Zombie, Parasite

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 6d6
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 8
HD: 3
Attacks: 1 bite or 2 punches
Damage: 1d6 plus special, or 1d4/1d4
Save: L6
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Incidental

The ancients experimented with many different types of biological weapons during the final wars, but none were as terrifying as the weapons that turned the living into creatures that lived only to spread the disease.

Parasite Zombies were but one of many variations on the zombies that had been created and in some ways they were by far more terrifying than the others. These creatures were re-animated by genetically engineered wasps that never made it past the larva stage.

The wasp larva bred at incredible speed and are born pregnant with the next generation of larva. These specially engineered insects would spread through the host’s body, leaving the host perfectly aware of what was happening but at the same time taking away all motor control.

A Parasite Zombie is created through two methods. The first and most direct is through a bite, where the zombie infects the victim with the larva. It doesn’t take long for the larva to infect the body and take it over, turning it into a vehicle to spread their progeny.

The second method is for the zombie to spit at a target. The spittle is filled with the squirming larva and eggs, and as such if the spit hits an open wound or gets into any orifice, the creature is able to continue the cycle.

A creature bitten has to make a saving throw versus poison or become infected. Any creature that is spit upon with open wounds will have to make the save as well, but if they are un-injured, they gain a +4 to the saving throw.  The larva will spread through the host’s body, draining 1d4 points of Constitution and Will Power per hour. Once either statistic has reached zero, the host is taken over entirely by the larva and are effectively dead.

That however, is not the worst aspect of the infection. The host is perfectly aware of what is happening to them, and are incapable of preventing their bodies from attacking and trying to spread the infection.

As time progresses, the larva will eventually consume the host’s body for sustenance and raw material to continue with the propagation of the species, that is unless they can continue to feed. The zombie will consume constantly, always on the hunt, never stopping for rest. Each day it will require ten hit points of flesh to maintain its structure. Every day that it doesn’t get the required food, it will start to decay.  It will lose 1d3 points of Constitution per day.

How is this possible? The host becomes a zombie as soon as its Constitution score hits zero. Once it has become a zombie, the Constitution score returns to its normal score. If however the zombie’s Constitution score reaches zero a second time, the body has been completely consumed by the larva and will collapse into a pile of bone and rags. The larva will be able to survive without food for 1d3 days before they enter a dormant state in which they can hibernate for 6d6+30 years before finally dying.

So, in other words the zombies can be brought back to life by another creature consuming the remains (such as an animal feasting on the bones), or even body heat coming close enough to the remains to re-activate the larva, at which time they will squirm and writhe their way into the body, starting the cycle all over once again.  

As long as the zombie is able to find fresh meat (any meat will do, it doesn’t have to be human), it will continue to live. For every day that the zombie is able to consume more than ten hit points worth of flesh, it will regain one point of Constitution per day, actually healing damage it has sustained as well, at the creatures normal healing rate.

As stated, the victim is completely aware of what is happening but has no control over its body. It can still use certain mental mutations, however, such as neural telepathy, but it will be incapable of using any mental mutations that require a Will Power score. Like the Constitution, once the creature has become a zombie, the Will Power score will reset to its original value, but will be used only for defense by the larva infesting the body.

Being infected however is not an instant death sentence. Many modern medical devices and medicines will destroy the larva, as well as mutations such as Vampiric field. The ML will have the final say in what destroys the infection.

Source: Dead of Night by Jonathan Maberry.