Zetcoux Olxlikliz

Zeht-coosh Ohl-sh-leek-leez

Her skin was dry as the desert sands outside— and her skin wrinkled like that of a discarded yntxol? fruit. We tried to save her from death by placing her in a cool bath— but her thirsting body became bloated as it engorged itself on the life-giving drink. She died within minutes.
— A grieving sister
  Zetcoux olxlikliz, translated literally to "dry sickness," is a condition that strikes, seemingly at random— and causes its victims to quickly lose any moisture within their bodies. This extreme dryness, combined with a strange force, causes victims to act like sponges when presented with new liquids.

Extra Info

Type
Parasitic
Origin
Kol'Kolgar
Duration
3 Days
Rarity
Rare
 

An Unseen Predator

QetGenericImage10-2.png
Zetcoux olxlikliz's cause is not that of an illness— instead, its victims have fallen prey to eldritch creatures known as kol'kolgar. Kol'kolgar appear only to those with insight into the eldritch world— typically occultists. Once their prey is caught, the creatures will wrap themselves around their entire body. To an outsider without insight— the condition strikes at random.   This has only aided the common perception that illnesses are the result of bad air— reflected in the Qetlec word for illness, "olxlikliz" which literally means "bad air." Thankfully, as the creatures responsible are somewhat easy to spot and avoid once they become visible— zetcoux olxlikliz is a rare affliction.  

Symptoms

Victims are quickly drained of moisture, resulting first in dry skin— by the end of the day their skin is cracked and shriveled. By the end of the second day, the victim's eyes will have dried out and shriveled to the point of uselessness. The inside of the body will shortly follow, starting with the mouth and tongue which will dry out much like their outer skin. By the end of the third day, their organs will have withered into dry husks— leading to death.   If a victim makes contact with liquid— be it water, alcohol, juice, or anything else— the kol'kolgar will use their body to collect it, which causes the victim's body to rapidly expand. This whiplash will often kill the victim within minutes.  

Treatment

Unless someone with the insight to spot the kol'kolgar happens by the victim— they are left in the hands of those who do not know the nature of their affliction to care for them. In a few cases, victims have been kept alive for years with a steady, slow, stream of water— just enough to keep their organs from drying out. They are often still too weak to move, even eating is a great difficulty in this condition. Their cracked, dry skin also makes them much more prone to infection and other illnesses— which is what typically kills these long-lasting victims.  
They informed me that the poor soul had been bedridden for nearly five years in this way— to think, all they needed to do was kill the creature wrapped around their body. I killed their parasite in the night— when their family could not see. I received a letter months later of the victim's miraculous recovery.
— An occultist healer



Cover image: by Garrett Lewis (Timepool)

Comments

Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!


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Eternal Deity Ademal
Ademal Jacklyn
14 Dec, 2020 00:44

Glad to hear there's a treatment! Though I assume many aren't so fortunate as to receive it.

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Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
14 Dec, 2020 00:55

Unfortunately since it takes mere days to kill, and it's rare to begin with— few know of or stumble upon the treatment.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
14 Dec, 2020 23:49

I really like the fact that only occultists can see the creatures and therefore they are the only ones who actually know how to treat it. Those poor victims have a horrible death either way, whether through drying out or exploding with liquid. Though I think being kept alive longterm is worse.

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
14 Dec, 2020 23:52

Think about the bright side though! I don't know what the bright side is, which is why I'm suggesting it.

15 Dec, 2020 18:29

Such rapacious, vile creatures! I most certainly do not want to ever meet them. I wonder, though, what drives their hunger for the living. Why do they not rather prey upon less mobile sources of those tasty liquids?

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
15 Dec, 2020 19:04

When I get to their own article, I'll have a more clear explanation!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
17 Dec, 2020 01:49

Oh my eldritch parasites are no joke. That's brutal and has to be unpleasant to expirience. It's super creative too. I wouldn't have imagined hydration to be the major problem. Well done.

Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
17 Dec, 2020 02:19

Thanks! Yeah, real fun time, this one.

20 Dec, 2020 08:17

Well, this is beautifully creepy.

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
Sage Timepool
Garrett Lewis
20 Dec, 2020 19:37

Thank you!

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