City/ Ruin
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ID: 3485


December 22, 2006, 7:38 pm

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Cheka Man

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Tomb Trilosydes


Some places are better left undisturbed…you never know what may be waiting there for you.

The old barber looked over the body of the man. There seemed to be no apparent cause of death. He listened to his chest again, just to be sure. No heartbeat…
“Are you sure nothing happened out of the ordinary?” he asked the man who brought him in.
The man looked nervous.
”We were out collecting samples for our studies, like we’ve been doing for months…” he replied.
”Well, go tell his folks while I take him to the mortician”
the barber told the young man.

The boy ran quickly through the alleys. He was not however heading to the boy’s parents, but to their master, the local necromancer. Reaching the door of his master’s home he knocked furiously. The minutes passed like hours as he shifted his weight nervously from side to side. The door slowly opened.
”Master….we have a problem…”

The cryptosidius trilobita, or “tomb trilosydes” as it is sometimes called, is a small parasite resembling an ant sized horseshoe crab that enters the host through any available orifice. This is usually done when the host is sleeping, although the parasite is so small as to go unnoticed in most cases even when awake.

It is commonly found in putrid remains (corpses) but can easily be found in stagnant water, rotting garbage, privies, or other suitably unclean places. They can survive in nearly any environment for up to two weeks. The primary diet of this parasite is liquor cerebrospinalis1 and serum albumin2. The average life cycle is one year.

Within hours after becoming host to one of these parasites, an itchy skin rash will develop. Stomach cramps or pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea begin within days.
Fever, chills, cough, and muscle aches set in within one to two weeks of infection.
This is purely coincidence, as the parasite lives in only the vilest of places and commonly carries with it several infectious diseases.

Once in a host, the “tomb trilosydes” borrows deep into the pelvis, finding its nest in the curve of the coccyx. From this nest it extends from its “tail” several fibrous tentacles. These wrap about the spinal column and arteries in and around the pelvis. From these tentacles eggs are laid.

These eggs will grow and hatch into the larval form of the “tomb trilosydes” and work their way into the bloodstream and spinal cord. They will make every attempt to slowly make the arduously long journey to the brain of the host, where they will eventually mature into the hard shelled cryptosidius trilobita.

The larvae that travel to the brain through the spinal column can cause seizures or paralysis. Seizures will be evident by convulsions, rolling back of the eyes, drooling, swelling or swallowing of the tongue, temporary facial paralysis, and loss of bodily functions. If paralysis sets in the infected will appear, even to the most astute eyes, to be dead. Those traveling by bloodstream may cause heart attacks, fainting spells, numbness or pain, and internal bleeding.
These symptoms continue until the parasites leave the host.

One to five of the larvae will survive, the weaker ones being cannibalized by the stronger. Once matured they will burrow back to the intestines and leave the already inhabited host in search of one of their own.

The only known treatment for this infestation is as follows:

“Mix equal parts powdered wild roses, ashes of oak and juniper berries. Infuse into strong spirits for three days.
Drink one thimbleful at sunrise and another at sunset.
This curative takes seven days to effect.”

This parasite evolved independently within the confines of a large underground tomb. After surviving on the remains interred there for hundreds of years they entered a torpor-like stasis until a resent breach in the antechamber of the structure.

1 Liquor cerebrospinalis, is a clear bodily fluid that occupies the space between the skull and the cerebral cortex. It is a very pure saline solution with microglia3  and acts as a “cushion” or buffer for the cortex.

2 Serum albumin, often referred to simply as albumin, is the most abundant plasma protein in humans and other mammals.

3 Microglia are a type of cell that act as the immune cells for the central nervous system.

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Comments ( 15 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

the Wanderer
December 22, 2006, 18:28
Updated: (Thanks for the help Muro!)
Voted Cheka Man
December 22, 2006, 19:49
It's well written.
Voted Murometz
December 22, 2006, 20:16
I didnt do anything Wanderer :D

well, I know what manfred is thinking. "Oh no, not another bug infesting the body and laying its eggs" (:D I saw manfred post that somewhere recently)

However, I think what makes this piece somewhat unique (and manfred will agree), is that the science and psuedo-science speak is thorough and engaging!

Nicely written, and the footnotes are a nice touch. I can picture the dusty, yellowed tome and the frayed page upon which one would find a magnified, charcoal sketch of the TT.

Liquor Cerebrospinalis indeed!
the Wanderer
December 22, 2006, 20:49
You did help with the name....a bit.
December 23, 2006, 6:50
You're right! :)

I do have a slight dislike for RPG parasites laying it's eggs into people, who, typically, walk around merrily, until exploding some day in a bloody spray of larvae. Second to this are chestbursters of whatever kind (except for Alien that did it the first time, I think; Alien is OK).

Those things are SO overdone... but I do know a fresh take on, when I see one. Good descriptions also never fail.

(Aside: I will probably come to regret it, but you could start the freetext 'parasite', and link the rest of such creatures we have here to it.)
Voted valadaar
December 22, 2006, 20:45
I like it!

Mmm Liquor Cerebrospinalis.. Wonder what mixes well with it?
Voted CaptainPenguin
December 22, 2006, 23:12
Only voted
Voted Pariah
December 23, 2006, 0:24
Only voted
Voted manfred
December 23, 2006, 6:41
Not bad... not bad at all!

So if I get you right, the infested person has a chance to survive, even with problems and the dead appearing bit. It would be easy for a nefarious person to infest his enemies, and retrieve their bodies later to make his revenge, whether they live or not. The knowledge and a living specimen is all.

And yes, the scinetifical approach is nice.
the Wanderer
December 23, 2006, 10:32
Well, yes manfred.
I was considering the long-term effects when "Home Remedies and Herbal Medicine" jumped off the shelf into my lap.
(The appearance of death was inspired by cataleptic trances suffered by Edgar Allen Poe. His condition led to paranoia of being buried alive.)

They could be used by someone for many reasons, but handling them is the issue. First they'd need to find the specimen (a rather disgusting chore), then retrieve one without becoming infected themselves. They also carry a multitude of other diseases and infections (easy to contract while "harvesting" them).

As a side note, the parasite isn't particularly "deadly", nor do they "burst out in a bloody mess". They just cause a lot of pain, possible paralysis and seizures. Then if a host survives, they simple deposit themselves into the local privy once they make their way back through the body (yet again, another painful process).
Once they leave the body, the other diseases are still a problem...
Voted Chaosmark
December 23, 2006, 10:37
Forgot to vote.
Voted MoonHunter
December 23, 2006, 10:54
Evil critter. So actually these are the curse of one tomb/ dungeon complex? Or every tomb/ dungeon complex?

This parasite evolved independently within the confines of a large underground tomb. After surviving on the remains interred there for hundreds of years they entered a torpor-like stasis until a resent breach in the antechamber of the structure.

How do they get around to other tombs?

It seems like they could be living anywhere, why are they just in tombs?

My idea is the critter is a fairly standard parasite mutated by embalming fluids/ practices when they eat corpses they mutate into these critter.
the Wanderer
December 23, 2006, 11:12
Actually this critter was a preemptive sub for a much larger plot line.

They could travel quite easily through underground waterways or in animals (which meet the dietary requirements quite nicely).

They evolved in a specific tomb structure but will no longer be restricted to them. They currently reside in several other places including privies, mass graves, slaughter houses, etc. (anywhere their dietary needs can be filled).

As a side note, breeding does not require a living host...just the raw materials.

As for their evolution, it will be covered in greater detail soon...
Voted Exile
December 27, 2006, 7:58
Only voted
Voted Dozus
December 4, 2016, 23:50
I like this. Yes, the "man-eating parasite" is a frequent trope, but adding the twist of paralysis and pseudo-death is nice. The mechanics are well thought-out, too.

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