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Jack of Tears

Stealing Bodies

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 So, simple enough, I need some creative and interesting reasons why people would be stealing the bodies of the wealthy on a pleasure planet.  I wanted to devise an interesting "corpse snatching" adventure for the pcs but when I got to the "Why" of it, I suddenly drew a blank - or, rather, ended up falling back on old cliches.  

So, I was hoping people here could give me some interesting, 40k appropriate ideas as to why this is going on ... 

All suggestions welcome.

Thanks.

 

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 - bits for hereteks/ illegal kill-servitors,

- vessels for daemonhosts (or do they need to be LIVING bodies?), 

- Cult recruits (the name escapes me now, not the pale throng, the other one, with the dead related theme?)

Ravening warp-beast(s) with a hideous appetite for necrotized flesh?  

Food (for either beasts (beast house related adventure) or degenerate nobles)

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It may not be the most 40K related, however if these people are rich presumably they are in better health.

 

Thus perhaps a self-proclaimed 'Angel of Mercy' doctor type for say guardsmen or the poor is stealing the corpses of the rich specifically for their organs to be used as transplants for the less fortunate. This in turn may present the players with a moral choice - alternatively and more darkly a secret reason and ulterior motive might be somehow cursing or corrupting the organs a little before transplant so demons can have fun with those people who got said transplants that initially they were so overjoyed to have!

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 Slaugth. Aliens who consume the dead. The Maggot-Men. They're the body-snatchers in the somewhat lacklustre and pedestrian "Maggots in the Meat" adventure found in the DH Gamesmaster's Kit.

A more legitimate move than that adventure would be the Slaugth/Amarandine Syndicate having installed a smaller organisation operating on behalf of 'mysterious masters'. That is, have a corporation moving in and ousting local funeral directors, mausoleums and crematoriums, seriously making a big profit out of it, but seemingly in a manner that's highly efficient, not suspicious (i.e. it's a decent service provided, it's managed to get Ecclessiarchy blessing, operating in partnership with sanctioned shrines, it's managed to get Adeptus Mechanicus approved lay-technicians in) and is even branching out into other businesses. 

That way your 'hook person' who beckons in the acolytes could be one of the last independent funeral directors on this pleasure world, anxious about the inherent marketing being brought in (very un-aristocratic, all that marketing, special deals, advertising, family-plans etc) and on the verge of going out of business. And the crux? He doesn't see how it's possible, how they can really be making a profit out of it.

Enter the Slaugth (or at least the Syndicate who're sponsoring/funding the whole operation, actually a measure of cold-storing a massive amount of otherwise freshly dead bodies...).

That said, it's not so much 'stealing bodies' as 'now even the body-snatchers can't get work!'. A bit of an inversion on the body-stealing scenario?

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It could actually be something as mundane as Slaugth simply eating the dead nobles brain, know their banking details, safe combinations and making a skin-job that looks like the dead-un for various infiltration uses. While the xeno doesn't give a **** about money, there are plenty of mere mortal humans that will do **** near anything for a decent lump of cash.

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The Night Cult.  That was the one i was thinking of. 

You could have some crazed black shrouded priest stealing the corpses to fill up his dark congregation.  Maybe incorporate a corrupted heretek to run the wave generator and pop the implants into the dead corpses?  That would be a nice night of the living dead-esq flavour, even if it is a tad cliche nowadays. 

Or it could be a desperate local leader who is under attack by either savage beasts or rival clans, his population is dwindling, dying from hunger and/or disease, cut off from reinforcements?  turns to the whispering help of a mysterious stranger who offers a way to replenish his fallen forces and keep the enemy at bay.  Only the stranger demands more and more...

 

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Ransom: Many noble will be ashamed and outraged when they learn that there honourable ancestor isn´t resting in peace. More over, it would (somehow) shame there honour would their peers know that their dead aren´t safe. Thereby, a very special group of grave robbers steals corpses, tries to keep things descret and asks for a Ransom for a Corpse. If the noble do not pay (or try to retreave said corpse with their own agents) the theft gets public and the corpse will not be returned...

Eternal life: The "corpse thefts" are a cover. A lot of nobles on this planet are part of a daemonic cult (Brotherhood of Horned Darkness or any other) and as part of there Daemonic pacts, there life lasts over a time even age-treatment cannot explain. Thereby, these nobles have to fake there own death in order to live own elsewhere. As somehow it was noticed that corpses where missing, the cult and the noble houses quickly jump the train that somebody or something is stealing bodies.

Necrophages: These where already mentioned, but a cult of mutants living somewhere and stealing the bodies for food reeks of great fun & cheese!

Creature Feature: Something blobb like, but much quicker. Or many swarms of flesh eating bettles. They started as pet of some desolute noble but some got loose. Now, they are investing the central burial ground of the noble district, scuttle through cracks and bring fresh to there queen in a nest. If you have read the short story "Sand Kings" (NOT this scifi-channel-featured loosely based on it) you will have a good idead of something nasty.

Love/Collector: All corpses are either female or from one blood line. One of the noble got mad from age and age treatment. He uses his wealth to
a) steals all the corpses of the young beautiful ladies which won´t look at him now (and covers the fact that he slowly poisens them)
b) steals all the corpses of his own familiy lineage (in his madness, he thinks he can communicate with them and wants them close for this reason
c) steals all the corpses of an enemy lineage to deny them peace in death

Genetic perfection: A Magos Biologis or noble Heretek dreams of creating the perfect human breed. Nobles are by birth above all other humans, so he steals the bodies to extrapolate enough genetic material (will work best if all corpses are kept in cryo coffins to fend of decay).

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With the half a dozen flavours of zombies in various DH books and adventures, the chances of them not being stolen and simply walking off on their own is entirely possible, for at least half a dozen reasons... ;)

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The Venenum Assassin Temple (who deals with poisoning, not STIs) are planning an assassination on one noble. This assassination must look like a natural cause, even upon very close inspection, including such that can be done by competent medicae facilities. So the temple needs a handful of relatives to do research on genetical deviation and function of internal organs. Fortunately most every noble on this planet is related to eachother, thanks to centuries of inbreeding.

This will also add the interesting point that the acolytes will go up against another very powerful Imperial organisation. The Temples and in extension the High Lords of Terra are not to be trifled with. Hilarity, bloodshed and/or tricky political situations might occur, depending on the focus of your stories.

Hmm, what's the name of the (rumored?) Inquisitorial Ordo that watches the Assassin Temples?

A lot of clever ideas here. I'd like to suggest a twist to Gregorius Love/Collector idea. Twist it by having a female perpetrator stealing bearded older men. That's a good way to make it less of a Silence of the Lambs-ripoff and it is likely to confuse your players a bit longer as well as illustrate that the imperium can have very different outlooks at gender and sexuality in different places.

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Mellon said:

A lot of clever ideas here. I'd like to suggest a twist to Gregorius Love/Collector idea. Twist it by having a female perpetrator stealing bearded older men. That's a good way to make it less of a Silence of the Lambs-ripoff and it is likely to confuse your players a bit longer as well as illustrate that the imperium can have very different outlooks at gender and sexuality in different places.

Well advised, sir! aplauso.gif

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