Knights-Marshal of the Commonwealth Datafile - The Phage-Wight!

Clint Staples

In the Knights-Marshal of the Commonwealth setting, humans are generally only psionic if they are created that way as psyche, or bred from psyche, either naturally or through laboratorial intervention. Among Psyche, wights are some of the creepier ones out there. With red or black eyes, pale skin and impressive physical powers they look, and are, every inch the predator. Their ability to get inside the minds of those they prey upon makes them even more dangerous. Now imagine that there was a virus that infected wights, killing them, then transforming them into something far more lethal, and with none of the remorse or humanity that a normal wight might display - at best a veneer that helped them become better predators, better able to find the blood they crave, and spread their pathogen.

That is a phage-wight.

Phage-wights are brought about by a virus of unknown origin. It kills an infected wight, and turns it into a monster; a monster that retains some knowledge of its old life, and many of its psychic abilities. The transmission of the virus is not fully understood, and you could vary it according to the needs of your campaign, but generally involves being wounded or killed by a phage-wight. Once infected, phage-wights shun others, except as sources of blood.

 

 

Attached is a datafile for a squad of 3 Phage-Wights. If you are a kinder, gentler GM, you can always use fewer. Of course, you could also print the Datafile multiple times. Just sayin'.

The 'Contagion' ability is left as a plot device and its lethality and degree of infectiousness is left to the GM to determine. Some possibilities are discussed below [this is also printed on the back of the datafile, for ease of reference].

Contagion:

A phage-wight can infect anyone struck by its phageous 'tongue'. There are two levels of possible infection, both of which are handled as plot effects rather than normal powers.

 

In the first, any human or drifter that dies is transformed into a Phage after an incubation period of 1d3 days. Prior to this time, it can be destroyed by fire or beheading easily. When the incubation period concludes, the new phage rises with stats identical to these.

 

In the second, the phageous condition is a disease that only affects wights [a type of human drift psyche]. The method if infection may or may not be understood, and could be, depending on the needs of the story, anything from excess power use to infection by a Master Wight. The incubation period and other details are as above.

 

For a much more virulent version, the Phage condition could be a cross-species virus, communicable between any race that has some sort of circulatory system – this would mean that Sagati, Ran-Keld, the Veet, and many other races within and outside the Commonwealth are susceptible. Add to this the victim dying as a result of infection, and the possibility of a true phage epidemic arises.

 

Of course, whatever the case, more powerful, and possibly more subtle, phage-wights are possible.