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Decay Rates

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As Nuit are essentially living souls bound to rotting corpses, their bodies will eventually decay beyond the point of functioning, eventually ending in their death unless they transfer into a fresh one. A nuit can maintain their bodies, on average, between a few months to a year in some cases. This assumes they take great care in keeping their bodies clean, free of wounds and operate in moderated climates free of filth and potential sources of damage. Extreme climates, excessively hot temperatures and high humidity can quickly destroy a nuit's body regardless of precautions taken. Embalming can aid in slowing the decay process and those nuit wishing to get the most out of their bodies will almost always have a potential body embalmed before claiming it as their own.


Body Acquisition

While the magic that created a nuit initially slows the decay process upon its initial claiming, the state in which it is in when it is claimed is extremely important. If the body has been dead for too long and/or it has suffered damage beyond a few scrapes and cuts, it will be unusable. Because of this, the most desired bodies are fresh within a two or three days and died from internal damage such as poison, suffocation or other injuries that harm or kill a body's organs. As nuit have no use for organs other than the brain, damage to any other than the brain is acceptable. If the body is older than two or three days when it is claimed, its overall effectiveness and shelf-life is reduced. Embalming a body before claiming it; removing the organs, packing it with various salts and preservatives, cleaning the body and repairing any blemishes, is the most preferred way of getting the most out of the body.

Finding another body to inhabit is not as simple as going out and picking one up at the local general store. For example, the nuit of Sahova pay merchants with questionable morals to bring them regular supplies of bodies. Since a nuit is limited in their ability to physically acquire a body, they often pay others to do it for them. The more wily ones may try to lure potential victims in close where they can then poison or employ magic to end the person's life and take their body. Ideally, this is usually done in a safe area for the nuit so that there is less risk of the transferal process being discovered and/or interrupted.

Also, when someone goes missing in a small community, people tend to notice. They also tend to notice if their friend or loved one returns and acts like someone else. This isn't as much of a factor in a larger city where people die and/or go missing more often.

No matter the method used to acquire a body, a dice roll made in discord and witnessed by a moderator (any moderator) is required. A 1d100 is rolled with a modifier based on the population of the city one is in at the time. The target number is 75 on a 1d100 after the modifier is added. The modifier that is added to the roll is +1 per 1,000 of population. So if a nuit in Syliras is trying to figure out if they are able to find a body, they roll 1d100 in discord and add 50 to the results of the roll. If the total of the roll plus the modifier is 75 or higher, they are able to find a body. Success means a raw/unmaintained body is found. Actions can be taken to improve the body through cleaning it and embalming it before transferring into which will increase its base shelf life.

Special: if the roll + modifier is 70-74, the nuit finds a spoiled body more than 3 days old.

A single roll is all that is allowed for a particular thread. Failure means that another 1,000 words must be written within that thread in order to get another roll. This means it is probably a good idea to acquire a body, prepare it and transfer before you run out of time. Failure to find a body before time runs out on your shelf life means you die.

Environmental Impacts

A nuit's body, even under the best of conditions, is rather fragile. When exposed to unfavorable climates and environmental conditions, the body will decay much quicker. Tropical climates are the bane of a nuit's existence as they heat and humidity will rapidly destroy their bodies. Even in more moderate climates, overland travel can also be dangerous as falls, cuts, scratches, wild-life and other physical threats can bring about rapid damage and decay to an otherwise well maintained body. Extreme cold, while obviously slowing the rate of decay, can be fatal to a nuit as they do not have warmth of the body to keep it from freezing. Because the outside world is so dangerous for a nuit, seldom do they travel far from a safe, well-maintained location.

Physical Exertion/Damage

Since wounds a nuit may suffer cannot be healed, they tend to avoid physical confrontation of any sort; choosing to rely on magic instead. Even the smallest of cuts or scratches can cause an increased rate of decay. Also, physical exertion beyond the sluggish, slow, modest ones they are typically comfortable with, brings the risk of tearing their flesh and muscles; animated by magic as they may be, are still fragile. It is not unheard of for a nuit to destroy a body in less than a day through over-exertion.

Magic such as Leeching and Flux are exceedingly dangerous for a nuit to use. Leeching will burn up a nuit's body quickly as will use of flux as both disciplines involve placing one's body in harm's way. Flux pushes the body beyond its normal limits. For a nuit whose body is barely held together to begin with, pushing it further, even with magic, is considered next to suicide. Leeching literally tears down the body with every use. Although it may not result in as quick and shattering of a death as the use of flux, it will cause a nuit to burn through a body almost twice as fast as normal.

The Returned

The God of Undeath, Uldr, is responsible for the creation of The Returned through his Gnosis, Returning. When Uldr marks a nuit, they gain all manner of strange new and unique abilities which includes a greater resistance and sometimes immunity to decay. It is important to note that even though some of The Returned no longer decay, their bodies may still be quite weak, fragile and unable to engage in prolonged feats of physical exertion without causing themselves physical damage that may be difficult or impossible to repair/restore. Type 1 Chained Ones are the only Returned who have a somewhat higher resistance to decay as the other forms of Uldr's undead do not continue to decay.

Magical Enhancement

Some nuit may try to prolong their time before needing to change bodies through magical enhancements and protections. These usually take the form of protections from the elements; setting up magical conditions for the body that are ideal for slowing the decay process. They can also be objects of Magecraft or other crafting magic. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the magical ritual that created them, such protections do not compound in their effects. Thus multiple items of magical protection or multiple spells will only be as strong as the single highest level one. The more powerful the overall protection, the longer the nuit can go without needing a new body. This is normally determined by the skill level of the one creating the protection.

Pushing it

Nuit are slow, sluggish and deliberate in their actions. While most of this is due to the fact that their soul is controlling a dead body, there is an element of concern as well for the condition of their body while they inhabit it. Attempting strenuous actions such as lifting heavy weights, climbing, running, fighting, etc., can cause decayed tissue to tear. This can result in even less body mobility as well as more extreme damage which could cause the loss of ichor and potentially a final death. Even when aided by magic such as flux or projection, the nuit's body will break down faster than normal due to it's inability to heal even the smallest amount of damage.

Condition/Action Shelf-Life Affect Notes
Aged/Spoiled/Rough 15 Days/-15 Days More than 3 days old or moderately damaged
Raw/Un-Maintained 30 Days No maintenance or preparation of body (less than 3 days old)
Maintained/Not-Embalmed 45 Days Body is regularly cleaned and repaired
Maintained/Embalmed (Novice) 60 Days Body is embalmed, regularly cleaned and repaired
Maintained/Embalmed (Competent) 80 Days Body is embalmed, regularly cleaned and repaired
Maintained/Embalmed (Expert) 120 Days Body is embalmed, regularly cleaned and repaired
Maintained/Embalmed (Master) 240 Days Body is embalmed, regularly cleaned and repaired
Returned (Chained One) +30 Days Type 1 Chained One
Leeching (Novice) -15 Days Simply being a Legate causes this
Leeching (Competent) -25 Days Simply being a Legate causes this
Leeching (Expert) -35 Days Simply being a Legate causes this
Leeching (Master) -45 Days Simply being a Legate causes this
Flux (Novice) -40 Days Being skilled in this magic causes this
Flux (Competent) -60 Days Being skilled in this magic causes this
Flux (Expert) -80 Days Being skilled in this magic causes this
Flux (Master) -100 Days Being skilled in this magic causes this
Moderate Climate ---- No extreme temperatures/environmental conditions
Tropical Climate -150 Days Excessive Heat and Humidity
Winter/Snow/Tundra Climate +30 Days Extreme Cold will freeze the body quicker than normal
Desert Climate -30 Days Extreme Heat and Dryness
Magical Protections +30-120 Days Add 30 days per Level of the Protection (no stacking)

Raw/Spoiled bodies are listed with a 15 Days/-15 Days. What this means is that bad condition of the body reduces its overall shelf life regardless of the embalming and cleaning done on it before the nuit claims it.