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Recca's cart

Content warning: contains mentions of insanity and death

They don't want Recca to linger in their houses. They cross the street to avoid Recca and her cart. But they never stop asking Recca to come! Day and night. Recca cannot sleep. And Recca has no one to talk...
— Recca's rumblings
 


Driven by a combination of solitude, rejection, plague mind, and a spark of genius, Recca modified the cart she used to carry the dead. These modifications ensured that those who requested her services to collect the dead and dispose of them would have to behave appropriately in her presence.

If people will not be nice to me. TO ME. Who stayed behind and took care of their dead! Then I will make them be nice!
— Recca's rumblings

 

Recca

Recca is constantly talking to herself or to others. Anyone talking with her suffers 1d4 points of Wisdom damage per hour they spend engaged in conversation with her.  
Recca's neverending quest
Once Recca's cart was finished, she went into the streets and started attending the numerous petitions to come and collect bodies from the street. Except this time, as soon as she started riding, people were uncontrollably flocking into her cart, eager to speak with her, to dance with her, to celebrate with her.   Recca could not stop. She could not let these people down. So she worked, through her death and beyond. Recca and her cart can be seen driving in the desolated streets of Emerald City, picking up any dead bodies that she may find along her way. And should anyone get close enough to her cart, they too will join her, as sooner or later, they all drop dead of exhaustion or thirst.

Recca's cart

Recca's cart is a unique artifact. The cart projects joyful images of Emerald City before the plague and emanates a sweet, powerful smell.   Anyone who can see the cart images within 30 feet must make a DC 30 Will save. On a failed Will save, the victim must move towards the vehicle and start dancing and singing as per the spell irresistible dance.   Once the creatures are within 10-feet of the cart, the intoxicating smell of flowers and decaying corpses becomes overpowering. Anyone who can smell it must make a DC 30 Will save. On a failed Will save, the creature becomes euphoric, as per the euphoric tranquillity spell. The victim may stop dancing if Recca is within her cart, in which case, they feel obliged to give conversation to Recca. If Recca is not within her cart, they continue to dance and be joyous until she returns.



Who was Recca?


Recca got the plague when the disease first hit Emerald City. She survived, as did most people in her clan. Despite the circumstances, or perhaps thanks to them, Recca's clan had never had so much work. No matter the fact that there were thirteen ratfolk clans in the city who were dedicated to the collection and disposal of the dead, when the plague got serious, it seemed like there were never enough burial carts to collect all of the dead of the city.
 
When all hell broke loose in Emerald City, Recca's clan, like many other ratfolk around the city, were prepared. With their valuables already stashed in the tunnels, they were ready to flee through the tunnels as soon as the riots started.
 
Recca decided to stay. Emerald City was her city, and she was not about to abandon it just because things were getting intense. Recca ignored the warning of her elders. She regretted her decission later on, but by then, it was too late.

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Cover image: by Stefan Keller

Comments

Author's Notes

Summer camp ice-cream
The original version of this article was created as an entry for World Anvil's flagship Summer Camp 2020 event, specifically for prompt #12:
"Describe a vehicle in your world that brings joy wherever it arrives."
  You can view my other entries from the competition here.   All images are sourced from pixabay, pexels, or unsplash unless credited otherwise.


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12 Jul, 2020 22:26

Oh this is a lovely one! Macabre, yet nice! I can be a sucker for the "spirit lingers past death due to willpower" idea.

20 Jul, 2020 06:33

Ah, me too <3

17 Jul, 2020 10:20

This is a really interesting one! I really like the music which you picked out, listening to that while reading gave the right atmosphere to it.

20 Jul, 2020 06:34

Thanks so much! Finding the right music was quite a timesink for the preparation for the article, so I'm really glad that you enjoyed it :D

20 Jul, 2020 15:06

Ohhhhh, I like this Recca character.   Compulsion to death? Kicking the bucket with a smile on your face?   Wow. I like that.   Not that I want to join them, but I'd raise a glass from a distance.

JAIME BUCKLEY
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21 Jul, 2020 20:49

Thanks, Jaime!   You better make sure you stay a good ways away ;)