Monday, October 7, 2019

Adulterated Lineages of the Primordial Flesh

Breeding Pit, Anson Maddocks, 1994

The moon shone that night, its disk complete, like polished horn or dulled ivory. There Marwan stood. He was one of the pale people, tall and gaunt, and so the fullmoon rays shone through him, revealing the contours of his bones, the colour of his liver and kidneys. But more was unveiled. The new lobes bulged, beating as hearts in the old flesh of Marwan. From them flowed ichors, hormones, and types of cells found in no being born from a womb. These too were made brilliant in the silver light. The bodies shuddered, they convulsed. They squirmed with their strength and lent it to their host.

Marwan leaped from roof to roof like a cat. His pursuers tried to follow suit, making fools of themselves in the process. He turned to laugh at his enemies fumbling over themselves. Seeing Marwan pause, Yasmin raised her arms to cast a harmless light charm. Marwan felt a sudden tightening of all the muscles in his body. His implanted organs failed for a second. He lost his balance. His feet slipped from the lip of a roof. His skull cracked open when he struck the earth.

The Anatomy of the eye according to Hunayn Ibn Ishaq, from 13th century manuscript

A History
From the Primordial Flesh, from some unknown source in antiquity, came Exquisite Organs and surgeons who know how to bind them in new flesh. They kept the old flesh too, they preserved it, they cherished it. But the mind is eager to tinker, even with perfection. The flesh was mingled with geomancy and devilry and alchemy and necromancy and the blood of rulers. 

Make Me One With Unclean Meat
The new lineages are much blunter, cleverer tools. The organs are distinctive, active. They will slip into any gaping wound and integrate themselves, no surgeon required. They are eccentric, each lineage blessed and cursed with a particular side effect. How they reproduce is largely mysterious but they can be found in just about the same situations as normal Exquisite Organs. 

Organ Spells:  Found in dubious medical treatises and scrolls of made of skin

Birth Organ, R: 15ft  T: A Living Body D: Permanent 
You cause an organ of a random adulterated lineage to be born in a body. The target may attempt a Con save to stop the birth. Normally, the organs produced by this spell provide no stat bonuses but if you expend 500GP in alchemical regeants and sacrifice an animal while casting the spell, the organ provides +1d6 to a random ability score. 

Emergency Transplant, R: Touch T: 2 Organs in Bodies D: Permanent 
You touch 2 bodies and select 2 organs within them. The organs flow through you, swapping hosts. Each target body may make a Con save to resist this effect. 

20 Corrupt Lineages
All organs give a permanent bonus to a stat, usually +2 or greater

1. Strength - Increased Muscle Mass, Tertiary Lung, Increased Adrenaline
2. Dexterity - Improved Neural Sheathing, Faster Metabolism, Improved Fine Motor Skills
3. Constitution - Secondary Liver, Secondary Heart, Increased Bone Mass
4. Intelligence - Secondary Hippocampus, Increased Neural Density (not always in the brain)
5. Wisdom - Improved Vision, Increased Neural Plasticity
6. Charisma - Pheromone Glands, Improved Social Awareness

1. Lineage of the Esoteric Tongue
Organs of this lineage are incredibly light, almost weightless, and a light blue or turquoise color.
Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you develop an allergy to magic. You get an itch when in the presence of magical places or beings. Whenever a spell is cast within 60ft of you, you undergo a spasm and drop what you're holding. You cannot wield or wear magical equipment, you burst out in hives if you try.

2.  Linage of the Midnight Lodge
Organs of this lineage are dark in color, produce a pitch black oily substance, and are prone to failure. If you roll a 1 on a check or save associated with the organ, it fails completely, you lose the stat bonus the organs provides and you will go into septic shock and die in 1d10 days if the organ is not removed. The defective organ can be made into a potent poison by a chemist.

3. Lineage of the Blood of the Warping Wood
Organs of this lineage look a fetus gestated in a tree stump, they have sightless eyes wound with thin roots, little arms with woody talons. Once implanted with an organ of this linage, you develop a terrible bloodlust. When you see and smell fresh blood, you are driven into a frenzy like a barbarian's rage. The rage can only be ended if you ingest a pound of blood and flesh.

4. Lineage of the Chthonic Star
Organs of this lineage are bulbous and rubbery, like big water balloons full of slushy ice, and highly bioluminescent. When you are in darkness, the organ glows a pale red in your body. Without taking major measures to hide your luminescence, you cannot hide in darkness.

6. Lineage of the Archon's Sons
Organs of this lineage are a dull yellow color and produce fluids that look like mercury but are sour to the tongue. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage you lose the ability to lie, directly and indirectly. You cannot lie by omission or even refuse to answers questions directed at you.

7. Lineage of the Limestone Shaws
Organs of this lineage are always warm and have cracks in them like a heated coal. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage your body temperature rises greatly as if you have a bad fever. If you overheat any further, perhaps because of being in a hot climate or wearing heavy clothing in sunny weather, you will fall unconscious from heat stroke.

8. Lineage of the Hive Lords
Organs of this lineage look like bits of white chewing gum, all chewed up and spat out. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, all your pores begin to produce a sticky mucus. It takes double the amount of time for you to remove equipped armor or drop held items.

9. Lineage of the Tide Walker
Organs of this lineage have a tough exterior that looks like mother of pearl. Interfacing tubes poke through cracks in the shell. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you become slightly amphibian. If you don't keep your skin moist you begin to wither. You constitution score lowers by 1 for each day you go without moistening, you die when it reaches 0.

10. Lineage of the Grey-Bearded Emperors
Organs of this lineage are slightly hairy, sometimes fine as dander or bristly as a bear. Organs of this lineage have latent personalities trapped inside them, such as a (1. Bigoted Senator 2.  Blustering Sophist 3. Brilliant Sycophant 4. Beautiful Courtesan 5. Bold Tactician 6. Bespoken Politician 7. Bashful Priest 8. Beneficent Governor). The personality is confused, a pagan, and used to being extremely privileged. The personality has a 1 in 8 chance of asserting itself over yours when you wake from sleep or any other unconsciousness. Increase this chance to 6 in 8 if you are under the effect of mind altering drugs.

Organic Landscape 3, Igor Vitkovskiy, (Source)

11. Linage of the Eternal Academy of the Love of Understanding
Organs of this lineage are pocked like meteors and porous as a sponge. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, your body begins to slowly turn to marble. You will be completely immobilized in 2d6 months. You get +4 to your AC and you speed is divided in half when your are halfway to being fully frozen. Basilisk stomach acid is one of the compounds which can reverse this effect.

12. Lineage of the Divided King
Organs of this lineage are desiccated, deposits of salt and calcium cling to them. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you begin to mummify. After 1d4 weeks you will be technically dead but cling to unholy life until you are destroyed or the organ is removed. In this state, you are vulnerable to water. For every round you are in contact with water, you take 1d8 damage.

13. Lineage of the Twisting Hermit
Organs of this lineage look like crushed beer cans but darker, more muscled. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, your limbs become incredibly easy to slice. Whenever you are hit by a slicing attack, there is a 1 in 8 chance that one of your limbs will be severed from your body.

14. Lineage of the Sun Horned Bull
Organs of this lineage are a rich orange, like a brilliant egg yolk, and almost perfectly, uncomfortably, round. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you must wake and sleep with the sun. When the sun sets you fall to sleep and when it rises you awake.

15. Lineage of the Unfortunate Weaver
Organs of this lineage are dark purple, web-like threads hang from them. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you become a locus for evil, as if tied to it by invisible threads. The Undead, devils, demons, and all other abominations and ne'er do wells can detect your presence up to 6 miles away. They will be drawn to you.

16. Lineage of the Angelic Viscera
Organs of this lineage sprout thorn-like spikes, make a dull moaning sound, and have a sense of moral duty. If an organ of this lineage is in the presence of a subject who acts more righteously than its current host, it will bust from the host's body and implant itself in the new subject.

17. Lineage of the Reborn Garden of Paradise
Organs of this lineage have a pair of small wings sprouting from them, always flashy with gorgeous feathers. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, your body begins to weight much less. Strong gusts of wind will lift you off your feet unless you are weighted down.

18. Lineage of the Triumphant Temple
Organs of this lineage are slightly architectural. Cartilage structures like roofs, columns. Arteries like elaborate doorways. They also smell like incense. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you become the seed of a dungeon. Whenever you level up, you have a level in 20 chance of running off into the wilderness and assuming the fetal position. You sink into the earth, you expand, you deepen, monsters are drawn to you. Once the process is fully completed you are a dungeon with a number of floors equal to your level. The hazards and creatures have personalities similar to yours. Your own treasure and items and more can be retrieved from within.

19. Lineage of the Barren Legion
Organs of this lineage have a metallic smell. They are covered in lesions the shape of a shield boss.
Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you cannot help but stand at attention when you hear trumpets, drums, or any other bombastic martial instruments being played.

20. Lineage of the Tyrant's Banquet
Organs of this lineage are covered with little lips, closed tight. From a few of them beaks poke out. Once implanted with an organ of this lineage, you develop strange cravings. Each week you crave (1. Fine Olive Oil 2. Caviar 3. Mollusks 4. Honey 5. Quail Eggs 6. Spiced Dates 7. Oranges 8. Sheep Eyes 9. Crow Guts 10. Octopus). If you cannot satisfy your craving within the week, the organ dies. You lose the stat bonus the organs provides and you will go into septic shock and die in 1d10 days if the organ is not removed.

This post is dedicated to Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi, the falasuf and physician


  1. I have a really unhealthy fascination with limb grafts and organ implants in rpgs. I don't foist them on players who I suspect won't like them, but in a couple games where I've been a player, I've had one character gouge out her own eye to become a cyclops, and another have her leg amputated after it was invaded by an alien parasite.

    1. As a game master who likes body horror, I think its ok to at least present players with more weird organs and implants. If they like what they see, they can have the whole body horror experience.

  2. This is both evocative and useful, thank you very much.

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