By D J

On Husks, Zombies and Scarecrows

Reborn Dead

The husks were once human, and after death they retain their humanity still. However, their new found hunger drives them to eat the living, and their decaying state affects their mind as well as their bodies. Good or bad, (almost) anyone can become a husk, and wether they want to or not, they will eventually succumb to their hunger. When that happens, husbands are eaten by their wives, sons by daughters, and laity by clergy.

Plague vs. plague

In many cases, one hears of a "plague of zombies" and assumes that husks are created by disease; dead bodies exposed to this disease (such as a husk's victim) are reanimated, while unexposed bodies are not. While this explains how generally good people can become corrupt, it overlooks the fact that husks have a tendancy to simply "pop up". One corpse in a field may rise, while another doesn't.

Others have taken the phrase "a plague of zombies", to mean a grouping of husks and not an actual viral outbreak, like "a pride of lions" or "a murder of crows". However, few reports exist to prove or disprove wether husks procreate through some sort of disease-like factor.


It is generally believed that the truly devout can not return as Scarecrows. While bishops have occasionally been known to return as husks, such (rare) individuals led wicked lives, devoid of any true piety or faith. Another story tells of a callously cruel Avestite whose unquestionable faith protected him from living death, despite scores of Husker bites and scratches on his body. One's sincere faith, and not clerical status or compassion, determine one's salvation.

As plagues continue to appear, people flock to the Church for answers and protection. Cries of impending Apocalypse rise up from the frightened, their eyes turned to the dimming stars. And the Church can do precious little to comfort them.


Many factors conspire to keep the peasants either unaware of or unfocused on the zombies. Scarcity is perhaps the biggest. Plagues are rarely seen in large urban areas; instead, small villages will be found with its inhabitants torn to shreds, or a lone traveller will be discovered, screaming about the hungry dead. Such instances are easily covered up, explained as something else, or simply blown off.

Many attacks are covered up, not only by the people in power but also by peasants themselves. When nobles and clergy cover-up an attack, they seek to keep a populace already spooked by the fading suns from becoming a paniced mob. If the population knows, then the powers may instead equip and protect their people in attempt to prevent rioting.

Another, often overlooked reason as to Husk rarity is believed to be their weakened position in the food chain. While their decay seems to be stopped past a certain point, they aren't invulnerable. Scavengers might try to feast on them, attracted by the smell, and flies will lay their eggs on the husks, further damaging the body. Between hungry animals, hungry maggots, and hungry bacteria, the hungry dead are nothing but a meal.

Demons and the Dark

Is there a connection? It's known that good people can be returned as Husks, and that such people will try to resist their murderous urges (at least to some small degree). However, how can such people be so utterly controlled by the forces of darkness?

Current belief among some in the Church is that the soul of the person vacates their body upon the moment of death. As the soul leaves, a weak demon enters the body and begins changing it. However, the brain of the body is still 'wired' to behave and think in certain ways. As such, the demon can not overcome the body's original personality until the brain decays enough for the personality to be destroyed. While interesting, this view overlooks the fact that a Husk can operate independant of having a brain or not, and as such the demon should not be hampered by any such 'wiring'.

Other speculation points to death being a doorway for the Dark into a person's body and soul, and that existance as a Husk dooms both to destruction as the Dark drives the person to eat the living while It eats the person's soul. This belief is unpopular for many reasons, not the least of which is the power which the Dark can directly force upon a person's soul without their permission.

Other Forms

It's been recently theorized that there may be other forms of Husks besides the zombie. How such beings could come to exist, or even if they could exist, have yet to be decided. However, reports do trickle in of unique individuals or even entire plagues, with abilities and forms far beyond the norm. What this means has yet to be determined, but all agree that no good can come from it.