Witches also tend to possess an acute knowledge of how to adapt this process to their needs.
And lastly, witches need good help. While some of them operate in large covens (often familial or clan-based), many more witches live at the outskirts of their communities where they have been exiled. These women learn at the feet of their familiar. A knot of serpents, perhaps, or an eyeless crow.
But as for actual laborers? They often must manufacture their own.
A jenkin is made by a witch. She must be impregnated and then, three weeks before the child is due, a drop of the husband's blood fed to a fertile female rat.
The witch and the rat will give birth simultaneously. The witch will birth a clotted thing of bone and hair. It must never be named, nor given a consecrated burial, else the consumed spirit depart from the rat. If such events come to pass, the whole attempt descends into ruination and the jenkin is undone.
After a few days of nursing at the witch's teat, one of the baby rats will begin to speak as newborn infants do. This is the jenkin.
|by Carlos Garcia Rivera|
HD 1 AC leather Bite 1d6
Move as monkey Int 10 Mor 5
Escape -- Once per day, a jenkin automatically escapes something that they could feasibly escape. Restraints, a grapple, an awkward social situation, etc.
If that was the end of it, it wouldn't be so bad. Just a large, talking rat. But the loyalty is partially bought by "gifts", promised to them by the witch and then delivered. And there is only one thing that a jenkin desires.
At first, the victims are all children, because the jenkin is still very small. A body part is cleaved from each child and delivered to the jenkin. The jenkin then wears the body part, which then becomes the jenkin's own.
Once a hand is stolen, the jenkin will have a hand that it can use to caress its mother's cheek.
Once it is given a face, it can tenderly kiss the neck of its mother.
The children that these things are stolen from are usually kept alive, and retained in a cage. Children have many uses, and witches know all of them.
Some jenkins maintain good relations with their less uplifted siblings. Sometimes this manifests as an allied swarm of rats. Sometimes it manifests as a steady dribble of gossip from the local metropolis.
Jenkins that have begun wearing human parts gain a new ability.
Puppeteer -- You control one of an opponent's body part for as long as you concentrate. You must have the appropriate human body part. Save negates. Usable 1/min.
A jenkin with a human hand could make you drop your sword. A jenkin with a human foot could make you trip into the fire. A jenkin with a human mouth can make you speak damning words, and this is the greatest threat of all. (However, such words will emerge with the jenkin's voice, and while it may try to imitate its victim's tone, most are not skilled impressionists.)
Eventually, a loyal jenkin may have its entire body replaced with human parts. When completed, a jenkin looks exactly like you or me. You may talk to a jenkin and never realize it.
There is only one part of jenkin that is never replaced. Their heart remains the heart of a newborn rat, a small knot of black tissues, shuddering with a terrible energy, desperate to maintain the charade, to become human.
|from Invasion of the Body Snatchers|
Fuck that scene, man.