Swing is used for, this method doesn’t require contact to be broken, allowing for a more predictable and metered pace of travel, as well as the ability to move slowly above an area instead of dramatically swinging and launching forward.

D. Fly Paper – Some Living Armor surfaces may allow for the Flesh Corruptor to simply stick themselves in a stationary position on a wall until they decide to be mobile again. A Diagonal Vault or Grab & Swing can be followed off this with ease to get movement going again.

5. Living Armor Creation and Maintenance

Living Armor is a craft of its own kind. The ability to create Living Armor is through the use of the Corrupting Elixir, Corrupting Magic, and samples of hide or other parts taken from creatures, a suit of armor and weaponry is possible to create. Once a piece of living material has been prepared, the raw side can gently bond with the creator, and will not damage them if it is removed, but will not be removed with any ease unless by creator’s will.

This means that the goal is full body coverage by any means, and keeping materials in a state of good repair across the entire body. The living equipment can be put on in a very piecemeal way, making it possible to improve protection in deficient areas without having to replace everything. Maintaining it can be done by eating and drinking while the equipment is being worn, or designing and utilizing a Corrupting Elixir that can promote regeneration on its own.

In addition to surface, other parts can be used to add improvements. Prepared sensory organs can be utilized to enhance the user’s senses in various ways, including making night vision or thermal vision possible for someone with conventional eyes. Spikes, spines, glands, plates, and various other offensive and defensive features can also be prepared and added to the equipment, though the areas it is being attached to must be large enough to take in the addition in full, rather than spanning across two or more pieces.

Through creative use of materials and additions across many types of creatures, along with utilizing the Corrupting Elixir to make it more deadly or defensive in battle, makes it a unique and powerful way to gather and upgrade an arsenal.

V. Legacy of the Flesh Corruptor

Little is known about the first Flesh Corruptor, Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh, but a few parts of their history have been preserved in moderate detail over the years. Locations are not known, but the key events that occurred over a century ago are still known to scholars and historians. Below is the most complete record of these key events, which are thought to have happened somewhere between 100-110 years ago.

1. The Good Doctor

Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh had developed great renown for their ability to mend flesh, cure ailments, and brew the most exquisite potions. The middle-aged woman had dabbled in magic and practical medicine to aid their understanding of potion-making, and had ascended in each to a level of unrivaled excellence. The good doctor took up practice due to her own personal fears of death and dying, and dedicated her life to studying the preservation of life itself.

This meant training a new team of healers to replace her, who she selected from the best and brightest of the volunteers who came forward to take on the task. Two years were spent getting each and every one of them a proper education in magic for healing, conventional techniques for healing, and brewing potions for healing wounds and remedying other ailments. After training what she decided would be enough disciples to replace her need in the local society, Medoket began following up on some loose ends that she’d come across in her research. Every thread that was left hanging was explored, theorized, and experimented on, until conclusive results could be determined and reproduced with success.

Dr. Gidzmuh continued down a new line of research, in order to determine what methods are possible to preserve life in a living state. She found that life itself was not a scalable value, but more of a binary analog, where any amount of life or no amount of life were the only two states which organic matter could exist. This also led to research in the transitive and communicative properties of life, determining that a conduit between a living being could be enough to help dying tissue stave off death and decomposition. The conduit could even be made to work remotely, though remotely it would only sustain life rather than allowing it to be interacted with by the one whose life is sustaining it.

Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh was finally ready to take all this new research to experimentation, to see if it would be viable for medical practice. A new type of potion was brewed, equal parts magic and chemistry, to create an elixir that could be used to establish and maintain a living conduit between themselves and the tissue of other living beings. This was called the Elixir of Communicable Life. A test would be needed to try this new potion and its effects, but Medoket had never seen battle once before in their life, so the idea of attempting to test this experimental system on a wild creature didn’t seem like a worthwhile prospect. Above all else, she realized that her fear of death had shifted to a fear of not completing this new research before eventually dying.

2. Circus Catastrophe

By a stroke of bittersweet fortune, a Circus came to the city where Medoket lived. The Circus was celebrated by all, as it gave people a chance to see spectacular feats of entertainment. The Manticore Tamer’s performance hinges on the Manicore being doped up beforehand to allow for safe handling, but the dose that was used was apparently not strong enough. The handler was ill-prepared for what happened when the cage was opened, finding in horror that the beast had not been adequately subdued at about the same time as their head was being cleaved from their body by the gaping maw of the beast. Soldiers quickly rushed in to help, while Medoket rushed in to see if she could do anything to try to save the decapitated Manticore handler.

By the time she fought through the retreating crowd and reached the handler’s corpse, death had already set in. She tried using the elixir to establish a conduit anyhow, but it failed to produce the desired result, and instead began to melt away the body of the deceased trainer. Cursing and screaming at the elixir didn’t make it work either, but it did draw the Manticore’s attention towards the frustrated doctor. The creature pounced on her, leaping through a wall of sturdy soldiers to pin her down. The breath of the beast was most foul, and the fear of dying before completing this research became overwhelming.

Before the claws got a chance to dig deeply into Medoket’s shoulders, she tried something that she’d never tried before, channeling magic through localized contact. She quickly focused and gave it an attempt, trying to tickle the lungs and throat of the creature to agitate some reaction. This made the beast pause before raising up to let loose a loud mucus-spraying sneeze. The beast was stunned by this odd turn of events, but had less than a moment to contemplate it before it reeled back and thrashed with a deafening screech. The Manticore move away from Medoket and turned once again towards the soldiers to attack them with even more ferocity – but without its tail, which was severed by a precise slash of a halberd by one of the soldiers.

Seeing the massive stinger flopping and trashing about gave Medoket an idea, and she quickly leaped upon the flailing appendage to douse it in the Elixir of Communicable Life. While the handler was dead by the time she got to it, this Manticore tail was still alive and moving, still able to accept the establishment of the conduit. And this time, it took hold, but Medoket had no idea what the conduit would actually do for the tail, or for her.

One by one the soldiers fell or retreated, leaving only a few of the bravest and most powerful standing. The Manticore had been wounded heavily, but the attempted doping for the performance had fully worn off, leaving it in a state of ferocious desperation. Seeing the soldiers closing in, the beast once again leaped towards Dr. Gidzmuh, who was in the process of inspecting the point of severance on the tail now that it had been locked to her own life force.

Without thought, acting only on unknown instinct, Medoket found herself thrusting the stinger towards the Manticore in a way that would normally only occur if it was still attached to its body. It snapped forward and pierced the beast’s heart, delivering a fatal dose of its own neurotoxin directly to the bloodstream. The massive beast staggered, looking at Medoket with a gaze of fear and confusion, before slumping over to die. After a soldier severed the beast’s head, there was no celebration of victory, only a count of the dead and dying. Medoket hid the tail under a bench and tended to the wounded masses, once again energized in finding that their research had finally come to fruition.

3. Metamorphosis

Continuing to research the detached Manticore tail drew a great deal of criticism and fear from townsfolk. They demanded that Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh, their revered healer and doctor of many years, must move to a new structure on the edge of the city before they may continue their research, as they fear the Manticore tail could somehow become animate and attack them or somehow summon more abominations. The alternative was the choice to be cast into exile.

Medoket took the first choice, establishing a new laboratory in the new building, and setting out to continue the research. The Circus incident instantly hardened the spirit of the good doctor, giving her confidence to continue the research and even pursue lucrative avenues of collecting live samples. She set up a series of traps near the laboratory, as well as a few in the wild, which were meant to help with capturing new specimen for experimentation.

Before setting out to the wilderness, she took the time to understand what the tail responds to, how it interprets her instincts and senses into taking action, and began to learn how to control the stolen stinger. She also found that it would not regenerate any harm it sustained or venom it could carry unless she was in contact with it while consuming and digesting food. She found that she began to rely on it, and she became inseparable from it.

When some of the traps started to work, and she could collect live specimen, Medoket would get to work with researching them. She found that a live insect which was fully coated with the elixir would live an exponentially long time compared to their normal lifespan, so long that she wasn’t sure if they’d eventually die or if they’d live until the end of her own life. She did not have dominion over the insect though, not even with physical contact. However, an insect prepared in this way could still die by being destroyed. She also found that wounds on creatures could be locked into a state where they don’t heal but also don’t bleed, working as a temporary remedy that can then be supplemented by healing magic or healing potions.

Growing curious about the effects, Medoket consumed some of the elixir in various different ways, producing interesting results. Depending on the magic energy she was channeling for herself, the elixir would have a different effect. One less appealing effect was projectile vomiting a potent acid. One more appealing effect was to be able to cause any damage inflicted on her living armor and prehensile lashers to regenerate immediately, allowing the armor to offer more protection than usual.

While conducting this research, she also experimented with using the skins of tougher creatures she’d gathered and forming a type of armor out of it. This armor-making process was a grisly sight, as the creatures she’d used for the materials were also used for experimentation in living with certain important parts removed and how that affected creatures. The various living skins didn’t need to be sewn together, as they can congeal to the surface of the skin of the one whose life force sustains them, as well as being removed at will. The unfashionable but functional armor was paired by various new prehensile and coiling appendages, from tails to tentacles to a beheaded snake.

4. Ultimatum

A bright summer’s day helped a watchtower guard spot a horrible, twisted creature leaving the laboratory on the edge of the city. This monstrosity was Medoket, who was venturing out with her newly found equipment to set out for some of the lesser-checked traps. None of the traps yielded any results, one had been smashed open from within, and another from the outside, but none of the rest had anything either. Upon returning home, she found a small army waiting to greet her, with arrows drawn and spears forward. The captain ordered her to come no further. She demanded to be let back in the laboratory. The captain didn’t even see her tiny wrinkled face through the massive fleshy pauldrons she was wearing, and was even more horrified when he found that it was the recent experimentation of their former doctor.

While she was away, the captain personally opened the door and gazed upon the experimentation himself. The creatures living in what appeared to be a horrid state, the collection of living skins and appendages laid out across many tables, and an alchemy set that looks like it gets used frequently. He first referred to what his lookout described the Flesh Corruptor, which was the phrase being thrown around by the soldiers as they waited for what they though was a monstrous creature to return.

The captain would not honor the request for Medoket to return to the laboratory. Soldiers moved in and surrounded her. She offered to remove the fleshy armor to prove that she was still just a regular person with irregular armament, not a twisted creature that they thought they were seeing. Her request was denied. She appealed to them one last time, reminding them that she had healed all of them at one time, and any she didn’t were tended to by her medical disciples. She told them that her experimentation will lead to new magics and ways for healers to help the wounded and dying with more efficacy, and that they needed to let her continue in order to perfect the process so that it can be taught to others. The captain was reviled with the idea of anyone using the magics and techniques Medoket had been exploring, and countered with an ultimatum: exile or death.

Medoket backed down. All of the research and experimentation can be reproduced elsewhere, she thought. She felt that it was truly a shame that her laboratory was being set ablaze to guarantee that she has no reason to return, but was now used to dealing with dangers in the wilderness than most seasoned fighters wouldn’t dare to battle alone.

5. A Dragon’s Eternity

Seeking shelter in a secluded place that would not be disturbed, Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh found a cave in the mountains that seemed as if it were made for her. She was disturbed by none as she moved along, neither beast not bandit would dare approach the monstrous vision. Wide passages with ample ventilation, a hot water spring, and easy access to nearby wildlife, provided many of the necessary features to immediately restart the laboratory and improve upon the last one.

Curiosity brought Medoket to explore the caves to great depths. She found ways to extend her senses to acquired sensory organs, and utilized an array of eyes from different creatures to help with the expedition. Each section was recorded in great detail in the sprawling and ever-growing map Medoket was working on, but it came to a pause on one fateful day. The day she spotted the dragon.

A pale dragon slept in a massive chamber deep in the mountain range. This particular cavern had an entrance that was easily big enough for the massive creature, but the position and nearby mountains guaranteed that it never saw light at any time of the year. The dragon slept for years, the entire time Medoket was there she’d only seen it move but once.

Medoket spent many years in this cavernous laboratory, but she could never get her mind off that dragon. If only there was some way some scales could be safely removed while its sleeping, she thought. After coming to a point where it seemed the research was complete, she decided she’d try to get a sample from the dragon somehow before trying to return with this research.

She finally mustered the boldness to give it one try. She moved into the dragon’s lair, careful not to make any noise that could stir the scaly giant. Inching ever closer to a set of scales that looked like it may have once been damaged, she almost got to them before some rocks collapsed under one of her feet. Medoket reeled and regained her balance next to the small collapsed area. The reverberations from these rocks falling managed to awake the dragon.

Upset by the sight and smell of the creature it was looking at, the dragon immediately got up and got ready to attack. The creature seen in front of the dragon didn’t seem to be fazed by its size. The dragon spoke.

“I don’t know what you are, monster, but you shall pay for waking my slumber in my home. This mountain is my home, and I watched it rise up over the ages before making it my home. I am a Dragon, I am eternal, I always have been, and I always will be. Let my name be the last thing you hear before you die: Azabrast!” it said. The walls trembled as he spoke, dislodging piles of dust from cracks and crags above.

Medoket took the dusty distraction as an opportunity to strike. She leaped through the air and startled the massive beast with a strike to the underbelly. The Manticore Tail was scarcely able to penetrate the scales, but that wasn’t Medoket’s only weapon any longer. She took a drink of the Elixir of Communicable Life while channeling a magic that would allow her to grow long razor-sharp spikes along the length of the tail, turning it into a far more ferocious weapon. Azabrast’s might was met with Medoket’s ferocity and speed, and the two were entangled in fierce battle for over an hour before Azabrast called for a truce.

“Enough. I understand now. At first I had no idea what you were, but now I can see that you’ve found a way to bind your own life force to the living flesh of others. I am now quite intrigued by you, far more than I am offended that you stirred me from my slumber. I have all the time in the world, and I wish to learn from you.” The walls did not shake when Azabrast spoke this time, but instead an inquiring calmness.

Medoket agreed, seeing that she could gain from the situation. She spent the next three years teaching the arts of healing and brewing to Azabrast, going down to every minute detail. Azabrast learned these powers well, even creating an Elixir of Communicable Life their own. When it was finished, Medoket tried the efficacy by bathing in it, thus binding her life force to the dragon in the same way as the insect was bound to their life force back at the lab on the outskirts of the city. So long as the dragon is alive, the venerable Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh shall continue their research somewhere in the world.

The legend ends there. We unfortunately don’t know where the city was that Dr. Medoket Gidzmuh had been before going into exile, nor the mountain range, though that knowledge is somewhere to be found in the world. Azabrast likely lives on in their mountainous home, though there is no way to know if they or Medoket are still alive or not.