Star of Rage
The soldiers charged screaming into battle, their faces twisted into masks of hatred as they struck out with blows stronger then humans would normally be capable of. Each wore on his shield arm a Star of Rage, a starfish-like creature, ruddy red with the blood that it was draining from his body.
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.
The hosts have gathered, legions eye barbarians across a barren field, the generals stab daggers into their maps, the WAR QUEST has arrived.
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? Responses (13)-13
You forgot to check the War checkbox Cheka!
You might want to delete and resubmit before you get votes.
This is a very useful and balanced creature that would be feasible in the natural world. I imagine that a good tactic for these stars would be to equip suicide warriors with them. This would be a similar tactic used by the vikings, who sent warriors in who believed that when they died, they would feast eternally in the hall of their god. Criminals could also be used in a similar fashion, come to think of it.
suicide bomber or the Japanese Fighter Pilots is my view, would an affected person actually submit to having it taken off their body?
Now knowing your enemy has these, would you in turn equip your men with them knowing the cost or would this turn into an arms race
What are they? Where did they come from? Do they lay eggs in wounds? This sub is certainly good but it leaves me with alot of questions.
Actually, these are fantasy steroids - with quite a bit more colour than some boring pills or shots!
You could add a few legends of how they arised from the blood of a god of war, or something, but they are fine; but note also the applications to alchymists, who will try to distill their properties and process into something. You have also taken the time to look into the downsides, and it shows!
Nice work, Cheka!
I think is a really good post Cheka!
A really nice idea and a flexable one as well. I have an idea of the stars spreading like a virus, making an army of berserkers. What it there was a sort of cult that forcefully implanted the parasites? All in all an excelent submission.
I like this.
Well lets hope the super villians or worse the super heros don't start wearing these. Worst of all there could be a queen bee starfish that can use these starfish to enslave those wearing starfish into some hive mind collective.