The Suicide Table

The Suicide Table is another idea I stole from Virginia City, where it is a Faro table. Faro was a card game that miners enjoyed in the nineteenth century. A Faro table was a felt covered table with the rules of the game on it; whoever owned the table put up the cash and used the table to gamble with anyone who wished to try their luck. As the odds were stacked in the table owner’s favor, it was sort of an early casino system. However, there was no guarantee of victory, and the suicide table that still remains in Virginia City was considered so unlucky that it drove at least three owners to suicide, hence the name.

In the room of light, the suicide table is a stone slab where men lie down for Arlat. She masks them and replaces their blood and bodily fluids with trehalose, then performs genetic modifications on their bodies. In this way, the scaalites are created. Vladimir von de Veld was the first to undergo the change. Arlat altered his DNA so that any wound would heal instantly and any disease would be unable to take hold. The vallain rounded up as many scamps and thieves as he could and put them through the process as well, creating the scaalites, the soldiers he planned to use to unite Malvada.

When Vladimir had his army ready, he made his plan to assume control of the Teilarata. He offered the Narze, a northern race of banshees who had been raiding Malvada, the opportunity to attack the Teilarata at Tarla-by-the-Sea. When they arrived, he double crossed them, using his scaalites to destroy them and their longships on the beach in the four day’s war. When the Teilarata saw that he had saved Malvada from the scourge of the banshees, and realized that he had an army of unkillable soldiers, his rule of Malvada was ensured.

Although Arlat created the scaalites to be unkillable, she knew that they needed to be controlled. To facilitate this, she also placed a time delayed gene in their bodies that caused the growth of tumors on their faces and throats. As the tumors grow, the scaalites become progressively uglier and eventually suffocate on the tissue. Vladimir, being the oldest scaalite, suffers most from this scaalite sickness, and begins to try to find a way to escape his fate.

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