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Griffith, a warlord from the ancient world, leads a group of mercenaries called "The band of the Hawk". They have achieved many victories and ultimately desire to build a kingdom of their own. Griffith has come across an ancient artifact called the behelit, a magical cauldron that can imbue those placed into it's chemical liquid with enhanced abilities. This process doesn't work on adults, as they are fully grown and developed, and will likely kill them. Therefore, Griffith determined to increase the number of soldiers under his command by kidnapping children from conquered territories and using them for the behelit transformation.

The band began experimenting with different ages, cutting babies from their mothers wombs and working their way up to young children. They finally settled around the Goldilocks zone of children in their puberty stage between 10 - 16 years, as this is the range with the most success. Candidates are dumped into the liquid and changed into fully grown demonic soldiers called Daka within a few months. Although horribly disfigured and possessing low intelligence, the soldiers have enchanced physical strength, speed, and durability, making them far superior to normal men. They have become the perfect grunts for the band, completely obiedient to their master's and difficult to kill.

The problem began to be noticed later, as the soldiers life expectancy has decreased. Although incredibly tough, their bodies begin to break down after about a year, finally giving out within three years. This is through no discernable reason, as they recover from damage almost instantaneously and remain capable of continuous fighting. How can this be the case?

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    $\begingroup$ Dude, when is your book about witches coming out? You have created some high expectations with all these related posts. $\endgroup$ – Daron Jun 13 at 16:48
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    $\begingroup$ i think, it probably strenuous to the body to quickly mutating the gene, so it damaging the chromosome or cell in the process, making them cant withstand the body stress. outside of developing aggressive cancer or tumor or creating organs failure, and weakening their immune system. $\endgroup$ – Li Jun Jun 13 at 18:42
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Possible biological explanations:

1- They heal quickly because their cells divide faster than normal human cells. Unfortunately this means the faster DNA replication process introduces more errors (mutations), so they tend to get cancer in only a few years. Bonus for facial tumors and gross lumps all over the place for that disfigured evil minion look.

2- In the same spirit, even wizards gotta make a few engineering compromises. Would you like that chopped arm to grow back just like new in two weeks, or a bit crooked in two days? Sometimes they grow two instead of one. After enough battles, the result should be a suitably ugly mess.

3- Their quick healing also means a supercharged immune system, which leads to auto-immune diseases, so they tend to fall apart.

4- The other way around. The human body will end up rejecting the evil grafts. In order to avoid this, the "treatment" suppresses the immune system. The drawback is they tend to get infections and large puss-filled pustules all over the place, then rot and fall apart after a while. A steady diet of rotting corpses of fallen enemies sure doesn't help about that.

5- They absorb the life force of the enemies they devour in order to regenerate. Unfortunately, after a while they accumulate enough devoured souls to develop a personality that tends to hold a grudge against whoever ordered the murdering of the original owners of said souls. Better chop them up, out of mercy of course, and feed them to the new batch. Even Dark Lords recycle.

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    $\begingroup$ Point four, you are what you eat $\endgroup$ – user76358 Jun 14 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ I was going to suggest supercancer as a cause of death too. I don't think even normal cancer is a case of "DNA replicating errors" though. It's just when some cells divide to make more of themselves in a place/pattern they shouldn't. $\endgroup$ – Daron Jun 14 at 0:43
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The light bulb that burns twice as bright burns half as long. This reminds me of the androids from the movie blade-runner where they only lived for a period of four years for the very fact their greatest abilities also ate them alive.

good movie, and you should watch it.

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  • $\begingroup$ All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain $\endgroup$ – user76358 Jun 14 at 0:08
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The healing process is part of the problem. The wear and tear of the efforts they put and the injuries they suffer accumulate a lot faster.

If this is a naturalistic effect, notice that athletes, particularly pro athletes, are often seriously limited, even crippled, by the cumulative weight of their injuries.

If you want more purely magic, you can have it say that the healing process, strength, speed, and durability are using up their life-time supply. When they use up what should have lasted a lifetime they have nothing left.

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    $\begingroup$ I think this must be it. Note these things are / horribly disfigured / from the get go. How come they did not heal this back to handsomeness, eh? Eh? It is because Daka healing is jacked up and it heals you to disfiguredness. Keep that up and within a year or two stuff starts falling off. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jun 13 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ Armwrestlers are a perfect example...a few years of competition and they lose their ability to straighten their arms. $\endgroup$ – user76358 Jun 14 at 0:07
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The cauldron contains deadly parasites. They transform the infected being into a monster, slowly consuming it from the inside.

[Possible bonus: at first, the infected being becomes incredibly strong and monstrous, because this serves the ultimate purpose of the semi-conscious parasite collective, which is...exploring the world to find a certain substance in which they can breed their Queen? Something else?]

Cf.:

enter image description here

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