Lifeforms
Fauna
Forest/ Jungle
3.38
4 Votes

13xp


Hits: 3038
Comments: 7
Ideas: 0
Rating: 3.375
Condition: Normal
ID: 1251

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Updated:
January 19, 2007, 5:37 am

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Stone Leech

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Large, difficult to kill, and long lived, this creature is responsible for the return of the Dagger as the primary tool of political intrigue.

Full Description
This creature lives in the dark southern jungles, but has found its way to the civilised north. Often hiding in fruit trees or on shrubs favoured by local fauna, it bites its host, injecting a strong paralytic poison, and finds a good spot to stay attached for years, which its host often survives. (Note that it is mindless, and acts only by instinct.)

The size of a woman’s hand, it has a hard carapace (hence its name in some parts), and is still harder to remove. It feeds mainly on the host’s blood plasma, and though it does weaken its host, it doesn’t kill him. It returns what it does not consume.

What’s more, it filters its host’s blood, removing unusual chemicals, making the wearer in a way immune to poison (or at least helps to recover faster). The natives use it mostly for their shaman, that have to consume strange things to get into contact with the spirits, etc.

Additional Information
More use was found in the civilised north; where there is politicking and treachery, and poisoning quite common. Some noble men and their advisors, and especially their food tasters have chosen to be hosts for the leech… and there is yet a poison to be found against it. Only a few fast poisons are able to kill the host, if lucky. Thanks to the leech, the good old dagger is coming back into fashion.



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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
November 9, 2005, 14:28
0xp
How much paralytic poison is needed and what does it do to the host?

So where do people wear this lump?
manfred
November 10, 2005, 4:50
0xp
Thinking of poisonous creatures, you don't need much of poison to knock out (or kill...) a human. Effect is outright paralysis/unconsciousness or a heavy clouding of mind.

But it provokes an alternative: the toxin could be only numbing. The still tiny leech simply crawls onto a fitting place, the groggy host not feeling him. A fitting place could be one that does not undergo much movement like the limbs where often lands first - typically the upper body. The most likely place where it is hard to discover (and remove) is the back.

In the civilised north, good places to hide it would be again the back (could even help against a dagger!) or the belly. You don't want to show this publicly, do you?
Voted Zylithan
November 18, 2005, 0:08
0xp
I like the idea of a parasite being used by nobles for advantage. Why did it evolve to look like stone if it is from a jungle and lives in trees?
manfred
November 18, 2005, 8:26
1xp
Sorry, more precise: it does not look like a stone, it is hard as stone (well not that hard, but very hard still). The name is more an appreciation of the diffilcut removal.

As for appearence, an extra touch could be a slow change of colour to resemble the skin of the host... actually, given time, it could even grow into the host, making it impossible to remove without much blood loss.
Voted Chaosmark
December 25, 2006, 18:09
Only voted
Voted valadaar
April 24, 2013, 15:50
0xp
This is a neat critter!
valadaar
April 24, 2013, 15:50
0xp
Update: Added parasite freetext.

Freetext



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Raptyr

Nine times out of ten, it’s the undead that do the running.

Not strictly animal or vegetable, the Corpse bud is a peculiar individual that shares characteristics from multiple kingdoms and species. In appearance, all corpse buds bear a shape of a large rounded top bud divided into four lateral segments, and a much longer, narrower bottom bud, also divided into four segments. Between the two halves are a set of four radial limbs, rounded on top and flat on the bottom, covered with tiny serrated hooks facing towards the body. In overall size, it’s limbs reach as wide as a spread hand, with the body being as thick as a fist. It is as long as a human hand from top to bottom.

Internally, the top bud of the corpse bud contains a bacteria filled membrane that produces the hydrogen that the corpse bud uses to stay aloft, and a series of fungal gills for the dispersal of spores for reproduction. The lower half of the bud contains a number of fine filaments, as well as a sharp barbed stinger containing a powerful local anaesthesia.

The Corpse Bud mobilizes by inflating its top bud, and steers by rotating its arms rapidly about its body. The corpse bud ordinarily drifts with the wind, orienting towards the scent of recent decay and death. It preys on the recently dead, burrowing the lower bud into the victim, using the anaesthesia in case the victim is dying, and not truly deceased. Once embedded, it releases its filaments into the body, replacing the current nervous system. This gives it full animation of the body, and allows the corpse bud to direct it.

Corpse buds are not a malevolent species, being primarily concerned with breaking down the host body for food, and infecting the reproductive cycle with spores in order to mate with other corpse-bud bodies. To preserve the corpse for this purpose, Corpse buds will seek out dry locations to prevent bacteria from destroying the corpses. This often causes a large number of corpse buds to gather in a single location.

In culture, Corpse buds are used to repair broken spines or degenerative diseases, as the sentient mind will easily overcome the mind of the non-sentient corpse bud. Once infected by a corpse bud, however, removal is usually fatal, and the infected individual cannot reproduce, or risk infecting another. Thus, it is a technique often reserved for the elderly, or a last resort.

Necromancers and other dark sorcerers will often preserve the corpses of their victims magically, and infect them with corpse buds, creating traditional undead as well, so as to seed their lairs with undead both offensive and non, in order to throw their enemies off balance. They will also enslave the rudimentary minds of the corpse buds, and transform the docile things into a plague. There have also been accounts of magically transformed corpse buds with stronger minds and a taste for living flesh, but thus far all accounts are unproven rumors.

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | October 12, 2011 | View | UpVote 3xp


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