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TRANSMIT - initiate the necrotic signal - RECEIVE - initiate the putrescent cadence - DAMN IT, IT WASN'T QUITE FRESH ENOUGH! - illumine the Reanimated - WITNESS - Zombies.
The dead walk. Say the sentence, sweetling. Just as impossible as anything else that has happened to you since the bee, yet it sits on your tongue easier. You are not that surprised. It is weird how much it is not weird. They have shambled through the zeitgeist of your species for so long. The dead that walk.
Our aperture opens on Kingsmouth. The Fog came, and the townsfolk walked into the sea. And something that was lately them walked out. The dead that walk. Horrors from the depths of the ocean and the chill of the earth, rising with unnatural hungers. The clothes and dead faces look familiar, but the vacant eyes hold none of the hopes and emotional relations that once inhabited the husks. They answer the call of the draug.
They require no rest, feel no pain. They only walk and kill. No heartbeat. No brain function.They are not organisms run on vital systems. Their bodies can take tremendous trauma before being disabled. Human flesh sates their hunger above all, yet those that starve will prey on animals. Other undead hold no interest to them. Those imbued with anima enjoy some protection from their infected bites.
The zombie curse stretches into varied manifestations, some by design, some by vicious chaos. We see them. We see the Fast Zombie. See how they run! The most common of Kingsmouth's zombie population. Their flesh and sinew is fresher, their movements more spry. These are the recent townsfolk of Kingsmouth, called into the ocean by a siren's call. Familiar faces in the strange decay.
We see the Ripper. A variant of the fresher dead, some particularly frenzied strain of necromantic magic worked its way into their bodies. Their claws are longer, their mouths impossibly filled with teeth. They constantly move, like sharks.
We see the Elder Zombie. Vermiculated and maggot-ridden, they are the corpses awakened in their old graves. The fresher zombies receive the command to dig up their more decomposed kin. This is not the first time sinister forces have been at play on this island. There are many fetid things buried in its history. Though these older shamblers are sluggish and more fragile than the more recent counterparts, they draw from deeper reserves of necromantic power. They call on carrion birds, beasts, and insects. They command lesser undead.
We see the Hulking Zombie. Deformed monstrosities, they were physically changed by the occult energies in the Fog, in the Filth, in the centuries of layered wards and runes crosshatching Solomon Island, and other dark factors. They are grotesque accidents, and the only shambling dead that will not answer to the whim of the Sargasso Sea monsters. With their power, they have freed themselves from the control of the draug and wander the island as unpredictable, walking weapons of mass destruction.
We see the Wet Zombie. The waterlogged ones. They were buried in the sea. As the draug travelled across the Sargasso, with the Fog, they swept up all the dead sailors of all the ages along the way. And they are still being called to Kingsmouth by the draug. Woken from their deep graves, they slowly walk along the ocean floor and onto the beaches of Solomon Island.
We see the Cultist Zombie. These are the cadavers of those who in life who served certain strange priesthoods, delved into the mysteries of potent cults, or otherwise devoted themselves to occult study. Some spark of awareness stays with them, and, in death, they can still call on their ritual powers.
We see the Shambling Bear. The cadaverous beast. The undead ursine. Necromantic magics can seep into the bodies of potentially any creature. Its great body contains vast stores of black magic.
Tell us, sweetling, have you heard the legend of Resurrection Joe? He is an infamous resident of Solomon Island's history. His bones have settled for a century or two, and still the locals shiver at his name. His body parts are scattered. If you can find several pieces and gather them at his grave, you may hear his story.
Resurrection Joe was a legend in his own time and in his own death. He was born Joseph Blythe. He was a bad seed. He was the baddest Johnny in the apple cart. He blasphemed. He stole. He fought. He killed. He did things that the good citizens had to write new laws against. Joe refused every point of etiquette and rule. Including dying. When the judge sentenced Joe to death by hanging, he dangled, but kicked for three days. When they shot him, he woke up. The records are blank, after this point, as the town tried all manner of unlawful execution techniques. When Joe finally seemed to succumb, they took no chances. They dismembered his body and scattered the parts. But Joe lived on in story and rhyme. His rancid laughter still haunts Solomon Island.