Monday, October 8, 2012

Typhoid Mary


“Typhoid Mary” is one of the names given to women (typically young, and in unassuming professions) who become avatars for ancient and dread eikones, spirits of plague and contagion. These spirits are too old to have a voice of their own, and only the most deranged and saddest of cultists ever engage in their worship, but through a Typhoid Mary they still can let their presence be know.

Typically an avatar-to-be contracts some sort of dire infectious disease herself but for reasons unknown doesn't die.  The plague spirits transform her to a carrier instead. The illness that created her is not the only one a Typhoid Mary may spread; Through her life she may acquire more infections over time.

At the start, most Typhoid Marys are victims, as well.  Over time, the ancient whispers of the plague spirits and the horror of their existence takes its toll on their minds. They often become either willing accomplices or insane in their denial of truth of their existence.

Typhoid Marys are typically normal women other their ability to cause contagion (as per the spell with save at -2, except that a Mary need not touch someone to spread the contagion. If she wishes it, close proximity for a short time is enough.) and perhaps unusually hard to kill. An avatar who has fully embraced her role might exhibit healing, resistances, and immunities similar to a vampire.

8 comments:

Tim Shorts said...

Excellent spin. Or is it a spin? Could that be the truth? I like the angle a lot and should probably use a version of it in my game.

Sean Robson said...

This gives a whole new level of meaning to Femme Fatale. I think I'd be giving the ladies a wide berth in your world, Trey.

Timothy Brannan said...

Very nice. I like these.

Reminds of the stories of the Finish Goddess Louhi/Lovitar and how she was the mother of the Nine Diseases.

These could be her daughters too.

Trey said...

Thanks guys.

@Tim -Good thought! I hadn't had her in mind, but it certainly fits.

Brianna Sheldon said...

I'd like to see a variation with like a Typhoid Gary. In a modern game, maybe a male nurse, or in a Weird West style game, a doctor's assistant or something.

Trey said...

@Brianna - Good suggestion. I thought about that when righting the post, but I couldn't think of the good mail equivalent. The Plague Doctor, perhaps? The (dis-)orderly?

Bard said...

I like these hospital-/disease-oriented ideas. Good source of spine-tingling creepiness.

Trey said...

Occupational hazard I guess. Glad you like them.