Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fading Zones: Husks

The influence of the Zones allows us to revisit the Husks of the Fading Suns and cast them in different lights.

A passable half-life

It's rumored that early into the exploration of the Zones, the dead rose and took their place once more among the living. There might have been a graveyard within one of those early zones, and this might be why the overall effects were benign (as far as records tell us).

Once dead relatives came back to life, incapable of speech, but able to effect painfully slow movement.

There are no stories similar to the husk outbreaks in the era of the Fading Suns, so it's assumed that these people eventually perished along with their loved ones.

The incredible husks

In the era of the Fading Suns, outbreaks in major cities are unheard of -- they are relegated to lesser provinces and rural areas. It's suggested that damaged or malfunctioning Zone tech (or even improperly disposed of Zone tech) is responsible for this, echoing its effect from centuries before.

However, rather than bringing the dead back to life -- it seems that only their bodies are returned, and that their minds -- and souls, as all Pancreator-fearing members of the faithful will attest -- are absent and replaced by something that hungers for the living.

The reanimation also lacks the regenerative abilities of the earliest Zone records on resurrection -- the dead are often rotting or decaying, unlike their precursors, who were able to eke out a slow, silent living without rotting to death in the houses of their loved ones.

It is also suggested that the malevolence points to the influence of the dark intelligences that hunger for and hate humanity in the blackness between the stars. Or perhaps, the Zones have spawned a new form of life that might yet compete with our own.

Wandering Immortals

And there may also be those who have been granted full immortality -- blasphemy -- by the effect of the Zones. Were they these resurrected humans who managed to fade into humanity, changing locations and identities, or perhaps constantly living at the fringes of humanity to mask their longevity.

What mundane secrets might they keep close to their chests?


  1. Very nice. I had forgotten about the husks in Fading Suns!

    One of the artifacts that the novel "Roadside Picnic" mentions has haunted me for some reason. It is called the "Death Lamp". What it does is never described, and the image I have of it is like the death ray emitter on old sketches of the Martians' tripods.

    I wonder if the Death Lamp could have been a source of some of the first undead?

  2. Interesting theories about the Death Lamp. I always assumed it was a trap that caused horrible death.

    But it COULD shine a light on the dead and reanimate them.

    Or it could trap the soul of a living being, leaving the soulless husk...


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