In my last question, Preventing Dead Monsters From Spawning Undead, I realized a rather concerning loophole; if someone were to intentionally allow a large monster, like a mutant 'rex, to eat them, only for a friend to kill it, the same magic that creates Drops would infuse them with some of the monster's essence. (Please see the linked question for more information on that.)

I don't want to make that impossible, mind you; if a girl is eaten by a dragon but the dragon is killed before the digestive process can take hold, the aforementioned magic mechanic would heal her body (restore oxygen levels, heal concussive/acid damage from the stomach, etc.), and if you've gone through that already, well, why shouldn't you get a nice perk?

By perk, I mean fireproof skin as tough as dragon scales, superhuman strength and speed, perhaps even gaining a magical ability like shooting fireballs or flying through the air without wings. The above examples would be for a fire dragon, of course.

However, these perks make it even more likely some "brave" individual will volunteer to be sacrificed to the dragon, or let a monster eat them, so they can gain a perk. Granted, there are some built-in checks:

  1. In order to gain a perk, one must still be alive when the monster is slain. Slaying a monster from the inside, or having a friend on the outside slay the monster, is of course problematic.

  2. If one slays a monster, some of the monster's magic will infuse their body, enhancing them. This enhancement is measured by Levels. However, the enhancements only concern one's nature or occupation; for example, if a warrior slays a dragon, he'll become six times stronger, tougher, and better at fighting. This would of course make people less likely to want a perk since they can get more benefits for much less trouble by simply killing the monster.

  3. In order to gain a perk, one must get into the digestive process before the monster is slain; this means being consumed, or more specifically, being swallowed and exposed to stomach acid. If one is chewed (specifically torn apart) and swallowed, not swallowed whole, when the monster is slain their body will be "restored", creating an undead with their memories and abilities but a whole new personality. In other words, as long as the person is largely intact, and the monster is killed quickly, they will gain a perk. If they were cut into halves or pieces before swallowing, they'll become undead instead.

My question is: Will the above checks be enough, or did I underestimate humanity's propensity for crazy, reckless actions?

  • $\begingroup$ @user535733, I put in an edit. I assume dragons will swallow people whole (it's more convenient, appeals to certain specie's dark side) since it's relatively unlikely that the person will remain alive long enough to see them slain and thus gain a perk. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 2 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ Ooh, that means we can poison the dragons...and get back the infused skeleton of the poisoned cow. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Feb 2 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, that's a really good point. However, what if the dragons catch on and decide they prefer eating people? How would you poison the dragons then? Remember, these people want to remain alive so they can enjoy their Perks.... $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 2 at 16:39

I could totally see this method of human-empowering hoarded as secret knowledge and used by the ultra-wealthy or ultra-powerful. In particular, it grants the ability to give someone a permanent boon without requiring consent or effort on the receiving party. This opens up a very particular demographic for which this effect would be supremely useful: aristocratic children and babies!

The benefits:

  • Giving a child/baby a powerful perk enables more rigorous training from a younger age. For example, if you have a fireproof baby, teaching them to be a pyromancer is suddenly much safer (and they might even gain an affinity for fire magic). In particular, any perk which increases intellect or learning speed would stack more: for example, giving someone a permanent 50% increase to learning speed is much more useful to them when they're one year old compared to 50 year old (you'd need to find a knowledge-creature though).
  • Perks can provide defense for those who can't defend themselves. Assassinating firstborns and other such power plays can be cut down by giving the baby/child a defensive ability. For example, gaining poison immunity or resistance as a perk would be a great boon to any young noble, particularly if they're too young to achieve the same effect with conventional spellcasting.
  • Children empowered with a boon like this can be attributed this power by royal mandate or divine providence or whatever. People can say, "Oh yes, all the children from the XYZ bloodline are well attuned to fire and have red eyes, it is known!" when in fact, the family secretly maintains this myth by secretly raising magical fire-boars and using them to empower all their children. Nobility can use this as proof that they are better than the peasants.

How easy it is:

  • Swallowing a baby or a small child whole is much easier for a creature than swallowing a fully grown warrior.
  • Since smaller creatures can be reasonably reared or contained, raising a creature for the express purpose of having it swallow the noble offspring and then ritually sacrificing it becomes possible. Eg, keeping a mature dragon contained for the purpose of a power-up is would be nigh impossible. A tiger or similar-sized creature though? That's suddenly within the price range (and lifespan growth range) of a very wealthy person's private zoo. I could imagine caged tigers or other mythical beasts being a popular wedding gift among the wealthy aristocracy
  • Besides acquisition and containment, it wouldn't be too difficult to build a gag or muzzle contraption which allows an animal trainer to force-feed a baby to a mythical beast while minimizing the danger due to teeth and biting. Babies could be slathered in lubricant and provided child-sized water breathing or poison resistance potions so they can survive their brief trip into the digestive system. The child's family could then participate in the (safe!) ritual execution of the creature via beheading or similar or even do it via automated guillotine to focus the energy concentration on the child inside.
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    $\begingroup$ I forgot one of the greatest checks of all: human greed! They'll keep the knowledge hidden away for their own use, and therefore prevent idiotic people from doing this all the time! Plus, this may just explain why dragons like eating princesses....perhaps they've gained a reputation for being consensual meals? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Feb 2 at 16:46
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    $\begingroup$ And if she takes along a big enough rock, she gets a pet dragon as a bonus bonus! $\endgroup$ – No Name Feb 12 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ (assuming the dragon egg drop thing applies here of course) $\endgroup$ – No Name Feb 12 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ @NoName: of course it applies here! Why do you think princesses wear so much gemstones when they attract flying monsters and weigh them down when they're running? $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Apr 21 at 13:19

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