"The Symbiont: proof that Ziel is an incredible, adaptive creature on this planet. Ziel is believed to be unthinking, mindless. Symbionts are proof that that is... all, horribly wrong. This is Ziel creating life-- this is Ziel adapting to life. There had to have been a cluster of Ziel, floating around, saw a snake eating a bird and thought, 'hey, I want to be able to do that'."
---Unknown author of 'Ziel: The Symbiotic Lifeblood of All Solarian Creatures'
Symbiont usage is as simple as slipping on a sock or glove: you rub a bit of numbing oil on the residual limb it is to cling to, then place the Symbiont's circular, teeth-rimmed mouth to it. When the Symbiont attaches to its host, it acts like an Elemental focus, granting the user with the Ziel affinity that the Symbiont is equipped with.Despite being seen as the "perfect" solution for those with amputations, Symbionts aren't perfect, even after its "synchronization" stage: as it clings to the host's residual limb, discomfort is almost always a concern. Rashes are common, and some are even allergic to the saliva of most Symbiont breeds. To function as an all-around unit, Symbionts leech nutrition through the residual limb of the "host", which poses a high fatigue risk as well.
Generally, a Symbiont looks like a slick black serpent with four metallic spikes near its back end. Its mouth is circular, with several rows of tiny transparent teeth that allow it to have a vice grip onto most surfaces. There are small, usually indetectible sensory organs near its mouth, which look like tiny beady eyes.Some Symbionts may take on different colors, either to camouflage itself with the host or make itself look inconspicuous with a consciously-added bit of countershading. It can also transform itself into different shapes, shifting around its mass and spines to give itself a body that suits its-- or its host's-- needs.
Symbionts, unusually enough, aren't traditionally manufactured: as Ziel wanted to imitate life to an extreme degree, Symbionts can breed and lay eggs through the same orifice it uses to cling to its hosts. This means that there are specialized Symbiont farms scattered all around Eris, typically run by Rot-afflicted individuals, or the family members of those individuals.
Why they are run by those affected by Rot is fairly simple: as Symbionts want to replicate what creatures can do, in order to have them work like the appendages of a living creature, they have to be trained to morph into a specific shape and provide a specific function. There are five types of Symbiont, each with an Ooshiman codename:
- Sy-1 // Bakizori // Leg prosthesis
- Sy-2 // Tsuchinoko // Tail prosthesis
- Sy-3 // Uwabami // Arm prosthesis
- Sy-4 // Isonade // Marine tail prosthesis
- Sy-5 // Ittan-Momen // Wing prosthesis
Symbionts are incredibly important to the people of Eris, as it provides many sentient individuals the power to harness the elements, even if their species doesn't typically allow for it innately. As it is hard for people to get infected by Elemental Rot, so they can actually benefit from the Symbiont's awe-inspiring power, those who are capable of being infected are seen as "Blessed by the Gods".
Human societies, however, do not use Symbionts, and most do not know that they are a unique, living entity. Many humans see it as a grotesque version of Rot that corrupts the body, even though the direct opposite is true: Symbionts halt the spread of Rot, as the venom secreted by the Symbiont fights the Rotted Ziel within the host.Human scientists, however, are receptive of the Symbiont's benefits, and many tout it as a new discovery despite its usage by non-sentients for at least a thousand years, if not more. The Symbiont's existence, many say, will pave the way towards better, more responsive prosthesis for humankind, so long as it meets government approval.
P. elementum symbiota
Unknown; hypothetically immortal
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Black [default]; pink, fleshy inside, clear teeth
Sea of the Styx
Vulkan Mountain Range
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild