d20 Apocalypse - Exit Mundi
Savages is the generic term given by wasteland dwellers for the feral, nomadic humans that have been tainted by The Fallout and now roam the wastes, either singly or in packs. At a distance, it can sometimes be hard to tell a non-tainted wastelander from a Savage, as their appearance does not always change significantly. Up close, their true nature can often be discerned immediately. Many savages appear to be brutish and ugly, with prominent brow ridges, wide flat noses, stocky bodies and longer arms. A few educated wastelanders have compared them to the ancient Neanderthals, and the comparison is not far off the mark. Still others have more obvious physical changes, including animalistic traits which make them appear only slightly human.
Some Savages demonstrate a surprising degree of physical toughness. This type has been observed to shrug off damage that would normally cripple a human, including the loss of limbs or massive head trauma. Even after multiple wounds and a great deal of blood loss, these Savages can continue fighting at full strength, making them exceptionally dangerous. Savages that demonstrate this level of toughness are often the most violently insane kind, and have been observed to take and wear grisly trophies from their victims, including fingers, ears, eyes or even whole skins.
Savages are known to engage in a wide variety of horrid acts, including cannibalism, rape, torture and mutilation of living victims. Different individuals or tribes may practice some or all or none of these, and there is no easy way to predict how they might act without getting close enough to get caught and made a victim yourself. Because of their dangerous and unpredictable nature, most wastelanders attack Savages on sight, and shoot to kill. This makes meetings of groups in the untamed wastes difficult, if not immediately deadly. Neither side can be certain that the other is not a threat, and most attack first and sort it out later just to be safe.
The final kind of Savage is the worst, but thankfully the rarest. These Savages show no outward signs of taint or mutation, and indeed seem to be perfectly normal humans. Their corruption lies on the inside, and they show it only when it’s safe and they’re unlikely to be caught or blamed for their actions. These Savages can go undetected through a civilized camp, and wreak terrible havoc for months or even years before they are finally discovered and put down. Even to the end, they may maintain their innocence in the face of overwhelming evidence of their crimes, going to the gallows screaming about voices egging them on or outside urges commanding them to act. Despite their rarity, these kinds of Savages are the most feared by communities for their capacity to inflict tremendous chaos and death. Anyone suspected of coming into contact with The Fallout and becoming tainted had best be prepared to defend themselves and prove repeatedly that they are not warped by it’s ill effects.