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Lifeforms
Fauna
City/ Ruin
3.33
6 Votes

13xp


Hits: 1511
Comments: 11
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.3333
Condition: Normal
ID: 4999

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Updated:
April 29, 2008, 8:32 pm

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Scalies

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A swarm of what appears to be small gray chips of concrete leap and skitter across the ground from the shadows of the ruins towards you…

Full Description

Often encountered in run down ruins and the dark back alleys of cities without proper sanitation Scaleies are often referred to as a beggars best friend, or the poor mans suit of armor.

These Small ½ inch to 1 inch gray creatures congregate in groups of over a hundred, being rougly diamond shaped, dark gray in appearance with tough scaly topsides and softer underbellies they are often mistaken for crumbled masonry by those unfamiliar with their appearance. Drawn towards a living creature by the vibrations of their movement Scalies quickly leap and skitter towards the person, covering a human sized host in mere moments..

Despite looking like over sized fleas Scalies are actually symbiotic creatures that attach to a persons skin, feeding off their sweat and dead skin cells. Possessing a hard shell and instinctively interconnecting with one another to form a solid covering upon the host creature, they function as make shift scale armor; but are rather ugly and crawly feeling which can drive some people mad over time.

Once attached to a host they are easily removed by grasping them and firmly tugging although they will quickly return to the host body once let go of and picking oneself clean as well as making sure to kill each and every one of them can take a person several hours at best.

While functioning as a suit of living armor these creatures will completely protect the wearers skin from minor damage, such as that from sunburn, insect bites, or thorny vegetation as well as offer a good degree of protection from more lethal attacks such as melee weapons and direct flame.

After being attached to a single person for a week these creatures also adapt their body chemistry to more closely match that of the host, their bodily secretions being absorbed through the hosts skin and acting as a natural antibiotic and anti fungal remedy, making the recipient much more resistant to disease and sickness over all.

Additional Information

Scalies are known to mate in the warm rainy seasons, laying their eggs in pools of stagnant water where they quickly hatch into miniature Scalies that will affix themselves to amphibians and smaller creatures until they are fully grown.

Some merchants also sell these creatures as "self repairing armor" to adventures down on their luck, or those that seek to journey into inhospitable places normal armor would not be practical for; such as heated deserts, verdant jungles and thick foul swamps.



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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Silveressa
April 29, 2008, 20:32
0xp
Updated: Clarified a few small details.
Voted Cheka Man
April 30, 2008, 11:37
0xp
Useful but I woulden't want to wear them.
Voted valadaar
April 30, 2008, 19:21
0xp
This is quite cool - I have seen insect armors in other places, but this is still well done and useful.
Voted Mourngrymn
May 1, 2008, 15:11
5xp
Ok, while it is a little too short for me. Yes I like lengthy submissions that belch way too much information. This is what made me come to realize it was a neat idea.

Some merchants also sell these creatures as "self repairing armor" to adventures down on their luck

That alone did it for me. The fact that they are insects and crawl and embed themselves into your skin makes me quiver just trying to imagine the feeling. But that alone makes it a useable submission for me.
Oakwood
May 1, 2008, 19:05
0xp
OK, my first comment here:

I generally liked the idea, but it seems very similar to Leto III putting on a suit of sandtrout in "Children of Dune" by Frank Herbert, right down to the diamond shape of the creatures.
Voted Scrasamax
May 1, 2008, 22:34
0xp
Couldnt place why it was familiar, thank you Oakwood.
Silveressa
May 2, 2008, 18:40
0xp
Actually I was going for something that was similar to the real world parasites "scabies" and "chiggers" but more beneficial; hence the variation of the name into "Scalies." (Mutated by radiation the post apocalypse setting I used them in.)

The reference from Dune sounds vaguely familiar. I read that book ages ago, and was bored to death close to the end. If I remember right the things from Dune were ultimately lethal, irremovable, and made Leto close to invulnerable, unlike the Scalies.
Voted Aramax
May 4, 2008, 13:57
0xp
Very nice,are they natual?(I woulddnt think so
Silveressa
May 4, 2008, 14:41
0xp
Like I said in my previous post, they are a mutation caused by whatever biological/nuclear (or magical) weapons were used to make your favorite post apocalypse setting. So while they were not naturally created by the process of evolution, they have mutated and adapted to their environment and now are capable of successfully breeding.
Voted MoonHunter
May 5, 2008, 0:19
5xp
Fairly basic creature. I see the visual. I feel the yuk. The ecologist in me is screaming.

My only thought, is their is only so much dead skin on a person. And how long will it take them to eat "that patch". Once they have all the dead skin in their patch, surely they would move to find flakier pastures. I know they are part of a "whole" and they might not move, but.... Of course, if they started eating "live" skin once the dead skin has been exhausted. That would be a different story. Thus removing them after they have been there for too long could become.... problamatic.

Aside: I could not see them covering someone over for too long. You would need timing and such to make this work in a useful manner.

They are symbiotes, rather than parasites. So I know they are not bad, but.... They provide the host with vastly more than they are getting back. Okay, they just seem too useful.
Silveressa
March 1, 2012, 16:14
0xp


The original concept was for them to feed off a persons sweat and perhaps body hair as well; which could prove advantageous to some people. I like the idea of them becoming parasitic and consuming healthy flesh if left in place for more then a week or two, especially if they execrate an anesthetic preventing the wearer from realizing they were being slowly eaten alive until they tried to remove them...



Also in the original post apocalypse setting their main draw back was the continual perception/skill penalty from feeling the creatures crawling over your skin, making it difficult to perform complex tasks and conentrate for long, let alone get a good nights sleep.



besides the caused discomfort when set on,  wearing clothing was difficult to impossible as well as the social interaction pentaly. (Who's going to have a normal conversation with someone covered in a crawling carpet of bugs, a few of which may decide you are a more desireable host?) This alone provided enough problems to off set their advantages and keep them balanced. (they also weren't very bullet proof, making them a less then optimal armor choice for firearms conflicts.)



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