Plod

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Plod is the colloquial name for a reanimated corpse, or zombie, used in certain Kasslynian countries for the purpose of manual labour. Plods are created under strict guidelines, making for a consistent appearance from creature to creature. Hairless, numbered, clad in bandages and a plain, drab tunic, plods are bald-headed, male, moderately tall, and hardily built. While largely harmless and obedient, plods have been known to turn against bystanders if not kept in check by their handlers, though injuries are rare.

History

Reanimation of the dead has been a goal of wrights since the beginning of pymary. It was the Black Tongues, however, who first managed some semblance of it. Introduced into warfare centuries ago, plods were initially used by Cresce as tireless warriors against the Aldish. Once the Aldish also discovered the secret of their creation, battlegrounds became thick with reanimated soldiers, enemy corpses were stolen by both sides to restock their plod supply, and both Crescian and Aldish public opinion began to turn against the tactic.

Eventually plods in warfare were abandoned entirely, and the cessation of their use was made ratified law in one of the only treaties to be signed by every leader in Kasslyne. Soon after, Alderode banned the reanimation of the dead entirely, pressured by their Ssaelit moiety whose clergy had declared such practises blasphemous. However, Cresce and Ulestry saw great promise in the use of "Recycled Labour" in the construction of public works and the harvesting of crops. Governmental departments were created for the purpose of producing and overseeing plods and their handlers, and a great era of construction and expansion began in both countries.

Function

No one outside the upper echelon of government and a few members of the Black Tongues understand fully how plods are created. Actual plod handlers need only access the front-end of a guarded Recycled Labour "program" that is burned into the khert in the manner of other more complex, regulated pymary. This spell allows for plods that follow commands, know a limited library of actions, decompose at a slower rate, remain mobile and flexible, and can be dismantled at a handler's word.

Public opinion on plods is mixed. Most consider them a preferable option to slave labour, a practise done away with in most countries soon after the introduction of plods into the market. Their deliberately uniform appearance, masked faces, and carefully regulated usage makes them difficult for the living to identify with. Plods often work at night but when they do work during the day it's in cordoned off areas away from the attention of the living.

One aspect of recycled labourers that has always made the public anxious is their propensity towards violence when handlers are distracted. Because they were originally manufactured for warfare, an inescapable side effect of their existence is hunger, and when the opportunity arises plods will move to sate that hunger by attacking moving, organic creatures, even each other. Both government officials and even Black Tongue wrights have claimed there is no way to eliminate the violent natures of plods, as hunger is a driving force behind their reanimation.

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