Imagine a creature that sucks life force out of wounds. The creature, called a Aurelias, will happily consume the life force of any being, regardless of their allegiance. It has some special features, listed below.

  • It can kill a creature in (skin-showing/open-wounds*30 minutes) (not set in stone, you can change in your answers)
  • It cannot be pushed away, but it can be killed by elite soldiers; it is incorporeal
  • It cannot do any physical damage, only the life force drain listed above

The users of this Aurelias can control where it goes, but not what it does when it's there. It will kill any creature within a 10ft (also not set-in-stone) radius with open wounds.

The tech level of the setting is early industrial, say, 1780. The users of the Aurelius's can have up to 100 of them.

How would a attacking army use this against a infantry force? A reminder, the enemies have to be wounded for the Aurelius's to do their work.

  • $\begingroup$ Question.. "The users of this Aurelias can control where it goes" Does the Aurelias return to its owner and hibernate after killing the enemy, ready for later use ? Or will it proceed roaming around for more prey, killing any wounded humans ? $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Dec 11, 2021 at 12:12

4 Answers 4


Send them to the enemies camps/field hospitals

Instead of using them as a frontline force use it as a method to prevent recovery and cause numerous issues with keeping soldiers alive.

Camps and field hospitals are where injured soldiers go to recover. Put one of these there and you are essentially killing anyone who you injure already. This will work best if you can hide the Aurelias from the enemy so they have no idea why everyone is dying.

And if just exposed skin can cause the Aurelias to kill, then camps are especially good targets. It’s likely that in camps people will be more relaxed, so more skin exposed, so more deaths. And again they need to be hidden.

While you could try to use them actually in the battle, it’s less reliable as soldiers will likely kill them or avoid them.

Ok, but how does this help in battle?

In short: it doesn't. But if you plan right it can.

Fight a battle where your goal is to injure as many people as you can, this means you can spread out your force over more targets, since any injury is now a kill (eventually).

You can then retreat and make them think they have won this battle. They go back to camp and field hospitals, and all die.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It would only make sense if you do it for the soldiers that can quickly recover and get back into the field. All others are better left alone. They are a resource and most often morale drain on your troops. If they just die in half an hour it's horrible, but not an ongoing horror that the sick and maimed can be. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Dec 10, 2021 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder how prevalent was infection at the time (equivalent to 1780s)? The creature can easily kill anyone with what today is considered a relatively minor wound. But if infection is commonplace such wounds are already lethal. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Dec 13, 2021 at 18:07

Shotguns and fragmentation grenades!

Your Aurelias have basically negated the role of combat medic from the battleground. Any wound can be fatal in 30 minutes so the goal is no longer to kill or even incapacitate your enemy. The goal is to wound them, even a little while leaving yourself healthy and whole.

To this end, shotguns and fragmentation grenades should be used at medium short ranges (any distance greater than their blast/ricochet radius). Artillery loaded with buckshot and glass shards should be used at greater distances. Caltrops, broken bottles and barb-wire balls should be dropped behind you as you flee from any range shorter than medium range.


Such creatures seem better suited for guerrilla warfare, where the goal of the attacker is to fight outside of the rules of engagement of conventional war.

A wounded soldier, for a guerilla warfare, can be more valuable than a killed one, because 1 wounded soldier will take out 3 soldiers from the battle field: the wounded one and the 2 carrying/helping them.

Since killing this creature requires an elite soldier, what you can do with it is using it as a way to keep the elite soldiers busy cleaning the wounded ones. But to do this you will need to play dirty, by using booby traps and the like to be sure to wound as many enemies as possible before launching the creatures out.


Battlefield -- Weapon of Fear

The power to drain the life from a moderately-wounded soldier is not super strong considering the time period. Correct me if I'm wrong, but infection was still THE killer in warfare in the 1780s. There is not a huge difference between (what today would be called) a moderate wound killing by infection or by life-draining monster.

Unless. . . .

To make the creatures more important I suggest they (a) can turn invisible (or at least hide underground using incorporeal-ness) and (b) kill in a highly painful and bloody manner that is traumatic for any allies watching. For example by siphoning all the blood from the body while the victim screams in agony.

This makes them great at breaking enemy formations, by rising out of the ground behind the main line and causing a bloody spectacle by targeting troops whose wounds are not enough to disable them. The carnage causes the front few lines to flee, and the rest of the army follows.

Assassinations and Guerilla warfare.

The monsters are useful when combined with the cheap and portable weapon of a blowtube filled with ground glass. A ranged weapon much cheaper than a firearm, that shoots a cloud of ground glass at your targets face at a few metres range. On its own not a lethal weapon, it will at worst blind the target and cause profuse but superficial bleeding, similar to a skinned knee. However combined with a monster lurking underground this will kill in a number of minutes.

The fact that any civilian on the street could be secretly armed like this will have a huge effect on security procedures, and means a lot more troops are needed to secure an area with rebels. It will be similar to modern precautions, for if you suspect citizen on the street carrying a concealed bomb.

Or maybe the soldiers just start wearing face coverings. A good justification for the evil empire's troops wearing identical black helmets.


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