There are those who have been lost, consumed by the desert, or discarded by the powerful. Their souls drained and bodies broken. And there there are the makers, those who tinker with blood and bone, and the fractured souls they scavenge. When you find yourself lost in the wastes, there are things out there worse than your draining thirst or the ever-burning sun. Beware the Soulhusk Chimeras.Souhusk Chimeras are the result of strange experiments over the millennia of Shadowfire, where ancestors of the Usokufa first learnt their secrets. They are constructs, built of discarded body parts and even living beings whose souls have been sallowed through the over-use of magics until they are but a soulhusk. These parts are stitched together and threaded with Klomerati tendrils. The sentience of the Klomerati imbues the chimera with life, and they shambled the wastes, in search of sources of Uhd to feed upon - be it crystal ore, or in the blood of the unfortunate strays.
Many forms, many partsThe chimeras have a horrific diversity of forms. There are those with multiple limbs and heads, or those without either that slither and flop blindly across the sands. Still others with the bodies of beasts, the wings of birds or those with a hundred eyes as if a swarm of insects were trapped in an amber of flesh and all writhing with Klomerati tendrils that emerge from them. They are essentially a peculiar combination of Bodyservants and Klomerati Symbiote, but over the many years have evolved amongst themselves, despite their origins as the constructs of others.
An emerging society, and threatSoulhusk Chimeras become intelligent from their symbiosis with the Klomerati tendrils, and they will work together in packs to hunt, or protect territory that is rich in Uhd against outsiders. A culture has emerged of sorts. They compete for prestige against each other by collecting new parts from their prey and grafting these to their ever-growing and more fanciful bodies. The largest among them rule the others through aggression and fear. The Dead Lord Kholkosi, recently moved into the deep desert of Ardi-Kokufa, along the base of the Devilspine mountains. He has gathered soulhusk chimeras to him as an army, and they worship him and imbue his godling form with new and terrible power. In return, he has given them a purpose beyond their pure hunger, and encouraged their ability to cooperate and collaborate. These Soulhusk Chimeras under the Dead Lord Kholkosi's banner have begun more aggressive incursions against the settlements and tradeways up and down the Godswollen River. Even the Warlords of the Wastes have begun to retreat from their traditional lands in fear, and seek the safety of the more civilised lands.
While their overall forms are as diverse as the cadavers they prey upon to graft onto themselves, there is a common driving morphology underneath. All are built of the bodies of the dead, or those that have succumbed to Sallowing and become soul husks. These are joined together through physical craft - often with obvious stitching and struts made of bones and sinews. Throughout the body though, is threaded the network of sentient Klomerati tendrils, which imbue the construct with sentience and mobility. This is often seen as crystals and tendrils erupt from the gaps between the flesh, and can even extend as sinewy crystalline tentacles.
Genetics and Reproduction
The original Chimeras were likely constructed by the ancestors of the Usokufa, and their reproduction follows the same basic process as the creation of the Bodyservants. The sentience of the Soulhusk Chimeras means they consciously create new versions of themselves, to increase their population and in some twisted way - to express themselves creatively. This process is limited only to the materials they have at hand. Traditionally, materials were collected by hunting unwary prey who strayed too deep into the deserts, but under the leadership of the Dead Lord Kholkosi, the Chimeras have been actively invading the edges of the more civilised lands to increase their numbers.
Growth Rate & Stages
The grow by adding more body parts to themselves. The largest and more grotesque are the older and more powerful among them.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
The senses are dependent upon the make up of the body parts they have scavenged. Sight if they have eyes, sound if the have ears. Most will at least have a tremor sense and many can sense the direction and distance of sources of UHD.