Archive for the 'Campaign Seeds' Category

An Outbreak of Dragons

December 18, 2010

I was just thinking about how to combine fantasy with body horror.

What if monsters are an infection?

So it’s late medieval times, the Black Death (that horrid outbreak of monsters) is long gone, and nobody’s seen a dragon in a century. However, there are a few families that keep practicing the dragon-slaying arts, teaching them to their children in case the wyrms ever return. But the siege weapons that were once used to bring down the great flying beast are all ancient and rusty. And with only 20+ people who know how to man them, half of them ancient themselves, and no officials manning their posts who know shit about how to conduct a quarantine after a dragon has been slain, nobody is ready for what’s about to happen.

Gravediggers and treasure seekers uncover part of a mummified dragon corpse deep in the desert, with the insides still fleshy and warm. Soon they are infected, turning into scale-covered beast-men with mouths full of fangs and a hunger for raw flesh. Many of them are slain in grisly street battles and entire cities are put to the torch and the sword, attempting to stop their spread, but it is too late. A few escape deep inside desert caves, where their scales molt off and their true form emerges.

The dragon-slaying families go to work, their rusty skills now the only chance of halting the disease. But they are hampered at every turn by kings and bureaucrats who think they know better or want to be heroes. When a dragon attacks Jerusalem and is finally brought down, no quarantine is declared, even though half the city is splattered with dragon blood. The sultan himself has the heart of the beast roasted and brought to him on a platter, the fool. Soon the holy city is teeming with monsters.

Somebody’s going to have to put an end to this, and nobody but the old slayer families and a few enlisted allies will do it. But that will mean enforcing the quarantine on their own, including killing some of their brothers, sisters, and kinsmen who become infected over the course of their messy job.

Hoo-rah.