21 June 2013

Excerpts from research journal of Anatola Černý

"Corpse number 6 is a male, aged 30 - 35. Clothing and dentition suggest subject was a lower-class resident of Sterntown, possibly crew. Severe perimortem bruising in the thoracic and cranial areas are consistent with blunt force trauma.

"... trace evidence found on the corpses clearly indicate Ash Plague intervention in the assembly, revivification, and weaponization of the 'corpse-raft', though the precise ritual and magic used are unknown at this time. I was unable to perform field identification of the genus of the burrowing worms, and lacked sufficient equipment to bring back 'live' samples for further study.

"The design and placement of the corpse-raft 'trap' lead me to believe this was an active defense of the sort used to control otherwise unobserved traffic areas at the outer limit of the Ash Plague's sphere of influence. The use of the gasses of putrefaction to propel the burrowing corpse worms is an ingenious example of the Ash Plague's 'least-cost' ethos; a horrible testament to their embrace of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle".