A short story which uses Memory Moths in a sci-fi setting. Props to Echomirage for the forum post that inspired the symbiotic Proxy Bug.
The nobleman was out on horseback when he came too close to a nest of Changeling wasps. The first sting made him scream and sent him falling from his horse. When he felt the second sting and was close to passing out with the pain, he thought Whatever happens now, my life of freedom is over. Even if I am not stung again,and escape being paralysed or killed I will be a girl. I will no longer have the right to choose who I marry, to carry a weapon, to join the army or to have control over my own finances.My life is ruined now.
Caution: contains mature content regarding the gruesome ecology of a parasitic beetle.
A terrible monster. A thing of nightmares. Tales of the creature shake the core of the most sturdy and chill the spine of all who hear. They say, "Be careful who your friends are. They may just want you for your body." They were right.
"Greetings travellers! You must have had a harsh journey through the desert."
"We didn't see this city was on the map."
"We're just a few like-minded folks trying to keep the world out."
"How many people live here?"
"Just a few of us, and now you."
"How is he? Will my son ever recover from the bugs that turned his brain to mush?"
The doctor pointed to where the thirty-seven year old was playing with toys on the floor. "It's been five years now and he has the brain of a child, give it another five and we can start the basics of teaching him magic again. He knows who you are but...but he will never have the same personality again, and by the time he regains all his magic skills at their former levels he will be in his sixties."
The eyes came closer and with them came a growling sound, and the warrior swung at them with his sword. They flew around it, revealing themselves to be harmless insects. The warrior swore...it was no Cave Bear or Giant Spider but a pair of Eye Flies out looking for insects to eat that were smaller still.
Some people might call them cute, but unlike fireflies that just glow and look pretty, Fire Flies can give you nasty burns if you mess around with them, so look but don't touch.
"Gak! Cough! I just swallowed a bug."
In the darkness you notice a point of light erupt no bigger than a candle, quickly followed by several dozen more and a soft metallic sound, like a man at the dinner table sharpening his knife against a fork.
Mark woke up and groaned. His breastplate felt heavy on him. When he looked at his arms and legs he began to cry. His wonderful muscles, earned through excersise, running, fights and several quests, were gone, leaving him with no more muscle power then a young girl. He had heard the tales of the Muscle Flies but had not throught they were true until it was too late. He could move, but it would take a very long time to get his muscles back into good condition again.
Extracts from Alkur’s book of insects.
The best thing that can happen when confronted by a Rhaphi (Rafy) is that it will ignore you and continue on its way…It seems to have no purpose in life but to transport its undercarriage of parasites, which are numerous and not exactly friendly or hygienic, from one place to the next.
There is more than meets the eye to these nightmarish insects…
Crawling among the garbage and offal, the detritus of what men call civilization, the myrie bugs claim their own small domains. They eat, and breed, and wait…
"When travelling between the Hanaset towns of Setahal and Timuhal I noted a strong odor of rotting plants emanating from our trusty Hanaset guide Sehetuma. Now, the Hanaset are a festidious people and I was somewhat suprised by this. However, I kept my own consul, seeking not to offend.
Not all the beasts that threaten humans are large.There are those who despite watching out for dragons, bears, giant spiders and the like, have underestimated this downright nasty little ant and paid for it with their lives.
A thief’s invaluble companion, this little invertebrate is a must-have among burglars determined to pull off an extremely difficulte heist.
As long as the thief in question, isn’t too squemish about what his little accquisition feeds on..
The Kythrythe are a different kind of people. Given their worship of the Insect God Kythrellemen, they are more than just Humans. These people, except for their eyes, will be normal people at first glance. Some might be quite big or small or graceful, but they look like people. At second glance you will notice their small antena peeking out from their hair. Every now and again, you will see one that has been "blessed" by the God and granted "Marks of the God", insect like physical abilities.
The wasps are about the size of a finger, they are bright green with long hairy backlegs.
The name Onkorr given by locals means burning, which again has two meanings;burning bites and burning bodies.
The mystery of fyre is one which has much occupyed my studies and the studies of men before me. ... I have concluded that fyre is the product of Fyre Antes.
Professor J Klewlise, "On the nature and origin of fyre" (1542)
To Dougles Nye money is power, a powerful wizard only newly into lich-hood
Originally the son of servants to a noble family, yet he found that life humiliating. "How could anyone stand to serve another?" he often wondered. His father, was a greedy man who offered an explanation one day “It’s all for the coin, every demanding, humiliating thing. It’s for the coin, boy."
So when Dougles began developing the potential for magic, he found a way out of a life of servitude. Learning magic though stolen books, he made his escape. Taking the all the possessions of the lord’s vaults with him. He set out to gain as much money as possible.
His gifts for magic allowed him many advantages other merchants could only dream of. Capitalized on the use of deviation magic, allowing him to always having what the city he is in needs most, whether that is wheat or weapons, poison or drug doesn’t matter to him.
Some would say he follows war, disease, famine, and political strife like a vulture looking for a nice carcass to claim. What they don’t know is he has a hand in the conflict he supposedly follows. Assassinating ruler to incite wars, casting spells that decimating crops, acting as an information broker to both sides in a conflict. Dougles is known as a man who can get what you need to some, to other a monster who capitalizes on the suffering of others.
The lich know as Dougles Nye, prefers the title ”The Merchant of Death” for that shows just how much power money has earned him.