Meteorite Ticks are alien beasts that come to Araea riding on meteorites that fall during the seasons of storms
. They haunt the areas of the world where such impacts are common, feasting on meteoric iron and any other metals they can find. They are not particularly picky if such metal being worn or not.
Covered in a mix of a shell of a crab and carapace of a beetle, the Ticks are long but small things with a powerful, fleshy tail that protrudes from its armored half. They have a multitude of clawed legs, ranging from six legs to as many as twice that, and several pincher-ended arms it uses to hold food or shovel it into its circular, fanged maw. When threatened, it can pull its tail all the way into its shell and use it as a spring to launch itself at both predator and prey. While the largest seen has been about the length of a man from tail to head, most are about half that size.
The shell of the a tick is a sickly sand-like color, with the flesh and claws a lighter hue of the same. The ticks have no visible eyes, only a handful of slits along the front of the shell located above the maw.
The Ticks do not seem bothered by many things that would cripple a human, demonstrating no need to hide from either scorching sun or Blight. When sleeping, or dormant, they curl up into a ball and can from a distance be mistaken from rocks.
Where ever they come from must teach very poor manners.
Meteorite Ticks are highly aggressive critters that have shown no trouble attacking even armed and armored humans when provoked. They are fast and vicious predator, chasing down their prey to tear at them with their powerful claws until they expire. Unlike many animals, they seem to kill prey even without feeding.
Meteorite ticks are almost completely silent, making no form of noise even when grievously injured. The only sound they make is clicking their claws together.
Some form of social structure has been observed, with the largest tick controlling the pack beneath it. If Ticks from different pack meet, it ends in battle until one of them either submits to the other or is killed and its shell eaten, with the flesh left to rot into a purplish gas. The pack structure is loose, with the Ticks all remaining in the general area and congregating on occasion, but just as often they will hunt alone.
While they have stayed out of human settlements so far and made no attempts to enter them, people have claimed to see them try to devour the metal carried by their victims while ignoring the flesh.
Almost nothing is known about the life of the Meteorite Tick, outside their way of reaching the world of Araea. They don't seem to age (or at least it has never been observed) and seem to eat metal and ores more then meat and blood. There are those that claim the Tick is merely the larval form of another being, a hunter from the stars. Accounts are rare, but they speak of a creature that stand as tall as a man and a maw large enough to bite the head from the shoulders.
Eye-witness description of an adult "Tick", unconfirmed
Most hope the tick is as bad as it gets.
Meteorite Ticks are rare to find, most commonly found during the Season of storm
when more meteorites then normal crash into the world. To the practical-minded Araean, the Ticks are less a cosmic mystery to be solved and more an dangerous pest that maul or kill the occasional prospector or Star-Chaser
and eat ore that could otherwise be smelted to ingots.
On occasion, settlements troubled will do their best to exterminate or drive the ticks away from their immediate surrounding. In other times, the ticks will be specifically hunted for their tough shells for use in armor, being particularly valued for their seeming inability to catch fire or lead heat.
To most, they are just one more danger among many of the Surface