Amongst the Qhuss
there are many rituals centred around feeding and food. To outsiders, perhaps the most bizarre is the Feast of Flesh. Unlike their adult counterparts, adolescent Qhuss
retain their individuality and autonomy. They are centrally raised and educated in the city of Qhuss
, never leaving until they come of age. For all Qhuss
this comes on the 35th anniversary of their spawning. The event is marked by the Feast of Flesh, by which a cohort of Qhuss
are joined as one and brought into the hive mind.
are all spawned in the city of Qhuss
, in great swampy expanses. This spawning involves a Qhuss
tadpole implanting itself into the head of unconscious humanoid victim, where it will gestate. Over the course of approximately 60 days the victim will be transformed into a young Qhuss
. Anatomically identical to an adult Qhuss
, these beings are empty vessels that must be educated and indoctrinated into the ways of Qhuss
. A group of circa 50 Qhuss
who awake at the same time is considered a spawning, and will be educated together to adulthood.
The Feast of Flesh
Upon completion of their education and training, a spawning is brought together to conduct the Feast of Flesh. Standing shoulder to shoulder in a great circle, the spawning turns to their left, and with surgical precision removes part of the brain of the Qhuss
to their left, and passes it to them. Once all the removals are complete, each Qhuss
consumes the removed section of their own brain, ritually joining with the Qhuss
central hive mind.
The removed section of brain is called the frontostriatal pathway, and is responsible for self awareness, self image, and autonomy. With its removal, a vestigial psionic node within the brainstem rapidly grows in size to compensate. This node has 2 affects, first it greatly enhances the psionic powers of the Qhuss
, and second, it opens the Qhuss
to the hive mind, and willingly or not it will be subsumed by it.
There are 2 types of rejection of the Feast of Flesh. First, a Qhuss
may reject the process. Most of these are killed by the other members of their spawning. However, occasionally a Qhuss
will escape into the Underdark, eking out an existence amongst the deep places of Autumna, forever avoiding their fellow Qhuss
, for they have a death sentence upon their head. Second, very rarely the hive mind will reject a willing Qhuss
, which results in a Qhuss
Zombie, sometimes seen amongst the Grey Horde