Bomination Technology / Science in Excilior | World Anvil


Delicate art of damnation

I never wish to speak ill of a colleague, but I've just returned from a visit with Brother de Sourta.  And I must say that what he's currently working on - with dogged persistence - is, well... it's disturbing.
Marnio Carno Fraga, Sceraisian Agnoscio, 2670 AoR
omination is the process of creating a daeman from the near-dead remains of a person whose head has literally exploded due to the hatching of clutch borer larvae.  It is one of the most reviled practices on the planet and is done almost exclusively by the outlaw "scientists" known as the Agnoscio.  The result of bomination - a living, breathing daeman - is one of the most disturbing creatures that has ever been witnessed in casterway society.  
Larval Injection
Borer injection has been an unfortunate reality of casterway life for nearly as long as there have been casterways.  There are many different species of borers and they all have the common trait of injecting their larvae inside the cranium of unsuspecting hosts.  Although the results of this affliction can vary slightly, depending upon the particular species that has done the injecting, the end result is always the same - eventually, the host's head (quite literally) explodes, and a new generation of winged, adult, airborne borers are unleashed upon the world.  Unsurprisingly, the result of this horrific fate was, up to a certain point, always fatal.  And quite frankly, given the catastrophic damage inflicted by this process, the victim's death is probably the closest thing in the planet's natural realm to "mercy", and it probably would always have remained as such - were it not for the Agnoscio.  
Clutch Borers
In 2662 AoR, Sceraisian Agnoscio Nilton de Sourta noticed that not all borer victims died in an identical way.  Specifically, those who had been stung by the particular species known as the clutch borer tended to live on after the explosion, sometimes for minutes, but occasionally as long as an hour.  Given that the victims of every other species of borer couldn't even survive for mere seconds after the trauma, he found this peculiarity to be worthy of further study.  
Waxen Polyspores
What he found was that clutch borers harbor a significant population of a fungus known as the waxen polyspore.  When they inject their larvae, they also inject a generous portion of this spore.  This seems to be a symbiotic evolutionary adaptation, as the spore helps to "pre-digest" brain matter, which in turn helps the larvae to grow and metamorphose into their adult form.  The spore also has a curious side effect on human biology.  While it is converting large portions of tissue to a goopy slime (that will eventually be consumed by the larvae), it also forms a thick shell around the area it has colonized.  This means that, even while it is utterly destroying the host's brain, it is creating a crude form of natural tourniquet around the affected area.  In practical terms, this means that victims suffer significantly less blood loss after the explosion.  It also means that, when the violent rupture finally occurs (as gruesome as that may be), the damage is actually more localized and "contained" than it is in hosts that have been stung by other types of borer.  
Clinging to Life
When the cranium of a clutch borer host has exploded, there is almost always some degree of brain stem still intact.  Frequently, there is even more brain left over than simply the stem.  Furthermore, this remaining portion of brain matter, along with whatever sections of the head-and-face that were not ejected by the pressure, are, ironically, somewhat "protected" by the calcified shell that has formed under the fungal sac.  It's this feature that allows clutch borer victims to actually survive for many minutes after the catastrophic rupture.  Whereas the victims of other borers die almost instantaneously once their head has exploded, clutch borer victims often writhe and twitch on the floor, for some time after the event, before they finally pass away.  It was in this torturous, lingering phase that de Sourta sensed an opportunity.  For the next 19 years, he commenced an unconscionable series of experiments.  And given that the Agnoscio are typically keen to record all the results of any experiments they might conduct, many subsequent researchers have been both enlightened and sickened by the knowledge and the techniques that are codified in his voluminous journals. 
What price is the heartbeat of a few stray travelers when the prize to be grasped is eternal life?
Nilton de Sourta, Sceraisian Agnoscio, 2679 AoR
Human Experiments
Even by Agnoscio standards, de Sourta's research facility was particularly remote.  Nestled deep in the wilds of the Silent Jongle, he had no problem conducting all manner of aberrant experiments without arousing the suspicions of any local authorities.  And amongst its menagerie of frightening fauna, the Silent Jongle is well known for its overflowing population of clutch borers.  So his only scarce resource was test subjects - but he also proved to be adept at finding such people.  For even in the remote reaches of northern Isleprimoton, there are always stray vamps and itinerant day laborers, desperate to perform almost any task in return for a solid meal and a bit of shelter.  
Once he cultivated a steady flow of research subjects (who were all, unwittingly, stung by clutch borers and then kept around until the inevitable trauma occurred), he reasoned that these victims could be "saved", even after the horrific rupture, if only he could find a way to immediately apply his surgical skills to the writhing sufferers before they died.  Given the state of medical knowledge in his day, accompanied with the details recorded in his journal, most cognoscenti surmise that his "surgical skills" were more akin to "butchery skills".  But any doubts about his talents were not shared by de Sourta himself, and he proceeded to doggedly pursue his objective through trial-and-error over the next 19 years on no less than 241 hapless subjects.  
First Daeman
Many such tales from Agnoscio lore are as pointless as they are brutal.  Often, the rogue "researcher" harms (or kills) countless souls before he-or-she finally passes away - having achieved absolutely nothing.  Incredibly, de Sourta's tale is not one of these examples.  In 2681 AoR, he perfected a repeatable process that yielded the first known daeman in casterway history.  After witnessing the violent rupture of his subject's cranium, he immediately swooped in and performed a series of gruesome surgical procedures that did, in fact, "save" the life of the victim.  Of course, "save" is a subjective term.  For while the individual did indeed go on to live - for 33 more years - he was a grotesque shadow of his former self.  This victim was also the first instance of something that no other casterway has, in good conscience, ever labeled as human.  de Sourta had succeeded - in the most gruesome way - in creating the world's first daeman.


he "utility" of a daemen lies solely in the eye - and the motives - of its owner. Most casterways view daemen as a horrific affront against nature and they are extremely uneasy in a daeman's presence. As troublesome as that may sound, the simple fact is that some people find this unsettling effect to be to their benefit. This effect is further magnified when in the presence of someone who has never before heard of daemen, or never believed them to be real. There is something wholly unnerving about being in the room with a daeman for the first time. And there are certainly some individuals throughout history who have been content to seize upon that discomfort.
We were waiting for some kind of sign from the resistance. Some clue that it was time to strike. Then Koganne marched his procession through the village market with three grotesque daemen in tow. Nishida, Ishihara, and Matsumota - the guiding lights of our so-called rebellion. Transformed into slavering, mindless fiends, lumbering aimlessly behind the prefect. And we all understood - instantly - that the resistance was dead.
Amaya Tome, Ahjan rebel, 3594 AoG
With this in mind, bomination (and the daemen that are produced through the technology) have often been used as instruments of sheer terror. For a despotic ruler or secretive Agnoscio, there are few things that strike a greater primal fear in the hearts of onlookers than when the master passes by with one-or-more fiendish-looking daemen in tow. Several particularly-cruel sovereigns have harnessed this fear to devastating effect by turning scores of their vanquished enemies into daemen. Many would-be rebellions have been nipped in the bud when the movements' early leaders were captured, turned into daemen, and paraded throughout the city streets for all other potential agitators to witness.  
Beyond their menacing psychological effects, daemen do serve some practical purpose for their masters. They can be trained to handle a wide array of menial tasks and often fill the role of low-level servants. They are particularly useful at manual labor. Obviously, the more "mindless" the chore, the better suited a daeman might be to its completion.


s an underground and thoroughly-scorned practice, the exact process of bomination is, even to this day, something of a mystery. The few practitioners of the art are loathe to share their secrets with anyone but their most trusted confidantes. The written records of the process are either A) in the hands of the Agnoscio (and they're not likely to share them), or they are B) locked up by the cognoscenti in forbidden inner sanctums of their klysters. Even for those who have had the constitution and the wherewithal to study bomination with any sort of academic rigor, it can be difficult to surmise the current/modern process in comparison to the spotty records that survive over the centuries. This is because the existing archives often highlight the bomination process as it existed at some previous point in the near-or-distant past. But like all medical/surgical technologies, bomination has certainly advanced - possibly, by leaps-and-bounds - since its first inception in 2681 AoR. So any study done of past bomination records does not necessarily represent the state-of-the-art as it is practiced (in the shadows) today.   While the entire effort is scarcely known amongst respectable scientists, researchers, and surgeons, the following points are generally understood to be vital to bomination:  
  • Victims that have been inseminated with clutch borer larvae must be closely monitored when it is presumed that their head is about to explode. Once the violent rupture occurs, there will be precious little time to save their life, and the effort is nearly hopeless if an attendant is not anxiously waiting to spring into action at the moment when the trauma occurs.
  • Anyone planning to convert a clutch borer victim into a daeman will have the subject bound tightly to a bed or table. Once the head explodes, the remaining hulk of body is prone to tics and violent spasms. Such movement is extremely problematic for anyone trying to operate on the victim, so it's best for that person to be already bound before the procedure even begins.
    Blood Loss
  • After the head explodes, the most pressing concern is to stop blood loss. The protective shell created by the waxen polyspores certainly goes a long way toward stopping the bleeding - and indeed, it is the only reason why daemen are possible in the first place. But it should not be assumed that, when the head of a clutch borer victim explodes, there is no bleeding. Far from it. Anecdotal reports indicate that the room is literally awash in blood, brain matter, skull fragments, and all manner of biological detritus. And without an aggressive campaign to halt any additional bleeding, the patient will soon expire.
    Spore Injection
  • Once the bleeding has been stopped, the next steps are clouded in mystery, but it's believed that a campaign is begun to inject greater volumes of waxen polyspores into the rest of the victim's body. This is presumably done because the spore has an incredible ability to preserve tissue - permanently - and is apparently a critical step in the creation of a living daeman.
    Surgical Repair
  • With the patient properly inundated with additional waxen polyspores, a long series of surgical procedures are commenced to stabilize the victim's physiology. These steps are, understandably, widely variable because they depend, in large part, on the exact nature of damage that was done when the victim's head exploded. Although there is no such thing as a "minor" head explosion, the exact physical damage varies greatly from one victim to the next. In some cases, there are significant portions of eyes, ears, nose, and/or the cranial region left behind that can possibly be salvaged. In other cases, collateral damage can extend well into the neck and chest regions, requiring extensive surgical intervention if there is to be any hope of the daeman surviving.
  • Assuming the surgery is successful and the victim hasn't expired on the operating table, they are strapped down for a long period of convalescence - presumed to be weeks (at least). Once their wounds are finally healed, they are then introduced to a significant period of training. During this extended phase, the confused, discombobulated daeman begins the painstaking process of learning to navigate in its new world - and how to recognize and respond to the commands of its new master.
Nilton de Sourta
Access & Availability
Accessible to the Agnoscio, presumably to the cognoscenti (although they would never admit to the practice), and anyone with enough power or influence to compensate an Agnoscio for such services
Extemely complex, owing to the medical and surgical knowledge, and the specialized equipment, that is necessary to keep the potential daeman alive
2681 AoR in Sceraisia

Articles under Bomination


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