In it’s normal state, the Star of Rage is the size of the palm of a human hand, greenish in colour, armoured with a thin hard layer of chitin at the top, and at the bottom, two small eyes on stalks and a sharp little beak. In certain cirmcumstances it can grow to up to four times it’s size and the chitin can become much stronger.
These creatures are parasites, but they give us well as take. Whilst it sucks blood, it realises a cocktail of chemicals into the host, which reduce pain (whilst avoiding creating numbness at the same time) and make the host feel stronger, run faster, fight better in combat and feel *on top of the world*
There are serious side effects however, which grow more dangerous the longer that these creatures hang onto the host. When the host is human or humanoid, he or she becomes hugely arrogant and unlikeable, and in battle is unlikely to obey orders or to stop fighting until killed or that battle is over.
There is a serious danger of blood loss too, as after a matter of a couple of hours the Star of Rage has swollen to a large size and has taken a large amount of blood. In a few cases it has been known to suck it’s host dry. If not looked after properly the beak wound can get infected.
When removing one of these it takes an act of willpower to do so, and the longer the Star has been upon it’s host, the harder it is to remove.
The way to get it off without hurting it or the host is to place raw meat next to it, and it will smell it and detach at once to get the meat, which it loves. Other ways are not recommended as they can hurt the star and the host alike.
Armies that use these Stars are careful to only apply them to their body five minutes before battle is joined and not to use them when secrecy is required. The chitin acts as plate armour although a few blows can smash it, but it is hard to wound a warrior who wears one or two of these, as his or her swordplay is much improved. More then two has been found through trial and error to always create more trouble then it is worth as the blood loss is too much. It turns the warriors who use them into manic berserkers who must win the battle quickly before they face serious problems.
A well behaved army will after the battle, remove the Stars from their body and pick up any Stars from the dead, otherwise they can infest land and turn any animals who graze there into highly savage and dangerous creatures. Even the humble sheep can be a menace if afflicted by one of these, and the chemicals induce a rage in those who eat meat from affected animals.
Most civilised countries either only allow Stars for military use or have banned them altogether, with heavy penalties for improper use because of the trouble that they can cause, but there is a black market in them in many large cities. If properly used a Star can greatly aid it’s host, but used wrongly the consequences can be dire or even deadly.
There is one more danger-if used too much the Stars can become addicted, and a star-addict (known as a Starburned One) is shunned by society and is almost impossible to live with.Most either die of blood loss from the Stars, or in a fight, or on the gallows for murder or rape over other such crimes.