KazaK (/kah:zahk/)

Overview

The KazaK are sophontic leeches born within Death’s Basin on Marus. They are described as being eyeless with long, sleek bodies that end in lamprey mouths at both ends. KazaK are born in broods of hundreds within deep swampland breeding pits; only a mere dozen will survive to adulthood, having survived the frenzied feeding of a starving pool of KazaK younglings. These magical parasites have developed to feed upon Marus Veils in order to survive. Each one must consume their first sophontic host before reaching maturity if they wish to see their first birthday. While an adult KazaK must always keep one of these rasping mouths attached to their host to keep themselves healthy. Each one is capable of ghoulishly possessing the body of their host and puppeting about its still-conscious form as if it were their own flesh and blood. Though they prefer the bodies of powerful Gifted and other living humanoids, these Leechfolk can survive for brief periods of time inside the bodies of uplifted animals or even that of a corpse. These twin-headed snakes emerge from breeding pits in the boggy marshlands of Death’s Basin as dreaded terrors to the civilized world. Seen as a sentient plague set to wash across the Realm of Seas and either devour or enslave its denizens. This sordid reputation for evil is an inescapeable shadow over the KazaK.
 
That sound... gods that maddening sound... there must be hundreds of them- No! There must be thousands! Crawling all over each other like worms in a cup... can you hear them squeel in delight each time they throw one of us down?
— Journal Of A Captured Kaelic Sailor, Recovered From KazaK Breeding Pit
 

Culture

KazaK society is ruled by the select few of their kind born possessing the ability to reproduce. These breeders are groomed over their entire lives for the task, selected from birth and given the best possible upbring. The best food and hosts provided to them to better protect and care for them until the end of their lifespan when they birth of their brood. A KazaK breeder will reproduce only once at the end of its life in Death’s Basin, but in doing so will produce hundreds of leechlings. All other KazaK exist for the sole purpose of expanding their stain upon the world. Infect, infiltrate, infest. These are the sacred precepts of the Leechfolk that send them squirming into every crack of civilization. Be careful... one friend's mysterious change in behavior may in fact be a lurking KazaK consuming your friend from the inside out and infiltating your home.
Disecting a KazaK is required to know this secret.
Knowledge of KazaK customs and superstitions is required to know this secret.
Traveling to Craven's Feeding Ground is required to know this secret.
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General Information

Lifespan
10 years old, reaching maturity in just 18 months.
Average Weight
5 to 10 pounds.
Average Length
1 foot per year old.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities

KazaK Naming Scheme

KazaK names vary widely, but tend to be short, no more than a few syllables, and follow some form of repeating pattern. Every one will always read the same forward and back while beginning and ending with a capital letter. Many KazaK will also choose an inconspicuous Kaen cover name when traveling outside Death’s Basin.
KazaK Unisex Names
HuluH, JeneJ, XalilaX, RykyR, DaxanaxaD, KeplelpeK.
Cover Names
John, Kevin, Samantha, Chester, Caldridge, Bellowfurst.

Veil Parasitism

Due to a KazaK's natural biology, their innate Veil is quickly devoured as a leechling. It is because of this that many die long before adulthood due to starvation or cannibalism. Adult KazaK have an eerie sense for Gifted and can survive for short stints of time without the nourtishment of a Veil.

Genetic Memory

All KazaK are born with the genetic memory of those that came before them, thus aiding in the incredibly rapid lifecycle of the Leechfolk. All their language, history, geography, and more would be as natural to a newborn as breathing for any other.

Kazic

Kazic is the KazaK's native tongue and is made up of guttural clicks and clucks that are unsettling when spoken alone... and terrifying when spoken by groups. This language is not taught, but rather passed down through shared genetic memory.


Cover image: by Logo by Garret Grace Lewis, edited by Oneriwien.
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Comments

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Feb 15, 2024 22:02 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Ah, yes, Bellowfurst, the most inconspicuous of names.   These guys are absolutely terrifying, more so because they are sapient.

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