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Wretched One

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Wretched One

Let our misery become yours
Major featuresAlternate form
AbilitiesEnhanced capabilities
PopulationAbout one hundred
Most common inFound throughout Mizahar
ReputationHated by most

A Wretched One is an undead who has received two marks from the patron god of undeath, Uldr. More powerful than a mere Chained One, the Wretched One is a vicious opponent with the gift of shapeshifting. Making up about 20% of Uldr's army, Wretched Ones tend to serve as local overseers, and it is not uncommon to see them leading a handful of Chained Ones, while reporting to a Desolate One as part of the pyramid structure of the Returned.


Called qizaaki in the ancient tongue, meaning 'the miserable' as in 'those who both suffer and bring misery', Wretched Ones live up quite well to their name. When Uldr recognizes more potential in one of his undead than the simple ability to amuse him as a plaything, he will often elevate them to this rank. An intelligent mind, capable of leading lesser servants in devious ways, is usually a requirement. The Wretched One gains an alternate form that is said to be a fitting portrayal of its tormented soul, at least in Uldr's own eyes. This form is variously known as the 'Second', the 'Thing', the 'Beast' or the 'Other'. While transformed, the undead has its attributes further enhanced but it is utterly unable to resist its cravings. If it has the opportunity to take what it wants, it will, every time, without hesitation and regardless of the odds or common sense.


The Second is almost always grotesque or downright monstrous-looking. The undead's normal aspect may or may not be recognizable. This second form is designed to maximize the marked's ability to fulfill Uldr's wishes, and is not necessarily a balanced one. Not every form is capable of speech; typically, someone valued for their intellectual faculties will retain lucidity and the ability to speak, whereas a fighter type might simply have a mental shutdown and go berserk as soon as transformed. Extreme skin colors, exaggerated body parts, animal hybrids and additional limbs are common enough sights. Dexterous specimens do, in some cases, receive wings.

Controlling the transformation is perhaps the hardest task for the marked to learn as the process can take place involuntarily at times of anger, excitement, frustration or emotional turmoil. Clearly, transforming at the wrong time can be tantamount to a death sentence for the undead. Also, moving around as the Second consumes an enormous amount of energy, making it unwise to spend too much time in this form lest it begin to wither and rot. Yet reverting back to the original form is by far the harder direction to go. While changing into the Second is a matter of about ten or fifteen seconds, the inverse transformation is painful and can take several chimes or even longer. The undead is all but helpless while it transforms. Neither transformation is pretty to behold in the least; the process is best described as 'the body being turned inside out' and for this reason the major veins are often prominent all over the creature.


The second mark is Uldr is commonly awarded when the marked has helped convert several new members to the way of undeath, if they are deemed to be of high value to Uldr. The actions of these new recruits have an impact on the undead's standing with Uldr; it happens sometimes that when a Chained One is promoted, their initial sponsor is likewise promoted to a Desolate One. Accordingly, poor performance of someone's recruit has been a cause of punishment for its superiors, as well. Wretched Ones possess leadership qualities and are constantly on the lookout for worthy men and women to be drowned in hate, killed and brought back as members of the Returned. They receive more of Uldr's attention, for better or for worse.

Part of a series of articles on Death, undeath and the dead
Concepts Afterlife · Soul
Gods Dira, goddess of death · Uldr, god of the undead
Ghosts Spiritism · Possession · Materialization · Soulmist Projection · Black Rock
Nuit Daek-nuit · Sahova · Zarik Mashaen
Other undead Chained One · Wretched One · Desolate One
Factions Returned
Other Embalming