|Images of mortics|
Source: The Dead Roads, pg(s). 86
Mortics are living creatures and can reproduce with others of their kind, but exposure to negative energy can turn humanoids of any type into mortics. All mortic species have an obsessive, horrific, inhuman hunger, which few bother to resist due to their inherent power and kinship with the undead. Due to their half-dead nature, mortics can temporarily suspend their living processes when holding their breath, becoming more like true undead; when entering a consecrated area, they feel hurt as if punched in the gut.
Mortics either live in the fringes of humanoid communities, or in communities of their own, many of which are just extended family groups with some hangers-on, both living and dead.
Due to their inherent power, mortics are usually confident to the point of arrogance; only those that are smart or live near other humanoids tend to temper this pride. True undead view them as distant cousins, and sometimes share their lairs with mortics. Due to the undead part of their nature, mortics do not get along with good deities, and tend toward evil. Mortics view breath with symbolic importance, due to their ability to suspend it to become like the undead.
Mortics exult in their half-dead nature. While mortic hierarchy is usually defined by seniority, within each generation those who could best control their half-dead nature are the most respected and privileged. For the same reason, they still crave pleasure and joy unlike true undead, albeit in a twisted way. Their dark excesses are usually kept carefully hidden or deniable by cautious mortics, but when they are not, stories of their indulgences are truly nightmarish and can resonate for decades.