Nxla Symbiote

Indigenous to Stara Ziema where they are born in spawning pools by a Nxla queen, a variant of the typical Nxla that needs no host to survive. These nutrient rich pools incubate the small Nxla until they are able to be fused with a living organism. Their use in the Rephan Empire is as old as the empire itself and few if any seem certain whether the creatures existed prior or were the creation of Rephan mages.

Predominantly insect in appearance and nature, they have some biology that relates to other creatures like amphibians and crustaceans. A spinal column protected in an chitinous exoskeleton merges with a hand-like claw with many tendril that protrude from it like a jellyfish. The column is fused with the host's own in a very painful merging, the claw portion affixing to the base of the host's neck, and the tendrils attaching to places of nourishment and nerve fusing for the Nxla. If a Nxla is removed from it's host, it has an 80% change of dying. The host fairs even worse, and those who might survive often face paralysis, systems failures, and psychotic episodes.

Specially trained mages, aptly named Nxla Mages, handle these procedures as well as the taming and controlling of the wild Nxla behaviors to make them serve their purpose in the Imperial society. Among these purposes is to grant military teams a form of communication with commanders far away, much like having a radioman on a WWII battlefield. Another is a horrific means of empowering mages further than they are otherwise naturally capable, but its far too risky and the advantages too few to see this done commonly. The third is to create agents within other cultures, coaxing or extorting someone into fusing with a Nxla so that their lives and what they do and see can be transmitted back to the Nxla Mages and thus to Moloch himself.

Despite their use, Nxla are relatively rare as are their Mage counterparts, who account for perhaps less than 2% of mage in all of Stara-Ziema. These mages often study vaguely similar magical forms like shadow and alchemic schools to make themselves more useful than just pet wranglers and communication towers. They also seem to share a very introverted lifestyle, rarely even working with each other, let alone anyone else unless commands are given otherwise. Quiet, hermit-like lifestyles are quiet the norm and it's rumored than it has something to do with their contact (as part of their training) with Nxla Queens, whom generally only they have seen.

Hosts are 99% sentient beings and most of those are Furres as reptilian and avian species don't share the sort of temperatures and nutrients a Nxla needs to survive. When a Nxla completes a successful fusion with a host, there are several weeks of recovery usually taken so both can acclimate to each other. Afterword, the host will show no signs of change to their personality or physicality other than the visible spinal attachment attached above the flesh of the host's own spine and a wavered attention span as their mind is thinking for two. Psychological damage can be done however as the mental presence can create many different kinds of mental dysfunctions, but schizophrenia the largest potential. The user may find his magical or psionic abilities becoming slightly more powerful but harder to control, at least for a time. Non-formerly empowered hosts may feel heavier for a while but lighter as they get used to it all.

Nxla has been known to be quite the medical marvel as well as they encourage healing of the hosts body, even taking poor organs and helping them to function better by fighting off disease as well as wear and tear or deformity. This is often negated as a treatment however as the process would likely kill unhealthy hosts during fusion. But even healthy hosts will find themselves just as easily at the mercy of conditions like the flu.

Table of Contents

Nxla Symbiote

Species: Symbiotic Insect
Family Type: Loners
Homeland: Stara Ziema
Habitat: Any

Life Span: Undefined. They have a high mortality rate because of their host or poor spawning conditions, but some have lasted upwards of 200 years on multiple hosts. None have seemed to die of "old age".
Height: They vary, often growing larger depending on their host, but are still generally at least 21 inches in length.
Weight: They vary depending on size, but rarely lighter than 5 pounds or heavier than 12 pounds.
Fur: n/a
Hair: n/a
Eyes: n/a
Appearance: Insectoid claw-like head attached to a thin armored spine, many string sized tendrils fanning from its entire body. Two broad wings of liquid that appears more like a metallic material than cloth or flesh extends behind it main vertebrae. On its own, it is said they can fly with these shape shifting wings and is their only supposed mode of transportation without a host. Their body is a shiny black or dark dark form of red, green, blue or grey and lose their sheen to a matte state as they age the first few years.

Innate Abilities

Natural: None to speak of aside from their ability and need to share their physical existence with their host body.
Magicke: None to speak of, but can be considered an extra battery of energy a mage host could use for abilities.
Psionic: Telepathy = This is predominantly what the Rephan uses the Nxla for. Nxla communicate to each other through a vaguely psionic telepathy using subsonic frequencies and ley lines that can travel absurd distances in a short amount of time, a feat still under study. Their vocabulary is very limited however so it is up to a Nxla Mage to be able to translate the information received in order to make sense of it. Thus, being a host to a Nxla doesn't mean one can understand a Nxla nor control its transmissions.
Sixth Sense = They can perceive harmful intent before it reaches them, often alerting its host body and heightens host's senses and reactions through influx of adrenalin and other chemicals.
Fury Burst = A self defensive tactic using the same biological abilities as its telepathy, using subsonic bursts of energy to ripple around the host's body, causing a dampening agent against blows and projectiles, a low potential for deflecting weaker forms or poor strength entirely. All those around the host will hear a very low humming noise while those within arms reach will feel violent vibrations in the air itself. The host's hair and clothing will often look like its in a wind when the Burst is active. It is difficult for a host to move while this is active either, however, meaning it is mostly useful as a stationary defense or last ditch protection. Nxla can use a more powerful version of the burst to explode from the host, much like a bubble being popped, but it has a high rate of rendering the its host unconscious.

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