by: Reno Camilani for Sanguinus Curae
Some Serpents of Light have studied different species of reptiles for years, trying to discern survival features, and then make facsimiles of them through the Blood. Some of the Serpents have created a use of Serpentis that allows them to emulate the virulent bite of the komodo dragons. The decay and gangrene caused by the bite allows the Serpent to locate, from a considerable distance, a target that's been bitten. This power has seen some experimental use during battles between the Sabbat and the Camarilla.
The character spends two blood points. The change takes only two turns to enact and lasts a scene. The Serpent's top and bottom canine teeth elongate and flatten out into spearhead shapes, and cancerous viruses and bacteria form in the mouth. Biting damage is Strength+2 aggravated, and after the soak roll, an opponent who's been bitten must make another Stamina roll (difficulty 9, Fortitude may not be used on this roll). If he succeeds, the only damage he receives is from the bite. If the roll fails or botches, the bacteria have infected the wound and begin to break down the surrounding tissue and bone. The bacteria inflict one lethal health level of damage every hour until the victim dies or is treated. Most hospitals are equipped to halt the progression of the bacteria. Kindred with the germs may make a Fortitude roll (difficulty 7) and spend two blood points to flush them out of the wound. If the Fortitude roll fails, he may keep trying until he runs out of blood.
Kindred or mortals who are infected may not heal any wounds caused by the viruses until the viruses are gone. Also, Serpents with Komodo's Bite and many predatory and scavenging animals (including Lupines, perhaps) may smell the victim by 50 feet for every health level inflicted by the bacteria (i.e., a person who's taken three levels of damage from the germs may be smelled up to 150 feet away). Kindred with Auspex may also be able to smell the decay. Creatures without any extended olfactory powers (like humans) can smell the wounds by one foot for every health level. The wound reeks of rot and decay. If a mortal gets to Crippled from the viruses, the surrounding tissue is useless and must be amputated. During an urban battle where many obstacles are in the way, having an identifying marker like this makes it easy for Sabbat packs to locate and dispatch poor slobs who've been bitten.
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