Feeding Time

Feeding Time
Written by "Graveyard" Greg
Art by GAMING GUARDIANS Artist WebTroll

January 3rd, 2002
I'm keeping this journal in the hopes of keeping my sanity -- it's the only comfort I have nowadays.

I'm not sure exactly sure how it happened, but on the end of New Year's Eve in 1999, the dead started coming back from the grave. At first, they had surprise on their side and their attacks on living flesh were devastating. One year later, the surprise was gone, but they definitely had strength of numbers. Once you died, you come back from the dead with a hunger for living flesh.

So by now we should be overrun by the dead, right? Somehow, we're not. One reason is that a stake through the heart kills a zombie -- just like a vampire! But another reason is the rumors I'd heard of "Dead Camps" being set up all over the world. Its disgusting purpose is to harvest the dead for their flesh. If this is true, the predators have become the prey. I can't believe such a thing could be real. How do you "harvest" the dead?

January 14th, 2002
God, have you truly forsaken us? 

I saw a Dead Camp with my own two eyes. There must have been thousands of humans in what was once an elementary school -- people sleeping in classrooms, their vacant eyes staring off into the distance. It's like the Holocaust my great-grandmother told me about -- she was one of the survivors of those Nazi Death Camps. I still can't get that image of the little girl out of my mind -- she seemed to look right into my eyes, but I know that's impossible.

The worse thing about these Camps is that they are operated by fellow human beings! Has the uprising of the dead taken away their senses? What is going on here?

God, what have we done to deserve this?

January 25th, 2002
We were captured today by a group of people working for the Dead Camps -- I recognized their black uniforms. They confiscated our weapons, but let us keep our supplies. This one is remarkably different than the last one we came across -- the people here are well fed -- some are even overfed, from the looks of their bellies. The rules are simple -- don't try to escape, and don't cause trouble. Otherwise, you do what you want.

Some people don't have any problems with these rules -- but I do. A gilded prison is still a gilded prison, and this Camp is just the same as all the others; it's just packaged differently.

February 4th, 2002
We staged a riot today in the camp -- it wasn't easy, but we finally made those sheep realize what was really going on. Our group and many of the prisoners slipped away while our human captors tried to establish order. As we left the camp, we noticed we weren't alone -- the dead surrounded the perimeter of the prison, yet stayed a respectable distance away from us -- some even moved out of our way as we tried to move out of their way. Something strange is going on -- I have never seen a zombie willingly shy away from hunkering down for a meal.

February 7th, 2002
One of them was in our group all along. We were bait in a trap for the other people in our group. Now that I've seen one with my own eyes, I completely understand how the new order is run. It's easy to be inhuman when you're not human to begin with.

This is my last entry, as I'm next to be served.

Back in the days when the human race was still young, Earth was visited by a race of other-dimensional beings. Passing themselves as humans, they integrated themselves into society, and taught certain individuals the arts of sorcery. Or at least they tried to; it seemed that humans couldn't grasp the intricate language of magic. So, they formulated a secondary plan -- one that might take centuries to complete, but since they were long-lived up to the point of immortality, that wasn't a concern. They decided to implement the next stage of human evolution.

To this end, they left a manuscript filled with forbidden knowledge. They hoped that one day an individual or a group of individuals would be able to decipher it and unlock the hidden powers that lurked within the pages. They went back to their other-dimensional home, and waited.

And waited . . . 

    . . . and waited . . .

During the years of waiting, many would-be sorcerers attempted to learn the manuscript's secrets, only to be faced with unending madness. The secrets were just too much for their fragile human minds to handle. It wasn't until the end of 1999 that a sorcerous cult called the Bleeding Hand found the manuscript. With a complete disregard for their humanity, they unlocked the power contained within its ancient pages.

Humanity was doomed as soon as the Bleeding Hand completed the ritualistic suicide of all thei r members, unleashing a wave of necromantic energy that surrounded the globe. The Hand members immediately came back from the dead, hungering for flesh, but not human flesh -- they craved undead flesh! They were the first and last humans to join the other-dimensional race that visited the planet long ago. They had become Necrovores. Their inhuman cousins soon traveled back to Earth. The former-Hand members formed the necessary magical link to bring them back to the Earth they had left so long ago. Some of the former-Hand Necrovores believe that the originals needed one of their own to stay, but none were willing to do that, so they set up a mechanism through which the translating humans would became Necrovores as a matter of convenience. The non-Earth Necrovores have been silent on the point.

Over the next year, the population of the dead swelled, as anyone who died would become a zombie. Third World Countries became lands of the Dead, and soon humanity was in danger of extinction. This caused great concern to the Necrovores, as they had no real idea how fragile humans were -- so the former-Hand Necrovores came up with the suggestion of harvesting humans for breeding. After all, a soon to be extinct species must be protected, right?

Second Helpings
Civilization has collapsed due to the uprising of the dead -- many cities teem with zombies looking for their next meal . . . and a few Necrovores looking for their next meal! Those cities not teeming with the dead are more dangerous, as they are most likely inhabi ted by Necrovores, who welcome humans to visit their urban kingdoms anytime they wish -- especially when it's getting on to dinner time.

To this end, the Necrovores have set up thousands of "Dead Camps" all over the globe in order to protect the human species -- and to serve their own interests. Each Camp has its own method of taking care of the humans who live within its grounds. Some are cruel -- starving the humans until they die. Others pamper and treat the humans like royalty -- until it's time to slay the fattened calf. In any event, once the humans die they soon rise as zombies and become the next meal. How the Camp is run depends on the personality of the Necrovore owners -- who are as alien to us as we are to them. Even the former-Hand Necrovores don't always claim to understand them, but that's the way of family.

Dead Camps can be anywhere -- schoolyards, office buildings, prisons. They are run by humans who pledge allegiance to the Necrovores. There are always black-hearted souls who are more than eager to sell themselves to the Devil for their own survival, thinking they will be granted special privileges. In a way, they are right. They get to be the last course when their value is finished.

But even in the darkest hour, there is hope. Within the pages of the ancient Necrovore manuscript is a way to permanently stop the madness. Unfortunately, one would have to travel through the hordes of zombies to get to it. Also, it is also guarded by the former-Hand Necrovores, and they aren't about to give up their newfound status (not to mention immortality) without a fight. Still, if an Inspired Human could get hold of the manuscript, he or she might just be able to end the horror. It requires a 2 Success Levels at an Occult Knowledge Task to be able to find the correct spell, and 2 Success Levels at a Rituals Task to cast the magic. Failure on the first Test imposes a Fear Check at a -4 penalty, while failure on the second Test requires a Fear Test at -8. Some thing are better left unread . . .

Character Archetypes

Freedom Fighter Leader

Ex-Dead Camp Resident

Any of the Archetypes presente d in the All Flesh Must Be Eaten rulebook may be used in this setting. The following additional Archetypes are specific to Feeding Time.

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