Klomerati tendrils

Klomerati are tiny living crystals that are primarily found within the Shatterbright, but also beneath the sands of Ardi-Kokufa and across the wastelands of Mortugurra and The Desolation of Ghul Drazul.   The vast majority exist as individual crystals, quietly consuming crystal uhd to convert sunlight energy into tiny amounts of water and other elements.   Where especially large concentrations of Crystal uhd exist, Klomerati can swarm into writhing networks of living crystal lattices. These lattices can become quite complex, and are collectively known as Klomerati tendrils.   Klomerati Tendrils have an emergent sentience that arises from the complexity and size of the crystal lattices and the interchange of energy across the network. Smaller tendrils tend to simple awareness and drives, but the larger are rumoured to have quite advanced, even if entirely alien intelligences.  
The shard hunter licked his parched lips and jostled his visor for a better look against the reflective glare. There were the tell-tale signs: the obsidion shards lined up in concentric rings, almost like tiny fences, and the gravel of salt and glass looked like it had been raked into a spiral-like pattern. This one was big, nearly 3 metres across, and that meant water - lots of water.   There was the barest tinkle of glass and out of the corner of his visor he spotted something moving beneath gravel, fast. A tendril was sinewing its way toward him, clattering and chiming as it picked up speed. The shard hunter tightened his grip on the iron club in his hand.   "Wait!" he shouted, hoping beyond hope this Klomerati was big enough and old enough to know kin-speech. It was either death by tendril, or death by thirst.   Or one slim chance.   He held up the vial of powdered Uhd in his other hand. it wasn't much, but he hoped it would buy him his life.   "I bring trade!"

Basic Information

Genetics and Reproduction

The individual crystals of a Klomerati are created from the interaction between crystal, sunlight and other salts and elements that exist within the pulverised soils of the Shatterbright and similar areas across Mortuggurra.   Most Klomerati will only ever exist as unconnected individuals, never more aware than a single-cell creature floating across an ocean.   However, when Klomerati find themselves attached to a larger and pure source of uhd they begin to knit themselves into more complex arrangements. The sources of stable power can come from a rare asteroid that falls from the Nightbridge, or within larger veins of uhd brought up from the core of the planet during the Destruction or subsequent volcanism.

Growth Rate & Stages

As the tendrils grow, they collect more and more individual Klomerati, and begin to twist into knots and lattices. This stage is known as a Tangle, and will usually range in size from a few centimetres to a metre or two across surrounding or attached to the side of their source of uhd energy. Klomerati Tangles do not move, but their energy is spent forming and strengthening the connections within.
by Ononomad, using Midjourney
  At some point, the complexity is enough that the Klomerati will become self-aware enough to explore and begin to craft its environment. It will send out root, or tentacle-like appendages - the tendrils for which they are named. These collect resources, build defences from rocks, and subsume other Klomerati or any other forms of life or resource that they can find. Their tendrils are fast, sharp and strong, and can lacerate and dismember the unaware in short order.   As they grow, Klomerati are constantly producing water which they collect in potentially huge reservoirs of water beneath their lairs. This water is one of the primary reasons travellers and other life forms will risk the dangers that tendrils will pose.   The largest of the Klomerati Tendrils can cover a mile or two of territory, and actively seek out new sources of uhd to maintain their life and growth. At this size they become as intelligent as any kin, and some have even learnt to trade their water for Uhd with passing travellers.   The depletion of their source of Uhd is the only reason for the death of any Klomerati. Without it they cannot feed off the sunlight, and quickly wither into their inert components. Physically disconnecting a Klomerati from its source will kill it, but they keep them well protected, and the larger ones will have multiple sources over the territory they control.

Ecology and Habitats

The Klomerati are the source of most energy in their domains and can become small oases of life within the desolation. Other life, like small lizards, insects and hardy succulents often co-exist in their areas, feeding on the water they supply. Larger animals and unwary interlopers however are often seen as threats, and will be swiftly dealt with - especially by the larger Klomerati.

Additional Information

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Klomerati Tendrils play a central role in the Feast of Welding ritual that marks the graduation of Disciples of The Flaming Brand

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

The Klomerati Tendrils are connected to the rocks and minerals around them. The slightest of tremors will attract their attention, and they can 'see' in three dimensions for miles around their location.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Some Klomerati have discovered ways to attach themselves to Kin as parasites. Small Klomerati tendrils will infect a host by peircing their skin and injecting cyrstals into the blood stream. The Klomerati will quickly spread and feed upon the uhd particles present within the host's blood stream. Known as corpulithiasis, it is a swift affliction that results in the death of the host within days as their inner stores of uhd are depleted, and their blood and flesh are ossified from within by the invading Klomerati.   There are very rare cases where Kin have bonded with Klomerati in a sustainable symbiosis. The process requires a stable, and easily replenished source of Uhd, to prevent the klomerati from devouring the host. If this is sustained to the point where the Klomerati tendrils within the host reach sentience, then a merged hive mind state can be achieved.   The resulting Klomerati Symbiotes can take many forms - sometimes subtle, where the Klomerati are mostly hidden within the hosts externall normal appearance, but at othertimes quite extreme, where the host may be hidden with an extravegent exosceletal structure of crystal tendrils.

Cover image: by Marc Newberry


Please Login in order to comment!
Sage nnie
Annie Stein
8 Jul, 2022 09:37

What a bizarre creature. Great work!

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— Worldember 2022
8 Jul, 2022 13:22

Thanks Annie! You might like that they feature in my food ritual too… a bit gruesomely https://www.worldanvil.com/w/shadowfire-ononomad/a/feast-of-welding-ritual

Check out my world Shadowfire and my WorldEmber progress
Eternal Sage AmélieIS
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
3 Aug, 2022 17:12

I love this idea and how you've linked them to the ritual and how those organisms participate to the ecosystem by creating water! This is very cool :D

To see what I am up to:WE list of articles and goals.