The varieties of Necrophagus which plague the Coast are specialized and multifarious. Among these strains exists N. Insecta, an aggressive, common form of ghoul; and N. Succubus, a rare, deadly nightwalker.
Necrophagus insectaA common strain of Necrocyte virus found in the Northlands and Gorathian foothills. Infected corpses transform during a week-long period. During transformation, they grow three sets of insect-like limbs within their abdomens and powerful pincers inside their larynxes. N. insecta necrocytes remain dormant until disturbed, at which point they allow their limbs to burst from their host corpse and leap to attack.
When its limbs erupt, an N. Insecta necrocyte gushes rotten fluid from within. This smells atrocious, and can easily infect victims with both the latent phage and other, more immediately deadly diseases. N. Insecta necrocytes can wait for many weeks before dying of the putrefaction which affects them, and can wait for months if preserved in a bog. As a result of this, bogs can be fearful places
Necrophagus succubusA poorly known, highly efficient strain of Necrophagus. N. succubus is unusual, as it causes rapid mortality in the host, who will wither and die of high fever within a month of infection. Hosts exhibited few initial symptoms, save for disturbed nightmares. They die pale and peacefully in the night, as if of sudden flu. Only after they are laid to rest do they become necrocytes.
The necrocyte takes a single night to metamorphose. On the morning after, providing is hasn't been cremated, it animates.
Outwardly, the transformed N. succubus Necrocyte appears no different than it did in life. However, it is possessed of fantastic strength, highly tuned senses, and amazing dexterity. It is, most importantly, fully controlled by the virus, which drives it to infect new victims. Coercion, subterfuge, and seduction are the necrocytes' methods. Parties and bars are its favorite target, where guests may be poisoned by a drop of blood in a pitcher of wine, or by a lusty tryst in the darkened rose garden. In such ways, the N. Succubus necrocyte may quickly infect swathes of a community, transforming them into an effective army of virus-controlled spies.
Like most strains of Necrophagus, N. succubus infection may be detected by the presence of internal buboes in place of the digestive system. It may be halted by grisodate tonic, which is consumed regularly by the people of the Coast. The virus is aware of this, however, and will make all effort to repeatedly expose its victims to its pathogen.
Wise night-goers must be careful, as a friendly drinking partner or a hungry lover may actually be a pawn of ravenous disease.